Fun with Describing Wild Animals In the English Language Classroom

When I teach young learners English (ESL, EFL) I am always aiming to take them to the next level. For teachers familiar with the Dream English “What Do You See? Songs ” I am happy to share the fun new video that uses adjectives to describe the animals.

What Do You See? I See a Big Elephant

In the first Wild Animals Song we sing, “I see an elephant. ” In the new song we will learn, “I see a big elephant.” A simple next step that should have your students describing animals in no time! Check out the video:

Super Tip: Sing the song the whole way through with your students. The second time through increases fluency as it is faster in speed than the first time.

Now, let’s try the fun Tower Game again, and this time let’s use the phrases from this new song like, “I see a small mouse.” Happy teaching!

Music, Music, and more Music in the English Classroom

If you have not noticed, I am passionate about music! Every day I listen to jazz, bossa nova, rock, and maybe even a bit of classical. It has really been a pleasure of mine to create music for Dream English, and I thank you for listening.

Long Videos with More Songs

I have recently started to put together some longer videos that you can play like an album. These are great for at home, or in the classroom before  class or even during a writing activity. The more the students can hear (and sing) the language, the better. And the less as a teacher that you have to hit the play button, or search for a new video, the better. Right?

So without further ado, here is the newest Dream English Mini Album on YouTube Seven Silly Songs:

Happy singing!

Recycling Classroom Games for Quick Lesson Prep Time

When teaching young learners English, it is always a good idea to be prepared. Having an easy to follow lesson plan is really important in having a great class. I love to say to myself, “stick to the plan!” when in doubt of what to do next. With this in mind, having some fun and simple games you can use with a variety of topics is really important for a great class.

Example of a Favorite Game

One of our classroom favorite games is the Tower Game. For this game all that you need are some flashcards and paper cups. The children build up a tower with the cups and flashcards as they identify the object on the flashcard. You can read more about the Tower Game and how to play here. Or watch a video at the end of this post.

Recycling Games

One reason I love the Tower Game is because you can use it with any topic that you have flashcards for. Numbers, ABCs, animals, weather, really anything. You can also use question and answer phrases. For example, hold up a flashcard of a dog and say, “What do you see?” and the student has to answer in a full sentence, “I see a dog.” before they put the card on the cup to make the tower.

Having games like the Tower Game, or memory, or other fun games that you do not have to explain the rules every time you play is not only a time saver, but students will have immediate fun as they are comfortable with the rules of play after a few plays. Check out more fun Classroom Games at www.dreamenglish.com/kidsgames and Happy Teaching!

And here is a video I made many years ago demonstrating the Tower Game. Watch it for fun : )

 

Listening to Music Before Class with Young Learners of English

I teach children English (ESL, EFL), and I always play music on either the CD player or through YouTube before the class starts. Of course I always play songs with English singing. Sometimes I put on some nice folk or blues music, but most often I put on the songs we will be singing in class that day.

Top Five Reasons to Play Music Before Class Starts

  1. Playing music sets the mood for the class, and can make it a relaxed atmosphere.
  2. The students will hear the songs in English and remember that they are in an English class and they will be expected to speak in English.
  3. Reinforces the songs that the students are learning in class. Some students may even start singing along before class starts!
  4. When parents or teachers bring their children or students to the classroom, it lets them know that the teacher is prepared for an English lesson.
  5. Helps the teacher review the lyrics of the songs they will be singing in class. (Very important!)

Whatever songs you are singing in class, I recommend making a CD or a playlist to play at least 10 minutes before class starts.

Halloween is coming up soon and we are singing many Halloween songs in the class. So now I am starting out the class with the Dream English Kids Halloween Album you can now listen to for free on YouTube.

As you can tell, I love music! Add some more music to your class today to give it a boost!

Starting classes for young learners in a fun way: Simple Warm-Ups

I’ve been teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) for several years now, and sometimes at the very beginning of a class I still have to remind myself how to get the class started. Maybe it is a bit of nervousness in front of all the students looking forward to a fun class!

Simple Warm-Ups

I always go for the simple action warm-ups like, “clap your hands” or for younger students “clap, clap, clap.” While saying this I do the actions, and have the students repeat and do after me. There are so many of these; clap, wash your hands, shake your body, jump, brush your teeth, touch your nose, play basketball, play soccer. I could go on forever, and you can to with your great ideas and creativity. Then, I love to keep up the energy with a fun warm-up song like Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, or the new Colors Action Song:

Give some simple warm-ups a try in your English classes for young learners. These ideas are great from ages zero on up!

New Family Finger Halloween Action Song for ESL EFL Class

If you have not noticed already, I love action songs. I am an active person, and I truly believe that getting students moving in a classroom of young learners of a foreign language is really important! More below the video:

With that in mind, I made the Dream English style version of the popular nursery rhyme Family Finger Halloween version. Learn the Halloween vocabulary ghost, mummy, black cat, monster, and pumpkin in this fun song. Plus, do the actions: fly, walk, hop, run, spin. These kinds of songs are great for the beginning of class when our students have a lot of energy to get out. Make sure you have your students stand up and sing the song. Have them hold out their hand and shake it during the ” Here I am, here I am, how do you do?” part. The more action, the better. Here we go!

5 Fun Tips for Teaching Halloween to ESL and EFL Students

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Halloween can be really fun in the classroom! We always enjoy teaching the fun Halloween characters and vocabulary to our young learners of English. Here are 5 great ideas to get you started with your Halloween classes. More to come later!

  1. Teach the character names first-Start the first class of the Halloween season teaching all of the character names like bat, ghost, witch and more. For a link to a flashcard set of Halloween characters and matching chant audio of character names and songs to teach them go here.
  2. Use flashcards to teach the character names, and then play fun games. I recommend the simple tower game, this game is a bit of a challenge no matter what the age group, and has the element of surprise if the tower falls, so kids love it. Learn more about the Tower Game here.
  3. After students become familiar with the character vocabulary, choose some target language for the month. For Halloween, I love the “What do you see? I see a bat.” as a useful target phrase. Check out the “What Do You See?” Halloween song and matching free printable flashcards here.
  4. Sing lots of songs! I always spend the first 10-15 minutes of my classes singing songs with my students. These are great for warm-up, vocabulary practice, and the active movement is great for students. I recommend the new “Halloween Walk” Halloween song to get started. Check that out here.
  5. After introducing one Halloween song, try a few more that are appropriate for your students age and level. Check out all of the Free to listen to and download Dream English Halloween Songs here.

I hope these fun Halloween classroom ideas will help get you started! The Dream English songs are used in both young learner classrooms of English, and special needs classrooms. Give some a try, and happy singing!

Halloween Songs For Kids Learning English and Special Needs

Halloween can be so much fun in the classroom! I like to make October a super fun month and incorporate as many games, and songs as possible in the classes. Recently I’ve found that if I spend the first 20 minutes of class time singing songs, dancing, and playing active games then the rest of the class goes much smoother. This is especially important for younger students learning English from Ages 2-8 years olds.

With that in mind, I have gotten back to creating songs with more actions.  Here is an example of a new song that incorporates the following actions: walking, jumping, running, ducking, and knocking. Plus the song has favorite Halloween characters like a bat, ghost, and witch. Have a look at the song here: Halloween Walk Song

I recommend this song as a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit in your classroom! There are many more Halloween songs and teaching ideas at Dream English Halloween. So have a look and Happy Halloween!