Happy Valentine’s Day

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your young learners!

What will you teach through songs and poems about Valentine’s Day?

Letters and Shapes: I love creating letter shapes and heart shapes. Students can use their fingers, arms, whole body, or even make a shape with a friend. 

For my Japanese students, the sound /v/ can be challenging. This is a perfect way to practice it.

Movement: Students can do movements in place as well as from one place to another. As young learners grow, we can help them to learn these movement skills, like marching, tiptoeing, galloping, jumping, skipping, etc. 

Working with a partner: Valentine poems and songs often invite children to face a partner and hold hands. They can talk about how they want to move together.

This poem prepares children to make a heart shape.

  1. Fingerplay:

I put my hands together.  (put the heels of your hands together)

This is how I start.  (hold)

I curve my fingers just like this (curve your fingers to touch each other)

and now I have a heart.  (this should make a heart shape)

 This little song is a favorite of my students and the teachers I work with. You might recognize the melody as “Cho Cho”  or “Lightly Row.”  It focuses on the sound /v/ for Valentine.  When the children hear the word “valentine,” they make a heart shape with their fingers, arms, or whole body.

2. Be My Valentine words by Kathy Kampa

from Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays CD

I like you. You like me. 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. They were quite little when we made this video. Enjoy!

This next Valentine’s Day song is called “I’m Your Friend,” from my album Jump Jump Everyone. This song invites students to move in various ways, such as skipping, jumping, walking, and even skating! Developing gross motor skills is important for young learners. 

Many songs for young learners use rhyming schemes to build language skills. You’ll hear mine, nine, and Valentine as rhyming words.

You can sing this with small or large classes.  Here are the lyrics to the song.

3. I’m Your Friend words and music by Kathy Kampa

From Jump Jump Everyone CD

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.

.Here’s a video clip of one of my Magic Time classes in Tokyo singing “I’m Your Friend.” 

Try these variations!

 -Dance with a partner. Face a partner for the chorus. On the verses, hold hands and dance together around the circle.

-Stop and clap  during the counting section:  4-5-6 clap to one side; 7-8-9 clap to the other side

-Make small heart shapes with hands and big heart shapes with arms.

Need an art activity?

I love to add art activities to my Valentine’s Day lessons. Here are some fun ideas I’ve collected on Pinterest.

To find the songs in this post, check out my CDs Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays and Jump Jump Everyone.

Kathy Kampa's Special Days and Holidays
 Mimi CD cover 2015-10-12 at 1.04.43 AM
Celebrate Valentine's Day with these engaging activities for young learners

Kathy Kampa is a teacher, author, and teacher-trainer who specializes in working with young learners. As a former 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, the ELTon award-winning course Oxford Discover, and Beehive, all published by Oxford University Press.

Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with “The Turkey Dance!”

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Celebrate Thanksgiving with this lively song for children! This song is called “The Turkey Dance.” So use your imaginations and dance like . . . . turkeys!! Get a little silly and have a lot of fun!

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 that these are 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.

(You can add “Thank You” in any language you know.)

2. Now move your hips. (Imagine that this is your 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.

(You can add a “Thank You” in any language you know.)

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’s a video to show you the movements. 

For this wonderful “hoedown” song that children LOVE to dance to, download The Turkey Dance on iTunes! The arrangement is fun and lively.

And if you want to add an art project, check out Marnie’s blog, Carrots are Orange for some autumn Montessori activities focusing on turkeys. I especially like the Zentangle turkeys from Laura Hutchinson.

Have a wonderful day!

Kathy

Here’s a very short clip of my Magic Time students doing “The Turkey Dance.”

 

ms kampa 12-8

Kathy Kampa is a teacher, author, and teacher-trainer who specializes in working with young learners. As a former 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, the ELTon award-winning course Oxford Discover, and Beehive, all published by Oxford University Press.

 

Celebrate Thanksgiving with this silly song --The Turkey Dance! Gobble! Gobble!

Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns!

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Kids trick or treat on Halloween night.

Halloween is right around the corner! Children love dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, and participating in all the wonderful Halloween activities teachers prepare in the classroom.

Halloween is filled with magical changes. Children put on costumes, and “change into” a princess, Spiderman, a witch, a ghost, or a character from their favorite Disney movie. We see the magical change of pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.  

The concept of change is one of the “big ideas” we teach young learners. Babies grow and change. Bean seeds planted in the soil in little paper cups grow into bean plants. Caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies. Small pumpkins grow into big pumpkins and pumpkins turn into jack-o-lanterns!

Halloween is also a perfect time to teach new English words and the concept of change.  

The song “Pumpkin, Pumpkin” is a fun Halloween song to do! The children experience change:

-from a pumpkin to a jack-o-lantern

-from small to big

-from a quiet voice to a loud voice

-from tiny, high voice to big, low voice

-from sitting to standing

To begin, make two paper pumpkins — a small one and a large one. Each of the pumpkins should have two sides — one plain side, and one side with a face (jack-o-lantern).  This pattern by Shala on Pinterest is helpful. Show the students the plain side of the “small” pumpkin and say “pumpkin.” Then turn it around and say “jack-o-lantern.”  Once students know these two words, put them into this simple chant:

Jack-o-Lantern Chant by Kathleen Kampa

Pumpkin, pumpkin, (turn picture around) jack-o-lantern
Pumpkin, pumpkin, (turn picture around) jack-o-lantern
Pumpkin, pumpkin, (turn picture around) jack-o-lantern
Happy Halloween!

Now you’re ready to expand upon the language and sing the song “Pumpkin, Pumpkin.”

Use this slide show to teach the song. The lyrics and ideas for movements are below:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
(words adapted by Kathleen Kampa, music: traditional)

(Sit with students in a circle. Sing quietly.)

Pumpkin, pumpkin small and fat,
(With fingers, make the shape of a small pumpkin.)

Turn into a jack-o-lantern,
(Roll hands. Spread fingers out wide.)

Just like that!
(Tap two fingers on the palm of your hand as you say each word.)

(Sing the verse again!)

Spoken: Grow and grow and grow and grow
and grow and grow and grow and GROW!
(Slowly stand up while making a big pumpkin shape. Get louder!)

(Sing loudly.)

Pumpkin, pumpkin big and fat,
(While standing, make the shape of a big pumpkin with your whole body.)

Turn into a jack-o-lantern,
(Turn around. Jump into a big shape.)

JUST LIKE THAT!
(Clap and stamp on each word.)

(Sing the verse again!

Here’s a video of my Japanese students singing this song. 

Thanks to my dear friend Setsuko Toyama for creating this pdf of the song lyrics. 

“Pumpkin, Pumpkin” is one of many holiday songs featured on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays CD available on iTunes and Apple Music. Four more Halloween songs are featured, so check out recent the blog posts.

Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays

ms kampa 12-8

I have numerous activities saved on my Halloween Pinterest board.

Thanks to my dear friend Setsuko Toyama for creating this pdf of the song lyrics. 

Let me know how your children enjoy “Pumpkin, Pumpkin.”  Happy Teaching!

Kathy

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 (ELTon winner), and Beehive (published by Oxford University Press). She has been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for over 30 years. Kathy has composed educational music for Tokyo Shoseki and recorded songs for Learning World. She is active as a teacher trainer, inspiring teachers around the world. Kathy and her husband have 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 and subscribe to this blog at magictimekids.com. Her second album, Jump Jump Everyone, is available on iTunes and Apple Music.

Just in case you didn’t find enough goodies here, check out this video of Kathy teaching her Japanese students the song “Pumpkin, Pumpkin” without the recording. Enjoy!

Let’s Do the Skeleton Dance

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Skeleton Dance is definitely one of my students’ favorite songs! Why should you love it, too?

It teaches body parts.

It teaches directional movements.

It’s a great way to start your school day!

It’s an easy, energizing Brain Break.

It’s a perfect rainy day, get-your-wiggles-out song.!

It’s an effective activity for a health unit.

The song will stick in students’ heads.

It’s just what you need for your Halloween celebrations!

And you can invite parents to have fun dancing with their children!

The kids will ask for it again and again.

It’s so much fun!

Skeleton Dance is one of the first children’s songs that I wrote. And it’s certainly been requested over and over by children and teachers around the globe. I’ve taught Skeleton Dance to students in pre-kindergarten through junior high school. It was a favorite song with my online students from Ukraine. I’ve shared this song with teachers in America, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Mainland China, Indonesia, Mexico, Finland, and Turkey.

Kathy Kampa’s Skeleton Dance has been performed by many students around the world. You can watch some of my students in Japan doing the Skeleton Dance, and read the lyrics below:

Here’s how you do the Skeleton Dance:

In this song, students will move four different body parts: shoulders, elbows, knees, and feet.
First, students move their shoulders to the beat. Explore different ways of moving each of these body parts.

 Move your shoulders . . .
A. Skeleton, skeleton, skeleton dance,
Move your shoulders, do the skeleton dance.
Skeleton, skeleton, skeleton dance,
Move your shoulders, do the skeleton dance.

Next, students move their whole bodies to the front, to the back, and to the side. I usually start by moving only my arms, but my students love to jump in each direction.

B. To the front, to the back, to the side, side, side,
To the front, to the back, to the side, side, side,

Next, students move their shoulders up, down, and around. Each time they repeat the song, they will move a different body part in these directions. When I teach this, I point with my finger to show the directions.

C. Put your shoulders up. Put your shoulders down.
Move them up and down and all around.
Put your shoulders up. Put your shoulders down.
Move them up and down and all around.

Finally, students move their shoulders in their own way.

D. Shoulders dance . .ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch
Shoulders dance . .ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch

This dance is repeated with the following body parts.
Before I play the music, my students and I figure out how we’ll move up, down, and around using each of these body parts.

2. Move your elbows . . .
3. Move your knees . . .
4. Move your feet . . .

You can download this song from iTunes (Track #15).

I hope that your students enjoy this as much as mine do.

Kathy and her English students
Kathy’s songs were written especially for young learners. Each song focuses on popular classroom topics and invites children to use their imaginations. Songs also support the development of English language skills through repetition and simple melodies. Students love moving to Kathy’s songs!

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 (ELTon winner), and Beehive (published by Oxford University Press). She has been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for over 30 years. Kathy has composed educational music for Tokyo Shoseki and recorded songs for Learning World. She is active as a teacher trainer, inspiring teachers around the world. Kathy and her husband have 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

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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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!

Run, Run, Run!

happy kids , jumping
I teach very young learners. I love the energy that these students bring to my class!  The question is how to harness that energy productively.  This chant from Magic Time One 2nd edition (OUP) is perfect for very young learners.

In the lessons prior to this, students learned about various pets, such as cat, dog, rabbit, bird, turtle, and frog.  (Actually the artwork shows additional pets that the children find in the pictures). The four verbs in this lesson are jump, run, hop, fly.

First of all, students practice each of the four verbs–jump, run, hop, fly–standing in one place.  It’s also important for young learners to learn “Stop!”  It’s fun to make it a game by saying these verbs several times (Jump! Jump! Jump!), and then “Stop!”  You can do this with music by starting and stopping the music.  When my students, they love to make interesting poses, too.

Secondly, put these four words into the chant pattern.  I like to do this as a fingerplay sitting with the students.

For jump, place two fingers in your palm, then pretend to “jump.”

For run, make your fingers move quickly in your palm.

For hop, place one finger in your palm, then pretend to “hop.”

For fly, move your fingers in the air.

You can place the four picture cards in the order of the song like this.  Put the three verbs in one row, and run in another.

Jump           Hop                Fly

              Run

You can see in the video that my students matched the animals to the picture cards.

Run, Run, Run! from Magic Time One 2e Unit 10

Jump! Jump! Run, run, run!

Jump! Jump! Run, run, run!

Jump! Jump! Run, run, run!

Jump! Jump! Stop!

Change jump to hop.  Then change to fly.

Here’s a video of some of my very young learners performing this chant.

Students extend this language by putting it into the phrase, It can _______.  Students are then able to talk about all of the pets they’ve learned about.

Have fun!!!

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!

 

 

 

 

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!

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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.”

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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