Walton Burns
 (52)
United States - Connecticut
Walton Burns
4.0
110 votes
"I make kids wonder, I make them question. I make them criticize." - Taylor Mali, What Teachers Make
 
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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a great introduction to Thanksgiving, particularly for EFL students who don't know a lot about the holiday. It covers the Thanksgiving football game, the turkey dinner, the theme of gratitude and friendship, even a
$3.50
16 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.68 MB)
"Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!" Is there any better way to start a discussion of a holiday than by watching the Charlie Brown special about it? I use this in my ESL and EFL classroom every year to teach international students about the holiday
$3.00
13 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (1.72 MB)
This unit from an as-yet uncompleted ESL, EFL, English language coursebook teaches English through the theme of mysteries. Students practice reading, writing, speaking, grammar and vocabulary. I find students love mysteries and solving puzzles.
$4.00
5 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.90 MB)
This bundle contains 6 of my Clue by Clue Mystery Activities for the price of 4, plus a free mystery story organizing worksheet. What is a Clue by Clue Mystery? It's a great warm-up, filler, or time killer for early finishers. Students are given
$10.50
$6.50
6 ratings
3.9
Digital Download ZIP (3.99 MB)
A great discussion lesson plan designed for the EFL classroom. It's easily adapted to any diverse classroom. Students love this lesson. It really generates a lot of conversation. Too often we act as if our cultural differences between our students
$1.50
2 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.92 MB)
In this fun murder mystery activity, students have to follow the clues to figure out who killed the rich CEO of a powerful company at his home during a dinner party. What is a Clue by Clue Mystery? It's a great warm-up, filler, or time killer for
$1.50
6 ratings
3.8
Digital Download PDF (0.77 MB)
In this fun mystery activity, students have to follow the clues to figure out how a woman killed her husband without anyone suspecting anything! What is a Clue by Clue Mystery? It's a great warm-up, filler, or time killer for early finishers.
$1.50
6 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.76 MB)
This is a worksheet students can fill in as they read a mystery or suspense story. It's designed to help them solve the mystery by finding all the clues and suspects and then analyzing them. At the same time, it gives them practice in important
$1.50
8 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.05 MB)
Traditional rubrics spell out criteria for every area of assessment and every grade or level of student achievement. A single-point rubric only contains what the student is expected to do to succeed. That makes it faster to write, faster to use, and
$2.00
5 ratings
3.9
Digital Download ZIP (2.95 MB)
On the Board contains over 200 proverbs, brain teasers, riddles, puzzles, and jokes, all collected, classroom-tested, and curated over my 16 years of teaching ESL & EFL. These activities are the easiest, no-prep, fun ways to kick off your
$0.99
2 ratings
4.0
Digital Download EPUB (0.18 MB)
This complete lesson plan gives students practice in describing locations and giving directions in English. Students can practice using expressions such as: on Main Street at/near the corner of across from behind in front of go straight turn
$3.00
3 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.77 MB)
This complete Halloween lesson plan uses the genre approach to writing to get students writing scary short stories. Students read a Halloween scary story with a twist. They then analyze the story to find the key elements that make it a scary story.
$3.00
1 rating
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.75 MB)
This is a full lesson plan to help ESL false beginners and low-level students practice ordering at a restaurant. There is a complete set of notes on how to run the lesson including a warm-up, an exercise that elicits key language and leads the class
$3.00
1 rating
4.0
Digital Download PDF (1.04 MB)
If you teach ESL in a classroom with students from around the world, then the Where are You From? World Map Poster is a great classroom decoration and first day of class activity, along with my In Your Own Words Poster On the first day of school, I
$1.00
2 ratings
4.0
Digital Download ZIP (2.57 MB)
In this fun mystery activity, students have to guess why a man murdered a woman when police can't find any connection between them. Students use critical thinking skills to follow the clues and find the motive for the mysterious murder! Also
$1.50
2 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.73 MB)
This is my tried and true go-to warm up activity for teaching EFL students about Halloween. I've found even when I'm teaching in international contexts, my students know something about Halloween from TV and movies. This easy activity gives them
$1.50
1 rating
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.55 MB)
This started as simple speaking exercise I used in my ESL and EFL classes, getting students to practice the future tense with New Year's resolutions. Then it evolved into teaching them the distinction between using, "going to" and "will" for the
$3.00
2 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.66 MB)
In this fun mystery activity, students have to solve a classic riddle: Why does a woman ride the elevator up to the 15th floor and then walk up to the 20th floor to get to her apartment? Practice critical thinking skills and follow the clues to find
$1.50
2 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.72 MB)
A basic gapfill or cloze exercise for the song, "This is Halloween" from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton. The gaps focus on Halloweeny words. I've also included the complete lyrics. I use this as a warm up or introduction for
$1.00
2 ratings
4.0
Digital Download PDF (0.48 MB)
While many ESL students love to talk, they don't always get good practice in intonation, stress and rhythm. Interestingly, research shows that these factors are more important factors in being understood than accent, vocabulary gaps or grammar
$1.50
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Digital Download PDF (0.26 MB)
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TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Walton Burns is a teacher and award-winning materials writer from Connecticut who began his career in 2001, teaching in the Peace Corps in the South Pacific. Since then, he has taught in Central Asia and in his native country. His students have been a diverse group, including Russian oil executives, Afghan high school students, and Chinese video game champions. As a writer, he has been on the author team of two textbooks and written lesson plans and activities for private language schools. He is currently chair of the Materials Writing Interest Section of the TESOL Association, the international association for English language professionals. For more information, including projects he has worked on, go to his blog at English Advantage and his portfolio site.

Editorial Work

  • Co-author, Hang Out! by Compass Publishing. General ESL textbook for primary school students
  • Author, Inside Writing, a genre-based writing course book for Oxford University Press.
  • Grammar Editor, MasterMind series by Macmillian
  • Extensive materials development and course design for online schools, including Really English/New Horizons.
  • Assessment writing for OUP, Pearson, and SLTI.

MY TEACHING STYLE

I truly believe that communication is the goal of language teaching. Grammar is a toolbox to help students express themselves, not rules that need to be memorized. Vocabulary is a palette for students to work with creatively, not a list of words to be memorized. That's not to say that drilling and grammar banging don't have their place, but I teach for those moments when a student spontaneously expresses him or herself using new language and doesn't even realize it because he or she is so caught up in the conversation.

HONORS/AWARDS/SHINING TEACHER MOMENT

  • 3rd place, BESIG and Cambridge University Press Lesson Plan Contest.
  • Winner, One Stop English Lesson Share.

MY OWN EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

  • BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
  • MA in International Development from The Heller School, Brandeis University
  • TESOL Core Certificate, TESOL, Inc.
  • 12 Credits toward an MA in TESOL from Adelphi University.

ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

  • Chair of the Materials Writer Interest Section of TESOL, Inc.
  • Freelance materials writer and editor for Pearson, Macmillan, OUP, Compass Publishing, and several international online schools.
  • Frequent Co-Moderator of the EVO: Creating the ePerfect eBook, a Massive Open Online Course on publishing educational materials online.
  • Blog at:English Advantage

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