Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Ōnaro Shougakkou - Class Summaries

Here is a summary of the lessons I did this morning. Every lesson started with a greeting: "How are you?" > "I'm fine, and you?", so there is no need to mention that.

Period: 2
Grades: 1-2 (6-8 year olds)
Number of students: 6


Activity 1: Song: Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Unlike yesterday, only three of the six students knew this song. But it was easy enough to teach E-I-E-I-O after introducing the animals and their sounds.

Activity 2: Song: B-I-N-G-O
We sang through it. Even though the same students who didn't know Old MacDonald also didn't know this song, it was easy enough with such a small class to teach them and get them to clap.

Activity 3: Game: Bingo
We played animal bingo. Probably the highlight of the lesson. I gave stickers to the winners in each of the two rounds we did.

Introducing the animals and their sounds and singing through the song took quite a while. Never assume that kids know something. I also want to try and reduce the amount of Japanese that I use. I need to use more gestures and actions and to let the pictures speak for themselves a lot more.


Period: 3
Grades: 5-6 (10-12 year olds)
Number of students: 10

Countries; the body (revision).

Activity 1: Body parts review
After the initial greeting we reviewed body parts for a while and tested that the students could listen and respond. The teacher says a body part and the students have to place their hand (or hands) on it as fast as possible*.

* Another suggestion for this is to just play Simon Says, but if students don't know the game, it can be difficult to explain it without using Japanese.

Activity 2: "I want to go to..."
The teacher put up pictures of flags and we reviewed country names in English. We then had the students suggest things in the nine countries that were on the board: landmarks, food etc. The target sentences were introduced: "I want to go to to..."; "I like..."; and "I want to see...". Each student chose a country and after some practice they used the target sentences.

Not a very exciting lesson. We could have had more fun with reviewing body parts and the country exercise could have been a bit more interactive. The teacher chose to not use Eigo Note 2; the lesson was simply based on the section on countries. Things could have been done differently, but at least the students got to practise talking about foreign countries.


Period: 4
Grades: 3-4 (8-10 year olds)
Number of students: 8


We reviewed the numbers 1-10 and then clapped through them a few times, starting out slow and getting faster.

Activity 1: Body Numbers
The students divided into their respective red and white teams*. I used my number playing cards to randomly select one number at a time and the groups tried to make each number on the ground using just their bodies. Everyone had to participate. I gave stickers to the members of the winning team.

* Japanese schools have their students divided up into a red team and a white team (akagumi and shirogumi), kinda like how we have houses. This makes splitting the class very easy, as you just need to ask them to get into their prearranged teams.

Activity 2: Memory Game
I gave the numbers 0-10 to the 3rd grade students and the numbers 11-20 to the 4th grade students. The cards were shuffled and spread out face down. Each student took turns to flip two cards to try and match the numbers. Each time someone got a pair, they held onto it and it moved onto the next person. At the end, total pairs are tallied and the person with the most is the winner. I gave a sticker to the winner in each group.

The body numbers game is great fun and can be used in just about any sized group. Children love competing against each other and it is interactive and engaging. The memory game is easy to implement, as most kids know how to play instinctively. It works a bit better when you have more cards (and more kids!). This lesson went well.

So, yet another recap. It helps to reflect on the lessons that I'm involved with and to see how I can improve.



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