In the second of this special series on teaching English to preschoolers online, I’ll be showing you some of the vocabulary games I play in my video classes! Even if you’re not currently teaching online, these are all games you can play in your face to face classes with little ones. I play them regularly in my normal classes and just adapted them for my online lessons.
As I explained in my previous post, I divided my weekly online video classes for preschoolers into the following components:
- An introduction/review of vocabulary
- A vocabulary game
- A read-aloud story or Mystery Box activity
- A guided drawing or simple craft tutorial
The videos in this post form the second component and follow on from the vocabulary review. If you want to see some examples of how I introduce and review the vocabulary, click here. To see how I use the Mystery Box, click here.
In this video I play the game Animal Actions using four sea animal words. First, I review the same actions I taught them when learning the vocabulary. Then I say the name of an animal and invite the children to do the action.
As my video-classes are pre-recorded for my kids, I leave a pause for them to do the action, then I demonstrate what the correct action is. I call out the animal names randomly, mixing up the order and repeating them occasionally so that kids have to listen attentively to know which animal is next. You’ll notice I start off slow and get progressively faster and faster to make the game a bit more exciting and engaging for them!
In the next lesson I continue with the same four animals as the previous one. In this game I place each animal behind the Mystery Window so that parts of the picture are hidden, and invite the children to guess what each animal is.
It’s very easy to make a mystery window – just cut some slots in a piece of card! I taped another piece of card onto the back of mine to make a flap, which I find holds the cards in better, but it’s not necessary.
I’ve also included this third game – it was the last lesson on the sea theme, and my little students wanted to do a mermaid craft, so while this lesson wasn’t strictly “Sea Animals” I included her at their request!
In this game we play Mermaid Hide and Seek with the help of Puppy, one of my kids’ favourite class toys. Having a teddy or other soft toy help in a game like this just makes it so much more engaging for preschoolers!
I recorded the game as a top view of my table. I know not everybody has the equipment to do this, but I wanted to include it as an example of a fun little game you can play when face-to-face with kids. You may also be able to adapt it to your own video classes by sticking the cards to a board.
As with all my videos, I switch between Spanish and English to help my little students understand when giving instructions for the games.
I hope these ideas are useful for you! Let me know in the comments!