What Day Is It?

happy children group in school

Students love to make letter shapes with their bodies.

Learning the names of the days of the week in English can be tricky.  For many of us, we teach our English class on the same day each week.  This song “What Day Is It?” is a fun way to practice the days of the week.

First of all, write a letter on the board or show a picture card.  Model making that letter with your fingers, arms, or whole body.  Make the letter so that students are able to read it. You might imagine how that letter would look when you write it on your whiteboard. Students will be able to “read” your letter. Invite students to make letters with you.  They might even make letters with the entire class! Try making letters in many different ways.

We started at the beginning of the alphabet.  Students made  A, a, and B, b (see B below).  In Magic Time (Oxford University Press) students have fun making letter shapes to learn the letter name and its sound.

Now write the names of the days of the week.  Run your finger under the word as you say it (Sunday). Point out the first letter. Encourage students to make that letter with their bodies in several ways.  Remind students that days of the week begin with capital letters. As you can see, sometimes the letters appear flipped around to us.  The important idea is that students are making the letter shapes.

I love to catch my students making their amazing letters by taking photos. Remember CCBA (Catch Children Being Amazing!)

Pass out the “days of the week” cards, one to each student. Students line up in order around the circle starting with Sunday.  Students make the initial letter shape as they sing  each day of the week.  When they sing “Tra la la la la” add a group movement, such as pat your knees, clap your own hands, clap your “neighbor’s” hands.

What Day Is It? 

from Magic Time Two, Unit 8, Use the Words

What day is it?

Today is Sunday.

Today is Sunday.

Today is Sunday.

Tra la la la la.

*repeat with the remaining days of the week

Here are some of my students demonstrating this song.  Come and join them!

 

 

 

 

10

Having Fun with Fortune Tellers!

When I was a little girl, we made “Fortune Tellers” to play with our friends.  We used our homemade fortune tellers to write messages about things that might happen when we grew up.

Your students will love this game.  It’s easy for students to put into their pockets and play wherever they go.  You can practice any vocabulary or grammar by adapting the game in this way.

Here’s an example of a fortune teller from Magic Time 2, Unit 5, Teacher’s Book reproducible by Oxford University Press.  Once you understand how this fortune teller works, your students can create their own.  This unit focuses on toys with the phrase “I have a _________.”   They can expand it to “You have a ________.”

Download a free Fortune Teller template taken from Magic Time Teacher’s Book 2.

3.   Copy one sheet per student.  Students cut out on the dotted lines to create a square.

a.  To begin, have students fold the paper in half.

Open and fold in half the other way.  This makes folding easier. (See below.)

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b.  Turn paper over.  Find the middle point.  Fold the corners to this middle point.  Crease well.

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c.   Turn the paper over again.  Fold the new corners to the middle.

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d.  Find the numbers.  Cut up from the point up to the fold between each of the numbers (1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8).

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e.  Now fold it in half so that you can put your thumbs and pointer fingers into the four openings at the bottom.

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f.  Bring the points together.  Then open and close the fortune teller.

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To play the game:

A:  Asks, “Which letter?”

B:  Says (for example), “C.”

A:  Moves the fortune teller three times, and says, “A-B-C.”

A:  Shows the inside of the fortune teller, and asks, “Which number?”

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B:  Says (for example), “4.”

A:  Moves the fortune teller four times, counting to 4.

A:  Shows the inside of the fortune teller again, and asks, “Which number?”

B:  Says (for example), “7.”

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A:  Says, “You have a yo-yo!”

With a little creativity, you can add more language to these dialogues.  With this fortune teller, students can imagine that they’re celebrating a birthday.

A:  “Happy Birthday. This toy is for you!  It’s a yo-yo!”

B:  “Thanks a lot!”

Or they can pretend to be Santa, saying “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas.  Here’s a yo-yo for you!”

To make your own fortune teller, do your folding first.  Then open it up and add numbers, pictures, words, etc.  Instead of counting or saying the ABC’s, more advanced students can spell out words.

Keep me posted . . . I’d love to see how your creativity builds upon this idea in your classroom.

Happy Teaching!

Kathy

3

Be My Valentine!

Be My Valentine cover art by Shuli Ko

Be My Valentine cover art by Shuli Ko

Valentine’s Day is on February 14th, just a short time away! To celebrate the occasion, I wrote a song that my young learners love to sing and move to. It’s entitled “Be My Valentine.” This song helps children learn the shape and sound of the letter “V.”

Children also explore how to make the shape of a heart with their hands, their arms, or with a partner.

The easiest way to demonstrate how to use this song is to view a video I created with my two nieces, Brooke and Shannon.

Just click HERE to see the video!

To hear and buy the studio version of the song, just click HERE on iTunes for the single, or HERE for the album (Track #4).

I hope that you and your children enjoying singing and moving to this song together, either at home or in the classroom!

Sending warm Valentine wishes,

Kathy and Chuck

0

Celebrate Halloween as Marching Monsters . . . Boo!

Happy Halloween by digitalart

(Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Do your students like to pretend to be different Halloween characters? Then “Marching Monsters” is a great new addition to your Halloween song repertoire! It encourages creativity and imagination, plus gives students great language practice with “alliteration.”

“Alliteration” happens when two or more words begin with the same sound. The phrase “marching monsters” has two words that begin with the sound /m/. Other phrases in the song include “skipping skeletons,” “waltzing witches,” and “jumping jack-o-lanterns.” Children love to sing these fun phrases while doing the actions throughout the song. They also learn the song quickly because of the repeated phrases.

Here is a simple recording of the song. A FUN professional version is available on iTunes here (just click on Track #11).

Here are the lyrics, plus notes on how to teach it!

Marching Monsters

Words and music by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

1. Marching monsters!  Happy Halloween!  Boo!

Marching monsters!  Happy Halloween!  Boo!

Marching monsters,

Turn around and stop! (hold)

Marching monsters!  Happy Halloween!  Boo!

2. Skipping skeletons!  Happy Halloween!  Boo! . . .

3. Waltzing witches!  Happy Halloween!  Boo! . . . .

4. Jumping jack-o-lanterns!  Happy Halloween!  Boo! . . . .

Students can move around a circle or freely around the classroom.

1. On Marching Monsters, students march around, pretending to be monsters. On Turn around and stop, students turn around and make a pose. They hold until the music begins again.

2. On Skipping Skeletons, students skip around, moving their arms like a skeleton. For very young learners, children can gallop, or they can slide sideways.

3. On Waltzing Witches, students dance in one place. If you’re in a circle, face the center. Students sway from side to side moving their arms.

4. On Jumping Jack-o-lanterns, students jump in one place, making the shape of a jack-o-lantern.

Enjoy this wonderful song and dance activity with your students!

Once again, you can find the professional version of this song on

Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays, available on iTunes.

Happy Teaching!

Kathy and Chuck

0

“The Apple in the Tree” : Storytelling that builds phonics and listening skills!

%22Elefante%22 by Idea go

“Elefante” courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As teachers of young learners, we know that phonics is an important part of our curriculum.  How can we teach phonics in a way that gets children excited to learn?

 The following activity is one of our favorites!  Here’s how it’s done:

1.  Begin by showing your students the following words illustrated with colorful pictures. These six vocabulary words are part of our Magic Time series (Magic Time One, Spring ABC’s).  If you teach Magic Time, use the picture cards for that lesson. If not, make your own picture cards, placing the upper and lower case letters above the picture that begins with that sound. Attach them to your whiteboard or blackboard. You can also use items such as stuffed animals, puppets, plastic fruit, etc.  The Internet also has pictures available.

Aa   apple

Bb   bear

Cc   cat

Dd   dog

Ee   elephant

Ff    fish

2.  For each picture card, teach the letter name (optional), the letter sound, and the word that begins with it.  For example:  “A / a / apple,” and so on.  Continue until students are familiar with the six words and the sounds they begin with.  Students can also make apple shapes, or explore the movements these animals make.

3.  Draw a simple apple tree on the board, with one big apple high up on a branch of the tree.

4.  Next, read the following story to your students.  As the six words above are introduced in the story, point to their pictures on the board.  You may want to tell the story more than once as you say the words slowly and clearly.

The Apple in the Tree

by Kathy Kampa and Chuck Vilina

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina

Once upon a time, there was a very hungry elephant.  She was looking for something to eat.  Suddenly, she saw an apple tree with a big red apple on it.  She reached for the apple with her trunk.  Oh, no!  It was too high up in the tree.

Along came a bear.  “Climb up on my back,” said the elephant, “and you can get the apple.”  So the bear climbed up on the elephant’s back, and reached for the apple.  Oh, no!  It was too high up in the tree.

Along came a dog.  “Climb up on my back,” said the bear, “and you can get the apple.”  So the dog climbed up on the bear’s back, and reached for the apple.  Oh, no!  It was too high up in the tree.

Along came a cat.  “Climb up on my back,” said the dog, “and you can get the apple.”  So the cat climbed up on the dog’s back, and reached for the apple.  Oh, no!  It was too high up in the tree.

The elephant, the bear, the dog, and the cat looked at the apple.  It was such a big, red apple!  Oh, how they wanted to eat that apple!

Suddenly, a little fish jumped out of the water — up, up, up!  It grabbed the apple in its mouth, and went back under the water. “Thank you,” said the fish.  “I just LOVE apples!”

__________________________________________

Children love this story.  And NOW they’ll have an opportunity to MOVE to it.  Do you notice the underlined words in the story?  They are the six target words, used this many times:

apple:              14 times

bear:                  5 times

cat:                    3 times

dog:                   5 times

elephant:           4 times

fish:                   2 times

This brings us to the next step in the activity:

5.  Prepare one small picture card for each child, using the six target words above.  You can even let children draw their favorite picture (from the above group) on a piece of paper and use that.  However, the cards should be evenly mixed if possible.  For example, if you have six students, each one should get a different letter picture card.  If you have more than six students, add more cards, so that more than one student will have the same word card.

6.  Have your students place their chairs in a circle, facing out.  If space is a problem, the chairs can be put in two rows with their backs to each other.  Students sit quietly in their chairs.  At this time, give each student a picture card (unless they drew their own, in which case they should be holding them).

7.  Explain to students that you are going to tell the story again.  When a student hears the word on their picture card, they GET UP QUICKLY and run around the circle of chairs, then sit back down in their own chair.  They must do this EVERY TIME they hear their word.

8.  NOW – tell the story SLOWLY.  Watch as your children jump up out of their seats and run around the circle.  As you can see from the words above, the “apple” holders have to run around the circle 14 times!  The “fish” holders only run around 2 times.

Of course, to make it more fair, mix up the cards after the story, hand them out again, and tell the story again!  This gives each child more chances to run around the circle.

This activity has many Multiple Intelligence strategies rolled into one:  It’s Word Smart (using written and spoken words), Picture Smart (using pictures), Body Smart (moving quickly in a circle), People Smart (listening and responding together), Self Smart (drawing their own picture cards), and Nature Smart (showing the relationship between the animals according to size).

Most importantly, it builds strong listening skills as it reinforces letter sounds.

You can follow up this activity with an art project:  students can draw a funny picture with all the animals standing on top of each other, with the fish jumping up to grab the apple!

You can also write similar stories using other letters from the alphabet.  Be creative!  In fact, your students may help you write the story!

Let us know how your students enjoy this activity!  Happy Teaching!

Kathy and Chuck