What to do when you have 50, 70 or 100s of kids in a class? After last weeks disaster, I figured it would be good to go through and figure out what games do indeed work with super big groups. I wrote an article about teaching big groups in China a while back, but here are a few updates.
For starters you can rule out:
1) Any game that has any preparation material ( including the mini card games). Logistics take too long.
2) Any game that has the class split into small groups e.g. Sticky Fingers, Ostrich, Newspaper Sumo
3) Any game with waiting time e.g. Hammer, Lines
The rest then depends on how well you, or the other teachers, can keep control of the group. For a group that is tricky to control “en masse” games are best e.g.
For better behaved classes you can introduce some pair games e.g.
This doesn’t leave you with much! So apart from refusing to do joint classes, the best thing is probably to stick to just the songs, then leave the games up to the class teachers to do when you’re not there. The key to teaching the songs is volume. As long as everyone can hear the music, they’ll all keep in time and things go surprisingly smoothly, even things like “What’s your name?” which has the kids getting into pairs. Other recommended songs for big groups are:
If you’re having problems keeping the class under control, I’d definitely recommend these. I’ve taught classes up to 1,000 kids like this and have only failed once ( touch wood!).
Actually I bet if we had a soundtrack for the games it would help a lot.
Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have normal classes of up to only 30 kids, then you can just do the normal lesson plans!
( If you have any more suggestions, then please write them up on the forum. )