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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

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!

 

 

 

 

What Are You Going to Be For Halloween?

Image from Graphic Stock

Image from Graphic Stock

Are you preparing for Halloween? I know that many of my teacher friends are. I love Halloween because it invites students to nurture their creativity through imaginative activities. Students move in more expressive ways and play with facial expressions. Let’s explore moving like various Halloween characters.

First of all, I like to gather students in front of me to teach the vocabulary. I sing the transitional song “Come and Sit In Front of Me.” (by K. Kampa) The professional version of this transitional song is here for you.

Come and sit in front of me, in front of me, in front of me.

Come and sit in front of me, in front of me,

You can print the I’m a Witch picture cards and teach students the following song.

I’m A Witch

Words by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina,

melody: Skip to my Lou

Spoken: Let’s be witches and fly on our broomsticks.

Hee! Hee! Hee! I’m a witch

Hee! Hee! Hee! I’m a witch!

Hee! Hee! Hee! I’m a witch!

Happy Halloween!

2. Spoken: Let’s be ghosts and float gently through the air.

Boo! Boo! I’m a ghost! (3X)  Happy Halloween!

3. Spoken: Let’s be bats and fly through the night sky.

Eeek! Eeek! I’m a bat! (3X)  Happy Halloween!

4. Spoken: Let’s be owls and turn our heads from side to side.

Whoo! Whooo! I’m an owl! (3X)  Happy Halloween!

5. Spoken: Let’s be black cats. Put on your whiskers and sneak around.

Meow! Meow! I’m a black cat! (3X)  Happy Halloween!

I’m a Witch (picture cards)

Now it’s time to be creative and move. Decide on the space that your students can move in. I usually start with movement in a circle, and then allow students more freedom to move in an open space. You can use the spoken cues to help guide your students’ movements. Students start by posing like the characters, such as the witch, then move around in a circle. I often tap a drum to the rhythm of the movement. To make it more magical, add the words “Abracadabra! You’re a witch!”  When you can see that students have moved enough, say “Stop!” Continue with the other characters. I like to recognize students who are really being imaginative and creative with their movement.

Finally, either sing the song acapella or play the song on the CD Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays. My students love the special effects.

Special Days and Holidays

If you’re interested in the music, you can download the song from iTunes or get the CD with lyric sheets from CD Baby and Englishbooks.jp.  Find more Halloween ideas here on the blog and on my Pinterest page.

Happy Halloween!  Kathy and Chuck

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

Hop Along Easter Bunny

Time to get ready for Easter with a simple song, movement, and reproducible activity.

MagicTimeKids

These Easter Bunny ears are a fun way to celebrate! Here's Brooke having fun in Tokyo. These Easter Bunny ears are a fun way to celebrate!
Here’s Brooke having fun in Tokyo.

Easter is just around the corner! Holidays give us an opportunity to teach students about culture. Our students will learn this song this week, and do the follow-up activity created by Setsuko Toyama. Perhaps your students would like to learn these activities too!

To teach my students about Easter, I usually bring some plastic Easter eggs, a basket, and a picture of the Easter Bunny. During a recent trip to Vietnam, I bought a rabbit puppet to use for this song. If you don’t have a puppet, you can use your fingers to create a bunny.

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!

When I teach young learners, I like…

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Let’s Celebrate Girls’ Day! It’s Time for Hina Matsuri!

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Girls’ Day is celebrated on March 3rd in Japan. It’s called “Hina Matsuri”.  Beautiful dolls called “Hinaningyo” are displayed on red stairs.

Here is a photo of the beautiful dolls from our kindergarten at Seisen International School. Starting at the top, you can see the emperor and empress dressed in traditional clothing of the Heian period. On the lower steps, you can see the attendants and musicians.  Miniature furniture is also displayed.

These dolls are displayed for Hina Matsuri.

These dolls are displayed at my school for Hina Matsuri/ Girls’ Day.

At this time of year, we can find displays of these beautiful dolls in many public places. This set was on display at a local onsen.

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Since we’ve been living in Japan for over 25 years, I wanted to write a song in English to help my students talk about the celebration.  It’s written to the tune “Kaeru no Uta.” The melody goes up and down, just like the stairs for the dolls.  My students really love it!

I’d like to gift you with this free professional recording of “We Love Hina Matsuri” for Girls’ Day on March 3rd! Scroll to the end of the post below.

Here are some notes to dance along with it.

We Love Hina Matsuri

Words by Kathleen Kampa, Music: Kaeru no Uta

We love Hina Matsuri

Students cross hands over heart. Lean side to side (R/L/R/L)

Pretty dolls for us to see

Girls: Bend knees side to side four times.  Boys: Pretend to look at the dolls

Girls’ Day! Girls’ Day!

Girls: Curtsy to right, then to left. Boys: Bow two times.

Hina Matsuri is Girls’ Day.

Stand tall              clap  clap   clap

Students sing this song all together twice.

Then, divide students into two groups.

The first group starts singing We love Hina Matsuri, and continues to sing to the end of the song.

When the first group gets to the second line, Pretty dolls . . .  the second group begins singing We love Hina Matsuri.  

Continue in the same way. This is called a canon.

We end by singing the song all together again.

Now you can even divide into four groups!   Each group begins at a new line.

Art Projects:

After you’ve finished singing, try some origami.

Our students enjoy making origami dolls. We usually make two dolls representing the emperor and the empress.

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For more ideas, check out this site.  www.origami-club.com/hina/     When you click the left oval (おりかた), you can see how to make it the origami. When you click the right oval (あにめ), you can easily understand how to fold.  Thanks to Yoko Matsui for sharing this site filled with lots of great ideas.

For something simpler, try these coloring activities.

.hinamatsuri_kf_studio-689x1024

These songs “grow” in my classroom. We Love Hinamatsuri is one of 15 great songs for kids on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.

There are also 23 great songs for kids on Kathy Kampa’s Jump Jump Everyone. This album is filled with movement songs, classroom management/transitional songs, and CLIL/content songs. They’ve grown in my young learner classroom.

These two CDs each include a handy attached booklet with lyrics, and are available for teachers in Japan at ETJ Book Service.

For teachers residing outside of Japan, the songs are available for download through iTunes.

 

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

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

Cover screen shot

Lots of great movement songs, transitional songs, and CLIL/content songs!

Be My Valentine!

MagicTimeKids

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…

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