[Lesson Plans] Back-up ideas (for when even One Direction just isn’t enough)
This week was right before break, and like the last time I had class before vacation, even the students who are usually well-behaved were a little rowdy. I went in with a couple of different lesson plans and mostly ended up just combining some games to practice the names of body parts.
Last week a lot of students had asked me if we could do more songs; anyone who’s heard me sing will tell you that it’s…interesting but not necessarily something that I should do in public. My original lesson plan involved trying to help students focus on their best qualities by:
- Looking at some of the lyrics to a One Direction song and
- Then having the students tell me 1-3 things that they liked about themselves.
Cheesy, I know, but in an earlier class we’d had some students make remarks that made me want to do a lesson where students focused on the positives about themselves.
It worked really well with a group of 4emes I had; some of them knew a few of the lines already and we were able to talk about what the lyrics meant. They each told me three things they liked about themselves and they even told me I was fun, so I thought it was pretty successful!
Apparently, though, while the 3emes and 4emes love One Direction, the 5emes and 6emes seem to hate them (even though I’m pretty sure I remember them telling me a few weeks ago that they like them…). It was weird. Luckily I happened to have “Colors of the Wind” on my computer, so I asked the class whether they preferred One Direction or Disney and they chose Disney, so we watched the song and then talked about some of the lyrics.
Most of the classes, however, who are usually really well-behaved and great, ended up being kind of off the walls. I finally just ended up playing games and doing songs with them to focus on the names of body parts:
- I’d start off by asking what they’re doing for vacation (a lot of Playstation and sleeping!).
- They already knew “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” so I’d have them show it to me once; it was neat to have them be able to show the song to me, instead of me doing the “teaching” all the time.
- Then we’d do the Hokey Pokey to practice “left” vs. “right” and “arm” vs. “leg.”
- We’d play telephone or do Hangman, and I’d use that as a way to review the names of body parts again.
Usually my lessons end up taking up the full half hour, so I haven’t really used most of these, but here’s a list of back-up ideas that I have jotted down just in case:
- Telephone: I’d start explaining (with a lot of gesturing) that I’d say something to one student, and that student would repeat it to the next, and so on. They’d usually catch on pretty quickly (apparently it’s called “telephone arabe” here…). I’d start with a phrase that I wanted them to learn (like “have a great vacation”) and then have them try. I would ask them to make a sentence or say a question so that we didn’t end up with one- or two-word phrases.
- “Reverse taboo”: I had names of holidays written down on sheets of paper and would give one to a student, who would try to describe the holiday and have other students guess what it is.
- Simon says: Also called “Jacques a dit” in French. Again, I’d usually start by giving the commands and then have them take turns telling the rest of the class what to do.
- Hangman: I once had to play hangman with students for an hour, which meant I had to start thinking of ways to get creative about it. I definitely used it to review body parts, but I’d also ask students to make a question or tell them they had to make a long sentence. They’d sometimes seem surprised that they had to do it in English, which was hilarious.