Young Learners, Level 2: Group work and review.

21st August for 25th August 2019. Everybody Up 2, U 7 L2

This is an early morning class, and quite typical; one or two very good girls, one, possibly two good boys. The rest range from those who cannot speak without shouting at the top of their voices (the Vietnamese, bless them, are not the quietest nation on Earth), those who pay attention to anything save the lesson, and those who are so inactive and immobile as to be positively catatonic.

One way to counter this negativity is to make the lessons more kinetic, more active, though the size of the class and the dimensions of the room are not conducive to much activity. It is also important to realise that these are children, ‘forced’ to come to extra school on their weekend, and their motivation levels plummet from, “Please teach me English,” to “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn … I REALLY don’t give a damn.”

We recently had a project activity, cutting out and colouring a room. This proved quite successful, and even those who are permanently seated, chin in hand, yawning thick and fast, were engaged and doing something. So, today, I’m going to mix things up a little. We’ll start by rearranging the chairs into islands of four, as opposed to the traditional horseshoe arrangement.

Warm Up: A quick game. I’ll give each island a board and marker and I’ll review the last lesson, ‘time’. I’ll call out a time and the students have to write it, in figures. This can be extended to cover other lessons, including basic maths (to practise the use of the words ‘plus’, ‘minus’, ‘times’ and ‘divided by’. Also, for general knowledge, do they know any countries where English is spoken (as first language) ? What countries are there in Asia … Africa … South America ? Then look at this picture for 30 seconds. Write down what you remember. I’ll be listening for adjectives as well as nouns, and encourage the use of full sentences, e.g. I see a big white mirror, I see a small green cupboard etc.

Image result for bedroom in anime film

Now I’ll go straight into bookwork, subject ‘meals’. Here, I’ll follow a standard school lesson plan:

Show the four flashcards and review as a class, especially pronunciation, then pass them one by one around. First student (make sure said student is a top cat, or the activity goes down like a lead Zeppelin) takes the card, says the word, then passes to the next … after the third student has spoken, introduce a new card to the first student and so on.

Next, a run ‘n’ write. Two students must run to the board and write one of the new words. For the top cats, they can write two words, or even all four.

There are four pictures, but I prefer to say the words myself rather than play the audio (which is often a monotone, transatlantic drone). Students shout out (this class like shouting, to a fault !) the words.

Grammar structure – focus on the key sentence – have students repeat.

Book work, page 66. Elicit information about the pictures, just try to get the students speaking English as much as … Encourage them to ask each other. Use a top cat to start e.g. “What do you see in picture 2 ?”, “What are they doing here ?”, “What time is it in picture 3 ?” etc.

This should take us up to break time, with drilling and substituting pronouns, noticing how the verb changes i.e. I eat breakfast at 7:00, He eats breakfast at 7:00.

After break, in their gangs of four or threes, I’ve prepared an activity sheet; some questions, some things to do, some information to gather, something that requires the students to listen:

Everybody Up 2  Activity sheet

1) Write five buildings that you find in a city

2) Write three words that begin with th … / ch … / sh … / wh ….

3) On a clock, show:  10.15 / 2.30 /     quarter to five

4) Draw a picture of your bedroom. What do you have in your room ?

5) Tell me three things you like to do after school.

6) Draw a girl wearing a yellow hat, pink coat, green pants and blue boots.

7) Draw a bald man playing guitar wearing an orange jumper and black pants.

8) What does Teacher Paul like ? Write two things ?

9) What are the five senses ?

10) A doctor works in a hospital.    Write a sentence.

Where does a teacher work ? / Where does a cook work ?

11) Look at the picture: Which flag is which country ?

Brazil / South Korea / Canada / Egypt

12) What do you eat for breakfast ?  When do you eat Breakfast ?

13) What did Mr Mark eat for breakfast ? Did he like it ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crPVJ3CXs1g&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=20&t=0s

What words did he use ?  Can you smile like him ?

And then … work books, work sheets and the bell … and only two more classes !

Young Learners, Levels 3 & 2: Lesson outlines

For Saturday 6th July 2019. Everybody Up 3 (U 1, L 3); Everybody Up 2 (U 1, L2)

LEVEL 3

Unscramble and find

To review recent vocabulary, board the following:

ocprpno / toopat shicp / repepp / bagbcae / traew

Around the room stick some flash cards. In twos, students have to unscramble the word, then find the flashcard and stick it on the board, saying the word loudly and clearly. For the last one, there is no card, so the students will have to find some ‘traew’.

Word snap

Students put into small groups and given a board and marker. They have to write five items from the first lessons. They then ask another group, “Do you need (onion, carrot etc) ?”. The answer must be a sentence, “Yes, we do,” or, “No, we don’t.” The first team to guess all five items is the winner. For my class of 15, we can have four teams.

Vocabulary Review

From last week: Give me a word or phrase that means:

A lot, very much or many

Great

Two adverbs (HCM is hot / HCM is ___ hot)

A person who watches to make sure nothing bad happens

Run and write relay

Students, in teams, have to run to the board and write these words, one word per student. First student runs, writes then runs to the second student who has to be seated.

Vegetable or snack ?

Select a top student; that person becomes teacher and reads out various food items. Class must put hands up and say whether it’s a vegetable or a snack.

E.g. chocolate / carrot / potato / potato chips / soda / tomato / popcorn / corn / banana etc

Can change student-teacher. This also helps to break the usual teacher – student dynamic, and allows the students to spend more time speaking to each other in English.

After, we have a lot of prepared work today including a listening test and extended book work. Hopefully, there will be activities left over, for me to use in the next lesson.

LEVEL 2

This is a new class so I don’t know if it’s going to be good or a nightmare. In my experience, levels 1 & 2 are at least 50% classroom management and trying to control the students; the teaching is incidental and slipped in between shouting at students to sit down, stop talking, stop fighting etc …

Board: He is = he’s / She is = She’s / It is = It’s

Key text – emotions – excited / bored / sick / tired

Warm up: Mingle – get the students to walk around and ask each other their names:

“What’s your name ?” “My name is …. ” or “I’m ……”

Review: Flashcards from previous lesson.

Show a card and ask the students if they are … happy, sad, hungry etc. Answer to be in a sentence (“Yes, I am”, “No, I’m not”).

Run ‘n’ write: Show a card and say, “I am …” Students, in teams, one against each other, must write on the board, then slap the board and say the word loudly.

Pre – teach: Yes, he is / No, she isn’t

Using the same Lesson 1 flashcards, ask question, eliciting either a positive or negative answer which has to be in the above form, not simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Book Work: Introduce new vocabulary

Sticky Ball

Quick, kinetic game. Put various flashcards on the board and the students, in two teams, have to aim for the correct picture, one team telling the other, thus encouraging more inter-student communication.

Charades. Select some top students. Show them an emotion flashcard, and they have to act it.

Book work, song and work book. Prepare handouts for fast finishers.

Young Learners, Level 2: What a wonderful world

31st May for 1st June 2019

Any excuse to play Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yCcXgbKrE

Here, I’m using the lyric sheet version. I can stop the video at various points and ask the students if they understand. Any new words will be boarded and, at a given time, the students will be told to write the words down.

This is a musical introduction to today’s lesson, which aims to expand their knowledge and awareness of other countries and cultures. The four countries chosen are represented by these people:

I shall put these together on a Powerpoint or slide and the students have to line up and throw a sticky ball at the person representing a specific country. My class enjoy getting up, mooching around and throwing things, so may as well incorporate their behaviour into an activity. Kill two birds with one sticky ball.

The students will be put into small groups and their task is find information about their given country, which will be posted around the room. To avoid chaos (as far as possible, these are young Vietnamese students and chaos goes, as they say, with the territory), one person per group will be responsible for gathering one piece of information.

But first, a review of how to tell the time (using ‘quarter past’, ‘half-past’, ‘quarter to’.)

When it’s 16.30 or 4.30 pm in HCM, what time is it in Brasil ? (6.30 am)

At 16.15, what are people doing in Toronto, Canada ? (5.15 am)

At 16.45 in HCM, what will people in Egypt be doing ? (11.45 am)

When it’s 17.00 or 5.00 pm in HCM, people in South Korea will be … what (at 19.00 or 7.oo pm)

The task is to get information about their countries, such as capital city, population, type of food, why it is famous and the weather.

They will then, under supervision, be allowed to choose images online to enhance their presentation.

This helps with their writing and speaking skills, as well as helping them work together as a team, each person with a specific role.

Now, for some more fun, what country is this song about ? We could make it into a musical statues games, as well, but the students have to walk in a certain way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv6tuzHUuuk

We can also board the adjective form (Canada = Canadian, Korea = Korean etc)

To review rooms of the house, the students can tell me about these pictures: I’m looking for the country, what the subject is doing, what they look like … try to develop their story-telling skills.

Next up, a quick summary: Where would they most like to live and why ?

What is different from Vietnam ?

Can they guess where this food is from ?

Now, to learn a little about history, here’s a kids’ video about Ancient Egypt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hra0ge-m7uk

Again, this can be used to introduce new words (‘huge’ occurs twice) ‘Pharaoh’ and the expression ‘for that reason’.

And then … time for book work but before that, a quick game … looking at the world map … what country begins with …. ‘A’ ? Then ‘B’, etc

Young Learners, Level 2: Focus on Sweden

17th May 2019

Lesson plan for Saturday afternoon, 18th.

Recent lessons have introduced items of clothing, furniture and being healthy so, as a way of introducing the students to new cultures, today we can look at life in Sweden – Välkommen

First, a short introduction (we can end the video around 1:30 at the coffee shop): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMphA2kldT0

Board new words, then allow (or force) students to write them down and reuse throughout the lesson.

Sweden is home to many global companies including Spotify, H&M, IKEA, Volvo, and Skype was co-founded by a Swede. There are branches of H&M in HCM City, but Swedes need much warmer clothing:

The students, placed into two teams, can run to the board and write items of clothing, one team member, one word, then exchange the pen with another team-mate. They can also write other items, not shown in the picture. Bonus points for those who can give the most detailed descriptions e.g. she wears a lovely purple coat (at this level, the students just use present and past simple, no continuous verbs).

Next, what are these buildings and who works there ?

Moving onto IKEA. What items of furniture can the students identify ? Which would they like – they have to select what they would buy for their home. They may choose different colours:

The Swedes are famous for their healthy lifestyle. What makes people healthy ? Here, I encourage, or demand, sentences, not just single words shouted out. To make it more kinetic, I can select some students and give them an activity to mime, such as exercise, eating healthy food and getting enough sleep. The students can be asked what food is healthy ? This leads into the next and final section, Swedish food:

Swedish meatballs, potato & berry sauce
Sill (herring) and fresh vegetables
Selection of different types of sill (herring) in different sauces
Cheese, Swedish caviar and crispbread (knäckebröd)
Midsommar (Mid summer) smorgasbord
Semla – as delicious as it looks … but is it healthy ?

After this cultural trip to north Europe, it’s time to get back to spelling tests, unit work and bookwork.

Hopefully, the students will have learnt something about a different culture, a country where English is not the mother tongue, but is widely spoken, and taught from an early age. In face, many Swedish singers even sing in English; here’s an example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OwPHD61Y3s

Abba – Sweden’s most famous musical group.

Young Learners, level 2: Hello Dolly, this is Louis …

26th April 2019

A lesson plan for a very active, very loud young learners’ class. They are certainly a handful, but they are good at English; there is simply no way to control them for two hours. Just have to use their energy and make very kinetic lesson plans to keep the class occupied.

After break, we focus on book work and workbooks (though some students complete these at home, and I’m faced with ‘Teacher, finished !’). I insist on fast – finishers to say ‘Dear Teacher, I believe I have finished,’ while having a stack of worksheets at hand so they have something fun but educational to do while I check individual work.

This is for tomorrow afternoon:

Warm-up: Magic Bag. I’ll pretend to have various items of clothing in my bag. I’ll mime putting them on and the students have to shout out the answer. This reviews vocabulary from a previous unit.

Yes / No game. Can be very fun – I just ask the students questions and they have to answer within five seconds BUT are not allowed to say ‘yes’, ‘no’, shake or nod their heads and make any other yes/no word (yeah, naw etc).

Hello Dolly. For fun, and to expose them to some REAL music, they can listen to Louis Armstrong and try to imitate his unique voice. Points for the best version (s):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7N2wssse14

Run ‘n’ Write. The last weeks have focused on rooms in the house. I will ask in what room do we …

sleep

cook

watch TV

wash

Then, with the class in two or three teams, one member must run to the board and write the correct room. It can be made lively by assigned a colour marker to each team and hiding them around the room, or even outside the classroom (though security probably won’t care much for that).

Who has what ? Here I choose six students and give each a flash card which they show quickly to the class, then hide behind their backs. The class must answer but using the correct form of ‘to have’, i.e. He has a sofa, she has a computer. This is a fun memory game but also drills the third-person verb form.

Picture Description. I’ll show a picture and ask the class to tell me what they see, especially asking about relative positions, looking for ‘next to’, ‘behind’ and ‘in front of’. This is from the famous toy shop, Hamleys, in London.

Vocabulary boost. A quick game to review some recent words and their antonyms. I’ll board these words, the students have to write the opposite. For this, I’ll hand out small writing boards and they can work in small teams.

clean

quiet

polite

friendly

The class probably won’t know the last two, so it’s a chance to show how we form opposite words. I can follow this up by asking the opposite of happy, well, tidy etc.

Student Survey. These are a great way to get the students talking to each other. I prepare a short questionnaire, and they have to ask three other students the questions. These are based on today’s lesson of counting, and recycled vocabulary.

How many …. do you have ?

pens / books / brothers / sisters / pets / computers

After that, it’ll be break time, then book work … and then my day will be over !