Group 4 (9-11 year olds)
THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS CYCLE ARE:
That students are responsible for the execution and maintenance of the structural rituals of the class
That students demonstrate full understanding of the specific references of each pronoun
That students choose to actively take advantage of the participation and production spaces in the language
WE SUGGEST YOU CHECK THE EVIDENCES WITH WHICH YOU WILL OBSERVE IF YOUR STUDENTS HAVE ACHIEVED THESE OBJECTIVES
My class is 25 to 30 minutes long!
Remember that if your periods are shorter than 50 minutes, you can try out these shorter plans!
1. STARTING SONG
As usual, we will begin the class with the starting song.
We suggest you let the kids start this activity by themselves, even with a bit more autonomy than in previous cycles. Once you see they’ve started singing and dancing, you can join the fun.
If the kids are concentrated, we propose a few activities that will help you manage the energy of the group.
Ask the children to get in pairs.
One of them will be the dancer and the other will be the mirror.
The idea is that the dancer moves freely to the rhythm of the starting song and the mirror has to imitate the dancer’s moves.
You can tell the children to switch roles halfway through the song so that they all get to act as dancers and as mirrors.
FOUR WORDS EACH
In a circle, start the song by singing the first four words.
The student sitting by your side should sing the following four words, and the next student the four words after that, and so on.
The idea is that the kids listen and pay attention to the words they have to sing out loud.
They win the game if they manage to sing the whole song in this manner!
If the kids are euphoric, we propose a few activities that will help you manage the energy of the group.
Open your hand and raise it as high as you can. While your hand is up and the starting song is playing, sing the lyrics in a loud volume and encourage the kids to do the same.
Then, as your hand goes down, slowly lower the volume making them understand they should lower the volume too. Once they understood the game, play with the volume of the kids singing of the starting song with the use of your hand.
*you can use this resource anytime to adjust the volume of the class by raising or lowering your hand.
Choose a few of the words that are repeated during the starting song, for example “room” “English” and “Vivadí”.
When the children listen to these words they should switch places with another student or just move to another place in the classroom.
This activity will require an active listening of the song, which will help with the general concentration of the group.
Tell the children to sit in four separate groups. During the starting song, you will be an orchestra director. This means that you decide which group has to sing in different parts of the song.
So, you will point at the group that has to sing and the others will have to remain silent until they are pointed at.
In the first class of Oak cycle, the common thread is to be carried out after popcorn time. In the classes to follow, you can use it as soon as the class begins.
In this stage, we will “call out” a character who will guide the children through the rest of the activities of Kapok Tree. This way, the children will be able to relate with the character, and the cycle itself will become more meaningful to them.
*This character should be selected from the Popcorn Time video “cast”.
The “calling of the character” should be a fun event for students. We suggest you create expectations and generate intrigue in the students to know who is coming. This way, the children will be more engaged with the class activities.
For this activity, the children should choose one of the characters from the video in Popcorn Time. Then you have two options:
From the flashcards that we provide, use the one that corresponds to the object of the character you chose.
*You will find all the characters’ objects in color or black and white version. You can either print them or use the playlist of the corresponding character to guide the class.
You can use a real object that relates to the chosen character.
*For example, if you chose the female football player, the object could be a ball.
Paste or place the object that corresponds to the chosen character in some corner of the classroom and relate to it when the character appears in the story or ask the children about their thoughts on the character, what they like or don’t like about it, or anything that relates to it to make it the protagonist of the class.
In Kapok Tree we should expect that the children contribute to the class’ atmosphere, which is why they should take an active role in the common thread guidance.
For this purpose, you will assign one student for each activity with the role of “HELPER”.
The main task of the HELPER is to assist in the explanation and development of the activity he or she was chosen for.
* You can print this TAG and have the HELPER wear it in his turn.
*Tip: use this opportunity to emphasize on the pronouns when you call or refer to the different characters.
For example, if the chosen character is the female football player, make sure to emphasize when you use “SHE” or “HER”
After the starting song, you will introduce the narrative moment.
In this cycle, we will always begin with the narrative. We will be constantly referring back to it in our activities. When reading them, make sure you use your body language so that the meaning is clear.
The narrative will always be followed by a simple discussion, in which you will ask specific questions about what they've heard or seen.
After watching the video, ask questions such as:
• Can a simple scene be a story?
• Who are the main characters of these very short stories?
• Where are they going? What are they thinking about? What are they feeling?
While you project the comic strip, ask students questions such as:
• What is this about?
• Who are the main characters of this comic strip?
• How are they usually feeling?
After reading the narrative, ask students questions such as:
• Do you believe we have many identities in us?
• Who are the “people” that live in you?
• Think about a family member or a friend. Can you think of at least 5 “people” that live in them?
To project while reading the story: Photo
After reading the narrative, ask students questions such as:
• Why do you think she was smiling in the photo?
• In your opinion, why did she feel so emotional when she found the photo?
• Can you think of a photo of you that really captured your soul?
After watching the short movie, ask students questions such as:
• Did you expect that ending?
• What did you think of the boy at the beginning of the video? And then?
• Why do you think his mother gave him that present?
3. HANDS ON
This section is the main activity that will follow the narrative in your classes. There are different formats to choose from.
*It's important to know that these activities are always inspired by the narratives, so make sure to check them in advance to choose the best fit for your students!
Inspired by People Collection
Game: Creating a simple story
Materials: One cell phone per pair
How to play:
Students are divided into pairs. The teacher shows an image with the words I, he, she, it, we, they, and explains that each pair must decide who the main character of their simple story will be.
When this is done, they will go around the school looking for someone/something that goes under that category (if they chose she, for example, they must find a woman or a girl to be their character) and take a picture or record an action done by that(those) chosen character(s). If students choose I or we, that means one or both of them will be the main character(s) of their story.
Back to the classroom, the pairs will tell their simple story to their classmates.
How to play: Split the class into two big groups, A and B. To make it more fun, the groups may name themselves. Taking turns, a member of group A will receive a command by the teacher and must either mimic or draw the command on the board, for his/her team to guess. Then, a member of group B will do the same, following a different command, for his/her team to guess. The commands should always be an action with an emotion, for example: a sad person writing an email / an excited person swimming / an angry person walking / etc.
Inspired by Personal Diaries
Activity: The people that live in me
Based on the narrative “I.D.”, tell students to brainstorm at least 10 identities they have (eg. chocolate-lover, son/daughter, student, gamer, soccer player, etc.). They should write their names on the top of a sheet of paper and write the identities under their names. When everybody is done, put the profiles up on a wall so that they can check their classmates’ profiles.
Activity: My soul in a photo
Based on the story “Time travel”, students must talk to their families and try to find a photo of themselves that really captures their soul. The reason might be any.
When everybody has their photos in class, divide the students into small groups. The objective of this activity is that they show their photo to the group and explain in what way it reflects their soul. Students must take turns until everyone has talked about their own photos.
Activity: The people that live in us!
Materials: notice board, colored strings and pins OR felt-tip pens
This activity is a follow-up of the previous activity.
With the profiles of all the students up on the wall, students will check for similar identities between them (eg. Maria and James are both cat-lovers). Once they’ve found a similar identity, they must connect them -- either with strings and pins (just like an FBI investigation!), if a notice board is available, or drawing lines with colored felt-tip pens.
At the end of the activity, the board will probably be all colored and students will recognize their similarities. Give them some time to appreciate and to talk about it.
Inspired by False Knees
Activity: Reinventing a comic strip
Print the images before the class. This activity may be done in pairs, trios, or larger groups; and you may decide on the same comic strip for every group or to let them choose the one they want to work on. Each group will receive a comic strip with the end blank. Their job is to reinvent the ending of the story -- either by following the same idea, or trying something completely different. Motivate them to use their creativity and imagination!
When the reinvented comic strips are ready, you may put them up as a gallery outside of the classroom, so that other grade students may also enjoy them, creating an English environment around the school.
Use Move! activities when you feel students are too distracted or have been seated for too long. The idea is to move and refresh the body, always through learning, and it can be used at any moment of the class. Below you will find some ideas for your age group.
FIND IT FAST
Call out a trait and students must find objects that match the description as fast as they can.
Examples: something round / something made of wood / two identical pens / etc.
Divide students into groups of about eight people. Tell them to each grab right hands with someone that is not directly next to them. Then, tell them to do the same with left hands. The challenge is to untangle and become a circle without releasing hands.
Have students stand behind their desks. Call out a trait, and everyone who has that trait must change places with someone else (students who do not have the trait, stay where they are).
Have students build autonomy and be responsible for some rituals in your class. Allow everyone of them, one per day, to be responsible for choosing a music video (with lyrics on) for the whole group to watch and sing along. Make sure they refer to you first for approval of the video.
In Oak Tree, As students are familiarized with this activity, choose someone to guide the harmony time. This will help build autonomy and develop students’ active participation in class dynamics.
6. ENDING SONG
Finally, as always, you will sing our well-known Ending Song.
Make sure everyone sings it out loud together. Encourage, especially those kids that don't participate much in class, to see if they can repeat the song phonetically.
Do not forget to put the class back in order while you sing.