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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!

 

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The Enormous Turnip – Role Play

The Enormous Turnip is a super simple story for children learning English as a second language and useful for introducing or revising family and animal vocabulary. An alternative to reading directly from a book is to use picture cards and adapt the language according to the children’s language abilities

Storytelling using theatre props and costumes add extra elements of curiosity, facilitate comprehension and encourage group participation.

To accompany  The Enormous Turnip  try making a little paper shovel, an envelope full of seeds (rice) and a paper watering can.  Include simple coloured masks and stick to plastic spoons for the children to hold for role play work.

You can create a mini role play by simply using props similar to the ones I use in the video and involve children by asking them to sow  and water the seeds.  Add to the fun by encouraging children to interpret the story characters . Give them a mask and tell them in turn to pull the “flashcard”!

show 3

http://www.teatroinglese.it  The Enormous Turnip end of year production

I also find a great exercise after I have told the story is get the children to act it out!

1. Play some relaxing instrumental music for the children to listen to

2. Encorauge the children to lie on the floor and make themselves as small as possible

3. Explain that you are the farmer and using the shovel, pretend to dig holes around the children

4. Sow the seeds (by shaking the envelope of rice over the children’s heads)

5. Water the seeds (make some whooshing water sounds over the children’s bodies)

6. Encourage the children to imagine they are the tiny turnip seeds growing slowly under the earth

7. Continue watering the “seeds” and then explain to the children that the sun is coming out and becomes warmer and slowly the seeds begin to grow, bigger and bigger and bigger until they become the most ENORMOUS TURNIPS waiting to be pulled out of the earth by the farmer (play act with the children and show examples of how they can express the growing seeds using their bodies and faces )

Great fun and a theatrical way to review key vocabulary.

Miranda Flynn Legge
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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

 

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Teach Emotions in English

View Miranda Legge Emotions

Ever find you have an unruly class? Your children don’t seem to be learning much? Try adding some sparkle into your ESL lessons and grab children’s attention by using total physical response activities.

By engaging children physically and emotionally they find it easier to understand language. And by associating movement, song and dance with language children are much more likely to absorb and repeat it naturally.

Try a simple game for Introducing “emotions” or as I call it “funny faces”:

Lets get those faces warmed up…

Ask the children to find a space in front of you standing or sitting and tell them to start giving their faces a good massage , cheeks, forehead, nose, mouth, chin, ears (get the children to repeat the words as you say them). Now scrunch your faces up to make them as small as possible, open wide, open your mouth, stick your tongues out, wiggle them around, pretend to chew a gum, pretend to chew 10 gums all together, pretend to chew 100 gums! Make some tongue rolling sounds with a Rrrrrrrrrr. Blow some raspberries.

Now ask the children to copy you and to make appropriate faces that describe each word for example: happy, surprised, furious, sad, angry, shocked, frightened, sleepy, cold. Ask the children to be as dramatic and exaggerated as possible.

Make up some simple flashcards and ask the children individually to mime an “emotion” flashcard while the other children guess which emotion he is trying to describe. Children love miming games as they also encourage the less extrovert children to participate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy teaching

Miranda

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Fruity Prepositions with Pippo the Puppet

thomas_gorilla 

Teach Prepositions with Pippo the Puppet

When introducing prepositions (in, on, under, in front of, behind)  a puppet can be a useful teacher assistant and engaging for children.

Activity Instructions

Bring to class some fruit props (orange, pear, banana, apple, kiwi, etc) children tend to become very excited about real fruit, but plastic fruit is fine and easier to store away for future exercises:-) Place the fruit on your desk or on the floor in a circle where all the children can see it. Use an empty box (puppet size) and give your puppet instructions to carry out.

Example:

“Hello Pippo, can you show the children a banana, please? Very good Pippo.” (Pippo picks out and holds up the banana for the children to see, get the children to repeat the word and use lots of applause of encouragement both for Pippo and the children)

“Where’s the pear, please Pippo?” (Pippo picks out and holds up the pear for the children to see, and again have the children to repeat the word)

When the children become familiar with the fruit have Pippo select an incorrect fruit and get the children to correct him. Then ask for a volunteer to help Pippo choose the correct fruit. Get the other children to applaud and encourage, if the child is unsure Pippo can always hint:-)

Now give Pippo preposition instructions :

“Pippo can you put the apple on the box/chair please?”

“Pippo can you put the apple in the box/chair please?”

“Pippo can you put the apple under the box/chair please?”

Again as the children become familiar with the prepositions , have Pippo make mistakes and encourage the children to correct him.

Have a competition between a child and Pippo as to who can be the quickest in putting the banana under the box/chair. The child always wins, of course!With older children this game works well with one child competing against another but be careful with younger children as they can end up in tears, especially if they don’t win. A tried and tested lesson that guarantees laughter and group participation even for the shyest of children:-)

Have Fun!

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How to Make a Shadow Puppet Theatre

 

View Make a simple shadow puppet theatre

Today I have been preparing my first ever “Shadow Puppet Play” which I will perform with my class of pre-schoolers.

Shadow puppetry is a form of puppetry, in which you move puppets, cut out of paper, between a light source and a screen. The audience on the other side of the screen only sees the shadows. It is great for storytelling, a lot of fun to prepare and children love it. You can make it as ambitious as you like with moving body parts and different props and scenes.

Having very little previous experience with shadow puppets I decided to keep it simple, play safe and chose a well known fairy tale ”Little Red Riding Hood”. I am no great artist and I rely heavily on stencils from the internet for masks, paper puppets, flashcards etc. Today I came across a great website www.hvanrossum.com which really helped me out for stencils and how to stage a puppet play for young children. “Heleen Van Rossum“ will give you step by step advice on how to approach your first performance.

I recently purchased a cardboard puppet theatre from IKEA for about $7 which is simple to assemble and  practical for transporting around as it folds flat. In the photos you can see I simply attached,with masking tape, a piece of paper table cloth or baking paper (just as Heleen van Rossum suggests) and I’m happy to go.

Start out by narrating the story slowly animating your voice and using the puppets. (I suggest to practice a few times at home in front of a mirror).You can stop during or at the end of each scene and ask the children what they understand. Don’t let the play last for more than 7 mins (keep it short and sweet to maintain the children’s full attention)

Now invite the children to come “behind the scenes” and become the puppeteers themselves as you retell the story. To finish, prepare a simple shadow puppet character template for each child to cut out and make their own.

Happy teaching

Miranda

 

 

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Using ESL Drama with There was an old lady who swallowed a fly

Image result for there was an old lady images childs play

This well-known rhyme lends itself well to using some creative and interactive drama activities with children. It is also useful for young ESL learners as there is a lot of repetition in it. Even though young children may only be able to join in on the first line introducing each animal, the repetition helps build memory and fluency.

Teacher Role play

  1. To introduce the story you could simply adapt a kitchen apron sewing/gluing or stapling  a transparent front pocket to  represent the old lady’s tummy. You could then cut out and color the story animals that are swallowed by the od lady.(laminate the cut outs so they can also be re-used for other activities in future lessons)
  1. Instead of simple reading the book – for extra fun and to add a surprise element, before your class arrives, dress yourself up as the old lady using a wig or head scarf, pair of eye glasses, walking stick and your apron of course.
  1. As the children walk into class you can delight them with your “old lady” saying things like “I’m hungry, I’m very very hungry- have you got something to eat?” Look around the room,  in children’s pockets, in their ears! Children love it! Don’t forget to dramatize your character using a squeaky voice and aching back!!
  1. Sit the children in a circle on the floor and set the animal flashcards in front of them. Start telling the story using lots of mime and animation as you introduce the animals encourage the children to indicate the correct correct animal before you swallow it loudly and hungrily and put it in your transparent tummy.
  1. For an extra role-play exercise – dress the children up and get them walking and talking and imagining they are 100 years old. Or to imagine how it would feel to have a spider wriggling inside!
  1. You could also provide them with their own zip-lock bags and get them to make their own personal animals or finger puppets to put inside. Repeat the story again with everyone choosing their correct animal to eat.

Here is an interesting animated version of the story.

The following link to shadow puppet play I found on youtube may give you some creative ideas on how to stage the story

 

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The object game

Many traditional drama games for adults can be easily adapted for teaching children English. The following game is great fun and all my students adore it! It encourages team work, self expression, independence, and quick thinking. Suitable from ages 5 upwards.

Call out the name of an object and the group as a whole or split into smaller groups of 4-5 have to make the shape of that object out of their own bodies, joining together in different ways while you count down slowly from ten to zero. Usually the group will find a different way of forming the object. Examples could be: numbers, letters, a car, a number, a letter, a clock, a washing machine, a fire, a happy machine, a sausage machine. Encourage the children to make a sound to accompany their machine or object. One of my children’s favourites is a birthday cake. Some children act as candles we sing Happy Birthday and I blow out the giant “body” candles and the children fall to the ground. Great fun and makes the language memorable.

 

 

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Play Parachute

I’ve just bought this fantastic play parachute. I bought a 3 m one as I think it’s really big enough for small children. Ideal for doing circle activities and songs with children from ages 2-6. I’ll be posting some parachute games shortly.

Children tend to get very excited as soon as they see the parachute and want to jump on it, wriggle under it, pull it, stretch it  and everything else imaginable. Once they start it’s very difficult to regain any classroom control so one initial sanity saver tip I would like to share with you before you  bring out the parachute in class,  is to practice the “HOLD and DROP” rule . “HOLD” get the children to hold hands. “DROP” – encourage the children to immediately drop their hands and wiggle their hands and fingers in front of their bodies. Practice these movements a few times and only subsequently  introduce the parachute. “HOLD” –  everyone holds onto the parachute. “DROP” –  everyone drops it instantly.  This enables the teacher to put away the parachute at the end of each activitiy with the children acting calmly.

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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.