Teaching “I’m not….” to Young Learners with a Fun Action Song

In my new video and song, one of the lyrics is “I’m not scared.” This is a great phrase for kids to learn for their confidence, but it can also be easily changed to “I’m not hungry,” or “I’m not sad.” Very useful phrases in English! Have a look at the video, and read more below.

Teaching “I am” Phrases

So, how do we get students to use “not” effectively? First, we have to teach phrases with “I am.” For example, “I’m hungry, I’m happy, I’m sleepy.” If your students are not familiar with these phrases, check out the Feelings Song Here. 

Once your students are comfortable with the “I am” phrases, you could teach them the “I’m not scared” vocabulary from the above video. Then, show them the video. One effective way to show the difference is to say, “I’m scared” and act scared. Then, say “I’m  not scared, ” and act like that. Again, have a look at the video for how I act when I sing, “I’m not scared.”

Put it Together

Now that your students know the “I am” and the “I’m not….” ask them questions like, “Are you hungry?” The student should either answer, “I’m hungry,” or “I’m not hungry.” Go through the other feelings in the same way: happy, sad, sleepy, scared. You may have to do some modeling as a teacher to make sure your students understand the meaning.

Great job! You made it to the end of this blog post. Have a great day teaching!


Wild Animal Finger Family Song for Teaching English to Young Learners

I love songs that combine many different elements. The Finger Family song has vocabulary (animal names), question words (where?), and in my version it has actions!  More below the video:

How to teach the song

Start by introducing the animal names using flashcards, or other pictures. In this song we have a cheetah, a dolphin, a lion, a rabbit, and a crocodile. Next, teach the actions of the song : run, swim, roar, hop, and chomp (like  bite).

Next, put your hand to your eyes like you are looking for something and say, “Where?” You can use your students names, if you like. For example, ” Bob, where are you?” Now you have introduced all of the vocabulary in the video. Give the song a try and encourage your students to sing along. It might take a few tries before the students can sing, so be patient and sing along as well so the students can model after you.

Why singing is so important in English Class

Singing is a great way to practice pronunciation, rhythm, and sentence structure in English. Also, the repetitive nature of songs helps the students internalize the language of the song. Internalizing language leads to automatic use, or fluency. This is the goal! Let’s get our kids singing fluently in English. We can do it!

What’s In Your Bag? Classroom Items Song, Video and Game

School supplies are very important vocabulary for young learners of English (ESL, EFL).  It makes it much easier for a student to get a pencil from their bag, if they know what it is! So I have made a new, and a bit silly, video to introduce the vocabulary:

The video introduces the question, “What’s in your bag?” and an answer, “It’s my pencil, ” and other items like notebook, ruler, and eraser.

Tips for watching a video with students

This might go without saying, but I always watch the video with my students, do all of the actions and sing all the way through. Students will model after you, so even if you are putting on a video, it is not a time to sit and relax in class. (sorry!) These videos are designed with a second half that increases the speed of the song. This is great for fluency practice, and really getting your students to internalize the vocabulary!

What’s in your bag? Game

Materials: Bags (either students, or supply some kind of paper, or cloth bag). Students school supplies (pencil, eraser, ruler, etc.)

Ask the students to put one item in their bag, and make a partner. The students take turns asking and answering, like this:

Student 1: What’s in your bag?

Student 2: It’s my pencil. What’s in your bag?

Student 1: It’s my eraser.

Then, the students can play Rock, Scissors, Paper and move onto a new pair. Simple, but fun.

These are just a few ideas of my own.  I encourage you to be a creative teacher, and try out new game and classroom ideas to get the best out of your students!