Run, Run, Run!

happy kids , jumping
I teach very young learners. I love the energy that these students bring to my class!  The question is how to harness that energy productively.  This chant from Magic Time One 2nd edition (OUP) is perfect for very young learners.

In the lessons prior to this, students learned about various pets, such as cat, dog, rabbit, bird, turtle, and frog.  (Actually the artwork shows additional pets that the children find in the pictures). The four verbs in this lesson are jump, run, hop, fly.

First of all, students practice each of the four verbs–jump, run, hop, fly–standing in one place.  It’s also important for young learners to learn “Stop!”  It’s fun to make it a game by saying these verbs several times (Jump! Jump! Jump!), and then “Stop!”  You can do this with music by starting and stopping the music.  When my students, they love to make interesting poses, too.

Secondly, put these four words into the chant pattern.  I like to do this as a fingerplay sitting with the students.

For jump, place two fingers in your palm, then pretend to “jump.”

For run, make your fingers move quickly in your palm.

For hop, place one finger in your palm, then pretend to “hop.”

For fly, move your fingers in the air.

You can place the four picture cards in the order of the song like this.  Put the three verbs in one row, and run in another.

Jump           Hop                Fly

              Run

You can see in the video that my students matched the animals to the picture cards.

Run, Run, Run! from Magic Time One 2e Unit 10

Jump! Jump! Run, run, run!

Jump! Jump! Run, run, run!

Jump! Jump! Run, run, run!

Jump! Jump! Stop!

Change jump to hop.  Then change to fly.

Here’s a video of some of my very young learners performing this chant.

Students extend this language by putting it into the phrase, It can _______.  Students are then able to talk about all of the pets they’ve learned about.

Have fun!!!

Caterpillars, Butterflies, and CLIL

Image courtesy of japanachai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Butterfly life cycle drawings. pngYou 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.

3.  Say the chant using the finger movements.

 Tiny Egg Chant  (Butterfly Life Cycle Chant)

by Kathleen Kampa © 2013

Tiny egg, tiny egg  X  X  XX  X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)

Tiny egg, tiny egg  X  X  XX  X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)

Tiny egg, tiny egg  X  X  XX  X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)

1-2-3-4   LOOK!

Caterpillar, caterpillar X  X  XX  X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)

Caterpillar, caterpillar X  X  XX  X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)

Caterpillar, caterpillar X  X  XX  X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)

1-2-3-4  Look!

Chrysalis, chrysalis X  X  XX  X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)   (Repeat 3 times)

1-2-3-4  Look!

Butterfly, butterfly X X XX X  (ch – ch- ch ch – ch)   (Repeat 3 times)

Wait . . . .   Good-bye!

____________________________________________

Here is a simple recording of the chant that you can use:

The professional recording can be found on Jump Jump Everyone.

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!

Happy Teaching!

Kathy and Chuck

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Do the Skeleton Dance!

Skeleton Dance

Skeleton Dance is definitely one of my students’ favorite songs! It teaches various body parts and directional movements. You can start your school day with it, use it during break time, dance it on a rainy day, move during a health unit, or dance it on Halloween. I have taught Skeleton Dance to students in kindergarten through upper elementary, and everyone enjoys it. I’ve also shared this song with teachers in America, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

You can watch some of my students here in Japan doing the Skeleton Dance, and read the lyrics below:

Here’s how you do the Skeleton Dance:

In this song, students will move four different body parts: shoulders, elbows, knees, and feet.
First, students move their shoulders to the beat.

1. Move your shoulders . . .
A. Skeleton, skeleton, skeleton dance,
Move your shoulders, do the skeleton dance.
Skeleton, skeleton, skeleton dance,
Move your shoulders, do the skeleton dance.

Next, students move their whole bodies to the front, to the back, and to the side. I usually start by moving only my arms, but my students love to jump in each direction.

B. To the front, to the back, to the side, side, side,
To the front, to the back, to the side, side, side,

Next, students move their shoulders up, down, and around. Each time they repeat the song, they will move a different body part in these directions.

C. Put your shoulders up. Put your shoulders down.
Move them up and down and all around.
Put your shoulders up. Put your shoulders down.
Move them up and down and all around.

Finally, students move their shoulders in their own way.

D. Shoulders dance . .ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch
Shoulders dance . .ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch

This dance is repeated with the following body parts.
Before I play the music, my students and I figure out how we’ll move up, down, and around using each of these body parts.

2. Move your elbows . . .
3. Move your knees . . .
4. Move your feet . . .

You can download this song from iTunes (Track #15) or CD Baby.

I hope that your students enjoy this as much as mine do.

Grasshoppers, Butterflies, and Spiders

While our summer was filled with many opportunities to enjoy the nature of Minnesota, it was also a busy time of successfully completing my MA degree. Now we have time to share many more ideas with you!

On our second day back at school, my Grade One students found a giant grasshopper outside of our classroom. It was as big as a praying mantis. We took it into our classroom. What an exciting way to begin our new school year!

Giant grasshopper

Giant grasshopper

Children are fascinated with living creatures–especially insects and other mini-beasts. While some children may be a bit timid about holding certain insects, most seem to enjoy them.

Here are a couple of activities that you can easily do in your classroom.

1.  Simple, Invented Songs

It’s easy to nurture creativity in young learners through music.  Try “playing” with words.

Here’s a simple pattern to create a song or chant.

I Love Bugs!

I like ladybugs. (longer word, 2-3 syllables)

I like ants. (shorter word, 1-2 syllables)

I like bumblebees. (longer word, 2-3 syllables)

I love bugs!

 

Students choose three insects for their song, usually one shorter word, and two longer words.

When young children sing, they often use so and mi in their invented songs.  You can use so and mi for this song, too.

My students think it’s funny to sing the negative form of this. I don’t like ______.  I hate bugs!

 

Another activity to help students play with words is to repeat the first consonant of a word, such as /b/ /b/ /b/ /b/ Bees!  Bees!

2. Stories

I love using stories with my students–especially predictable ones.  A predictable story uses repetition, similar to the way a song might have a chorus.  It might have repeated words, phrases, sentences, and other patterns.  New characters, new events, and other surprises keep the children guessing about what’s going to happen next.

Story: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

This story shows how a spider gradually spins a web. In my edition of this book, students can also feel the change in the web as it gets bigger.  You can read the book to your students in a traditional manner, but you can use the pictures in the book like flash cards to help you tell the story.

A.  Pre-read by looking at the pictures of the animals in the book.  You can chant this pattern, or sing it to the melody of “The Farmer in the Dell.”

The horse says “Neigh!”
The horse says “Neigh!”
Let’s play together. “Neigh! Neigh! Neigh!”

Many animals visit the spider, but the spider continues to spin the web.
Repeat with the other animals from the story (cow, sheep, goat, pig, dog, duck, rooster).

The cow says “Moo!”
The cow says “Moo!”
Let’s play together. “Moo! Moo! Moo!”

The phrase for the rooster is longer than the rest.

“Cock-a-doodle-doo!”  “Cock-a-doodle-doo!”  Let’s play together. “Cock-a-doodle-doo!”

B. Now add the following chant pattern.

(But the spider said . . . )
Sorry. I’m busy. I’m spinning a web.
Busy, busy, busy. I’m spinning a web.

Add gestures to help children remember the language. Change your voice to express the sounds of the animals.

C.  Now I “read” the story by showing the children the pictures of the animals and singing the animal songs. I show students the web in the book.  With a small class, students can feel the texture of the web on the page. On subsequent readings, you can draw the web on a whiteboard as the story progresses by drawing a couple of lines at a time.  If your students can sit in a circle, you can even create a yarn web by passing a ball of yarn from one student to one across on the other side.

D.  At the very end, an owl comes and the spider is sleeping.

Whisper . . . .

The spider was busy, but she’s sleeping now.
Sh! Sh! Be quiet!  She’s sleeping now.

*Another fun predictable story with insects and animals is Lily and the Moon by Mari Nakamura and Patricia Daly Oe.

3.  Find It!

You can look for insects outside with your students.  You can also find them in books! In Magic Time One, Unit One, Annie and Ted are outside playing.  In addition to finding the target vocabulary, students can look for animals and insects on these pages too.  They can find a dragonfly, grasshopper, rabbit, turtle, frog, squirrel, bird, butterfly, and caterpillar.  We love to add little surprises for the students to discover.

Enjoy this season of insects and mini-beasts!  Happy teaching!

 

 

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Build Creativity with Dancing Fingers!

illlustration by Shuli Ko

illlustration by Shuli Ko

 

Can you nurture creativity while building English language skills? Yes, you can!

An important part of creative thinking is to generate many possible solutions. This is easy to do with young learners. Here is a simple activity and chant that you can use to help develop creative and imaginative thinking with your young learners.

Introducing Vocabulary

1. Show students (or draw) a picture of a circle. Say, What is this? Can you make this shape with your fingers?

2. Point out the various ways that your students are making circles. For example:

Yuri is making a tiny circle using her thumb and pointer finger. Can you do that?

Daniel is using all of his fingers to make a circle. Let’s try that, too! We can make circles in many ways.

3. Say, Can you make your circle bigger?  Can you make a circle with a friend?

4. Repeat the three steps above using other shapes. I usually show shapes in the following order because some are a little easier to make than others.

circle

triangle

heart

rectangle (two long sides, and two short sides)

square (four equal sides)

star (five points)

Remember, it’s important to take time making these shapes with your students before putting them into the chant.

Teaching the Chant

Here’s the first verse of the chant.

My Fingers Dance by Kathleen Kampa Vilina ©2003

My fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers dance!

My fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers dance!

Make a circle. Take a picture. Click!

Make a circle. Take a picture. Click!

Now, let me break it down so that you know the movement for each part.

1. My fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers dance!

My fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers, fingers dance!

(For this part, students have fun wiggling or “dancing” their fingers.)

 2. Make a circle.

(Students make the shape with their fingers.)

3. Take a picture. Click!

(Students look through the shape at a classmate, and pretend to take a photo.)

(Repeat steps 2 and 3.)

(Students then substitute the other shapes in this chant.)

You can use any shape picture cards to teach the vocabulary. I used the picture cards from Magic Time 1, Unit Two, for my video. Feel free to add your own shape ideas, such as diamonds, ovals, etc.

Here’s a video I’ve prepared to show you how the chant is done. Just click here.  You can also find a studio version of this chant on iTunes by clicking here.

This chant is also on my new album Jump Jump Everyone, available on iTunes.  Physical CDs are also available.

Cover screen shot

Happy teaching, everyone!

Kathy

 

 

 

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Transitional Songs, Part Two

Dot

(Note: This is our second blog post on transitional songs. Our first blog post, entitled “Transitional Songs Part One,” was posted on September 23, 2013. Please scroll down this page to our earlier blog posts to find it, or simply click here. Thanks!)

In any children’s class, many activities are needed to keep students happy and motivated throughout the lesson. Transitional songs are a perfect way to signal to children that one activity is ending and another is beginning. A good transitional song also has other benefits:

  1. It supports the natural rhythm and intonation of the phrase or sentence you are using.
  2. The melody is quickly learned and recognized by students, so they move into action as soon as they hear it.
  3. In most cases, children can be encouraged to sing along, building group cohesion as well as productive language skills.
  4. Transitional songs soon become part of a classroom routine, giving students a sense of structure and making them feel secure during the lesson.

Today, for Part Two, we present a variety of transitional songs that help to make activities smooth and enjoyable for students.

1. Open Your Books

This song is a great way to motivate students to open their student books to the correct page.

Open Your Books  (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

Open your books. Please open your books. (gesture)

(Spoken) Turn to page _________.

(Write this page number on the board, or show the number with your fingers. Hold the book open to show the page to students, then check to be sure all students are ready.) 

Open your books.

 2. Let’s Make a Line

This transitional song quickly motivates children to form a line in the classroom, either for an activity or when they are preparing to leave the classroom.

Let’s Make a Line  (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

(melody:  Skip To My Lou)

Let’s make a line long and straight,

Let’s make a line long and straight,

Let’s make a line long and straight,

Let’s make a line long and straight.

 3. Find a Friend

This is a great chant to use when students need to find a partner. Demonstrate this chant with one student first. Decide how students will show that they are partners. They can stand back-to-back, touch palms, sit facing each other knee-to-knee, etc.

Practice finding partners before you actually do your activity.

Find a Friend  (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

Find a friend, find a friend,

before I can count to ten.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9—— 10!    Hooray!

 4. Goodbye Children

This is a fun way to say goodbye to your students at the end of the lesson!

Goodbye (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

(melody: Good Night Ladies)

Good-bye children!  Good-bye children!

Good-bye children!  It’s time for you to go.

Clap your hands and walk along, walk along, walk along,

Clap your hands and walk along, I’ll see you very soon.

Good-bye children!  Good-bye children!

Good-bye children!  It’s time for you to go.

5. We Did It!

We Did It! (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

We did it!  We did it!  We did it today!

We did it!  We did it!  Hip hip hooray!

We did it!  We did it!  We did it today!

We did it!  We did it!  Hip hip hooray!

 (Note: The following transitional songs can be found on our blog post entitled “Transitional Songs, Part One.” Please scroll down to our earlier blog posts to find these songs and the recordings for them, or simply click here.)
Let’s Make a Circle
Come and Sit In Front of Me
Cards Please

(All songs and chants in this blog are copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa)

Happy teaching, everyone!!

Kathy and Chuck

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“Pumpkin, Pumpkin” — A Great Halloween Song to Teach Your Children!

Pumpkin Photo

Pumpkin by hin255

(First image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.  Second image courtesy of hin255/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

Today is October 1st, and Halloween is only one month away!  Children love to celebrate Halloween!  They love the costumes, the treats, and all the wonderful Halloween activities that teachers can bring into the classroom.

Halloween is also a perfect time to teach new English words and concepts.  My song “Pumpkin, Pumpkin” is a fun Halloween song that teaches two concepts:

1.  Size (small and big)

2.  Change (from pumpkin to jack-o-lantern, from small to big, from quietly to loudly).

To begin, make two paper pumpkins — a small one and a large one. Each of the pumpkins has two sides — one side without a face, and one with a face (jack-o-lantern).  Show the students the plain side of the “small” pumpkin and say “pumpkin.” Then turn it around and say “jack-o-lantern.”  Once students know these two words, put it into this simple chant:

Jack-o-Lantern Chant by Kathleen Kampa

Pumpkin, pumpkin, (turn picture around) jack-o-lantern
Pumpkin, pumpkin, (turn picture around) jack-o-lantern
Pumpkin, pumpkin, (turn picture around) jack-o-lantern
Happy Halloween!

Now you’re ready to sing the song. The lyrics and ideas for movements are below:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
(words adapted by Kathleen Kampa, music: traditional)

(Sit with students in a circle. Sing quietly.)

Pumpkin, pumpkin small and fat,
(With fingers, make the shape of a small pumpkin.)

Turn into a jack-o-lantern,
(Roll hands. Spread fingers out wide.)

Just like that!
(Tap two fingers on the palm of your hand as you say each word.)

(Sing the verse again!)

Spoken: Grow and grow and grow and grow
and grow and grow and grow and GROW!
(Slowly stand up while making a big pumpkin shape. Get louder!)

(Sing loudly.)

Pumpkin, pumpkin big and fat,
(While standing, make the shape of a big pumpkin with your whole body.)

Turn into a jack-o-lantern,
(Turn around. Jump into a big shape.)

JUST LIKE THAT!
(Clap and stamp on each word.)

(Sing the verse again!)

Here is a simple recording of the song to let you hear the melody and rhythm.

“Pumpkin, Pumpkin” is one of many songs featured on my Special Days and Holidays CD available on iTunes and CD Baby.com.  Just click on my CD title below if you want to hear the professional studio version on iTunes. Four other Halloween songs are also featured.

Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays

ms kampa 12-8

Let me know how your children enjoy “Pumpkin, Pumpkin.”  Happy Teaching!

Kathy