« Heard Any Great Poetry Lately? | Main | Where Words Come From »

April 11, 2010

ESL Sing-alongs And Other Activities For Children

I've only worked with little kids a few times in the world of ESL; the usual short-term language camps or summer programs.

Generally the pay isn't the best, you don't always get the most respect from other teachers....

....but it is almost always much more fun!

Most kids have a lot of energy and are almost always willing to try new things.

If you are good at leading singing - or have a teaching partner that is - you can have a great time and the kids will never forget their lessons.

One good place to start is with the alphabet. English has only 26 letters, so it was easy to come up with a simple easy sing-along version to help kids learn and memorize the English alphabet. You can see a fun (and visual) version here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XEN4vtH4Ic&feature=fvw.

One song the kids will enjoy acting out is Eensey Weensey Spider, you can see a Youtube version here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQZNBkdxCMY&feature=channel.

Old MacDonald had a farm is a classic children's song - and be prepared for all kinds of animal sounds from your kids. This song common and easy to memorize (or improvise). You can see a Youtube version here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_z6zyAe98M&feature=related

London Bridge is falling down is another high activity song. You need a big space, in fact it might be best to do this one outside. You can get the general idea here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3u6FD019_M&feature=related

Hush, little baby is a song I used to sing to, and with, my daughter. It is a soothing song and might be best used as a final song before a rest time or the end of the day. I've seen two good versions of this song, one here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySFmgEBC-tg&feature=channel and one here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySFmgEBC-tg&feature=related.

If you check out the Youtube sidebar, you will see many more related songs and activities.

I'm sure there are many other useful and enjoyable websites out there as well.

Little kids will enjoy their class time - and their time together - much more if they can sing and move together.

Sometimes I think adult students would learn much better if we could sing and move together too!

We are all always learning. And we, as well as the world around us, are always changing. And we never know what stray novel, song, poem or short story might shed some light on a situation or make us wonder or be thankful for the life we have.

It is always more fun to learn together, so let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foreign foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at April 11, 2010 12:04 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Informative article. Looking forward to more.

Posted by: Elisha Swaby at June 19, 2010 08:51 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)