Kindergarten. Surfing Safari, Level 1: Monkeying around

5th December for 7th December 2019 Super Safari 1 U 6, L 3 & 4 (pp. 50 – 51)

Today’s objective is to impose stronger classroom management and to introduce some new activities. The class has some new students, and it’s their first time in a classroom. Last week one of the new students was hard to control, running around the room, then drawing over the walls. Naturally, bad behaviour becomes contagious so it needs to be stopped … immediately.

From experience, I have seen that rewards work better than punishments; I shall make a chart and each week assign colour stars to each student based on their behaviour. Each week, the students will be able to see how they have performed.

Furthermore, I’d like to introduce a story section. At this age (mostly around 4), a very short story using basic vocabulary is sufficient. After I tell the story, I will repeat and the students can help me retell it.

Another change will be the games. I’ve tried ‘musical statues’ or ‘freeze’ but that hasn’t worked out so well. While some students stay still, others, mostly the boys, start doing an Irish jig or windmill impressions or forming fists and moving closer and closer to me. Hitting the teacher will be an instant BLACK MARK.

It can be frustrating getting a lesson started as students (or rather their parents) arrive up to fifteen minutes late and each new arrival diverts the attention of the class. Therefore, it’s good to start with a song, and YouTube has a vast selection of suitable material. Naturally, a song featuring ‘Hello’ is appropriate.

Image result for hello children

For example:

This can be played twice and the students can act out the emotions (I’m good, great, wonderful).

Next – a physical activity. Here we can use Teacher Says or Mike (the monkey) says:

Stand up // sit down // jump // hop // put your hands on your head // wave hello

Next – a review of last lesson’s new vocabulary (bird, rabbit, fish, cat). I’ll put the flashcards around the room. After, I’ll ask for two students to find a certain card (while making sure no other students jumps up and joins in). The student that finds it will hold it up and ask the class, “What is it ?”. I drill for “It’s a …” form of answer.

The students that haven’t participated yet can take part in the next activity. I will show them a card and they have to act or mime that animal, while the other students must shout out the name.

Next – story time. Our class puppet is Mike the monkey. Student can sit of front of the whiteboard.

They must ask, “Hello, Mike, how are you ?”

(the TAs’ help is invaluable here, as it is for the entire lesson. In fact, the TAs make the lesson work much more than I could ever do).

Mike says, “Today I am sad.”

Students ask, “Why are you sad, Mike ?”

Mike, “I don’t want to be a monkey.”

Students, “Why not, Mike ?”

Mike, “I want to fly like Polly.”

Yes, Polly can fly (mime flying).

Mike, “I want to be big and strong like Leo.”

Yes, Leo is big and strong.

Mike, “I am small. I want to be big like Gina.”

Yes, Gina is big. VERY big.

But Mike … you are very funny. Class … where is the ball ?

Mike is funny

Repeat story but give out masks to four of the students, so they can act Polly, Leo, Gina & Mike. Possibly most students will want to take part, so it can be re-enacted as required. Make sure students copy the actions and repeat key words.

Mike is now teacher …

Thay Mike. “Is the ball big or small ? What colour is it ? It’s a small red ball.

Excellent ! Now, what letter is this ?”

Excellent ! Letter ‘d’ … ‘d’ is for dog.

Image result for d o g with monkey

Hand out as many markers as possible and see how many students can write ‘dog’. Some students still write ‘d’ as a ‘b’. By the end of the block, I would like the students to be able to write some basic words.

Next – Thay Student: Choose a student and they will tell the class what to do, for example ‘sit down’, ‘stand up’, ‘jump’, ‘be Polly’, ‘be Leo.’

Next – letter writing practice. I have some great handouts from this website:

Each week, a different letter proceeded by a video. Today, letter ‘K’.

Image result for bounce patrol alphabet k

This should easily take us into, if not over break time (always good to have more planned) after which is book work and activity books.

Today’s new verbs are: fly, swim, jump and walk. Once the students have learnt the pronunciation, they can practice. Which of these animals can fly … swim .. ?

Image result for various animals

Finally, at the end of the two-hour lesson (which is challenging for both students and staff), we can unwind with some colouring, but even here, the teaching continues. The TAs and I go around the class and ask them informal questions about their drawing and the colours they use. Meanwhile, we play a song that features some key vocabulary and show an image that could inspire our budding artists and allows them to develop their innocent imagination.

Image result for chagall
Marc Chagall