Learning Through Song & Play

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montessori method in France
Learning Through Song
Learning Through Song

With the help of my teacher friends, we have developed a 1 hour learning English through song and play for ESL children in our village. So far we have 5 kids for one hour each week.

It is loosely based on the Montessori method, using the songs taught in kindergarten. Rhymes like: days of the week, months of the year and the alphabet jive. Songs like: Oh MacDonald, 10 little Monkeys, 5 Little Speckled Frogs, the Alphabet Song, Colours of the Rainbow and many more.

We start with introductions each day at circle time. I ask what the weather is like outside, what day it is and how the children are feeling. Pictures are displayed with the words relating to the picture clearly written underneath and the children point to their answer.

Next, we have a 15 minute hands on activity. This is the sensory portion of the hour. Using simple instructions we read, understand and learn an activity. Whenever the opportunity arrises we use tactile materials, using our hands to feel, as well as our eyes to see and we teach the children to follow directions.

Then we join together in song. Using YouTube videos, we interactively join in on hand movements and actions while singing well known nursery rhymes and children’s songs.

The last 15 minutes we read from our English story book library. A child is selected to pick out a book for me to read that may interest them. Hearing the written word aloud helps the children get familiar with the language. The books have beautiful pictures with large font to help the children match the words with the story being told.

The children go home with a worksheet each week, refreshing what they learned during the day. Each session, we build on the skills learned the week before and eventually the class will increase difficulty and the worksheets will progressively get harder.

Our children have grade 1-3 Canadian curriculum workbooks that we will be using.

This has also prompted some moms to want to improve their conversational English and we started an English coffee hour in the mornings after school drop off and also Tuesday evenings.

Now we are in to our second week and I wonder if there is anyone out there that may have some advice for us? Any crafty 15 minute activities that would help the children learn English? This particular group is with us for 14 hours and I am looking for fun things to do during 8 x 15 minute hands on sessions that are appropriate for 8 year kids.

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Eva Hamori
Our mission is to share our family's move to France, and now to Hungary, how to slow travel with kids, and give tips and ideas as to what works and what doesn't being an expat and a travelling family in Europe. Expat experts on an adventure!