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Thread: [Elem. Plan] Two of my most "popular/fun" lessons

  1. #1
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    Default [Elem. Plan] Two of my most "popular/fun" lessons

    First Lesson:
    This one is from Genki English:
    http://genkienglish.net/harrypotter.htm

    This game is great for warming the kids up when they're cold. So far, I've done it with all of the elementary school grades save for fifth. Even the sixth-graders will get into it if you're teaching them something that isn't too embarrassing such as, "What are you doing?/I'm dancing/singing/running." For the little kids.....well, they make adorable monkeys, snakes, etc. ^.~ I didn't invent the game, but it's wildly popular. I used it with 3rd/4th grade together one day when a teacher was out and we compiled the classes. I wanted to do something fun that didn't have vocabulary that the 3rd graders didn't know, etc. I found this game on Genki English. I also liked the fact that it WAS Harry Potter because the kids all recognize the name and have seen the movies. The fourth/sixth graders are reading the books (in Japanese, of course). They associate the books with Western Culture, which, of course, is one of the things that we're trying to teach them, right? (Then again, I think they also just like swatting each other with rolled up pieces of paper, but that's an entirely different story....)

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    Lesson 2
    I adore the lesson that I did today with my さんえんせい class, so I thought that I would share it with all of you. The kids have SO much fun!!

    I gave it a test run at 北しょう (Kita-sho/North Elementary) a couple of weeks ago, and I brought it to 南しょう (Minami-sho/South Elementary) today.

    This is a lesson where the kids learn the directives Stand up, sit down, hands up, hands down, clap your hands, tap your feet, feet up, feet down, turn around, left, right, up, down. (It's really fun to watch them spin around while in the "hands-up" pose!)

    Basically, I have the kids do the instructions and follow along with me. They already know stand up and sit down, so they're familiar wih up and down, too. Some of the kids know left/right and others know hands/feet.

    After we've practiced, I teach them the word "BOOM!" Then, I have them clap to:
    "Boom! Boom, Boom! Boom Boom, Boom, BOOM!!!"

    After that, I put on the song "Boom, Boom, Boom" by Rare Blend. (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PHR834L0 Here is a link to download it if you want to hear the structure of the song. Also, http://www.houseoflyrics.com/lyrics/...are_blend.html is a web site with lyrics to the song, though I think hearing it, in this case, is best.) I found it when going through my music to make a mix CD of upbeat, dancey songs for when I do games with the kids. This was on the soundtrack for a movie that I used to love called Coyote Ugly. (Do y'all remember that movie? I used to drive my mom crazy because my favorite type of CD to buy/ask for was always a soundtrack. Of course, nowadays, my favorite thing to get is Broadway music, so I haven't strayed too far.....I haven't gotten a movie soundtrack in a long time. Well, that's not true. I did get The Last Kiss this year and Garden State whenever that came out....unless you count the Rent movie soundtrack or the upcoming Dreamgirls movie soundtrack...but those two are from musicals, so they're a bit different. As for the other two....what can I say? Zach Braff knows his indie music.

    I was excited to find this song upon hearing the chorus ("Boom! Boom, Boom! Boom Boom, Boom, BOOM!!!"). It's the perfect thing for the kids to clap along too. I encourage them to scream BOOM really loudly, too. ^^;;;

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    They really have fun with this activity. They love getting out of their seats and being active, especially right now when it's so cold!! I'll come in and say, "How are you today?" and hear, "I'm cold!" After they start moving, they say that they're too hot, though. I love it!!

    I love tricking them by saying "Stand up/Sit down" really fast and then saying "Stand up/stand up" because it makes them pay attention. Most of the kids hear it the first time, too. They think it's hysterical and the other kids catch on really fast. They start trying to hear the actual words and not follow the crowd. I like it because it helps me gauge their level of comprehension skills.
    (I swear, it's not just me being a sadist!)

    Anyway, after we practice, we do our "dance" to the song and scream "BOOM!" to our heart's content.

    Once they run through the song twice, I split the class in half. Their teacher is in charge of half of the class, and I'm in charge of the other half. I take my half into the hallway. Each group has to create its own dance moves, then go back in after 5-10 minutes and show the other group. If trying this activity, I recommend using ten minutes and practicing, because if you settle on five, you'll have five minutes left over at the end of the typical 45-minute class. If that happens, just make them stand up/sit down/etc and wear them out again.

    Today was my favorite because the kids were so much more creative!! I also knew what I wanted a little better now that I had done this before. The third time was the best for my group, because I cemented our dance in the previous period with the other さんえんせい class.

    This is what our final dance looked like {If you'd like a structure to follow}:

    1) Clap, clap [around middle of chest--normal clapping zone]
    2) Tap, tap (left foot)
    3) Clap, clap
    4) Tap, tap (right foot)
    5) Clap, clap
    6) Turn around!
    7) Clap, clap
    8 ) Hands up in the air!
    9) Clap, clap (while hands are over head!)
    10) SWOOSH! (The students LOVE this one. After the second CLAP in #9, they keep their hands together and bring them back down to the normal clapping zone [hands are in a prayer position as they come down. The kids go SWOOSH! as they do this. They love it!)
    11) Clap, clap
    12) Kneel on floor and bring hands against ground
    13) Clap, clap (while still kneeling)
    14) Using the same "prayer" position, stand back up with hands in the normal clapping zone (say "SWOOSH!")
    15) Clap, clap
    16) Hands up!
    17) Fall to the kneeling position with hands on floor! (Basically, you go up in the air really fast and come back down really fast as though it is one move. One of the boys thought it up today and the kids really liked it.)
    18 ) Stand up/Clap, Clap
    19) Turn to your partner [If there is an odd number, then partner with a student. If there is an even number, then just watch them.]
    20) Instead of clapping your own two hands, clap your partner's hands in time to "Boom, Boom Boom, Boom Boom/Boom BOOM!"
    [This worked really well because they did the whole routine and did it a second time a split second before the chorus started, then the pattern matched the song the rest of the way through.)
    21) Clap, clap
    22) Point with your index finger and throw your arm to the right (Kind of like a DISCO move, only sideways instead of up in the air.]
    23) Clap, clap
    24) Point with your index finger and throw your arm to the left
    25) Repeat steps 22, 23, and 24
    26) Point with your index finger and throw your right arm up over your head (DISCO)
    27) Clap, clap
    28 ) Point with your index finger and throw your left arm up over your head
    29) Repeat steps 26, 27, and 28.
    30) Turn to your partner [If there is an odd number, then partner with a student. If there is an even number, then just watch them.]
    31) Instead of clapping your own two hands, clap your partner's hands in time to "Boom, Boom Boom, Boom Boom/Boom BOOM!"
    32) Hands in the air (SPIRIT FINGERS) and yell YAY (at the very end of song)

    **Also, between BOOM/BOOM refrains, there is a brief singing break. Some of the kids decided to air-guitar, so I threw in the index finger to the left/to the right so that there wouldn't be dead space while we waited. I also did this in the group when we performed the number.

    It seems like a lot of instructions, but half of it is clapping, and a lot of it is stuff that they had just learned in class and stuff that they added in themselves. If it isn't so long, they get bored. This is just one version of what was done--the other team had very different dances!

    I wish that I had a video camera today! It was soooooooooo hysterical! The kids were really cute, too.

    -----------------------

    Let me know if you want me to clarify anything. I hope that this was useful for some of you! It's a really fun game and it takes up the whole period. I WILL warn you that it absolutely wears you out, though!!!
    I swear to God, I'll never understand/
    How you can stand there straight and tall/
    And see I'm crying/
    And not do anything at all......
    ~The Last Five Years [Jason Robert Brown]

  2. #2
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    Sweet mother of God its clowns like you that give English education a bad name. Genki Richard and anyone who buys into his song and dance routine should be deported at once.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuntylips
    Sweet mother of God its clowns like you that give English education a bad name. Genki Richard and anyone who buys into his song and dance routine should be deported at once.
    *tilts head* The second idea with the song was my own, actually. The elementary school has a curriculum, and how else would you recommend teaching the above vocabulary besides involving the kids?

    Also, in all of my classes at uni, we were always taught to actively involve children as often as possible. Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences was one of the things that got drilled into us time and again. Children learn differently and you need to use as many innovative concepts as possible.

    I try never to do the same thing twice with any one grade because they're kids and they get bored easily. I try to do interesting activities because it motivates the children to get involved and I've noticed that they DO tend to remember words better when they're doing something interesting as opposed to being forced to regurgitate sentences when most of them can't even read the English words.


    Out of curiousity, what part of that activity made it a bad idea? What would you improve if it were you? Ideas are always appreciated. ^^

  4. #4

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    Baine - ignore cuntylips (the name should give it away) he's our longest resident troll, loved by many on ITIL (or something like that).

    I'm not massively into using music - mainly because I have a VERY poor sense of rhythm! But I still use it sometimes - at elementary school I can manage...

    I have found that you can repeat ideas, but they way to do it is as a recap - a couple of weeks / months later, and just before they get bored (as they've done it before) I add a new twist, or suddenly up the difficulty of the activity (e.g. going as fast as possible, adding extra rules to the game, introducing new vocab options, etc) and they love it.

    I have also found that they love creative activities. One I have done is give them all a piece of paper and then describe something that they have to draw, and then comparing the drawings at the end (if I use new vocab then I also use gestures, but for the rest its all in English).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom
    I'm not massively into using music - mainly because I have a VERY poor sense of rhythm! But I still use it sometimes - at elementary school I can manage...
    You know everytime I pop into the beat I get fresh.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom
    Baine - ignore cuntylips (the name should give it away) he's our longest resident troll, loved by many on ITIL (or something like that).

    I'm not massively into using music - mainly because I have a VERY poor sense of rhythm! But I still use it sometimes - at elementary school I can manage...

    I have found that you can repeat ideas, but they way to do it is as a recap - a couple of weeks / months later, and just before they get bored (as they've done it before) I add a new twist, or suddenly up the difficulty of the activity (e.g. going as fast as possible, adding extra rules to the game, introducing new vocab options, etc) and they love it.

    I have also found that they love creative activities. One I have done is give them all a piece of paper and then describe something that they have to draw, and then comparing the drawings at the end (if I use new vocab then I also use gestures, but for the rest its all in English).
    Hi Tom!

    I didn't even look at who posted the message...or if I didn't, it didn't click. I was just curious for the reasons, because I'm the type of person who likes critical feedback because it helps me grow. (Curse the writer in me!)

    I also tend to avoid using music in the classroom in some manners. I'll play music for games where you do stop/start music or for the above, where they're learning specifics, but I don't like to teach students songs because I'm really self-conscious about my voice. I can emphasize. ^^

    I also agree with the repeat strategy. If I do repeat something, it's a long time later when the kids have forgotten about it, though right now, I'm doing a culminating money lesson and I've used one game a couple of times because the kids are learning the fastest from it and enjoy it. Special circumstances..

    I've had kids do creative activities, but I've never turned it into a contest before. I will have to try that next time. Thanks for the great idea! ^_^

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