Children, especially very young children, are physical, tactile and use all their senses to
experience the world around them. They need a variety of activities to acquire the language
they are presented with: music, games and movement.
Research has shown that using craft in the classroo
m results in:
•curiosity about the language and the task
•behaviour and socialization
•more involved children
Craft activities can be anything from simple colour
ing pages to more complicated
constructed projects. They combine learning and fun
while providing an opportunity to
personalise the language and increase opportunities
for social development. During craft
activities learners are exposed to a wider range of
vocabulary and lots of repetition of key
terms, such as colours, numbers, in addition to dev
eloping their fine motor skills.
Every lesson should contain some sort of practical
task (painting, cutting and sticking etc.).
Tips for using craft successfully:
: Prepare as much as possible before the lesson
: Schedule enough time that most learners finish
Vary the type of craft materials used
: Include everyone in the clean up
: Increases motivation and absorption of language
•Don’t give up:
Opportunity & patience are needed to master craft sk
•Follow up Activities
: Have an activity where the learners can use what
they have
made, something meaningful for them to do with thei
r object. For example, songs,
role-plays etc.
Some Fun Craft Activities
Coloured Caterpillars
: Using pre-cut coloured circles and glue them toge
ther to make
a caterpillar. They can stick googly-eyes on the fa
ces or draw face parts. In the
follow-up, the children could describe order of the
Paper Chains
: Using pre-cut strips of coloured paper and create
a paper chain. For
follow-up, they could stand in a circle and find co
lours indicated by the teacher.
Learners could take teacher role.
Animal Masks
: Using paper plates with pre-cut eye-holes; have t
he children decorate
the plates and make animal masks. As a follow-up ac
tivity there could be an “animal
parade” in which the children take turns with their
Itsy-Bitsy Spider
: With the song, the children could create a hangin
g spider with a
foam ball and a piece of string. They paint the spi
der’s body and attach pre-cut pipe-
cleaner legs. The follow-up activity could include
singing the song with their spiders.
Animal Stick Puppets
: Children colour photocopied pictures of farm anim
als, which
would then be attached to sticks. The group can sin
g “Old MacDonald’ and the
children hold up the appropriate stick puppet.
: cut-out, photocopied pictures of farm animals, wh
ich they colour in, before
gluing them on a large piece of paper to create the
ir own farm. In addition, they
could draw barns, trees, a pond, the farmer etc.
Seasonal Holidays:
The possibilities are endless and need not be compl
: Children could make ghosts with a rolled up balls
of newspaper covered
with a piece of white cloth/paper. They can decorat
e the face
: Children can cut out snowflakes with folded piece
s of paper, decorate
paper Christmas trees with glitter and sequins. The
y can make their own ornaments,
or for a bigger challenge they can work together to
make a tree and decorate it
: Children can colour or paint Easter eggs, or cove
r a cut-out rabbit with cotton
balls to create a soft bunny.
Valentine Mice
: Children cut out coloured heart shapes and on eac
h draw a nose and
eyes. Above the nose have the children punch 4 hole
s (2 each side) and thread a pipe
cleaner, straw or rolled up paper between the holes
for whiskers. Finally attach a
wooden chopstick to the back behind the whiskers.
Final point: mobiles provide many possible topics…
block letters, cars, airplanes, birds,
flowers, monsters, pictures of friends, family pict
ures, dogs, cats, dinosaurs, Disney
characters, etc. Picture Dictionaries and story boo
ks can give lots of ideas and tie in with the
language being taught.
Sophia McMillan
Training Manager/TESOL Course Director
Shane Training Centre, Shane Corporation Ltd

About kintaro63

Writer and teacher in Japan
This entry was posted in Teaching, Teaching Children and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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