Discover the parts of a flower with this magical poem

Summer is here in the northern hemisphere. In Japan where I teach, we have been treated to an array of beautiful flowers from cherry blossoms to purple hydrangeas. I spend my summers in Minnesota. Here we can find gardens filled with colorful flowers–zinnias, day lilies, purple cone flowers, hollyhocks, daisies, bee balms, and more. In my video, we take you to Munsinger-Clemens Gardens, one of my favorite places to visit. Special thanks to Christian Vilina for his awesome video work.

The kindergarten children at my school learn about living things in their unit of inquiry. They plant seeds and watch them grow. Have your students look at a real plant. Look at the stem, the leaves, the buds, and the flowers. Do all plants have the same types of leaves? Buds? Flowers? What do they look like?

You can also use a picture of a flower like the one shown above, or get a silk one from a 100-yen store or a dollar store.

My students love the magic of this poem called Here’s a Leaf. Yours will, too! I use small, lightweight hemmed scarves like these. Search for “hemmed scarves” or “juggling scarves.” Check the reviews. I like mine! These scarves expand beautifully for this poem. Young children can practice naming the color, too.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 16.55.57

To begin, scrunch up the scarf in your hands, so that it can’t be seen. Here’s a video to show you how you might do it.

Here’s a Leaf (also known as The Flower Poemadapted by Kathy Kampa Available on iTunes (Jump Jump Everyone)

Children listen and answer.

Do you have a scarf? (Yes!) 

Let’s scrunch up our scarves. (tsch, tsch, tsch, tsch . . . . .)

(Bunch up the scarf in your hands so that it’s not visible.)

Is your scarf very tiny? (Yes, it is!)

Are you ready? (I’m ready!)

Let’s pretend.

Let’s plant a seed in the dirt.

(Bend down and tap the ground, pretending to plant a seed in the dirt.)

Water it!

(Pretend to water the seeds by tipping your hands.)

Watch it grow and grow and grow.

(Stand up slowly.)

Now show me your thumbs. Here we go.

Here’s a leaf, and here’s a leaf.

(Pretend that your thumbs are leaves. Wiggle one thumb, then the other.)

Count them. 1-2.

(When you count 1-2, move your thumbs up and to the side.)

Here’s a bud.

(Open your hands slightly to reveal the scrunched up scarf.)

Here’s a flower,

(Open your hands a little more.)

blooming just for you.

(Open your hands and let the scarf ‘bloom’ like a flower.)

Hooray!

(Toss the scarf into the air!)

Let’s grab our scarves and do it again!

For more kid-tested music and movement activities, check out my music on iTunes.

Jump Jump Everyone
Kathy has produced two music CDs for very young learners, Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays and Jump Jump Everyone, which build English language skills through movement while nurturing creativity and imagination! Grown and loved by real kids!

Kathy Kampa is a teacher, author, and teacher-trainer who specializes in working with young learners. As a PYP (Primary Years Program) teacher in Tokyo, Japan, she uses a globally-minded and inquiry-based approach to teaching through which students develop 21st century skills. She also supports the development of English language skills by creating songs, chants, and TPR/movement activities targeted to young learners’ needs.

Kathy and her husband Charles Vilina are also co-authors of Magic Time, Everybody Up, and the ELTon award-winning course Oxford Discover, published by Oxford University Press.

Special thanks to my son Christian Vilina for his vision creating this video.

Images: “Easter Lily” by Recherché Furnishings is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hello Spring

When I watch very young children, I often see them pointing at things–“Look! A butterfly! Look! A puppy!” Their chubby little fingers point to all of the wonderful things around them.

With that thought in mind, I wrote this song called “Hello Spring.” The melody comes from a traditional Scottish song I have always loved called “Ally Bally.” Imagine this song as a greeting to the many things one might see in the spring.

Hello Spring lyrics by Kathy Kampa on Jump Jump Everyone

Hello bluebirds. Hello bumblebees.

Hello red tulips. Hello cherry trees.

Hello warm sun. Hello blue skies.

Hello little ants, and orange butterflies!

We filmed this video in Tokyo, Japan at the start of the pandemic.

Special thanks go out to Andre DiMuzio for his beautiful arrangement. Thanks also to Connor McKeown and Christian Vilina for their help with this video.

  1. Teach students the vocabulary using the images here.

2. Use my movements from the video, or create your own.

3. I sing the song one part at a time, and the children echo. Then we all sing together.

4. Your students may have more ideas for what they see in different seasons. Create a list and make your own song.

You can find this song at iTunes and ETJbookservice.

My second album is filled with many happy songs that have grown in my young learner classroom. Songs link to classroom content. Children can dance like falling leaves, bloom like a spring flower, move through the butterfly life cycle . . . . you’ll find LOTS of fun and magic in this album.

Jump Jump Everyone

Happy teaching!

Kathy Kampa

Kathy's bio photo

Kathy Kampa is a passionate educator of young learners. She seeks to nurture children’s imaginations and spark creativity through fun and engaging activities. Kathy believes that music and movement should be a part of every young child’s learning.

Kathy is the co-author of Magic Time, Everybody Up, and Oxford Discover (published by Oxford University Press). She has been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for 30 years. Kathy is also active as a teacher trainer, inspiring teachers around the world.

Time for Trick or Treat!

halloween-1773447_1920

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Are your students getting ready for Halloween? Mine are!  This song was inspired by the book “Where’s the Halloween Treat?” by Harriet Ziefert and Richard Brown (Putnam Juvenile).  As you read the book to students, you can see children dressed in different costumes going trick-or-treating. I also love the lift-the-flap book “Boo Who?” by Joan Holy (Scholastic). Both books are great for teaching students about Halloween.

In this song, we chose these Halloween characters: a ghost, a witch, a monster, a skeleton, and a black cat. You can use these Trick or Treat picture cards. I like to make two copies of the pictures, one for students to see up close and one to find around the classroom.

1) Have students sit in front of you. If you have one of the Halloween books, enjoy reading it with your students. Ask students, What do you see? They may be able to name some of the Halloween vocabulary words.

2) Now use the Trick or Treat picture cards.

Point to one word, such as ghost.  Ask students, What do you see? Encourage them to say, I see a ghost.

Screen Shot 2019-10-20 at 14.33.30

Continue with the other Halloween vocabulary in the same way.

3) Now teach the phrase Trick or Treat.  You might explain the tradition of children going from house to house and getting treats from neighbors.  Show the children your treat bag, plastic pumpkin, or the Trick or Treat picture above. When children ring the doorbell or knock on the door, they always say, Trick or Treat!  We do this because It’s Halloween!

4)  I like to teach students the melody of the song while I change the picture cards as I sing it.

Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.  (click on the title, then on Track #8)

-Pat your legs on the chorus, Trick or treat . . . .

-When you hear It’s Halloween put your arms up like you’re saying Hooray!

-When you hear each of the characters (such as I see a ghost), point to each one. When you hear Oooooh, wave your arms in a spooky way.

Here are the lyrics:

Trick or Treat

Words and music by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

Chorus:

Trick or treat! ch-ch-ch  Trick or treat! ch-ch-ch

It’s Halloween!  Say “Trick or treat!”  ch-ch-ch

Trick or treat! ch-ch-ch  Trick or treat! ch-ch-ch

It’s Halloween!  Say “Trick or treat!”   ch-ch-ch

Verse:

I see a ghost!

I see a ghost!

Ooooooooooooooh!

Sing again with Halloween characters: witch, monster, skeleton, black cat

5)  Now your students are ready to stand up and move to the song!

Here’s a video I created for my students.  With COVID restrictions, I took the video while I was the only person in the room, so I couldn’t move around a circle. I’m holding up the picture cards, but in my classroom they’re posted around the room.

Make a circle.  Practice a movement standing in one spot for each Halloween character.

Here are some suggestions; however, using your own imagination is even better!  Your students will certainly have some interesting ideas!

For the ghost, you might move your arms like you’re floating.

For the witch, you might pretend to make some witch’s brew or cast a spell.

For the monster, you might make scary arms and stomp in place.

For the skeleton, you can move your elbows up and down.

For the black cat, you can creep in place.

On the chorus, Trick or Treat . . . march around the circle.

On It’s Halloween, put your arms up in the air as you continue marching.

On each of the verses (such as I see a ghost), stop in one place and pretend to be that character or point to the pictures.

On Oooh, do spooky arm movements.

Then begin marching again around the circle.

6) On the next class, put the picture cards around the room. Add new characters to the song. Invite your students to draw their Halloween costumes and post the pictures around the classroom.

7) Finally,  sing this song at your Halloween party. At our party, I lead the students around the room singing the chorus of “Trick or Treat.” We stop to ring the bell or knock at a pretend door.  One by one, my students’ parents pretend to open the door. The students say, Trick or Treat!, Thank You! and Happy Halloween!

In addition to having fun, this song teaches young learners:

a.  simple phrases, especially for EFL / EAL students –

It’s Halloween!  Trick or Treat!  I see a ____.

b.  Halloween vocabulary words and sight words

c.  movements, such as marching, that go from one place to another

d.  ways to move and stop

e. how to express their own ideas for the vocabulary words and inspire their creativity

We hope that your students enjoy singing and dancing throughout the month of October.   The music for this song and other Halloween favorites (Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Skeleton Dance, Marching Monsters, I’m A Witch) are available on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.

Special Days and Holidays

You can find it at iTunes, CD Baby Store, and ETJbookservice.

If you like this, my second album has more happy songs for children that have grown in my young learner classroom. Dance like falling leaves, bloom like a spring flower, move through the butterfly life cycle . . . . you’ll find LOTS of fun and magic in this album, too.

Jump Jump Everyone

Happy teaching!

Kathy Kampa

Kathy's bio photo

Kathy Kampa is a passionate educator of young learners. She seeks to nurture children’s imaginations and spark creativity through fun and engaging activities. Kathy believes that movement should be a part of every young child’s learning.

Kathy is the co-author of Magic Time, Everybody Up, and Oxford Discover (all by Oxford University Press).

The Cow Says “Moo”

black and white dairy cow s head

Photo by Jan Koetsier on Pexels.com                         

Young children LOVE to learn about farm animals. Try out this delightful song, The Cow Says ‘Moo’ from Jump Jump Everyone by Kathy Kampa (available from ETJbookservice, CD Baby, and iTunes).

Show pictures of the various farm animals. Children might suggest additional animals from the farm, too.

black and white dairy cow s head

                     cow

white sheep during daytime

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

                  sheep

brown horse on grass field

Photo by David Dibert on Pexels.com

                 horse

beagle puppy

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

                    dog

nature animals pig alp rona

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

                      pig

two brown hen and one red rooster

Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

                       rooster

Name the animals. What does each animal say? You can make a game matching the animal picture with its sound or with its name.

You can hang the picture cards on the board in the order of the words. Children can stand and sing the song. There are two parts to the song.

The first part is the animal name and sound. Did you notice the pattern in the song?

The cow says “Moo”

The cow says “Moo”

“Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo!”

The cow says “Moo”

The second part includes TPR actions. Practice these with the children. Did you notice the rhyming words? That’s important for our students!

When the cow says “Moo” you’ve got to clap, clap, clap,

When the cow says “Moo” you’ve got to pat, pat, pat,

When the cow says “Moo” you’ve got to touch the floor,

Are you ready for more? Count 1-2-3-4!

Children listen for the next animal sound. In this song you’ll find a sheep (baa), horse (neigh), dog (woof), pig (oink), and rooster (cock-a-doodle doo). The verse with the rooster is slightly different.

Screen Shot 2019-09-14 at 18.30.22

Once children know the song, they can be given a picture card of the animals. I like to sing this song in a circle (see Let’s Make a Circle Big and Round). In my small classes (six children or less), each child gets one animal card or puppet. I put my picture cards on strings so that the children can move around the circle. They can, however, sit or stand in place with the card on the floor. With a large class, you can take turns, or give every child a card. When each animal is called in the song, the child/children with that card goes to the middle of the circle.

The music for this song is available on the CD “Kathy Kampa’s Jump Jump Everyone!”

Jump Jump Everyone

You can find it on iTunes, CD Baby Store, and ETJbookservice.

Have a wonderful time singing and moving with your students!

Kathy Kampa

 

 

 

Happy New Year 2018!

two-thousand-eighteen-2819045_1280

Happy New Year! We have celebrated O-shogatsu (New Year’s) with toshikoshi soba and o-sechi ryori, traditional New Year’s foods. Starting on Monday, I’ll be back in the classroom with my students. This song was written with our son Christian when he was in elementary school. Christian and Chuck are singing it at home for you:.

Happy New Year

Words and Music by Christian Vilina and Kathleen Kampa  © 2013

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Hip hip hooray!

How should we move with this song? When students first listen to the song, they might like to jump, march, or twirl around.

When I first teach the words to this song, students keep a “steady beat” by patting their legs. To make it a little more challenging, they can create a pattern by patting their legs once, then clapping their hands. Think “pat-clap-pat-clap” or “down-up-down-up.” Do this for the first three lines.

We like to do something special on the last line:

—  On Happy New Year!  my students like to shake their hands above their heads. Some students like to turn around quickly!

—  On Hip hip hooray! students roll their hands, then jump once in place.

For an even bigger challenge, students can do the pat-clap pattern with a partner by patting their own legs, and then clapping both hands with a partner.

Our biggest challenge? Students stand in a circle facing their partner. First they pat their own legs, then clap with their partner. Then they turn to the person on the other side (called a “corner” in folk dance), repeating the pat-clap. They repeat the pattern with their partner, then corner until the Hip hip hooray. Check out the video to see what my students did!

Happy New Year 2018! We hope that you keep a song in your heart and a smile on your face. May 2018 be filled with lots of joy!

Kathy

 

Happy New Year is one of 15 great songs for kids on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays. The CD includes a handy attached booklet with lyrics, and is available for teachers in Japan at ETJ Book Service.

For teachers residing outside of Japan, the songs are available for download through iTunes. To hear the studio version of this song, go to iTunes, and click on Track #3.

CDs are available for sale through the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN, Mad Robin Music & Dance in Seattle, WA, St. John’s University Book Store, Collegeville, MN, and The Fishing Pond, St. Cloud, MN.

Stay tuned for our second New Year’s song, It’s The Year of the Dog!

 

It’s Time for “The Turkey Dance”

Photo by ASHISH SHARMA on Pexels.com

If you teach young learners, you’ve got to check out this simple song and dance. It’s called The Turkey Dance, and as you can imagine, it gives children a chance to dance like . . . . turkeys!!

While many countries give thanks at this time of year, an American tradition is turkeys. When I was a child, we made turkey drawings by tracing along the edge of our hand. These hand drawings became turkeys! So celebrate turkeys and try out the The Turkey Dance.  It’s really easy to do.

Here are the lyrics, which go to the tune of “Turkey in the Straw.”

The Turkey Dance

Words by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina, music adapted from Turkey in the Straw

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

Spoken: It’s Thanksgiving Day.  Let’s move like turkeys.

First, move your elbows! (imagine wings)

Move your elbows, do the Turkey Dance.

Move your elbows, do the Turkey Dance.

Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”

It’s Thanksgiving Day.

2. Now move your hips. . . (imagine a tail)

Move your hips, do the Turkey Dance.

Move your hips, do the Turkey Dance.

Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”

It’s Thanksgiving Day.

3. Now move your knees. . . .

4. Now move your head . . . .

5. Now move your whole body!

Teacher’s Notes:

In this dance, students are pretending to be turkeys.

Before you put on the music, show students a picture of a turkey like the one in this blog.

I usually start with a little TPR by teaching this part of the song first– “Stamp your feet, then shout ‘Hooray!'” Stamp your feet, then jump in the air on “Hooray.” On “It’s Thanksgiving Day!” put your hands together.

My students added their own ideas between the verses. Some children enjoyed saying “Gobble! Gobble!” while others liked to say “Thank You” in a language they know.

Now teach the body part movements. Say “Move your elbows.”  These are the turkey’s wings.

Repeat with each body part listed below: hips/tail, knees, head, and whole body.

1.  Make turkey wings by moving your elbows.

2.  Make a tail by putting your hands behind your back and moving your hips.

3.  Move your knees like you’re strutting.

4.  Move your head forward and back.

5.  Choose your favorite movements or make some new ones.  Dance!

Here is a very, very short clip of young learners from my English class enjoying The Turkey Dance.  It’s easy to do. It will be give some idea of the movement.

For this catchy “hoedown” professional version that children LOVE to dance to, listen to The Turkey Dance on iTunes!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! No matter where we live, we all give thanks this season for the blessings we have.

Kathy and Chuck

ms kampa 12-8

Kathy has produced two music CDs for very young learners, Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays and Jump Jump Everyone, which build English language skills through movement while nurturing creativity and imagination! Grown and loved by real kids! 

Kathy’s second children’s CD, Jump Jump Everyone, includes songs to move to, seasonal songs, and lots of transitional songs. For more kid-tested music and movement activities, check out my music on iTunes.

Jump Jump Everyone

Kathy’s CD’s are available at numerous locations:

ETJ Book Service    Japan

Mad Robin Music and Dance, Seattle, Washington

iTunes

Kathy Kampa is a teacher, author, and teacher-trainer who specializes in working with young learners. As a PYP (Primary Years Program) teacher in Tokyo, Japan, she uses a globally-minded and inquiry-based approach to teaching through which students develop 21st century skills. She also supports the development of English language skills by creating songs, chants, and TPR/movement activities targeted to young learners’ needs.

Kathy and her husband Charles Vilina are also co-authors of Magic TimeEverybody Up, and the ELTon award-winning course Oxford Discover, published by Oxford University Press.

#childrenssongs #teachingchildren #thanksgiving #kidsmusic

#thanksgiving #thankful #love #thanks #family #food #fall #instagood #blessed #turkey #friends #holiday #happythanksgiving #thanksgivingdinner #foodporn #grateful #photooftheday #autumn #fun #turkeyday #celebrate #life #giving #stuffing #gratitude #givethanks

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!!!

Simple Strategies For Getting Attention

How do you get all of your students’ attention?  As we move to student-centered learning, your students may be more engaged in small group work. Throughout your lessons, however, you may need to get their attention again.  How do you do it?

First of all, with any strategy you use, you must practice it before you actually use it.  My students love to do this!  It’s easy to see how they continue to improve.

Secondly, the success of each strategy depends on you, your group of students, their age, and their disposition. Figure out what works best. In a couple months, change it up with a new strategy.

 1. Get attention with something that creates an interesting sound.

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-9-29-03-pmWhat do you have readily available in your classroom?  One of the most interesting sounds I have in my classroom is a slide whistle.  If you have a big group of students, it quickly gets their attention.  Don’t have a slide whistle?  How about a tambourine or a kazoo?

(Check out West Music for interesting instruments.)

2.  Add a little rhythm to get attention.

Rhythm Clap (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

(Clap on every syllable. Students echo your clap.)

I   like    ba-na-nas.      (I   like    ba-na-nas.)

I   like   po-ta-toes.        (I   like   po-ta-toes.)

I   like   to-ma-toes.     (I   like   to-ma-toes.)

3.   How about trying some rhyming conversations?  These help your students develop phonemic awareness too!

My Grade One students love “Hands on Top.”Smiling boy posing in front of a wall

Teacher says,  Hands on top! (put your hands on top of your head)

Students answer, That means “Stop!” (students do the same)

One, Two, Three, Eyes on Me is another rhyming conversation.

The teacher sings, “One, two, three, eyes on me.”  (so-so, mi, so-so, mi)

Hold up fingers as if you’re counting to three.  Point to yourself.

The students answer, “One, two, eyes on you!”(so, mi, so-so, mi)

Hold up fingers as if you’re counting to two.  Students point to the teacher.

My students then do “Peace and Quiet” by putting two fingers in the air (peace) and one finger to their lips (quiet).

 4.  Butterflies 

I lovimages-1e to pretend with my students.  Ask, “Where are your butterfly wings?  What color are your wings today?”  Pretend to paint each arm by gently rubbing it and naming a color.                                                        i.e  This wing is pink, but this one is purple.

Raise and lower your arms out to your sides as if you are flying. Inhale and exhale.

5. Candles

Finally, inhale while raising your arms from your sides to above your head. Touch your hands together above your head, then bring them down in front of you.  Exhale when your hands are in front of your mouth.  This is an effective way to calm students after a lively activity.

Having some strategies in place will help your classes run smoothly.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your young learners?  Here are two songs that build English language skills along with movement.images.jpeg

For many years my kindergarten students have been celebrating letters at this time of year.  Many of my Japanese students struggled to pronounce /v/ from the word “Valentine.”  This little song is based on the Japanese song “Tulip” (Lightly Row).  It teaches simple social language along with the sound /v/ for Valentine.  When the children hear the word “valentine,” they make a heart shape with their fingers, arms, or whole body.

Be My Valentine song by Kathy Kampa

from Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays CD

I like you. You like me.Unknown-2.jpeg

Will you be my Valentine?

I like you. You like me.

Be my Valentine.

[v] [v] Valentine!

[v] [v] Valentine!

I like you. You like me.

Be my Valentine.

Here’s a video link to give you some ideas of how to move to the song.  Special thanks to my nieces Brooke and Shannon for helping out.

The song “I’m Your Friend,” a new song from my album Jump Jump Everyone, invites students to move in various ways, such as skipping, jumping, walking, even skating! Developing gross motor skills is important for young learners. You can sing this with small or large classes.  Here are the lyrics to the song.

Chorus: I’m your friend. You are mine.

Will you be my Valentine?

I’m your friend. You are mine.

Will you be my Valentine?

Let’s walk.

  1. Walk, walk, walk with me. Walking, walking, 1-2-3,

4-5-6, 7-8-9,  Will you be my Valentine?

*repeat with skip, jump, slide, skate, dance

With a small group, it’s easy to have all of the students join hands in a circle.

With a bigger group, students can form partners.  Here’s a short video clip of my Magic Time class singing I’m Your Friend.

You can find these songs on my CDs Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays and Jump Jump Everyone.

Kathy Kampa's Special Days and Holidays

Children’s songs for special events for pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary students Mimi CD cover 2015-10-12 at 1.04.43 AM

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!

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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.”

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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