What’s Your Name? Musical Chairs

February 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips: Games | Leave a comment

It’s really fun to come up with new games, and even more fun to try them out with your students. I was trying to think of ways to use the Dream English songs as games and I came up with this game which is great from 6 years old on up to adults:

What’s your name? Music Chairs

You may be familiar with the game musical chairs. In that game you have one less chair then people, so if you have 6 people playing you have 5 chairs. You play music, and when the music stops the players have to find a chair. With one less chair then people, one person can’t sit and they are out.

With What’s Your Name? Musical Chairs ask all your students to write their names on two pieces of paper. Put as many chairs as students and place one of the name cards on each chair. I actually played with a table so I put one set of name cards on the table.  You, the teacher, hold the other set of name cards.  Play the Free Download Dream English Song What’s Your Name? on your cd player and have the students walk around the chairs or table in a circle. I ask the students to sing along, and if they don’t they are automatically out. When you want, stop the song. The students have to either sit down on the closest chair to them, or in front of a name card on the table. Ask one student to pick a name card from your hand. Don’t let them see the names though. After the student has picked the card have all the other students ask “What’s your name?” The student who picked the card answers, for example, “My name is Matt”. Whoever is sitting on or by the name card Matt is out. Remember it is not necessarily the student named “Matt” who it out, but the one who is sitting on that name card. Continue until there is only one player left! They are the winner.

What I do to make it more fun is that when a player is out, they get to play stop on the CD player. I also let the players who are out pick the name cards. This keeps all the students involved in the game until the end.

I played this game with my 6-9 year olds today, and they asked to play it again 3 times! It’s simple but it helps with basic questions, getting to know one another and basic reading. Give it  a try, and let us know how it went! You can downlad What’s Your Name for free here! Have fun!

New Counting Song and Flashcards

January 5, 2009 at 5:37 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching ESL Songs, Teaching Tips: Games | Leave a comment
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onefish-icon So it’s a new year, and isn’t it nice to teach some new things? I actually wrote the One Fish Song at the end of last year, and have been using it lately in my classes. It teaches the counting of objects, in this case fish and cats.  I chose fish because the plural of fish is fish so it is an easy introduction. Next in the song we count cats. Cats has an s in the plural form so this is also a nice intro.

Free Flashcards too

If you have checked out the Dream English site lately, you have probably noticed that I am adding flashcards (as well as worksheets and coloring) so with this song you can download for free flashcards, a worksheet, coloring, and a game. So you can teach the vocab with the flashcards, sing the song, and then do some coloring or play a game. Sounds like a  lesson plan to me.

Connecting Songs

Now that there are more and more free songs and flashcards available from Dream English, you can begin to connect the songs. For example, today in a class with 1-3 year olds we did the One Fish Counting Song lesson, and the It’s a Dog Song lesson. These two songs go really well together since they both include animals. By the end of the lesson, the words were becoming very familiar to the kids. And how did we finish off the lesson? A book about dogs of course!

Combining Basic Questions and a Numbers lesson for 2- 3 year olds

March 14, 2008 at 7:16 am | Posted in Teaching Tips: Games | 4 Comments
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Today I had a fun class with students 2-3 years old. It was a small class, with four kids.

What’s your name baseball and putting numbers in order.

You can read about what’s your name baseball in my post here. Basically, I use flashcards to make a baseball diamond, and ask questions. When the students answer correctly, they can go to the next base. Today I played this game, then asked the students to sit down and close their eyes and count to ten. I already had the numbers 1-4 on the floor, so I distributed 6-10. Next I asked the students to pick up a few cards each and sit down again.

Finally, we put numbers 1-10 in order! This was a nice flow from one game to another, and it really kept the students attention. And of course we finished the lesson off with the free Dream English Numbers Song Download: Let’s count 1-10! Click here to check it out.

Easy Game: What’s Your Name? Baseball

February 1, 2008 at 11:42 am | Posted in Teaching Tips: Games | 1 Comment
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I came up with this idea when I was teaching sports vocabulary to a group of three year olds. I wanted to ask them simple questions, but couldn’t get them to sit still! So I tried this game, and have since used it with students from 2-6 years old.

The Game

Set up a small baseball diamond. I use number flaschards, but you can use anything. Have the kids start at the home plate, and ask them a question. I usually start with, “What’s Your Name?” When they answer correctly they can go to first base. If its a smaller class you can ask each student the questions individually. After all the students make it to first base, ask them another question, etc. until thy make it home.


So far I have only used this game with younger students, but it could easily be used with older students. Classes could be split into two teams with one team being the pitcher (asking the questions) and one team being the hitters (answering the questions). If you try this, please let me know how it goes!

Easy Ball Toss Game with Flashcards

January 21, 2008 at 4:29 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips: Games | Leave a comment
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Sometimes it can be hard to keep get young learners to sit still. They have a lot of energy! I use a really simple game to teach vocabulary: The Ball Toss Game.

All you need is a small basket, a ball, and some flashcards. Ask the students to sit down and put the basket a few feet in front of them. You can adjust the distance depending on their age. Simply show the flashcard to the students, and ask them to repeat after you. Once they say the word correctly, they win the opportunity to try and get a point by tossing the ball in the basket. Simple, but effective.

For older children: age 7-12

You can use the same game with older students, but instead of drilling vocabulary ask them basic questions. For example, ask them what color they like, where they live, etc. If they get the answer correctly, they can try to get the ball in the basket. Good luck!

Easy Flashcard Game

January 16, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips: Games | Leave a comment
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One game I use a lot is the Duck Game. This is really easy, and if you have fun with it, the kids love it. What I do is ask the kids to stand up, and start walking in place in a slow rhythm. Next, you take a set of flash cards and have one card that is the duck card. For example, if you are teaching animals you could have the Lion be the duck card. Tell the children that when they see that card to sit down, before the teacher can get them. With any game, be sure to make sure you have a safe area to play so the kids won’t hurt themselves when sitting down. Next, take the danger card and tell the kids to say “bye, bye”, and hide it among the other cards. Now have the kids walk in place, and repeat the names of the flash cards after you. When you get to the duck card, they should all sit down. Make it fun by building up anticipation in the kids. Say things like, ” Oh no, is the next one the Lion?”, and then really quickly pull out another card that is not the Lion. Simple things like that.


When I played this game with my students during Christmas time, we were using the Christmas flash cards from MES English. The elf was the duck card, but I told them when they saw the angel to spin around. You can add variations like that to make it more interesting.

If you are looking for some free flashcards to play this game, I recommend MES English. It is a great resource.

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