Subjects + Days of the Week in Shikoku

Another weekend workshop and this one went very well, it’s great having people who come for a second time!

Things were going really well so I thought I’d try some of the new themes we’re testing on the Beta Test Forum. The first one was Days of the Week, which went pretty well!

Then I tried the new School Subjects song – which didn’t go well!

Mind you I was probably a bit rough on the song in the video. Β I’m sure we’ve all had classes like that with the kids just looking like “eh?” and not knowing what to do. Β Usually that’s a result of not following the lesson plan of introducing the vocab then running through the “Mini Lesson” (from the Teacher’s Set )

For example just look at the contrast to the next song “What do you do?” Β Same level (ish) of English, and albeit a totally finished song, but the thing that made the difference is that we did the Teacher’s Set “Mini Lesson” first. Β And just look at what a difference it made!

We also ran through “What do you want to be?” and the running karuta game…

Which we could them combine with “What do you do?” to come up with “I’m a doctor, but I want to be a baker” – which always impresses the kids (and teachers!)

And if you combine that with the pronouns song and What do you think of…? lessons it means the kids can come up with sentences like “He’s a baker, but I think I want to be a superhero!” Β  or “She’s a pilot, but he wants to be a rock star!” Β – all from a curriculum of a half dozen lessons! Β Pretty cool eh!

If you’re on email and can’t see the Β (5!) new videos in this post then click here for the online version.

And what do you think of the new songs? I’d love to hear your comments!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

5 Responses to “Subjects + Days of the Week in Shikoku”

  1. Margit


    The subject one looks very tough. But I don’t think that it’s only because of the lesson plan, but also because of the song. It seems very difficult for everybody and it feels like something thrilling is missing.

    I still like the weekdays song, but I really have to learn myself if I want to teach this song: I just don’t get the part with the planets. I know it sounds easy for people knowing about the planets but for me the software is very confusing.

    I’m happy that you took the last three videos. The pink fish game never really worked when I played it, now I know why and how to do it. It really looks fun.

    Thank you!

  2. richard

    it feels like something thrilling is missing

    Yeah, that’s the reason I never included it before, it certainly is one of the things that adults want to teach rather than what kids want to learn. Maybe throwing in some “silly subjects” like jelly making or spaceship building might be one idea?

    Definitely try the planets with the days of the week, the kids really get a kick out of seeing the real photos! And having “Sunday”, “Monday” and “Saturday” already taught makes it a lot easier. There’s also some cool NASA tricks you can use which I’ll try and get on the blog in the future!

    You can also try the pink fish game with the planets and subjects – maybe that would make it fun???

  3. Gumby

    I see the subject song more along the lines to the hip hop songs. It’s something to help them remember the English as opposed to something the students really want to say. I am excited to teach it however because of the time schedules from around the world.

    It also may be a song that would work better with ASL or a ‘hip hop game’ If you are still working on the software, may I recommend that you include the days somehow on the visuals. I think teachers take for granted that students can automatically recall and say the days of the week. Similar to numbers, it is a lot harder than you think. (Now in order, this is not a problem at all. It’s hard though to concentrate on subjects and then go back to the days)

    Now that I have an idea of what subjects you are including, I can make a make the time schedules with blanks. Teachers can use the software to give the answers and students fill in the blanks and at the end guess which country and or do some ranking exercise.

    Don’t give up on this song yet, I really do think it can work!

  4. Mary

    I don’t think it was as bad as you thought. Everybody was tapping their feet to the music. In the future, no matter how bad you think your voice is, don’t announce it. Most people won’t know the difference!

  5. Julian-k

    The ‘days of the software’ is looking really great. Like you say, this theme isn’t really something the kids want to learn, but introduced in this way I’ve always found it makes for a great lesson.

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