Group 3 (7-8 year olds)
THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS CYCLE ARE:
That students are able to establish correct interpretations of pronouns with the help of visual representations.
That students are able to understand the minimum amount of words necessary to comprehend a specific context or situation.
That students begin to make significant contributions to the class’ atmosphere.
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 Kapok Tree 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 guide a brief harmony exercise based on breathing movements.
This exercise will help the children gain awareness of their body and concentrate in the present moment.
Divide the students into groups of four and tell them to form small circles.They should remain standing throughout the exercise
“Concentrate on your own respiration, without worrying about anyone else or looking at how your classmate’s are breathing. It is important that you focus on your own body now. Observe the rhythm of your breath and gently, when you inspire, open your arms to the sides of your body and bring them up above your head, like a blooming flower.
When you exhale, bring your arms to your chest like a flower that is closing. When you finish exhaling, your forearms should be crossed in front of your chest and your hands on your shoulders.”
You will first tell the children to focus on their own respiration and do the blooming flower exercise. Show them how the movement is done as you guide them through it.
*We suggest you watch this video before the class to be able to explain the exercise more clearly to the students. Let the children repeat this exercise until they manage to coordinate the inhaling movement and the exhaling movement.
Now, the children should do the same exercise but trying to maintain a breathing rhythm in their groups of 4. The idea is that all four students do the inhaling and exhaling movements at the same time.
Whole class breathing
Finally, you will do the blooming exercise trying to maintain the same rythm with the rest of the class. This means that every student should try and inhale and exhale at the same time.
Benefits of the activity
The rhythmic movements and the synchronization favors a calm atmosphere of the group.
This exercise clears the mind and sharpens thinking by increasing the flow of oxygen throughout the body, particularly the brain.
Interpersonal relationship is favored when paying attention to the group’s breathing and seeking a single rhythm.
3. POPCORN TIME
The characters of Kapok Tree will have a main role throughout the cycle. To meet these characters, we suggest that the children watch the videos where each one of them introduce themselves.
*It is important that children watch this video as it will help them understand the context of the story and the characters which they will have to embody in the later on in the next activities.
We provide a PDF document to print out. With these cards you will form a deck with the main characters of the video.
*Remember to print enough cards so that every student receives one.
Before you play the video, randomly give out the cards so that every child has one during the video.
*This means that, depending on the amount of students in the group, there might be repeated characters.
Tell the kids to raise their card whenever their character appears during the video!
This will help them to be more concentrated on the activity
CLEANING THE HOUSE
This exercise consists of making different movements with your feet and hands. Use this harmony phase to get the attention of the kids back to themselves by doing the short movement exercises.
This means moving your feet 5 times clockwise, and 5 times counterclockwise. To help the children imagine the movement, tell them to draw circles in the air with their feet.
FLEXION AND EXTENSION
This exercise consists of extending your feet to the floor and then flexing it back pointing towards your body. Repeat this movement 5 times with each foot. You can tell the kids to press the floor downwards with their toes and then raise their toes to the sky.
PASSIN THE BALL
Alternatively, open your hands and then close them back again. Tell your students that they have to pass an imaginary ball from hand to hand.