0

Why Teach Children English with Music?

It’s amazing how songs just stick in our minds even after years and years.
Music is an incredible language tool because it helps children practice and memorize language in such a natural way that they don’t even realize that they’re learning and repeating new vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation, they’re simply carried away having fun in singing a song.
The question is what song do you teach and how do you teach it?

 

Advertisements
2

Teach Children English through music 5 Green Frogs

5 Green Frogs Jumping on the Log

An adapted version of “10 Green Bottles sitting on the Wall” for ESL pre-schoolers. This is a fun and simple song to introduce numbers 1-5 and provides lots of vocabulary practice (frog, green, log, jump, splash).

I  bring along to class some frog masks for the children to wear and act out the song themselves. They have great fun jumping and splashing in a pretend pond.

Happy Teaching!

 

0

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed Song

To introduce this popular song to my class of 5-6 year olds I made a simple felt board out of an old cardboard box, covered and taped it with a black flannel blanket.

To make the monkeys, mummy and doctor I downloaded some materials  and laminated them. It is a good idea to laminate and protect the characters and  stick double sided tape to the back so they can  be attached and removed easily from the felt board.

At the end of the lesson I distribute some paper monkey finger puppets or masks which the children colour, cut out and use to sing the song again during the next lesson.

Children enjoy making their own finger puppets and it is a great way to involve and engage them in reviewing numbers and new vocabulary.

As an alternative – encourage children to interpret and re-enact the song using monkey masks and simple costumes for the Mummy and Doctor characters. Bring to class some props for example toy telephones for the children to use.

 

*Five little monkeys jumping on the bed (hold up 5 finger puppets)

One fell off and bumped his head (make one finger puppet roll down to the floor and tap your head with your fist)

Mummy called the doctor, (hold up finger and thumb to your mouth and ear miming a telephone)

And the doctor said

No more monkeys jumping on the bed (wag your index finger from left to write to indicate no)

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mummy called the doctor

And the doctor said,

No more monkeys jumping on the bed

 

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mummy called the doctor

And the doctor said,

No more monkeys jumping on the bed

 

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mummy called the doctor

And the doctor said,

No more monkeys jumping on the bed

 

One little monkey jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mummy called the doctor

And the doctor said,

Put those monkeys right to bed

*Sing along to 5 Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed  from Super Simple Songs

 

Happy teaching!

Miranda

 

2

Five Little Monkeys Song with Finger Puppets

Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree Song For Children

Five little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

Four little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

Three little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

Two little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

One little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Crocodile “you can’t catch me”
along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be and SNAP!!

No more monkeys swinging in the tree!

Miranda’s Interpretation /Translation in Italian – dedicated to any bilingual parents out there:-)

Cinque Scimmiette si Dondolano Sull’Albero Canzone Per Bambini

Cinque scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Quattro scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Tre scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Due scimmiette si dondolano sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Una scimmietta si dondola sull’albero
prendono in giro il Mr. Coccodrillo
”Tanto non ci prendi! Tanto non ci prendi!”
Ecco che si avvicina Mr. Coccodrillo,  e piano, piano ….SNAP!!

Nessuna scimmietta si dondola sull’albero

2

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?

I have been working with SUPER SIMPLE SONGS for the last 6 months with my classes ages 4-7 with amazing results. The traditional Anglo-Saxon songs and nursery rhymes have all been re-written in a SUPER SIMPLE WAY and jazzed up especially for Esl learners. They are simple to learn and simple to teach and my young children adore them and remember them instantly. On their website, Devon and his team also give some creative suggestions on how to introduce the song and vocabulary and some role playing games.

Although most of the songs are for younger children, during my recent English Drama Summer Camp my 7-10 year olds really enjoyed “Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar”. I personally found it better doing the song without the cd as you can go at your own pace and make the song last for however long you desire. I did however take on Devon’s teaching tips. Take a look at the video for inspiration and try it out, a cardboard cookie is a real must!! 🙂

 

Here are SUPER SIMPLE SONGS suggestions:

Language focus: Question and answer intonation. “Who me?” “Who?” Practicing English rhythm.

Classroom benefits
: The question and answer patterns learned in Who Took the Cookie are great for a variety of classroom situations. After students have learned the “Who…..? question pattern from the song, it can easily be used to ask classroom questions like, “Who has a pencil?” “Who needs crayons?” “Who took my eraser?” etc. Who Took the Cookie is also another great song for practicing English rhythm and intonation.

Preparation: Have the children sit in a circle. Show them a cookie jar or a picture of a cookie jar and say, “Yummy…cookies! I’m going to have a cookie!” Look inside the cookie jar and then say, “Oh no! No more cookies! Who took the cookie from the cookie jar? Pedro? Did you take the cookie? Rina? Did you take the cookie? Who took the cookie?” Even children with very little English ability will understand this conversation when demonstrated this way.

Next, have everyone make a beat by patting their laps then clapping their hands (pat, clap, pat, clap, pat, clap, pat, clap). Don’t go too fast! Set a slow pace at first. As you pat and clap your hands, do the following chant (with the teacher demonstrating first):

All: Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?

Leader: Pedro (student’s name) took the cookie from the cookie jar!

Pedro: Who, me?

All: Yes, you!

Pedro: Not me!

All: Then who?

Pedro: Rina!

All: Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
Rina took the cookie from the cookie jar!

Rina: Who me?

All: Yes, you!

Rina: Not me!

All: Then who?

Rina: Isabella!

All: Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
Isabella took the cookie from the cookie jar?

Isabella: Who me?

All: Yes you!

Isabella: Not me!

All: Then who?

(Repeat, naming all of the students in the class or in your group. If you are doing it at home, name all the members of the family.)

With older kids, you may want to introduce an element of competition. Try to keep the beat steady and if a child can’t think of another student’s name and stay on the beat, they are “out.” For example:

All: Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
Pedro took the cookie from the cookie jar.

Pedro: Who me?

All: Yes you!

Pedro: Not me!

All: Then who?

Pedro: Umm… Umm… Umm…

Leader: Time’s up!

Make a rule that you can’t repeat a name, so if you go through all of the names and nobody is left, the last student will be “out.” To make it even more challenging and to speed up the game, speed up the beat!

You can also play this game with a pretend cookie (simply cut a circle out of a brown cardboard box and draw chocolate chips on it with a black marker). Have all of the children (seated in a circle) close their eyes. Walk around the circle and place a “cookie” under one of the children so that none of the other children can see it (tap that child on the shoulder so she knows she has the cookie). Tell all of the children to open their eyes. Everyone can look at each other to try and guess who has the cookie. Start the chant once more:

All: Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?

Leader: Pedro (student’s name) took the cookie from the cookie jar!

Pedro: Who, me?

All: Yes, you!

Pedro: Not me!

All: Then who?

Pedro: Rina!

All: Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
Rina took the cookie from the cookie jar!

Rina: Who me?

All: Yes, you!

Rina: (Takes the cookie out from under her) Okay, okay…I took the cookie (or a simple “yes” will do).

You can sing the song from the CD before and/or after playing the game to help the kids remember the words and the rhythm. The names used in the song are Tanja, Troy, Knocky (the Knock Knock English mascot), and Devon. You can assign those names to some of the students in the class. Or you can play the CD as you play the game, and just substitute the names of students.

Lyrics and actions:

(Create a beat with everyone patting their legs and clapping their hands. Pat, clap, pat, clap, pat, clap.)

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
[Tanja] took the cookie from the cookie jar.
Who me? (Student points to herself.)
Yes you! (Students nod their heads “yes” and point at the student.)
Not me! (Student shakes her head “no”.)
Then who? (Everyone shrugs their shoulders.)

Troy! ([Tanja] points at [Troy].)

(Make a rhythm with everyone patting their legs and clapping their hands to the beat. Pat, clap, pat, clap, pat, clap.)

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
[Troy] took the cookie from the cookie jar.
Who me? (Student points to himself.)
Yes you! (Students nod their heads “yes” and point at the student.)
Not me! (Student shakes his head “no”.)
Then who? (Everyone shrugs their shoulders.)

Knocky! ([Troy] points at [Knocky].)

(Make a rhythm with everyone patting their legs and clapping their hands to the beat. Pat, clap, pat, clap, pat, clap.)

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
[Knocky] took the cookie from the cookie jar.
Who me? (Student points to herself.)
Yes you! (Students nod their heads “yes” and point at the student.)
Not me! (Student shakes her head “no”.)
Then who? (Everyone shrugs their shoulders.)

Devon! ([Knocky] points at [Devon].)

(Make a rhythm with everyone patting their legs and clapping their hands to the beat. Pat, clap, pat, clap, pat, clap.)

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
[Devon] took the cookie from the cookie jar.
Who me? (Student points to himself.)
Yes you! (Students nod their heads “yes”.)

Okay, okay…I took the cookie!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Variation

Print and play with the mini-cards below. These cards allow you to play “Who Took the Cookie?” with as few as two people or as many as you have in your class. Also, when you play with these cards, nobody knows who has the cookie…even the student who has it! (When you play the regular version of “Who Took the Cookie?” younger students may have trouble keeping it a secret that they have the cookie.)

First, print the “Who Took the Cookie?” cards (and laminate them if possible).

With two players, shuffle the cards and deal four cards to each player. Each player, without looking at the cards, puts the four cards in a row in front of them. Chant the “Who Took the Cookie?” chant. When it’s someone’s turn to answer if they have the cookie or not, they turn one card over to check, and then answer.

Continue back and forth until one of the players turns over the cookie card. Each time a student turns over a card, the suspense builds. Children will want to play this game again and again, so it really gives them great practice! For variation, print two or three cards so that when one cookie card is turned over, the game continues!

For more than 2 people or a larger class, print several sets of the “Who Took the Cookie?” cards (and laminate them if possible). You can deal one card to each student, or several cards to each student. The more cards each student has, the longer the game will continue. For larger groups, print several “cookie” cards so that the game continues even after one of the cookies is found.

With very large classes, print several sets of the cards (black and white will work just fine), and have the students play in groups of five or six.

Many thanks to a good friend in Germany for this great idea!

Suggestion

Young children really enjoy the rhythm of this song so try playing it in the background during other activities and they’ll be singing it in no time.

0

The Teddy Bear Song

The Teddy Bear Song

Here is lovely chant that works well with very young children. Ask the children to bring to class their own teddy bear or cuddly toy to do the song with ( have a few extras in case some children forget)  

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

Turn around (turn around)

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

Touch the ground (touch the ground)

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

Tie your shoe (hit your shoe)

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,

How old are you?

1-2-3-4 ………

0

Song and Role-play for “The Wheels on the Bus”

Song and Role-play for

“The Wheels on the Bus”

 

My 4-5 year old class loves doing the following song and role-play activity . It’s physical, lively and engaging. Try it!

 

I got the following song and activity from super simple songs

 

Language focus: Round and round, open and shut, beep beep, up and down, wheels, bus, door, wipers, horn, people, babies, mommies.

Classroom benefits: The Wheels on the Bus introduces a lot of very useful vocabulary for young learners while allowing them to get up, move around the classroom, and engage their imaginations.

Preparation: Before singing the song, introduce a toy bus or a picture of a bus or a bus-themed picture book. Point out the wheels, the door, the wipers, etc. Now, seated in a circle, you are ready to introduce the song.

Lyrics and actions:

(Everybody stands in big circle. You may want to give all of the students some props to act as steering wheels. Tambourines work great! Honk the horn!)

(Everyone stops and faces into the circle.)

The wheels on the bus go round and round. (Move your hands and arms round and round in a circle.)

Round and round. Round and round.

The wheels on the bus go round and round. Round and round. (Go! Between each verse, everyone pretends to drive a bus and honk the horn.)

The door on the bus goes open and shut. (Clap your hands together on “shut” and open them on “open”.)

Open and shut. Open and shut.

The door on the bus goes open and shut. Open and shut.

 

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish. (Mimic the motion of windshield wipers with your hands and arms.)

Swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish.

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish. Swish, swish, swish.

 

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep. (Pretend to be honking the horn on the steering wheel of a bus.)

Beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep.

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep.

 

The people on the bus go up and down. (Stretch up and then squat down.) Up and down. Up and down.

The people on the bus go up and down. Up and down.

 

The babies on the bus go wah wah wah. (Place your hands next to your eyes and pretend to cry.)

Wah, wah, wah. Wah, wah, wah.

The babies on the bus go wah wah wah. Wah, wah, wah.

 

The mommies on the bus go shhh shhh shhh. (Place your finger in front of your mouth as you make the shhh sounds. You can also pretend to cradle a baby in one arm).

Shhh shhh shhh. Shhh shhh shhh.

The mommies on the bus go shhh shhh shhh. Shhh shhh shhh.

 

ROLE- PLAY

After the song is great time to “play bus”. Set up rows of chairs like the inside of a bus. Make a bus stop by putting some tape or rope down on the ground. Give each of the children several “coins” (colored chips work great, marbles will do… or use real coins). Make a small box into the fare collection box.

The teacher or parent can put on a bus driver’s cap and use a tambourine as a steering wheel. “Open” the bus door and invite the children on. Ask, “Where are you going?” Elicit responses like “To the park/to the pool/to the zoo/to the library/etc. Say, “Two coins, please.” and help the children pay. After all the kids have boarded, start “driving.” Sing The Wheels on the Bus together. Turn left and turn right, having the kids lean with you as you turn. Call out the stops. “Next stop…the park!” “Next stop…the zoo!”

Kids LOVE this role-play. Let them take turns being the driver too!