From The Tutor
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 11:00:53 -0500
Subject: teaching an active 7 year old boy
I am living with a host family in Wasquehal France, and working primarily with two boys: one aged 7 and one aged 10. I brought a cookbook and a few issues of National Geographic for Kids with me, and the 10 year old and I have been working through those, in addition to his English homework from school.
The 7 year old is very active and not very 'into' sitting still. To this end, I was thinking that teaching him some songs that involve few words but lots of movement would be a good way to teach him. This past week, he learned "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," and I am thinking of starting "The Hokey Pokey" or "If you're Happy and you know it" today--probably the former, because we can review some of the body parts from "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." I was wondering if you had suggestions for other such songs, or other ideas of more active ways to teach a seven year old!
Thank you so much for your help,
From Help Me Teach
Thank you for writing. Congratulations on your new adventures in Wasquehal, France. I can appreciate your situation with two active youngsters. For how long will you be with the family?
You are doing just fine with the 10-year old, as I would suspect he is quite interested in getting ahead in English language studies in school. Working with him in English in other studies should also be of help to him.
The 7-year old is a different situation, as you have found. As an active person, anything active should be of interest to him. Attention span will be short, so frequent changes in activities will be good. Your idea of songs is excellent, as they all require activity and language acquisition. Another path can also be "I see with my little eye....." something (color, big, small, outside, inside, etc.), which can also build vocabulary and be fun. What level of English do the two boys have? I suspect the older boy is learning in school as a matter of course. The younger boy is not yet there. Is there any way of bringing both boys together in what the elder is learning?
Although familiar with France, I am unfamiliar with your town. Would it be of help to talk with the English teacher in the school? Are there coloring books and children's easy story books in the local bookstores?
Weather permitting, outdoor activities are always good for either child. Park visits as vocabulary builders are always good. Weather, time, directions, colors, objects, animals. One list a day and then go forth to find them in a sort of scavanger hunt. Rearranging the alphabet can always be fun if the person is given a series of letters and tries to form diffeent words. Many can be similar to French, which can be even more challenging.
I have attached some materials and web sites that might be of help. Let me know if they get through to you and what might be of help. Also, it would be great to learn what you are doing that has worked in your particular situation.
Hope this is of help. I would be interested to learn more of your situation and whether the information provided is of any help.
I sincerely hope that all goes well there and that spring is happening. Please do let me know what works and doesn't.