Jingle Bells

December 1, 2008 at 5:06 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching ESL Songs | Leave a comment
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santa1 Over on the Dream English site with the free Dream English Jingle Bells download there a bunch of teaching ideas for the song. This year I added a new downloadable and printable lyric sheet of the song. This should make it easier if you are teaching the song, and for older students you can make copies and practice reading the lyrics together! Check out the song here.

Learning from each other

Jingle Bells was the second free download I added to the site last year, and it was a big success. Teachers from all over the world emailed me, and told me their great ideas for teaching the song, and one teacher even sent me a video. After watching this video, I started using her idea of having the kids say the action twice after I sing it in the song like this, Me ” I can jump”  students ” jump, jump!” You can watch this in the video below, I think it is a great idea for small kids. It is this type of sharing ideas that led me to the current version of  Dream English, and although I give away a lot of free materials and songs, I have learned so much in return it has been more than worth the effort. To that end, I just added a Forums to the Dream English website, so please give it a visit, and share some of your knowledge with us.

And without further ado: Dream English Jingle Bells performed by students in Thailand. Thank you Shari for sharing this.

Santa Clipart provided by Webweaver.

The 1,2,3,Go! Method

January 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment
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Below is a video made by Shari, an English Teacher in Thailand. The kids are singing the Dream English Jingle Bells song. I think this video shows a good example of what I am talking about with pacing. For young learners of English Jingle Bells can be a difficult song. My idea in rearranging the song was to pace the song into three sections:

1. Repeating the Christmas Vocabulary- This is relatively easy as the kids simply repeat the words after me. You can see this well in the video.
2. Jingle Bells Lyrics- A little more difficult, the students have to memorize the words, and sing along. These kids did great!
3. Actions- A little relief from difficult vocabulary, the children can simply repeat the actions. I think it is very cute here how they repeat the action word twice, “Jump, jump!”

I think this song works well, and the pacing ideas behind it can be applied well to a class. Why not warm up your class with simply repeating some vocabulary. Once the kids are warmed up speaking English, try some longer phrases. Just as the kids are at the point of tiring, or getting restless, have them do some fun actions that they already know. This way they feel they are really understanding and participating in what is going on.

This cycle can be repeated with different songs, subjects, or activities within a class. Let’s call this, for fun, the 1,2,3, Go! method. If you apply the 1,2,3,Go! method to coloring in the letter A, it would look like this:

1. Introduce the colors of the crayons by having the kids repeat the names of the colors.
2. After they are ok with the color names, introduce a phrase like, “ I like blue.” This could take a few lessons with younger kids.
3. Go! Have the students start coloring. Certainly an activity they are familiar with.

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