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zensky's avatar

Trying not to interfere with my grade 2-3 year old mixed gender ESL class - I need ideas for songs, games and simple things to do with the ABC and more... help?

Asked by zensky (13294 points ) January 21st, 2012

I was never a teacher in a school and I don’t envy them. So this is not only for teachers, certainly not for ESL teachers alone – and especially not for Secondary school teachers only.

If you feel creative – if you’ve ever taken something away from a learning experience that you wish everyone could – here’s your chance to help my kids and I out a bit; think simple, fun and creative. Think toys, games, plasticene and play dough. Think pop-up books, wooden blocks, puppet socks and sesame street – think musically (I need some wooden blocks, too…) thinkfun

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12 Answers

jazmina88's avatar

songs : you are my sunshine
3 little fishes – Andrews sisters
YMCA ??

harple's avatar

Hoping I’m answering this right….

Good, repetative songs developing numbers (that I grew up with):
Ten green bottles
Ten in a bed

Nice phonics vids:
a-i
k-r
r-z (Personally I have an issue with their x in this but it’s always a trickly letter!)

Thinking about the traditional abc song, which way will you need to go with the z sound? (UK is zed, US is zee.)

gorillapaws's avatar

Storytelling is awesome, just be sure to do different voices, and not be afraid to act a little silly. It really engages their imagination, helps them focus on language, and gives them cues so they can interpret what’s going on.

cazzie's avatar

Felt boards were great combined with story telling, but that might be too young.. I remember playing with them when I was in kindergarden, but with the right interaction, I think older kids would have fun with it. http://threesneakybugs.wordpress.com/2008/03/23/making-a-felt-board/

We made sock puppets at home all the time. My family were crafters and always making things out of stuff we had on hand. A big box two of us could fit in, with a cut out ‘stage’ was always great fun.

I have a recipe for cold porcelain. It is a bit tricky to make because you have to heat it up on the stove, but you could make some batches and have some ready for the kids to use as moulding clay. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-Cold-Porcelain-Clay-air-dry-modelling/ It air dries. It can be coloured beforehand or painted. I’m not sure what sort of lesson could be taught with the clay, but it is fun to play with. The kids could make fridge magnets with it? You´d need to buy some small round magnets to glue to the back. They could make their initials in clay, perhaps?

I remember ripping tissue paper and gluing it to paper. When you overlapped the colours, they changed colour. You could give them a white base to glue on, and then give them the primary colours in tissue paper and show them how yellow and blue make green, etc… They could make really pretty collages with it.

Have fun. I don’t envy the teachers who do it every day. I don’t know where they get the energy, but I think it would be great fun to go in and help every now and then.

snowberry's avatar

I worked in a nursery for children of adult ESL students. We developed a routine that the kids grew to depend on, and love. Even though most of them didn’t speak English, they knew we always made the craft first, then we played with the kitchen toys, after that the blocks came out, and so on. Because of the age (preschool, most of them), the activities lasted no more than 15 minutes before we switched. The kids knew they had to clean up ALL the old toys before new ones came out. For storytime, the kids got to each pick out their own book (it was not a large class), They sat on the floor, and we read to them, and showed them the pictures in the books.

All of our children were Spanish speaking, so we made a point of learning a few essential words in Spanish. “No hitting” was at the top of that list. ; D

At one point in the day, we always sang “The Clean-Up Song”, which they loved. Here’s a nice one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b4gSs0KhIU
This way, on the few days when we were unable to show up for work, a subsitute could easily fill in, because the routine, the words for the song, etc. was all written down.

geeky_mama's avatar

@snowberry‘s advice is SO good. And the Youtube link provided will also lead you to good teaching tips for ESL 2–3 year olds

Things I did as an ESL teacher that worked and might also work for your kids:

1. Duck Duck Goose (in my region it’s called Duck Duck Grey Duck)
Lets them run and giggle..and after they had a little more language ability we made it into an adjective game.. where the kids would touch each person’s head and say: “Silly Duck….Happy Duck… Chilly Duck” and so on.

2. Memory Game
You can make them with any objects. They need to turn a card over, say the item under the card (I did fish, vegetables and fruits, vehicles—like car, motorcycle, bicycle) and match the picture to the same picture elsewhere. Teaches turn taking (good for pre-schoolers!) and teaches new words.

3. I made a “theme” each week. Like @snowberry we had a set routine to each lesson time..
a. warm-up (play a game or coloring—something we could do while kids straggled in)
b. introduce theme (usually I showed a collage of magazine pictures of the theme and they passed it around)
c. song/game about our theme
d. snack (we used this to switch gears from the high-energy game time and to practice our please/thank you vocabulary..it was always something as simple as a few goldfish crackers and a Dixie cup of water)
e. craft/art time (might be as simple as them coloring a picture of the theme with crayons)
f. “good-bye” circle & song

4. One last thought: ABC puzzles

At this age..it’s so much about free-play.. so perhaps having a bunch of alphabet puzzles available would be good..

Good Luck!

Sunny2's avatar

Just for fun, the Hokey Pokey.

zensky's avatar

Lurve the suggestions.

cazzie's avatar

If you are trying to help the kids learn words from a second language, colours and body parts or food are always a good idea.

snowberry's avatar

Yes, @cazzie I think that’s why kitchen toys were so loved by those kids. We’d play with the kids, and talk about the different foods, pretend to eat them, and so on. It was a great vocabulary builder.

linguaphile's avatar

Teach them sign language alphabets. Visual + Tactile + Auditory… can’t get better than that.

zensky's avatar

Like that!

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