View Full Version : movies, kids activity, mixed level elementary...

Claire D
January 16th, 2009, 20:49
and it being the weekend I have sufficiantly lost the will to care.
Maybe someone has some plan I can use floating around?

One plan I need to work out is one for an elementary school of 6 kids, all grades. I go there once a month and really havent covered anything with them. Theyre unenthusiastic and quiet so i figure it might be good to embarass them or make them run about. thats as far as ive gotten.

kids after school thing. six billion kids plus one evil kid who ruins my life. generlly we play games that let my supervisor see my FLAMING inability to teach or deal with kids. the kids have fun and I go home tired. Anything will do.

adult eikaiwa, can anyone recommend some good visually driven movies? i have a hugely mixed group when it comes to levels and as such theres no real way for me to plan a lesson. They like love stories and historical world movies. i was thinking shawn of the dead..... :(

man, friday. im gonna have a bath and pray for a benevolent donation

January 16th, 2009, 21:22
Everyone has their own favorite activities, but one that I use a lot in elementary is color tag. It can be inserted into any lesson for like 5 minutes to break up the instruction, and it's not entirely useless from an educational perspective: you call out a color and they have to tag something in the room with that color. (You can use "and" to make it moderately more difficult.)

Another fun game that can be stuck into any class for a short time: stand up/sit down. I like to just spring it on them: indicate that they're supposed to listen, and try doing a really enthusiastic "Stand up!" gesture while saying "Sit down!" Then "tisk tisk" in a jesting way at those who stand. And so on. The kids are confused at first, then they get it, and it's very physical and energizing as activities go.

Like I've said a hundred times, I think the main thing to do in elementary, aside from some throwaway basics greetings/I like lessons, is pronunciation. You might even try some really, really primitive phonics: make them realize that there is a logic to English spelling!

So yeah. Teach them:

Maybe choose one or two per class and work them into the lesson. E.g., "th" works for a "this/that" lesson, which is easily expanded to "What's this in English?" or "What's this in Japanese?"

I think it's a mistake to treat elementary school English class as a throwaway game time. It's a great chance to give them some basic skills/confidence builders that will help them later on. Elementary school kids are generally way less nervous/quiet than junior high.

Let's see. A few lesson types I've done:

1) What (X) do you like? --> I like (X). (They might already know this.)
This can be built up to an "interview game" where you borrow a marker or something and use it like a microphone to interview kids about what (blah) they like; then hand it off and have them interview each other. You can work all kinds of pronunciation practice into this.

One guideline I sometimes use: the more the kids are talking to each other in English, the better the lesson is. A rule of thumb, anyway.

2) Basic greetings: My name is (blah), I'm from (blah).

3) This/that

4) Family words! Builds nicely off of "My name is": "My father is (blah)". Mother/Father/Brother are great for practicing "th"! You can work in some photos (if there are only a few kids, bringing a laptop in and waving it around will do!) of your family.

5) Colors
Great for L/R, although some of the blends are difficult.

and so on.

You can also teach them songs one bit at a time.

January 16th, 2009, 22:52
So yeah. Teach them:
Also do the non-Japanese sounds everyone forgets about: vowels, particularly all five short vowels, short oo, and schwa. There are all sorts of other pronunciation issues you can work on as well: rhotacized vowels, consonants in isolation, consonant clusters, English's w sound, ng, etc.

January 17th, 2009, 07:41
Also do the non-Japanese sounds everyone forgets about: vowels, particularly all five short vowels, short oo, and schwa. There are all sorts of other pronunciation issues you can work on as well: rhotacized vowels, consonants in isolation, consonant clusters, English's w sound, ng, etc.

Indeed! For example, I often include that "er" sound in my self-introduction; in addition to the family words, it occurs in a number of other pictures. Terminal "t" is nice because it's so easy. As a first step, they can just practice saying "ca" (a different "a" sound) and then tacking on a distinct "t" instead of a distinct "tto".

Claire D
January 18th, 2009, 23:26
right i get that teaching actual stuff in the school scenario is necessary, but recommendations for the afterschool activities glorified babysitting and adult eikaiwa movies would be sooooooooo good

January 19th, 2009, 09:39
adult eikaiwa movie.............. James Bond? Any of them? The English that's in them tends to be difficult, but every one understands "Bond. James Bond." Also the action sequences tend to be long and wordless, and understanding the plot isn't usually very important. Actually, even as a native English speaker, I rarely understand Bond plots anyway.

January 19th, 2009, 14:31
For glorified babysitting you can do the command game. Teach them a set of verbs like 'sit down' 'sing' 'hide' 'sleep' and then teach them gestures for the words.

Then you yell out commands. The slowest kids/kids who mess up are 'out' and you keep going til you have one. Winner gets a sticker.

Rinse and repeat until everyone is tired.

You can do plenty of variations on this one. You can do it with locations. You could do the game 'shipwreck' which is where you yell out boat directions and the kids have to get there fastest.

January 21st, 2009, 02:13
one way i try to connect with the shy kids is by playing games where they're up against me and then of course letting them win.

a game that seems to work is with number flashcards. depending on their level, I'll do 1--1000 (20,30,40--100,200,300, etc) and have the stack in the middle of the table. I then ask them to grab 1 card each as I yell, "3, 2, 1, HAJIME!" and we all flip over our cards. each of them reads the card aloud, highest card takes the other cards. ill let the kids team up against me and react like a clown whenever I lose or win.

helps with their pronunciation of "-teen" and "-ty" and "hundred" and usually their confidence as they tend to win everytime.

PS: obama just flubbed up the oath and is now giving his spine-tingling speech. oooooo

January 21st, 2009, 06:13
If you haven't already had the classes:

Once-a-month kids: Many good suggestions have been made. You'll be fine. They're bored because they're way too familiar with each other. My only advice is DO NOT go in there planning to demean or confuse them for the sake of "shaking things up". Go the other way, and create a lesson that will be quickly understood by the lowest-level student in the class (without identifying that person). Keep individual activities going long enough for everyone to show they've "got it". Nothing energizes kids like quickly understanding in and demonstrating their knowledge of something, especially if they sense they're not the "dumb one" being spoken to. Let them laugh if it seems super-simple, the joke's on them! They're LEARNING!

After-school kids: Many good suggestions have been made. II like combining 100-yen decks of cards (same design) and playing matching games in small groups (memory, Uno) or class-wide (give them all an odd number of cards, have them match cards in their hands, and ask each other "Do you have a ~?" to collect matches from each other. Needs constant moderation though.)

Adult class w/ video: Animated films are best. For live action, with women I use Meg Ryan. For businessmen-dominated groups I use action films. Pick something well-known, it doesn't have to be current. The familiarity will give them confidence and context. It's best to prep a mini-lesson afterward if free talk doesn't kick in automatically. It can be as broad as "What's your favorite genre?". If you're quick with a remote, it can be fun to play scenes in Japanese dub without English subtitles, then challenge them in small groups to translate and guess what the next "few lines" will be, then rewatch the scene in English. Works great in 30-second clips. Not good if you're discouraged from using Japanese in lessons, or if it's difficult to set up.