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!

Teaching Big, Small, Fast, and Slow to Young Learners of English in a Fun Way

Fun should be at the heart of your English class, right? Well, there should be times when we get serious, but I try to have as much fun as possible with young English learners (ESL, EFL). I often start the classes with a simple warm-up song or two and opposites are great for this! More below the video:

Big and Small

It is really easy to teach the concept of big and small with our bodies. Simply make your body big and say in a loud voice “big!” then make your body small and say, “small.” You can see examples of me doing this in the video above. Next, you could point to some images and ask the students, “Is it big, or is it small?” I like to use easy to recognize images like elephants and mice.

Fast and Slow

In the same way that we used our bodies for big and small, we can teach fast and slow. Run quickly in place and say “fast!” then move your body very slowly and say “slow.” It is fun to go back and forth between fast and slow, students love this!

These are just simple ideas to get you started. Have fun with it! In the video above there are three songs teaching these target words. So practice with your students, watch the videos, and sing along. The students will learn the concepts in no time!

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!