Secrets to Teaching Songs in Young Learner English classes

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If you teach young learners, you probably use chants and songs in your class. But how do you teach them to use them most effectively?

Each song we use has different challenges and is magical in its own unique way. Your challenge is to find that unique magic and share it with your students.

Do you know the secrets to teaching songs to young learners? You'll find helpful tips here.

I’m sharing an example from my online Zoom class with English students in Japan to help you see what we did with songs. Today we’ll look at the first song in this video called She Has a Shirt, from Magic Time 2.

Let’s talk about the parts of the lesson that lead up to the first song in this video. Magic Time, Unit 6 lesson takes place in a jungle where everyone has packed their clothing for the trip. In a Magic Time lesson, students first learn the six new vocabulary words (shirt, skirt, cap, dress, jacket, sweater). I like to introduce this vocabulary by making it magical, such as using a suitcase to hide the clothing items or the picture cards. The students are surprised to see them. In the textbook, students search for the vocabulary items in the double-page spread and practice the words in a chant. In the final listening activity, I invite students to predict which number will be said. They say, “I think number one is ________,” and put their eraser on that picture in their book. Then they write the number. This continues until all six numbers have been called. This activity pushes output from an early stage. The kids love it! We play additional games, too.

In the next lesson, students add the grammar paradigm: She/ He has a _________. When I’m in a classroom with the students, I make a rebus sentence using the grammar paradigm and the picture cards.

Now that the students have practiced the vocabulary and grammar, they’re ready to sing the song. Make sure that you listen to the song before you teach it. The first time my students listen to the song, they’re looking at the images in their book. The second time we add movements. You can see the students pointing to their clothing, too. They really love the silly monkey part.

The children really loved this song. It helped them use the vocabulary naturally. What makes this work?

First of all, the language was gently scaffolded. Students had an achievable step. This is called the Zone of Proximal Development.

Next, the language was taught in a variety of ways. On the right, you can see the “Multiple Intelligences Pizza.” This theory was developed by Dr. Howard Gardner and adapted for the classroom by Dr. Thomas Armstrong. Some teachers have used this theory to look at students’ talents. I use it, however, for planning varied ways to teach my lesson. In our lesson, students looked at pictures (individually and in context), followed patterns, explored musical songs and chants, and moved their bodies. They learned alone and played games with their classmates. Learning like this provides repetition that is varied and engaging. When you use MI (Multiple Intelligences) strategies, you create variety in your lessons. 

Remember: Repetition, Repetition, VARIATION.

Last of all, making learning a positive experience is a very important aspect of learning. To nurture students’ imaginations and fun, use hands-on materials, including picture cards, stuffed animals, puppets, instruments, beanbags, scarves, and found items.

Songs build fluency. Games build on the language taught in class. This dice game is so much fun and builds fluency along with reading skills. You can see the children rolling the dice, adding the sight words, then reading the sentence. This activity creates some funny sentences, such as “He has a dress.” (dice pattern in MT 2 Teachers’ book). Alternatively, you can use picture cards. Students turn over one of the character cards, choosing he or she. Then the student adds “has a,” followed by another vocabulary picture card (i.e. shirt).

Just a note that before students go home, I like to play the song again. Create the chance fo students to catch SSIYH, the “song stuck in your head” phenomenon. Good songs are easy for students to repeat. Repetition helps, too. Students will sing independently and happily.

Do you have a secret to teaching songs? Let us know at magictimekids@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Kathy loves to write music for children. If you’re looking for songs for little ones, check out these two CDs, available on iTunes.

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 and her husband Chuck are co-authors of Magic Time, Everybody Up, Oxford Discover, and Beehive (published by Oxford University Press). They have been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for 30 years. Kathy and Chuck also active as teacher trainers, inspiring teachers around the world. They have currently returned to their home state of Minnesota in the US.

If you’re interested in more of Kathy’s work, check out her YouTube channel at Kathy Kampa. Kathy has collected numerous activities to link with her here on Pinterest.

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A Loose Tooth?

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It has happened countless times in my teaching. A young student loses a tooth right in the middle of my lesson. I think that I was most worried when one student bumped into another student during my class. The student was bleeding, so I ran to get towels. Then I saw her smile. She had been worried about her loose tooth, and it finally popped out. Whew! So I wrote this song for her and for all of the kids who worry about losing a tooth.

Last week one of my students in my online English classes had a loose tooth, so we sang this song. Maybe one of your students does, too?

Here are the lyrics to my song Loose Tooth on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.

Loose Tooth by Kathy Kampa

I’ve got a loose tooth, Wiggle, wiggle. 

I’ve got a loose tooth, Wiggle, wiggle.

I’ve got a loose tooth, Wiggle, wiggle.

A loose tooth in my mouth.

Wiggle front to back, Wiggle, wiggle,  

Wiggle side to side, Wiggle, wiggle,

Wiggle up and down, Wiggle, wiggle,

Wiggle all around . . .  (repeat from the start)

Final: I had a loose tooth . . .

Here’s our YouTube video from our Zoom lesson.

What can your students learn during this song?

*Directional movements (front/back, side/side, up/down, around)

*oo/ sound (loose/tooth)

*Simply, it can help children stop worrying about a loose tooth. It fills the air with happy, fun, and silly vibes.

How does your culture celebrate the loss of a tooth? If you want to learn more about traditions around the globe, check out this informative article. And if you want to read a picture book about this, check out this post by Show and Tell.

Here in the US, a child places the tooth under their pillow at night. During the night, the tooth fairy collects the tooth and leaves some money in its place. Here’s a simple idea from East Coast Mommy for a darling tooth bag. For more ideas, go to my Pinterest page.

The studio version of Loose Tooth can be found on iTunes on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays, track #2. Click here to take you there!

This album is filled with songs to celebrate the many events in a child’s life–a birthday, a loose tooth, and many major holidays.
About me

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, Oxford Discover, and Beehive (published by Oxford University Press). She has been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for over 30 years. Kathy is also active as a teacher trainer, inspiring teachers around the world. She has currently returned to her home state of Minnesota in the US.

If you’re interested in more of Kathy’s work, check out her YouTube channel at Kathy Kampa.

For a special playlist of Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays, click here.

Happy singing, dancing, and wiggling!!

Discover the parts of a flower with this magical poem

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When I was living in Japan, springtime was filled with one beautiful flower after another. We could find flowering trees (especially plum and cherry blossoms), purple and blue hydrangeas, wisteria, tulips, rapeseed, azaleas, and lots of roses.

Now we’re living in Minnesota. It’s been too cold for anything to start blooming yet. Once it warms up, however, we can find gardens filled with colorful flowers–zinnias, daylilies, purple coneflowers, hollyhocks, daisies, bee balms, and more. This year we’re going to plant a pollinator garden to help the bee and butterfly population.

The kindergarten children at my former school learned about living things. They planted seeds and watched them grow. Look at a real plant with your students. 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? If you don’t have a real plant, you can often find a silk one at a bargain store. I like to show students a watering can, too. This graphic showing how to plant from a Garden of Goodies (Pinterest) may be helpful.

Looking at how seeds changed into a flower

My students loved this poem called Here’s a Leaf! They would ask to do it over and over again. Yours will, too! You’ll see the magic when you try it. 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

In my video, we take you to Munsinger-Clemens Gardens, one of my favorite places in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Special thanks to my son, Christian Vilina for his awesome video work.

To begin, scrunch up the scarf in your hands, so that it can’t be seen. Here’s the 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.

Here’s a Leaf video

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, 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, , Oxford Discover (ELTon winner), Beehive (2022), all published by Oxford University Press.

Thanks again to my son Christian Vilina for his vision in creating this video.

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

Let’s Do the Easter Bunny Hop!

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

 Let’s get hopping!  Put on your bunny ears and do the Easter Bunny Hop.

 Say to your students, Let’s pretend to be Easter Bunnies.  Look at this picture. What do we need to look like the   Easter Bunny? An Easter Bunny has . . . .

Students may say, such as two long ears, two big feet, a bunny tail, bunny paws, bunny whiskers, and a bunny nose. This song teaches ears, feet, tail, tummy, and whole self as well as the directional movements in, out, around. Students have a lot of fun jumping and shaking. There’s a slow version, then a fast one.

Make a circle with students. Sing Let’s Make A Circle. (Click here for this song.)

Practice these movements with your students. 

Say, Show me your Easter Bunny ears.

Put your bunny ears in. Put your bunny ears out.

Let’s shake our Easter Bunny ears. 

Jump like a bunny.  Then, turn around and say, Happy Easter!

Click here to watch a few of my former students dancing parts of this song for you. Enjoy!

Easter Bunny Hop

Words by Kathy Kampa, Music Hokey Pokey

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

Slowly: You put your bunny ears in.

You put your bunny ears out.

You put your bunny ears in. And you shake them all about.

Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake!

Jump like a bunny. Jump, jump, jump!

Turn around and shout! Happy Easter!

Then sing quickly . . .

You put your bunny ears in.

You put your bunny ears out.

You put your bunny ears in. And you shake them all about.

Shake, shake, shake! (* three shakes!)

Jump like a bunny. Jump, jump, jump!

Turn around and shout! Happy Easter!

Repeat each verse slowly, then quickly with these body parts.

2. You put your bunny feet in.

3. You put your bunny tail in.

4. You put your bunny tummy in.

5. You put your whole self in.

The studio version of this song can be found on iTunes on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays, track #7. Click here to take you there!

Special Days and Holidays

For more ideas, my Pinterest page has a collection of easy Easter crafts and activities. bunny mask tutorial_with watermark-1

About me

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, Oxford Discover, and Beehive (published by Oxford University Press). She has been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for over 30 years. Kathy is also active as a teacher trainer, inspiring teachers around the world. She has currently returned to her home state of Minnesota in the US.

If you’re interested in more of Kathy’s work, check out her YouTube channel at Kathy Kampa.

Jump Jump Everyone, Kathy’s second album, is filled with many happy songs that have grown in my young learner classroom. The songs encourage children to move. Many 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.

Hop Along Easter Bunny

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Easter is just around the corner! Holidays give us an opportunity to teach students about culture.

In this post you’ll find:

  • the teaching steps and videos for teaching Hop Along Easter Bunny, as a fingerplay and as a whole-body activity
  • an Easter egg guessing activity created by Setsuko Toyama. In this activity, students practice colors, shapes, and numbers.

How will you teach your students about Easter? Look at the picture below. What do you see? What does it tell you about Easter? (rabbits, colored eggs, spring flowers, chocolates) 

Photo by George Dolgikh @ Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

For this song, the students need to imagine how the Easter Bunny moves. What can the Easter Bunny do? The Easter Bunny hops along. He tiptoes and hides colorful Easter eggs. Finally, he runs away. Perhaps your students will have some additional ideas of their own. You can use your fingers, or create an Easter Bunny puppet like this. 
Here’s one idea from my Pinterest page, but there are numerous ideas here.

When I teach young learners, I use many different ways to introduce, practice, and review new language.  Use props. Then do this song in three different ways–first as a fingerplay, then moving around a circle, and finally, moving around the classroom.  I’ve made a simple video for you to help you learn it as a fingerplay.

  1. Fingerplay: If possible, sit on the floor with the students.  Stretch your legs out in front of you.  Make an Easter Bunny by raising two fingers.  Bounce your fingers up and down your legs as if you’re hopping.

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Hop along Easter Bunny, Hop along Easter Bunny,

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Young children love surprises. Each time I sing one line, I quickly bring my fingers back to where I started. On the longer line, continue hopping. My students find it funny when I bring my fingers over my head and along my arm.

On the second verse, pretend to tiptoe using your fingers.

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, tiptoe.

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, tiptoe.

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, Tiptoe Easter Bunny,

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, tiptoe.

On the third verse, pretend to pick up an egg and hide it beside you, behind you, or under your legs.

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, hide the eggs.

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, hide the eggs.

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, Hide the eggs Easter Bunny,

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, hide the eggs.

On the last verse, pretend to run away.

Run away Easter Bunny, run away.

Run away Easter Bunny, run away.

Run away Easter Bunny, Run away Easter Bunny,

Run away Easter Bunny, run away.

These Easter Bunny ears are a fun way to celebrate! Here's Brooke having fun in Tokyo.2. Around the circle movement: Stand up and magically turn all of your students into Easter Bunnies. Say, Put on your ears, your whiskers, your tails, and your great big feet!

If you have bunny ears like Brooke, put them on!

Make a circle with your students.  Sing this transitional song from Jump Jump Everyone to get ready.

Transitional Song: Let’s make a circle big and round (4X)

https://magictimekids.com/2013/09/23/transitional-songs-part-one/

Moving around the circle together in the same direction.  Do you remember the four movements?

1. hop like a bunny (They might use their hands to make bunny ears or a bunny tail.)

2. tiptoe quietly

3. pretend to hide eggs

4. run

3. Around the Classroom: Students can move more freely around the classroom. The Easter Bunnies dance the song by moving around the children.

Here’s a simple video of my students in my classroom moving in a circle to this music.

Special Days and Holidays For the studio version of this song, go to iTunes and click on Track #6 of Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.

4. Follow-up Activity: In this activity created by Setsuko Toyama, students use critical thinking skills to figure out which egg has been chosen. Students need to know colors, shapes, and numbers. They also need to know words like “polka dots” and “stripes.”

Easter Eggs

Secretly choose one egg. Give one clue at a time, such as It’s pink.  Students can guess, Is it number three?  Add another clue.  It has blue polka dots.  Students guess again. Is it number one?  

After modeling this activity for the class, have students work in small groups or with partners. Make a copy for each student. Have fun celebrating Easter!

Kathy

About me:

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, Oxford Discover, and Beehive (published by Oxford University Press). She has been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for over 30 years. Kathy is also active as a teacher trainer, inspiring teachers around the world. She has currently returned to her home state of Minnesota in the US.

If you’re interested in more of Kathy’s work, check out her YouTube channel at Kathy Kampa.

You can find more engaging songs on Jump Jump Everyone.

Jump Jump Everyone, my second album, is filled with many happy songs that have grown in my young learner classroom. The songs encourage children to move. Many 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.

Hello Spring

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Here in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has officially begun. What does spring look like in Minnesota? The snow has been melting, so we can finally see the ground. It might even snow again tomorrow. Soon, however, we will see many signs of spring we’ve been waiting for!

Our favorite point to stop on our walk, St. Cloud,Minnesota, March, 2022

There are many people who take walks in my neighborhood. As they stroll past my window, I delight in watching the little ones. 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!

Feel free to create your own movements. If you’d like some ideas, check out my video. We filmed it in Tokyo, Japan at the start of the pandemic in 2020.

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 Google 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.

Jump Jump Everyone

My second album is filled with many happy songs that have grown in my young learner classroom. The songs encourage children to move. Many 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.

Happy teaching!

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, Oxford Discover, and Beehive (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. She has currently returned to her home state of Minnesota in the US.

If you’re interested in more of Kathy’s work, check out her YouTube channel at Kathy Kampa.

Two-Two-Two-Two-Two

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February 22, 2022 is a historic day–it’s 2/22/22! AND it’s on a Tuesday, yes, that’s TWO’S-DAY.

I wrote a little song called “Two-Two-Two-Two-Two” to celebrate this auspicious day.

One of the wonderful outcomes of the pandemic was meeting amazing teachers online, like Aimee Curtis Pfitzer. Aimee is a passionate musician, songwriter, and teacher. She’s constantly creating. She has written numerous books with Beatin’ Path Publishing. Check her out at www singsmileplay.com. So I reached out to Aimee to collaborate with me on this little song. Here’s our Zoom photo!

In this blog post, you’ll find the song lyrics, the notation, accompaniment, and a video with movement suggestions. We hope that your Tuesday, February 22, 2022 will be amazing!

Here are the lyrics:

Two, Two, Two, Two, Two!

Here’s the musical score for the song with the words written out. Thanks to Aimee Curtis Pfitzner for creating this score.

Have fun by adding some movement! Hold up two fingers. Make the shape of the number 2! Add some 2 count patterns by clapping, patting, stamping, and snapping. Grab your “tutu” if you have one!

Here’s a slow version of the song “Two, Two, Two, Two, Two” using hand gestures.
Here’s the faster version using “body percussion.” I made a pattern–pat, clap, pat, clap-clap.

Here’s the “karaoke” accompaniment on Chrome music lab. It’s fun for your students to see how the melody is moving. We’ve made two versions, a slower tempo and a faster one. If you have Boomwackers, your students can play this.

Slow version: 80

https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker/song/5761674782441472

 Fast version: 105

https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker/song/4818068420689920

Chrome Music Lab – Song made Feb 12, 2022

Join the fun and have a very happy 22222!

Kathleen’s two CDs for young learners, Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays and Jump Jump Everyone, build English language skills through music and movement while nurturing creativity and imagination.
 
Kathleen strives to help all students feel supported, balanced, and successful in the classroom. She supports the development of English language skills by creating songs, chants, and movement activities targeted to young learners’ overall needs.

Jump, hop, tiptoe . . . this CD invites children to move and use their imaginations. Grab a scarf and pretend to be a butterfly or a flower. Make the sounds of the rain on your legs. Children move in developmentally appropriate ways.
This album is filled with songs to celebrate the special days in your child’s life–a birthday, a loose tooth, plus lots of holidays. Songs prompt fun movement for kids.

It’s the Year of the Ox

The festivities are beginning for Chinese New Year! This is the year of the ox! Why not celebrate with your students by using this simple chant/song!

During the pandemic, many students have not been allowed to sing. So enjoy these lyrics as a chant.

It’s The Year by Kathy Kampa

Part A:

It’s the year of the ox,

It’s the year of the ox,

It’s the year of the ox,

It’s 2021!

Part B:

o-x  ox!

o-x  ox!

o-x  ox!

It’s the year of the ox!

Try some of these movement suggestions. My students like making the animal shapes for each year of the Chinese calendar. I ask my students for their ideas. To make the shape of an ox, many of the students made horns with their fingers.

How can your students show the year 2021? My students liked to “draw” the numbers in the air. Some of them made numbers with their fingers. A few of them just decided to jump up into the air to celebrate!

My students really love making these letter shapes! If your students aren’t used to making letter shapes, you can model this activity. Students make letters with their fingers, their arms, or even their whole bodies!

Let’s make the letter o with our fingers. Can you make it bigger? Try using your hands? Can you make the letter o even bigger? Wow! You can make it with your whole body! Now let’s try making the letter x in the same way.

Put these all together into a chant. Add instruments if you like to really make it festive!

If you’re interested in a melody to sing this, check out my simple video here. I’ve combined two familiar songs to create this new song.

Check out Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays for songs to celebrate your child’s special days–Valentine’s Day, Easter, a birthday, or even a loose tooth!

Children’s songs for special events for pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary students

Let’s Celebrate the New Year 2021!

images-1 Happy New Year 2021! We have celebrated O-shogatsu (New Year’s) with toshikoshi soba and o-sechi ryori, traditional New Year’s foods.  A couple of days ago my friend Kumi stopped by with her children. They had the song “Happy New Year” playing in their car. It fun to hear them singing along with with it. What a precious moment!! When our son Christian was in elementary school, he started playing this simple melody on our piano.  Now he’s grown up and is acting in Hollywood! I love this recording with Christian and my husband Chuck 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 or clapping their hands. Then, to make it a little more challenging, students 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 “air clapping” both hands with a partner.

Check out this pre-COVID video to see what my students did a couple of years ago! 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

With COVID protocols in place, I’m going to revise this activity. Every student has a set of sticks, so I’m going to experiment using sticks like the Indian Dandiya dance. This will give students a chance to interact with a partner at a distance. Perhaps you have an idea for adapting this? 

Happy New Year 2021!  So perhaps you’re not singing with your students. Remember my chant.Screen Shot 2021-01-05 at 17.13.38

We hope that you keep a song in your heart and a smile on your face. May this year be filled with lots of joy!

Kathy

Special Days and HolidaysHappy 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 also available for sale through the Mad Robin Music & Dance in Seattle, WA.

 

Kathy’s second CD Jump Jump Everyone is filled with songs to get students moving! Songs and chants build Cover screen shotEnglish language skills through simple movement activities. They nurture a child’s imagination and creativity.  There are beautiful seasonal songs, lively gross motor movement songs, plus effective transitional songs. Grab a scarf and play along. Grown in the young learner classroom, you’ll find that your children will ask for these songs over and over again.

 

Time for Trick or Treat!

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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).