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elementary school

Page history last edited by Sendaiben 14 years, 11 months ago




Useful Articles



A Quick Guide


Teaching in elementary schools can be a very rewarding experience. In general, the students will be open to new experiences, enthusiastic, and very friendly once they get used to you.


There are some basic techniques you can use in order to make friends with elementary school students:


  • smile!
  • say hello to students outside of class
  • physical contact (shaking hands, high fives) really helps to break the ice
  • getting homeroom teachers to make nametags for the students and using their names


Elementary school students have an extraordinary capacity for learning. In order to maximise this potential, it is helpful if ALTs can expose them to as much understandable English as possible. By understandable I mean within a context that makes it possible for students to guess the meaning. Merely speaking English at the students will not result in them learning it. If, however, you give the students a frame of reference (such as a gesture, facial expression, or example) then you will be surprised as how much they can understand. The language skills of guessing from context and listening for familiar language can be taught to your students within normal English classes by giving them the chance to guess language. The more practice your students have, the better they will get at it.


Praise is extremely important in elementary school classes. It is important to reinforce a supportive atmosphere where having a go is more important than success or failure. Students should be encouraged to help each other if necessary, and you should avoid a stressful academic atmosphere.


Perhaps the most important thing to do at elementary school is to enjoy yourself. If you can go in and enjoy talking to and playing with your students, both you and they will have a good time. Remember that English classes at this level are supposed to introduce students to English in a fun way, and provoke their curiosity about the world. Don't worry about getting the lesson plan done, just relax, have fun, and get to know your students a little better.


Lesson Plans and Activities


Alphabet Memory

Introduce or review the alphabet through card memory matching

Alphabet Soup

A quick letter or word practice


Teach and practice English animal sounds

Around the World

An activity to reinforce and memorize vocabulary

At the Beach

Beach vocabulary using "What's this?" grammar

At the Restaurant(2007)

Lesson plan to introduce and practice ordering food in restaurants

Basic Elementary School Lesson

A basic adaptable lesson for elementary school visits

Battleships Plurals

Easy to implement version of battleships to practice plurals. Great worksheet included

Blind Man's Walk(2007)

A simple activity to practice directions in ES

Chinese Whispers Dress-up Game

A fun and active activity to practice clothes vocabulary

Christmas Card

Making Christmas cards, learning colours and Xmas vocabulary

Circle Karuta

Students race to circle the things the teacher calls out

Classroom Objects

Vocabulary and games for classroom objects


An opportunity to talk to students outside of class and get to know them better

Cops and Robbers

Energetic and loud activity to reinforce vocabulary

Do you have X

Card game with animals, practicing "Do you have ~?"

Elementary School Teaching Tips(2007)

Some tips and recommendations for ES teachers


Competitive game to reinforce vocabulary

Emotional Bowling(2007)

A bowling activity to practice feelings vocabulary

English Janken lesson

Very simple and thorough lesson plan to practice greetings and janken in English

English in the Gym

Physical activities in a large space, to teach vocabulary and grammar points


Learn feelings vocabulary with flyswatter and janken games

Fish Fish(2007)

A lesson plan for kindergarten to learn about things in the sea

Frog Family

This is a simple storytelling activity for younger students that involves acting, gestures, movement, and lots of listening

Fukuwarai with Totoro

Directions, face parts, and a blindfold!

Fun with Numbers

Songs and Bingo with numbers

Guess Who

A great game reviewing "Are you ^?" and Do you ~?"

Harry Potter Game

How are you?, Feelings, Voldemort, and wants. Nuff said

How are you

Feelings lesson for middle grades.

How are you 2

Greetings as a warm-up and mood builder

How are you - What's this - Racing Game

Misc games for ES

How many what colour

Using classroom and incidental English to encourage communication


Making paper insects while learning vocabulary

Janken Games

2 different Janken games reviewing grammar points

Karuta Variations

Two karuta variations: bowling and apple bobbing

Last Four Standing

Adaptable activity to practice any language in small groups. Encourages student independence

Letter Sounds

Simple activities to practice phonics with JHS1 students

Likes and Dislikes Bingo

My Body(2007)

Lesson plan to practice body parts with young ES students

My family

Lesson plan to practice family members and prepositions (on, under, etc.)

No Frills Introduction

North, East, South, West

Learning directions and some geography, for older grades

Not your standard Self-Intro

Need help from friends to show diversity of English speakers


A "Do you like -" tag game

Parts of the Body

An activity to practice body parts

Parts of the Face

A drawing activity to practice parts of the face

Personal Pronouns Potential Cootie Catchers

A simple and fun activity to practice making sentences using personal pronouns and 'I can'/'I can't'

Phonics ABCs

A method to use phonics practice to improve pronunciation (without reading and writing) and motivation

Phonics Little Preparation

A simple phonics practice activity based around worksheets

Phonics Slap

A simple game for practicing listening for specific sounds

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Classroom variation of the traditional party game to practice directions


Using a show and tell format to allow students to personalise language

Questions Othello

A board game based on Othello that encourages students to practice a grammar point.


Quiz activity done all in English using props and realia

Scary Monster plan

Body parts, numbers, monsters, and you


An activity/lesson plan to practice the four seasons

Shapes - Winter snowflakes

Shape vocabulary with arts and crafts

Single Row Bingo

A simple and fast-paced variation of bingo

Singular and Plural(2007)

An activity to teach and practice singular and plural forms of nouns

Spider Eats All

Interesting card game to pracice bug names (very adaptable). Includes colour worksheets...

The Mystery Box

Practice vocabulary with younger students using a 'mystery box' and realia/objects

Tic Tac Toe(2007)

An activity to use with special needs classes

Totoro Bingo


An activity to learn and practice vehicle vocabulary

Typhoon Game

Adapting the JHS game for ES

UK Nations Geography Lesson

Teaching about the various cultures and countries in the UK


A lesson plan to introduce and practice weather language with ES students

Weather II(2007)

An activity to practice weather and learn geography using a world map

Weekday Doubt

A version of the card game B.S. (or Liar) to help students learn the days of the week

What do you like

Grammar point with Bingo

What do you want to be

Jobs/profession vocabulary with some future tense grammar

What I Want

An adaptable activity to help students practice locations and the verb 'want'

What sports do you play

Sports vocabulary and grammar point

What's Missing(2007)

A simple adaptable activity to practice vocabulary through a memory game. Good warm-up or drill activity

What's this

Where Are You(2007)

Activity to practice locations and the question 'where are you?'

Yet Another Zombie Game

A zombie variation of the cockroach evolution janken game.


Sentence construction, conversation practice, and brains

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