There are so many language class activities for kindergarten that work beautifully in the secondary world language class. I learned so much about what works in language teaching from my time working with little ones. Everything is in context, active and a lot of fun. I have been sneaking these activities into my secondary FL classes for years and they WORK.
World Language Class Activities
- Calendar. A VERY powerful tool for teaching basic language. Invest time every day on the day, the date, the weather and the season. You will easily be able to skip over large chunks of your text and they will readily be able to say these things quickly. Primary school teachers use the calendar to each numbers, patterns and colors as well. Your students will be able to lead that part of class within a few weeks.
- Groups. We use dynamic groups in elementary school. Doing this often in your class will get them all talking and working together with different people all the time. The prompts to group (numbers, colors, etc.) are a naturally immersive context/command. This grouping also allows for lots of differentiation.
- Labels. Big labels for EVERYTHING. Lots of TL input here in a real context.
- Play. Play in kindergarten is important. It is about forming relationships with people, finding new activities, and playing roles. Giving students some choices (i.e. write a short skit, free write, fluency talk, individual project, etc.) within the language classroom from time to time will provide some variety and enjoyment for your students while staying on task in the TL.
- Snack time. Great opportunity to have foods from the TL culture.
- Practice. We do things over and over with the little ones to make sure everyone is safe and knows what to do. Practice makes perfect. Enough said.
- Nap time. I love to play sound effects and we simulate the different times of the day to practice relevant vocabulary. I don’t actually let them take a nap, but they “sleep” when it is “night”, and wake when they hear the rooster. Easy and fun way to learn those basic expressions.
- Story time. Who said children’s books were just for little kids? Great visuals, great stories and an easy way to teach more difficult structures.
- Journals. Daily focused time to write (keep it SHORT). A great way to develop fluency.
- Show and Tell. Bring something interesting in and talk about it to the class.
Do you have activities from your childhood that work well in your WL class? Please share in the comments section below.