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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Happy Earth Day!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Earth Day is now celebrated around the world on April 22nd. Since its inception in the US in 1970, it is now observed by more than a billion people globally every year. Earth Day is a day to take action and make changes. We can create global, national, and local policy changes to protect our beautiful planet Earth.

What can we do with our young learners? Let’s look at some music and movement resources that help our young learners recognize ways they can take action.

  1. My students loved this song! It teaches them some simple things they can do to protect our planet. Ms. Linky models some movements for the chorus. Write the letters EARTH on the whiteboard. My students really enjoyed spelling the word “E-A-R-T-H” with whole body shapes. They had a lot of fun dancing in their own way on the “na-na-na” part. Have fun!

2. Protect Our Planet is a simple song with a short chorus. It gives children ideas of the actions they can do.

3. My song Hello Spring teaches children to appreciate the beauty of the world around them. Follow this link for the video.

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!

For Earth Day, students can sing this version, then think about the things that they appreciate about their world. Write your own class song called “We Love The Earth” by adding seven new ideas.

We Love The Earth

Your version:

We love _______________. We love _____________________.

We love _______________. We love _____________________.

We love _______________. We love _____________________.

We love _______________. We love the Earth.

4. This is definitely one of my favorite songs by children’s singer/songwriter, Linda Arnold! It reminds children that our earth needs people who can live together peacefully. I’ve been singing and dancing to this song at the end of my volunteer lessons with children in Ukraine. Perhaps the first step to having a beautiful planet is having peace. You can watch my video from my online class here.

You’ll find the lyrics followed by the audio track below. Students can just hold hands in a circle, or add the following dance movements:

One Earth, one world (make circle shapes with arms first in front of body, then overhead),

One home (keep arms overhead, bend elbows to look like a roof), for you and me (point)

Together we can learn to live (gesture to friends or turn in a circle)

Peacefully (fold hands together).

Lyrcis for One Earth by Linda Arnold

There are many beautiful songs to help you celebrate Earth Day! I hope that you can help your children make a difference in the world.

You can find Kathy’s music at iTunes and ETJbookservice.

Jump Jump Everyone
Songs for the seasons, songs to transition, songs to move to . . . it’s all here in 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. Kathy has collected numerous activities to link with her here on Pinterest.

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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.

It’s The Year of the Tiger

It’s time to celebrate the Chinese New Year! We welcome the year of the tiger.

Let’s learn a song to celebrate! We’ll learn parts of the song first by making simple movements. Then we’ll put them together.

  1. How can we move like a tiger standing in our space?

Make a movement while we say ti-ger. You could move your hands like paws. Change your expression

2. How can you show two thousand twenty-two or twenty twenty-two using your fingers? You could draw numbers in the air, or hold up your fingers (2-0-2-2).

3. Last of all, let’s spell the word tiger. How can you make each letter using your fingers? Try making the letters with your arms or even your whole body. Which way do you like to make these letters the best? If you’re making letters, take time to make them.

Or you can clap, pat, stamp, or snap the rhythm when you spell tiger. This rhythm repeats three times, so you could choose a different type of sound each time.

  • It’s the Year of the Tiger by Kathy Kampa
  • Part 1: (melody: For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow) It’s the year of the tiger. It’s the year of the tiger. It’s the year of tiger. It’s 2022!
  • Part 2: (melody: BINGO) t-i-g-e-r, t-i-g-e-r, t-i-g-e-r, It’s the year of the tiger!

Here’s a video of my Zoom Magic Time English class. We always do music and movement during our class. Together, we created these movements. These students really enjoyed making the letter shapes. You can find videos from my classes and specially prepared videos on my YouTube Channel (Kathy Kampa).                                

My online Magic Time class singing It’s the Year of the Tiger

I change this song annually, so you won’t find it on my CDs. I create a new version for you each year! You can, however, find my lively song “Happy New Year” on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays (available on iTunes).

Check out my music as a download on iTunes or order a CD complete with lyrics.

The songs on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays celebrate various special moments throughout the year–the New Year, Valentine’s Day, Girls’ Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, plus birthdays and a loose tooth!

Let’s Add a Little Music and Movement

If you’re looking for activities for young learners, check out my Facebook LIVE workshop. I teach children from age 2 – 12 in Tokyo, and these activities have all been LOVED in my classrooms. The activities support English language development as well as developmental body movement.
Today’s FB LIVE (February 21, 2019) included the following: It Is Raining (focus on body parts), Little Worms (vocal expression, yoga movement, building group unity), Come and Sit In Front of Me (transitional), Tiny Egg (Butterfly Life Cycle, creative movement, connection to Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Flitter Flutter Butterfly (pronunciation practice, rhyming sounds, movement), Here’s a Leaf (seed-leaf-bud-flower), Folding Scarves (transitional), Scarves Please (Transitional), We Love Hina Matsuri (song/canon for Japanese Girls’ Day), We Did It.  You can find all of the lyrics inside the CDs. 

If you like my music, it’s available on iTunes or https://www.etjbookservice.com/…/kathy-kampas-cds-4/

Materials for "Tiny Egg" chant
These are the materials used for the Tiny Egg chant (available on iTunes)

Kathy Kampa's Special Days and Holidays
 .     .  Children’s songs for special events for pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary students

Jump Jump Everyone
Jump! Turn into butterflies. Plant magical flowers!

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

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

Happy New Year!

Japanese Sheep
Japanese Sheep

Happy New Year! All around the globe the new year is celebrated in different ways. Here in Japan people celebrate o-shogatsu, the new year, with many special traditions. One of the important traditions seen all over the country is the celebration of the new animal for the year. This year it is the year of the sheep. Perhaps you’re familiar with the Chinese calendar of twelve different animals.

At our first class this week, we’ll begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year 2015, the year of the sheep. I wrote a simple song to teach the year and how to spell the word “sheep.” We had fun creating a recording for you at home with our son Christian.

It’s The Year 

lyrics by Kathleen Kampa Vilina, melody (For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow/ BINGO)

sung by Christian Vilina

Intro:

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes, sir, yes, sir.

Three bags full.

It’s the year of the sheep.

It’s the year of the sheep.

It’s the year of the sheep.

It’s 2015!

s-h-e-e-p, s-h-e-e-p, s-h-e-e-p,

It’s the year of the sheep.

1. Show students the picture of a sheep.

 Image courtesy of TCJ2020 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of TCJ2020 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When they sing the word “sheep” they can make a pose like a sheep or point to the picture. If you have lively students, they might enjoy skipping or galloping during this part of the song instead.

2. On the words, “It’s 2015,” students stop moving and make the numbers 2015 with their fingers. Very young students can stop and wave their arms in the air as if saying “Hooray!”

3. Write the letters for the word “sheep” on the board. Clap the rhythm below to accompany the letters. (slow, slow, quick quick, slow)

UnknownUnknown images-1Unknown

To make it more challenging, students can pat, stamp, or snap the rhythm. My students like to clap the first time they spell “sheep,” then they pat their legs, and finally they stamp their feet. If you have instruments in your classroom, you can play this part.

4. The song ends with “It’s the year of the sheep!” Students make the sheep pose, or point to the picture.

———————————————————————————————————————-

You can also celebrate the New Year with our song, “Happy New Year!” I wrote it with our son Christian, and it is always a hit with our students. You can find it on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays. The lyrics are easy for students to follow.

Students like to pat their legs, then clap their hands to the beat.

On the last Happy New Year, they turn around and wave their hands.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Hip hip hooray!

ms kampa 12-8

Santa’s Cookies and Milk

Our Christmas Tree here in Japan with ornaments from around the world
Our Christmas tree here in Japan with ornaments from around the world

Christmas is a magical time of year! My students and I sing about Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees, jingle bells, and gingerbread cookies. We sing songs about the birth of Jesus, too. Students dress in festive costumes. I love this time of year with my students! Even though our two sons are adults, we still gather together at Christmas and enjoy many of the traditions they knew as children. Our Christmas Eve celebrations include a festive dinner, opening gifts by the Christmas tree, and singing Christmas carols. When the evening draws to a close, we still put out a plate of homemade cookies and a glass of milk for Santa Claus. A note is written for Santa, and the next morning a reply from Santa is waiting for us!

Cookies and Milk left for Santa
Cookies and milk left for Santa

I wrote this simple song to the melody of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to remember this special moment in our lives. Here’s a complimentary music track for you from my CD entitled Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.

Santa’s Cookies and Milk Words by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina Spoken: Dear Santa, Welcome to my house. I’ve been very good this year. Have some cookies. (gesture with one hand to the side) Have some milk. (gesture with the other hand) Christmas cookies and a glass of milk. (Twist hands like twinkling Christmas stars. You can make it fancier by moving your hands in big circles from above your head to your sides.) Eat the cookies. 1-2-3 (gesture eating cookies, then fingers 1-2-3) Drink the milk. It’s from me. (gesture drinking milk, then point to self) Have some cookies. (gesture with one hand to the side) Have some milk. (gesture with the other hand) Christmas cookies and a glass of milk.   (Twist hands like twinkling Christmas stars. You can make it fancier by moving your hands in big circles from above your head to your sides.) Spoken: Thanks Santa! Have a good night! Good-bye! For more tips on performances, see our last blog post. https://magictimekids.com/2014/12/05/making-the-most-of-student-performances/

Cute way to give Christmas cookies!
A cute way to give Christmas cookies!

Check out this cute idea for a cookie holder, too. Invite students to decorate the plate before folding it up. Be sure to show students a model of the folded one so that they know where they can draw. Turn the plate upside down on a clean surface to add drawings. Cut on the lines, too, before drawing.  Remember that the drawings will be on the bottom of the plate. Decorate with red ribbon and a little bell for Christmas. Wishing you all the best for Christmas and throughout the year from our family to yours.  May the magic of Christmas remain in your hearts.

Chuck, Christian, Kathy, and John on Christmas Eve 2013
Chuck, Christian, Kathy, and John on Christmas Eve 2013