Let’s build a lesson around a tasty poem this time. It is ideal for young children at junior a level.
The poem comes from Tasty Poems, collected by Jill Bennett and illustrated by Nick Sharratt and published by Oxford University Press.
I am citing the poem below:
I’m a hopalong
popcorn in the pan!
The following comes with a warning: you need to be fit!
It is not often that a teacher gets the opportunity to tire their students out physically so better make the most of this one.
Here are some suggestions about what steps to follow in priming your young learners for the poem and introducing the vocabulary – mainly by deixis.
Step 1: Bring in some popcorn. Go through the motions of sampling some and invite the students to do the same saying
"Let’s taste some popcorn."
The children can repeat this as they taste the popcorn.
Step 2: Draw a pan on the board or show the learners a real one and get them to repeat the word.
Step 3: If you haven’t introduced prepositions of place yet, put some popcorn in the pan and say:
The popcorn is in the pan.
Take some out and say:
The popcorn is out.
Step 4: Demonstrate “hop” on one foot and “pop” on both feet.
Step 5: I happen to have lots of space outside the classroom so this works quite well, but even in more cramped circumstances, it is fun.
I normally hop and pop along the length of the yard to simply give the learners a rough idea of “along” and then I ask them to “hopalong” and “popalong” themselves.
Step 6: Draw a circle on the ground and practice “in” and “out”.
While you are at it, also demonstrate “up” and “down” by jumping high and then coming down with hands pointing downwards.
Step 7: The real fun comes now. After performing the movements of “in”, “out”, “up” and “down”, run away and shout “Catch me if you can.”
There is no doubt in my mind that the children will catch on to the idea!
Recap: the children should be comfortable with the new language and act it out bit by bit several times before they go on to execute the whole poem pretending to be popcorn kernels.