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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 11th, 2006, 11:27 pm
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Default months of the year

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster.... Great website

I am a fairly new alt teaching in Japan... Ive been asked to come up with a lesson plan for teaching months of the year to beginner 1st grade junior high school students.

Ive got a few ideas, but i was wondering if anyone had any effective ways of teaching something that seems pretty basic and hovers on the edge of being boring.

Thanks in advance for your help
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 12th, 2006, 08:04 am
Mr.E.English
 
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Default Re: months of the year

Hi Mystery 813,

You're right - 'months of the year' does appear to be a pretty boring lesson but don't be fooled by appearances, particularly in a country like Japan.

This is a great lesson for Japanese 1st grade junior high school kids, the ease and simplicity of it will build confidence in your students and it's a word set easy to remember - as lists often are - and as such fits nicely into the educational background of your target learners.

As you know, the Japanese kept months of the year pretty easy - even a linguistic fool like me has been able to learn it - the first month of the year is '1 month', the second is '2 month', the third is '3 months' and so on 'til the end (that's month 12!!). Our months, graciously provided by the Romans, were the same until the senate decided to honour Augustus and then Julius with months of the year and thus throw the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th months off sync. Anyway, the number system for naming months is a great place for you to start -

1. Presentation stage -

a. Elicit numbers 1-12 and write them on the blackboard, drill the numbers as a whole class twice (just to get the kids speaking!)

b. Point to the number one and say 'Ichi gatsu' - ask the whole class for the English. Probably you'll be met with shocked silence - don't worry, that's normal! Choose your best, most bright student and ask them directly for the English translation. If you still get nothing tell the students 'January', write the word clearly on the board and move on to the second month. Repeat this for all the months.

2. Controlled Speaking Practice stage-

a. Now drill the list. Point to the first month, say the word clearly and get the class to repeat after you. Do this a couple of times then rub out the words leaving only the numbers. Drill the months again. Now drill it once more but don't model it first. Do this a couple of times and then maybe do a few spot drills of particular students (choose the students carefully, this might be too much for some of them).

b. Point to one of your students (choose one of the strongest and most confident). You say the number them tell you the month, e.g. T = 3 St = March / T = 10 St = October
Continue this for about 16 class members.

c. Organise the students in pairs. Number each student in the pair A and B. Students repeat exercise b above - student A says a number, student B says the month. Monitor closely giving plenty of positive feedback. Allow the activity a few minutes and then the students change role, i.e. student B says the number, student A says the month.

3. Freer speaking practice - at this level and with this limited lexical set it's difficult to provide any real freer speaking practice but I think it's important and useful for your students to try and give them some kind of more meaningful way inwhich to use this language than just repeating lists.

a. Ask the class - 'do you like your birthday?' use any response to establish the meaning of birthday ('tanjoubi' in Japanese), if you get no response draw a cake with candles and a wrapped present on the board and write 'birthday'.

b. Write on the board - 'When is your birthday?' 'My Birthday is in June'. Drill this simple exchange a few times with the sentences on the board and then again with them removed. Select one student to ask you the question. Give your answer and ask another student the question. Once that student has given their answer they ask another student and so on around the class for about 10 or 12 students.

c. Handout a worksheet with the months of the year written in a column down the left side. Students stand up and mingle around the class asking their classmates the question 'when is your birthday?', they write the name of their classmate in the column on the right next to the correct month. Continue this for about 5 minutes, monitoring and giving feedback.

d. Class feedback. Stop the activity and tell the students to sit back down again. Select a few key students to stand up and tell the whole class which month some of their classmates birthdays are in.

4. Finish
a. Finally, elicit from the class one last time the months of the year in English and write them on the board. Also write the simple question / answer exchange conversation. Tell the students to copy this into their note books so they have a permanent copy.

The end!!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 12th, 2006, 04:36 pm
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Default Re: months of the year

There's also the game called 'Bluff' (aka BS) where students are dealt all the cards. Play starts and the first person must lay down a January card. Next person February... They must continue in order. If you think the person is bluffing you can challenge them.
'You're bluffing!"

If the person is bluffing they must pick up all the cards in the pile and add them to their hand.

If they were telling the truth, then the challenger has to take all the cards.

The goal of the game is to get rid of all your cards.

They can lay down more than one card at a time but they are inferring that they are all the same card, 3 Novembers for example.

www.mes-english.com/flashcards/months.php I have some months flashcards, but there are also clipart so you can make your own cards or dazzle up one of the worksheets above. There's also a description of one more game there. Very helpful post Mr. E English btw!
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 12th, 2006, 07:16 pm
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Default Re: months of the year

Thanks heaps for that guys. Those suggestions are fantastic. I probably wont get a chance to do the card game this week but ill definitely keep it in mind.

Ill let you know how it goes!

Thanks again!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 12th, 2006, 09:42 pm
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Default Re: months of the year

If you do any of that, let us know how it goes. The feedback really helps.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 14th, 2006, 05:43 am
SimplyESL
 
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Default Re: months of the year

Why not elicit the months in English using a calendar?

You could also use a team board writing game where S's race to write all the months on the board, in order.

You could try a scramble for the months. Have the months written on paper on the floor. Get two S's at a time and say "Can I have the (7th) month". The winner is whoever finds the flashcard first.

Have fun!

Last edited by simplyesl : Jul 14th, 2006 at 10:40 am.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 17th, 2006, 09:28 pm
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Default Re: months of the year

Hey party people. Thanks heaps for the suggestions. The drilling ideas worked a treat. I made sure I picked on the most extroverted or high level kids... so there weren't any tears.

For a game I got the kids to play Chinese Whispers. It worked a treat. They got really into it and we everybody had fun... the only problem was getting them to stop.

The worksheet with birthdays also worked well... except in the first class cos being slightly rushed while formating the sheet i managed to delete 2 months of the year... so any time a kid with a birthday in April or June got asked a question the felt the need to run up to me and highlight my mistake... it provided them with a good laugh nonetheless.

Thanks heaps for your suggestions everyone. It went fantastically.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 17th, 2006, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: months of the year

Good to hear it went well.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 2nd, 2009, 08:36 pm
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Default Re: months of the year

This response is for people who are still looking for some ideas on how to teach months of the year, I realize this is way too late to be of any use to the original poster!!!

Key month game

After drilling / reviewing the months of the year, try this game to make it stick in thier heads. Between introducing the vocabulary, a little bit of drilliing, and this game, you've easily got the first 20-25 minutes of the class planned. Put all 12 months on the board in order. Have the students make pairs and get out one eraser.

Usually I draw two funny faces on the board with the number 2 next to it, then draw an eraser with a 1 next to it. This keeps the students from making a pair and each getting thier own eraser out. Clearly say "2 students, 1 eraser." This is optional but helps a lot especially when the homeroom teacher isnt coming to your rescue with a translation.

Once the students are ready demo the rules. Make sure you have your own eraser and put it on a surface within grabbing distance. Circle one month of your choosing, for example March, and ask the students what the circled month is for oral practice. First, blurt out a different month: "OCTOBER!" Make a move towards the eraser but stop and say "no", and point to March. Next say another month besides March: "APRIL!" but then stop before you grab the eraser, pointing to March again. The third time, say "MARCH!" and grab the eraser as quickly and frantically as you can. Hopefully this will get across the point that when you say the circled word they race to see who can grab the eraser first.

The key to making this game fun and suspenseful is faking the students out. Say the first few months quietly, then yell one out really loud. Changing the tone and volume of your voice often times makes for some hilarious mistakes. I also like to lead them on, saying a few months then faking a sneeze, or saying some unintelligible mumbo-jumbo (just make sure it doesnt even closely resemble one of the words or youll have some confused students.)

For added variety/vocabulary, have them put thier hands on thier head the first few rounds. Always say "put you hands on your......... head!" Then after a few times change it up to make sure they arent just relaxing into the routine, aka "put your hands on your.......... shoulders!" Also a good way to elicit participation from quiet students. They dont have to know the body part they can just point to where they want to put thier hands next.

You can easily master this within a class or two and my students seem to like it. Also good to use with numbers, letters, basicially any list or large vocabulary set.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 3rd, 2009, 08:27 am
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Default Months of the year for kids age 8-10

This is the lesson plan I´ve used many times to teach the months of the year (for 1st to 3rd graders). It can be adapted to your needs, especially the "Engage" phase which is our usual routine of attendance/hello song and line game to review previous vocabulary. "S" means Study phase - here students learn the new vocabulary and reinforce it in the "A" (activity) stage.
The calendar song can be downloaded as mp3 file from the internet and is great for kids (catchy tune, they sing along in no time)
Hope you like it.
Attached Files
File Type: doc LESSON PLAN_months1.doc (47.0 KB, 669 views)
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