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Larien
December 13th, 2015, 21:43
Once a month, I'm asked to go to the yochien next to my base elementary school to "teach" all the kids at the kindergarten--about...I'm not actually sure how many, but 50 or so? I'm only asked to teach them for twenty minutes, which is just long enough to be difficult to stretch activities, and just short enough to make it difficult to put any real activities in. Obviously, 50 kids is not a good learning environment for learning a language, but that's not up to me...

I've done this twice before, and I can choose the topic. I've done songs (The "Hello" Song, "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"), done TPR, tried to play four corners with colors, but that didn't go so well, and my attempt to get everyone to do introduce yourself janken ressha was...ok. The expectations aren't very high, apparently; as long as the kids have fun, and English is involved somehow.

But I would love any and all ideas anyone has for such a large group of kids that really cannot speak (a few go to eikaiwa and can introduce themselves and say their likes and dislikes, but most have zero English), and get restless very quickly. I'm thinking of reviewing TPR, and maybe trying, "Duck, Duck, Goose." Maybe with a Christmas theme? "Snow, Snow, Santa"? I don't know. :P

webstaa
December 14th, 2015, 08:32
Ironically, today is a yochien day for me. I do two actual lessons a year and do a Christmas appearance as... Rudolf.

I've had great luck with the older kids and head, shoulders, knees, and toes and English fruit names fruit basket. You just have to remember that the kids aren't really there to learn English, just to get a taste of what English classes/having a stranger talk English at them is like. Even better if you get them to remember あたま=head or いちご=strawberry. (I have A3 cards with fruits on them, and then we play a couple rounds of mass chaos fruits basket with as much English as possible. Remember to lose when possible.

Occasionally these things go off the rails - that's OK, just let the yochien teachers keep the class from completely disintegrating and engage the interested students.

naginataonthebrain
December 15th, 2015, 09:45
I also teach at the yochien next to my base ES/JHS twice a month or so. It depends on the day, but you can't go wrong with music based activities. I played christmas songs the other day and the students had to freeze whenever I stopped the music. I also played duck, duck, goose but replaced the words with christmas-themed vocab (in this case, present, present, Santa). Just be SUPER flexible because you never know what activity might make a bunch of kids upset (like telephone).