Tips and lesson ideas specifically for ALTs visiting Kindergarten.
- The goal should be to have fun. Don't worry too much about what you are teaching.
- Lessons should be mostly songs and games.
- Laminate any paper materials you plan to use more than once.
- Don't expect too much from the kids. Only introduce a few words or phrases at a time.
- Repetition is key. You will get bored way before the kids. Remember it's about the kids.
- Take your time.
Lessons should be about 30 minutes long and reuse a small set of vocabulary or phrases. Warm up with a quick game from the previous lesson or simple TPR. Finish with a thank you, a high five for everyone and a big goodbye.
Your first time interacting with a group, possibly in front of many different age groups. Hopefully you can do your introduction in simple Japanese or have a teacher who can help translate. Without any kind of question/answer interaction, this will be over quickly.
- Say hello/good morning/whatever. Practice with kids in a big voice, quiet voice, fast, slow.
- Say your name. Practice with kids.
- Tell them where you are from. Tell them people speak English there. Ask if anyone knows any English. Tell them you are practicing Japanese.
- Show pictures of your family, pets, favorite foods etc. Things that young children can relate to. Take your time with each picture e.g. get them to repeat a name, ask if they have brothers too, ask if they have eaten your favorite food.
- If there is time to kill do a very easy to understand game or song. Like TPR using "hello, goodbye, sit down, stand up".
- Finish by teaching them goodbye and giving each kid a handshake or high-five.
Hello, good morning, goodbye, goodnight, etc.
- Teach words using gestures in Greeting Gestures.
- Play the Hello Circle Game but only use simple greetings when pulling people into the circle.
- Play Hello Goodbye and get them to do the gestures for hello and goodbye. (Need song and something to play it on.)
What's your name? My name is ~.
- Teach The "What's Your Name" Song. You can do it without the music if you're really genki.
- Hello Circle Game.
- If you have music to pause, play Musical Circles or Meet and Greet Your Neighbor.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Print out pictures of your favorite animals and introduce them to the class. Once they have the words down have them "walk" like an animal. e.g. Walk like a penguin! Walk like a lion! Bonus points for animal sounds.
Gestures can communicate all of the basic emotions. Hot: fan yourself; Cold: rub your arms; Happy: spread your arms wide, jump and smile; Sad: pretend to cry; Tired: Give an exaggerated yawn
Printing and laminating cards will go a long way. You can use these cards for many levels and schools. Have the kids practice the numbers chorally. Have them repeat twice 1 - 1 then three times fast 1,1,1. Kids love small twists like repeating the same thing loud then quiet. Be sure the change the order of the numbers, so kids can recall the number instead of learning to recall a specific order. This is similar to when people learn the days of the week. To recall Wednesday, they need to go Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, ahh Wednesday.
Duck, Duck, Goose!
A group of players sit in a circle, facing inward, while another player, the "picker" (a.k.a. the "fox"), (some young children call the "picker" the "ducker") walks around tapping or pointing to each player in turn, calling each a "duck" until finally picking one to be a "goose"
The "goose" then rises and chases and tries to tag the "picker", while the "picker" tries to return to and sit where the "goose" had been sitting.
If the picker succeeds, the "goose" is now the new picker and the process begins again. If the "goose" succeeds in tagging the picker, the "goose" may return to sit in the previous spot and the "picker" resumes the process.