I live in France and am involved in running a group for bilingual French / english children. We've always focused on running an English playgroup for preschoolers, now they are growing up, going to school and we'd like to get them together to focus on reading books / writing etc in English. Most of them have a reasonable to excellent level of spoken English, they range in age between about 5 and 10, their English reading and writing levels are very variable, most of them are boys (including my own two) and it can be really difficult to get them to sit still and do anything like a 'lesson' for any length of time, as they are used to playing together at this group. Most of them are in the French educational system, so they don't get anything like native-level English reading or writing at school. They are used to doing activities together in a group, with parents (usually mums) helping out.
We'd like to start a new sessions that focuses on reading and writing activities, rather than the crafty / imaginative / just get them talking in English activities that we've done to date. The thing is I am struggling to come up with activities that will work for such a diverse group (and we tend to have younger sibs along, who can be pretty disruptive).
So far I can think of reading them a story, and talking about it. And getting them to take a book home from our library, read it and then draw a picture / write a one (or whatever) sentence review of it, then talk about it at the next session, kind of like those book diaries I remember having at primary school. I thought that doing a 'report' and poster might be good - choose a topic that interests them, research it in the library, make a poster with pictures and info to describe it? Any other ideas to keep them interested and to cope with all the different ages / levels and other constraints? We have them for a couple of hours, once a fortnight.
I've cross posted in Education too. Thanks for any advice.