Hip with the Kids: Fun in the English Classroom

As Program Directors, one of our main responsibilities is to teach English. At the Manna Centro in Ecuador, we offer English classes from the most basic level for kids all the way to advanced conversational classes for adults. For many of us, this is our first experience teaching, and I for one am loving it!

I'm "Profe," "Teacher" and "Señorita" to 18 adorable kids ranging in age from 5 to 10 years old. We meet for 90 minutes twice a week, and our classroom is an equal exchange learning environment. They're forgiving of my developing Spanish and get crazy excited when they know random words in English that weren't on the lesson plan.

Above all, my kids are always excited to come to class and are extremely energetic! Their preferred method of learning, of course, is through games and interactive activities. This is great fun for me as well, so I thought I would share some of my class' favorites.

Rojo, Verde, Amarillo (Red Light, Green Light)
Have the kids all line up and instruct them to run forward on green/verde, stop on red/rojo, and dance on yellow/amarillo. Do the first round in Spanish and then the rest in English so they learn the colors. But make sure to play this on a big open space, because they sure do love to run!

Rojo, Verde, Amarillo (Red Light, Green Light) in Ecuador

New blog from Ecuador | Hip with the Kids: Fun in the English Classroom http://www.mannaproject.org/ecuadorblog/fun-in-english

Posted by Manna Project International on Friday, October 9, 2015

Matamoscas (Flyswatter)
This is a great activity for reviewing vocabulary words. The kids especially enjoy the competition! Have them form two teams and let them pick their group's name. Have vocabulary words written out on the board. Have one person from each team come up, one at a time, and say one of the words in Spanish and have them slap the correct translation with a flyswatter. Whoever slaps first earns their team a point!

Beanie Baby Drop
The kids go crazy over this one! It is ideal for learning colors and numbers. Have a bucket of Beanie Babies (or stuffed animals or other small toys) at the ready. Have kids form a circle and drop a handful of the Beanie Babies on the floor. The kids have to count the quantity dropped in English and also identify the colors of each animal. Then, add to or subtract from the pile. They get really into it and also love to pick them up for you at the end.

My kids love to sing. We learned the alphabet by singing the song about 5 times in a row one class because they just didn't want to stop. This is great not only for participation, but you can slow down the song to work on pronunciation and then speed it up later on. Another classroom musical hit is the classic, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." Follow that with a couple rounds of Simon Says, and you've got body parts covered.

My kids also love to suggest their own games to me, and we love to play them as well! I try to have one each class so that they're engaged and having fun.

Do you have a favorite game you play in class? Let us know!