Teachers' Tips: Travel Directions

Red Bar

Teach the Learner
Jazz Chants
  • To help the student find their way around their town
  • To help the student listen to and follow instructions
  • To help the student read and give instructions
  • Map of your downtown area
  • Driving directions
  • Toy cars
  • Jazz Chant (printed below)
Rosalba and Luz
Map of your downtown area (one per group)
Draw an enlarged map of the downtown area in your city on butcher paper.
Make the street areas wide enough to label each of them.
Label a few of the prominent locations, bank, police station, library, hospital, food stores, etc.
Using a red pen, mark an "X" and "You are Here" somewhere on the map, to use as a starting point.
Driving Instructions (two different locations per group)
Write driving instructions from "You are Here" to different locations.
Or go to MapQuest at http://www.mapquest.com
Select Maps/Driving Directions/Door-to-Door and enter the addresses.
Toy cars (one per group)
Jazz Chant
Print on large sheet of paper, blackboard or strips for pocket board
In Class:
Go over the vocabulary words, demonstrating them with the map and car:
  • Go straight
  • Turn right (make a right, hang a right, or whatever terms common to your area)
  • Turn left (make a left, hang a left)
  • Go past.....
  • Go one block, two blocks
  • Signal, light
Luz and Joanne
Divide your class into small groups. Give them a large map, a car and directions to several destinations. Let them take turns giving and following directions.

Some Fun Innovations
One of our teachers, Kitty Locke, got the class up on their feet, moving around the room calling out, "Turn right. Straight ahead. Turn left. Move to the center. Move back. Turn around." In short time, the directions could be understood easily!

We included directions to the local return bakery in our downtown area. The manager was very supportive of our class and donated a whole box of bakery items and store coupons.

Using a child's truck, we "drove" it on our large map down in the direction of the bakery factory. We loaded bread (the donated items) and "drove" them to the local supermarket. There we unloaded the fresh bread and loaded the bread from "yesterday" and trucked the day-old bread to the return bakery. When the class was over, the students took the samples home.

Jazz Chant

I'm learning to find my way around
I'm learning to find my way around
   Around the town
   Around the town
I'm learning to find my way around
   Around my town

Go one block, turn right at the light
   Turn right at the next light?
That's right, turn right at the next light
   I'll turn right at the next light

Repeat chorus: I'm learning ...
If you are working on grammar and verbs, you can substitute:
She's learning...He's learning...We're learning...

  • Divide your class into two groups.
  • Let the second group chant the words in italics.
  • Exchange parts.
  • Let one person solo one part.
  • Let he entire class chant another part.


Steps in Teaching a Jazz Chant

  1. Be sure students know all the key vocabulary.
  2. Write the chant on the board.
  3. Read the entire chant to the class.
  4. Read one line at a time and have students repeat the line until they can say most of the words.
  5. Add the rhythm (clapping, marching, or pounding the table or a drum).
    Let the class do the rhythm and say it at the same time.
  6. Let "soloists" say it while everyone else claps.

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ESL Ministry
Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church
1801 Lacassie Avenue Ball Walnut Creek Ball California 94596 Ball  925-935-1574
Joanne Rae Meads Ball jrmeads@worldnet.att.net
September 16, 1999

© Copyright 1999 by Joanne Meads, All Rights Reserved