Creative Ways to Teach English
We all know droning on about the fundamentals of parts of speech can put anybody to sleep. Students will find anything to distract themselves and others if the teacher bores them. Not only will they not pay attention but they won’t remember your lesson when they need to.
With younger students, I like to include them in interactive stories about the fundamentals of English– it’s fun, they remember it, and they can be involved with speaking and storytelling at the same time. Here are some stories I like to tell:
CH, TCH, TH, and SH!
CH, TCH, TH, and SH are brothers and sisters living in a chaotic, small house. CH makes the most noise– running around going “Chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga, CHOO CHOO!” Every day for hours on end!
TCH hates her brother CH, she’s always checking her watch to see when she can leave the house. TH is always pointing things out to his brothers and sisters, “Did you see this? Did you remember that? Don’t do this! Beware of that!”
SH, however, is sick of it all! She runs around the house shushing her brothers and sisters– always, a big, loud, “SSHHH!”
This story isn’t complete without actions, so get ready to travel like a train, check your watch, point at things around the room, and put your finger in front of your mouth with a loud SHUSH!
He/She/It verb +s — The Doesn’t Vampire
We all know he/she/it present tense requires an S because when he/she/it does something, he/she/it gets very lonely and needs a friend. Except when he/she/it doesn’t want to play, jump, eat, or drink. That’s when he/she/it gets a visit from the “doesn’t vampire”! The “doesn’t vampire” shows up to steal the ‘S’ from he/she/it’s verb! What a scary monster!
My students like to come up with new monsters the “doesn’t vampire” could be. We like to draw the word ‘doesn’t’ on the board with angry eyebrows and fangs. I also chant, “He/She/It verb + S” before I begin this lesson. They love to chant along and know exactly what story is coming!
Long Vowel Sounds — Magic E
We all have good friends that help us define who we are– same with vowels! When you see an ae, ai, or ay, you know that letter ‘A’ has a buddy who makes it sound just like himself! But what if a vowel is separated from its friend, like a_e? We like to call this special letter combination the ‘Magic E’. Magic E is your best friend from afar who likes to help you be yourself even though they aren’t with you at the moment.
This story is fun for my students to identify which friends make them sound like themselves. They can choose their neighbors in the class or tell me about a friend from far away. They like to identify the long vowel sounds in their own name and which letter combination makes them that way– even telling me which of their friend’s names define their long vowel sounds!
It’s fun to get creative with lessons and let your students come up with ways to remember the lessons themselves! My students love to tell me stories about everything they’ve learned– this is a chance for them to express what they know and remember what they don’t when they learn the fundamentals of English!
Do you have a creative way to get English across to your students? Let us know in the comments section below.
Michaela left her small town in the flat cornfields of Iowa in April of 2015 to explore the world before becoming condemned to a desk in an IT corporation. She has been teaching at Hess International English school in Taipei,Taiwan and shopping, hiking, and eating her way through the foreign streets. She has traveled alone and encountered many interesting experiences and hopes to aid others traveling alone as well.Please share!