Teaching Opposites with Actions, and Using Opposites to Sing!

February 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Teaching ESL Songs | 2 Comments
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I really like to teach opposites to children, because they are so useful and fun for the kids. When I teach them, I ask the students to stand up and we do them with actions. My current favorites are as follows:

Big/Small, Long/Short, Quiet/Loud, Happy/Sad, Slow/Fast

I usually start out with big/small and have the kids make a big circle above their heads for big, then crunch into a ball for small. For slow/fast first we start walking slowly, then speed up to fast. I think you get the picture. The students always enjoy doing these actions, and I feel they really learn the meaning of the words. You can follow up by drawing a big circle on the board, and a small circle. Ask the students,”Is this circle big or small?” Next I draw a happy face in one of the circles and ask, “Is this a happy or sad face?” This really ties the ideas together for the students.

Singing with Opposites

I spoke a bit in an earlier blog about singing with some opposites, loud and soft. Another way I use opposites while singing a familiar song is to say, “sing with a happy face, now sing with a sad face.” I have just started doing this, but it is really fun. Be creative and try things out, I think children are really creative and will enjoy trying out these new ideas with you. Happy Singing!



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  1. […] old. We were singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and I decided to combine some ideas from the opposites lessons. We were singing the song without a CD, a capella, and the first time through we sang it at a […]

  2. The book I wrote, We Go Together, is a very fun book for teaching kids to identify similarities between things. It is a great book for helping with literary skills and I also believe it will help develop creative thinking skills. Take a look on Barnes and Noble.


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