The nature of the consecutive holidays in Silver Week had me back home from backpacking in the Iide mountain range in Yamagata prefecture late Wednesday night, and while Thursday came early, a two-day work week is much more manageable than a five-day one after some time off. More on my Silver Week adventures later, I’d love to share a highlight in my work and lesson planning which has me super excited. Today, I arrived at one of my elementary schools to find that I was responsible for 2nd period English class with my 1st and 2nd graders. With nothing but a stack of cardboard numbers as inspiration, I decided to make today’s lesson about numbers, 1-10, and basic body parts (head, arms, legs, eyes, nose, mouth.) My lesson plan went as follows:
1. Daily Greeting
- Hello, Good Morning, How are you?, I’m great, thanks!
- 1 – 10
- 10 – 1 (much harder than I thought it would be)
- 1 little, 2 little, 3 little Monsters (I remember when I learned this song, “monsters” was “indians,” but apparently America has become increasingly PC in the past twenty years and “indians” is no longer appropriate. Regardless, I prefer monsters, anyway.)
- The song I downloaded was a little fast, so I played it first, translated, we practiced several times at our own pace, then sang along to the song a couple times.
- Goal: getting the kids comfortable counting up and down, and to introduce the ‘fun’ aspect to the classroom. Goal reached successfully. (There’s nothing worse than a quiet, disinterested classroom.)
- Incidentally, iTunes really pulled through, and I now own 150 Children’s Songs for $9.99
4. Body Parts Review? Introduction?
- Head, Arms, Legs
- Eyes, Nose, Mouth
5. The Monster Drawing Game
- Split the class into 1st grade (4 students) and 2nd grade (4 students)
- I drew an example monster on the blackboard with: 2 heads, 3 arms, 1 leg, 6 eyes, 4 noses, 8 mouths.
- Had the first team come up, with each student drawing the body part and however many of it that I would say at the moment. Ditto with the second team.
- Had kiddos name their monsters
- Pointed to monster body part, had students say back to me the body part and how many of it there was.
- Goal: Basic body parts and saying numbers non-consecutively. Getting kids up and moving. Fun! Goals reached successfully.
6. What time is it, Mr. Monster?
- Essentially ‘Red Light, Green Light’
- Teacher and I showed class first
- Students move desks, all stand on one side of the room. Other student, or me first, stands at opposite side of room with back turned to kiddos
- Students ask “What time is it, Mr. Monster?” Mr. Monster says, “It’s 4 o’clock!” (Insert numbers 1-10 here.) Students take that many steps towards Mr. Monster. The person to reach Mr. Monster becomes the next Mr. Monster.
- Goal: Getting kids to conjure up numbers on their own. Simple English phrase repetition. Body movin’, body groovin’. Fun! Goals reached successfully!
7. Closing remarks
- Kids counted up and back for me, named body parts
- Everyone said “Thank you!” and I said, “You’re welcome! Goodbye”
- Everyone said “See you!”
Kids all seemed to have fun, lots of giggling, being super enthusiastic, and a little competitive. Japanese teacher commented on how interesting my lesson was and how fun it was to watch the students. Asked me for a CD of the Kid’s Songs to play in her class in the morning, as the thinks it will help with English Comprehension! Sunny outside, get to make curry and rice with the handicap class during 4th period and eat it for lunch, Welcome Party this evening at my Principal’s House. Today will be just fine.