Lights, Camera, Action

Tips from Bob's Frog

Tips from Bob’s Frog

This post was contributed by Bob Pensak, owner of “Bob’s English” in Okazaki, Japan and author of the blog “Bob’s Frog.”

Lights, Camera, Action!
You are the “director” of your classroom. Students enter the classroom. Welcoming music is playing in the background. The students are relaxed and looking forward the day’s lesson. Your transition songs, “Hello Hello!” “Please Sit Down,” “Clean Up!” and “See You Later Alligator” are all in place. Lights, Camera, Action! Can you imagine your favorite movie without a soundtrack? Using music in the classroom is just as important. Here are some examples how a “soundtrack” can be added to an activity to make it more exciting.

Look Closely
“Look closely” from the Super Simple ABCs Support Pack CD-rom is a popular game with my students. Before class, print out the small phonic pictures on some sticker paper. Cut and hide them by sticking them around the room. Take out a magnifying glass. Look at each student through the magnifying glass and ham it up a bit and look surprised. Hand each student a magnifying glass and take out a set of flashcards matching the hidden stickers. Play some “detective” music (I recommend “The Pink Panther Theme“) and demonstrate the activity by looking for the sticker matching the first flashcard. The music sets a mysterious mood so slowly tiptoe around the room looking for the sticker. After finding the first sticker, have the students find the remainder of the stickers by showing them flashcards one by one until all the stickers are found.

Circus Time! 
Place a line of masking tape on the floor running the length of the room. Play some circus music (I recommend “Einzug de Gladiatoren [Entry of the Gladiators] Op. 68) and announce, “It’s circus time!” Demonstrate to the students your great skill at walking the masking tape “tightrope.” Hold your arms out straight and pretend to lose your balance a couple of times finally reaching the other end. Take a bow while the children clap. Now it’s the children’s turn. Have a student identify a flashcard. Hand the flashcard to the student. They must walk the “tightrope” to the other side holding the flashcard without “falling.” After each student has crossed the tightrope one time, it’s challenge time! Take out a Hula Hoop and hold it slightly above the middle of the tightrope. Have the students walk across and though the Hula Hoop holding a flashcard. Remember don’t fall! For an even greater challenge, remove the Hula Hoop and have the students place a flashcard or small object on their heads and try walking the tightrope without the object falling.

Be creative and have your students use their imaginations. The next time you play these activities the students will know what to do when they hear the music start.

Bob PensakBob Pensak has been living and teaching English in Okazaki, Japan, for ten years. In April 2011 2012, he started his own school, “Bob’s English”, with his wife and three year old son. He has been entertaining children with magic since he was 13 years old. Check out his blog, Bob’s Frog, for more teaching tips.