One of the great things about teaching with songs is that they can be listened to over and over again. Kids love the repetition of hearing a favorite tune and each time, it seems, they learn a little more.
Repetition provides a great opportunity to focus on different aspects of a song to teach new vocabulary. You can listen to a song week after week in your lessons and focus on a different theme. Change your flashcards, play new games or use different gestures. Kids love mixing it up.
10 Little Elves
“10 Little Elves” is a perfect song for this. It can be used to work on a variety of vocabulary themes. Of course, it is great for practicing or reviewing counting and numbers. But you can also use it to talk about toys (along with “What Do You Want For Christmas?” and “Santa’s On His Way”). How do elves make different toys? What are they making? What toys do you want?
Next you can focus on action verbs. Action verbs are fun to teach because they are so…well, active. Students love demonstrating or gesturing out the different words.
This song brings in five brand new action verbs (plus sleeping) that young learners might not have encountered yet. And while they may be familiar with the action involved, maybe they don’t have the language to describe it, making this song a fun new challenge.
10 Little Elves Charades
Use the “10 Little Elves” picture cards (sewing, painting, sawing, hammering, wrapping and sleeping) to review the actions and the matching words. Then, give each student a small piece of paper on which one of the action words is written. The students should not show the paper to each other.
Tell the students they are elves and they must find other elves from their group. When you say “Go,” the elves move around the room silently, doing the action on their piece of paper. The elves make groups according to their actions and stand together.
Put the picture cards at the front of the room so students who have trouble reading can match their word to the word on the picture card. (They can also ask the teacher for help.)
Sing “10 Little Elves” one more time, this time with each group singing and performing its verse.
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