If you’re looking for activities for young learners, check out my Facebook LIVE workshop. I teach children from age 2 – 12 in Tokyo, and these activities have all been LOVED in my classrooms. The activities support English language development as well as developmental body movement. Today’s FB LIVE (February 21, 2019) included the following: It Is Raining (focus on body parts), Little Worms (vocal expression, yoga movement, building group unity), Come and Sit In Front of Me (transitional), Tiny Egg (Butterfly Life Cycle, creative movement, connection to Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Flitter Flutter Butterfly (pronunciation practice, rhyming sounds, movement), Here’s a Leaf (seed-leaf-bud-flower), Folding Scarves (transitional), Scarves Please (Transitional), We Love Hina Matsuri (song/canon for Japanese Girls’ Day), We Did It. You can find all of the lyrics inside the CDs.
Image courtesy of japanachai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Have you heard of the acronym CLIL? It stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning. CLIL lessons link classroom content with vocabulary and grammar paradigms. We can bring the world of nature into our English lessons!
Here’s a great CLIL science lesson you can teach your young learners today! It introduces students to a butterfly’s life cycle. Like all powerful lessons that provide “many ways to learn,” this lesson teaches English through words, pictures, chants, movement, logic, and more!
Through this activity, students will:
-know the names of the butterfly life cycle
–create movements for each part, with fingers, with whole body
–perform a chant
–recognize a life cycle (you may refer to “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle)
Please refer to the illustration below as we go through the steps of the lesson.
1. First, present the new language:
egg caterpillar chrysalis butterfly
You may introduce the language using the picture card illustrations (right), or find your own pictures in books or on the Internet. It’s fun for students to find these images in the story of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
2. Next, create finger shapes for each word. The “finger play movements” below the illustrations will show you how, or use your imagination to create your own ideas.
4. Finally, you can expand the activity by having students move to the chant using their whole bodies. Students can bend down to make tiny egg shapes, then wiggle about on their tummies as caterpillars. They can balance in a on one foot in a chrysalis shape. While students are balancing quietly, give each student one or two colorful scarves for butterfly wings. Your students might enjoy moving around the room like butterflies. I often play “Aviary” by Camille Saint-Saëns, or the Japanese song “Cho Cho.”
Through the power of CLIL, students have now experienced the life cycle of a butterfly in a meaningful and memorable way. The vocabulary they have learned has real meaning, and they will happily repeat the activity many times in future lessons.
Let us know how this activity works in your classroom, and if you discovered any new ways to teach it!