Magic Time Teaching Tips

This page will provide strategies, ideas, and additional activities for teachers using the Magic Time course.

September 29, 2013

Tip Number 1:  Tuning in to a Lesson

“Tuning In” is a wonderful moment in your lesson where you can create “magic” and motivation.  As teachers of young learners, you understand this moment.  Use your imagination to think of a fun and interesting way to transport your learners to your topic.

Here are two examples of “tuning in,” using topics that you might be teaching in your classroom.

1.  Shapes

In Magic Time One, Unit 2, we introduce shapes within the context of a beach scene.  For this unit, I bought a simple pail and covered it with various stickers.  I even made a pattern so that I could practice the shape pattern with my students.  Then I put some interesting things into the pail that would take us on an imaginary journey to the beach.  You might bring a rectangular towel for your students to sit on.  You could make a starfish out of construction paper.  You might add a shell, a shovel, a fish, or other items that you see in the scene.  I even wear sunglasses to set the mood.

After you introduce these items to students, you can pull the shape picture cards out of the pail.  Students can practice the vocabulary by making these shapes with their fingers, their arms, their whole body, or together with a friend.  They might even connect these shapes to some of the things you began your lesson with, such as the starfish or the towel.

Students now open their student books to the first page of Unit 2, At The Beach.

Magic Time has big, beautiful pictures to help students tune in to the lesson.  As you look at the images of the beach scene, children can talk about things they already know.  This gives you the opportunity to assess children’s prior understanding of this topic, and helps you know the various levels your students are at.

In the first activity (called “Picture Talk Time”) students listen to the CD and are prompted to point to characters or vocabulary in the large scene.  After they point, they hear natural dialogues.  This is a receptive activity.  It adds an additional layer of language to your curriculum.

2.  Colors

In Magic Time One, Unit 3, we introduce colors within the context of a class scene where children are drawing a large picture of a rainforest.  The rainforest is a very colorful place!  Before your students open their student books and look at this scene, there are many ways to introduce colorful rainforest animals.  For example, perhaps you have pictures of rainforest animals, or you may have puppets or stuffed animals.  You can find beautiful pictures of rainforest animals on the Internet.  You can also do a picture walk of a book, such as “The Great Kapok Tree” by Lynne Cherry, by looking at the pictures and talking about the colors.

Follow up by pulling out real crayons or your crayon picture cards.  Practice color words with your cards.

Next, have students open their Magic Time student books and look at the large scene. What do your students already know about the scene?  They may say I see a blue butterfly or I see a frog.  It’s orange.  Next, listen to Picture Talk Time.  Then move on to practicing the vocabulary.

Enjoy these tips for “tuning in” to your lessons!  Later, we’ll discuss fun ways to practice vocabulary through chants, activities, and much more!