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.

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.

Time to Celebrate Girls’ Day!

Girls’ Day craft

If you’re traveling in Japan in February or early March, you’ll see beautiful displays of traditional dolls. These are called “Hina ningyo.” It is a special day for girls, and it’s celebrated on March 3rd in Japan. It’s called “Hina Matsuri”.  

There is a traditional Japanese song for Girls’ Day. I wrote this simple song in English for my students. The melody goes up and down, just like the red stairs the dolls are displayed on.

Here I am with my four sisters!

For all of you with sisters, daughters, moms, grandmas, or girlfriends, celebrate Girls’ Day with a complimentary recording of my song, “We Love Hina Matsuri.” You’ll find it at the end of this post.

Here are some suggested 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.

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

When I was teaching at Seisen International School, Tokyo, Japan, kindergarten students were able to see this beautiful display of dolls. They were fascinated! There are so many different pieces. Starting at the top, you can see the emperor and empress dressed in the traditional clothing of the Heian period. On the lower steps, you can see the attendants and musicians. Miniature furniture is also displayed. See a video below of the traditional song for Girls’ Day.

Art Projects:

DSC00032

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

hinamatsuri_kf_studio-689x1024

For something simpler, try these coloring activities.

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Click below to download the professional recording of “We Love Hina Matsuri”. These songs “grew” in my classroom. This is one of 15 great songs for kids on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays.

professional recording of “We Love Hinamatsuri”

There are also 23 engaging 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. These activities support English language development while developing global skills. Your young learners will love them!

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.

Cover screen shot
Lots of great movement songs, transitional songs, and CLIL/content songs!
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
Hi! I’m Kathy! Check out my songs for kids. They’ll stick in your heads and help your students learn!

If you’d like to hear the traditional song for Girls’ Day, check out this beautiful video.

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!

Time for Trick or Treat!

halloween-1773447_1920

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).

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!