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  #21 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 14th, 2006, 10:13 am
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Join Date: Mar 27th, 2005
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Default Re: Teaching 3-6 year olds - Help me!

Let them bounce the ball! And you guess wrong every time.
It's a great way to get them using negatives.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Teaching 3-6 year olds - Help me!

Hi Clive,
I have been teaching English to 4-6 year olds in Italy for two years now and am about to start the third year this week. Where abouts in Italy do you teach? I have loads of advice I could give you, and lots of printed sheets etc. you may find useful so if interested please get in touch and I would be happy to help. My advice is similar to that you have already had, it totally imperative you vary activities, I teach over 80 kids divided into 6 groups and each child does two hours of english a week which can be daunting for them given that they cannot yet read or write. Some of the children are already learning another language at home and are therefore uninterested in a third, but others are enthusisastic and a pleasure to teach. I divide my lessons into about 5 short activities, including games, music, colouring etc. The most important thing in my lessons is routine, when I first started in the schools I had no experience at all of teaching kids and my first lesson, although well-planned was a nightmare (never get a ball out until they know how to behave!) but as I managed to establish a routine, starting with the register and finishing with a story it improved. I use lots of flashcards, with pictures of how they should and shouldn't behave (like 'in a line' and 'quiet please') and they seem to work. Hope its going well for you, if you need any help please get in touch. Jen
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  #23 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 8th, 2006, 06:18 pm
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Default Re: Teaching 3-6 year olds - Help me!

Hi Clive...

It looks like you've been given a lot of wonderful advice and ideas to help you get started, but I did want to jump in on this one as well because I specialise in fun learning games for this age group.

I do have to say that I agree that 20 minutes is often too long for this age group as you may not be able to hold their attention that long (sometimes they'll surprise you, however). The idea of setting up a general schedule for them is also a great one because kids of this age like to be able to predict what will be happening next.

Since kids of this age don't know how to read or write much more than their own names, playing games is the way to go. When teaching with games, especially to young children, you'll want to take into consideration the competition factor, however. While competition is often a motivator for older kids, preschoolers can easily get discouraged if competition is weighed too heavily on the game, so you might want to consider finding ways to make everyone "winners" or just play the games "for fun".

I hope this helps!
Kind regards
Free games and ideas to make teaching more fun. Receive free games here:
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  #24 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 16th, 2006, 09:19 pm
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Default Re: Teaching 3-6 year olds - Help me!

There's been lots of suggestions on this thread about music and movement. There are lots of free chants, songs and games for primary kids on

I just added some song packages that enable you to download the mp3 as well as the lesson plan, flashcards and worksheets in pdf format. I am putting more up all the time and hope these help you.
Also there are free downloads and lots of lyrics for songs suitable for the primary kids you have.

Good luck
__________________ FREE 17 song CD. Buy Pams CDs. ESL rhymes, action songs and singing games. Engage your younger students.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 16th, 2006, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Teaching 3-6 year olds - Help me!


I know this thread already abounds with great advice and links, but I wanted to share my experience as well.

I used to teach this age group (Korean 5 year olds, which range in western age from just under 4 to nearly 6). I saw two groups for 80 minutes each 5 days a week. The group that were slightly younger (by a few months) were nightmarishly difficult to control. The slightly older group were angelic.

The best advice already given that I wanted to stress was developing a routine. I broke the lesson down into short segments of action and quiet time like this:

*15 minutes of song and dance (a few old songs and a new one every few days)
* 5 minutes of language review (usually with flashcards)
* 10 minutes of new language presentation (using one or two sit down games)
* 10 minutes of language practice using a game with movement

*break time - 10 minutes

* 10-15 minutes of storybook and activities (our school curriculum had one new book per week for us, by the end of the week they could often repeat many parts of the whole story, if not the whole thing)
* 5 minutes of stretching/ exercise or Simon says type activity to get the blood flowing again
* 10-15 minutes of colouring/ worksheet, often while playing the songs from period one or another English tape
* clean up time with the clean up song

It sounds fairly rigid, but of course you have to read the class's spirit of the day to gauge the timing of each segment. At first I thought 80 minutes would be impossible, but with the breakdown time went really fast.

It's true variation is good, but repetition is also good. One day one little guy saw me point to the clock and he exclaimed "Look at the time!" which I then realized was something I must have been saying all the time without noticing.

Anyway, good luck with your class. This thread has a bunch of activities you can use to fill in the time slots.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 3rd, 2010, 12:59 pm
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Smile Re: Teaching 3-6 year olds - Help me!

I've started teaching English as a foreign language to 3 - 5 yrs olds in 30 min slots 3 times a week and it is scary at first but it's a lot of fun.
Plan your lessons carefully and in a structured way but kow that some days your plan simply goes out the window.
I'll be honest with you - I found Super Simple Songs CDs (Super Simple Songs - Easy English songs for kids.) to be the BEST resource ever. Whenever I feel the kids want to do something different, they get a new TPR song (with or without the CD/video) and it works!

Good luck!
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