Survival Tips for Teaching Kids English: 40+ Resources #GAETC13

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 10.52.05 AMFrom the What Works for Language Learners Category

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.” ― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

This week I am in beautiful Atlanta, Georgia, presenting at the GAETC conference. It is one of the most organized and interesting conferences I’ve been to and they’ve had some incredible presenters/keynotes.

I had six sessions which you can read about here, Here are the resources for the Survival Tips for Teaching Kids English session in case you missed it. At GAETC, I tried collaborative note-taking with the 400 audience. We all took notes on one Google Doc. Scary, I know! However, it ended up being a great experience and many helped create notes and stories. Check out the document here, Thank you to Jennifer Burke @jdkburke, Paige Odell @odie2teach, Amy Pietrowski @amylpie, and others who helped with the collaborative note-taking experience.


Download these slides!

Some of the Survival Tips

  1. Channel in your inner child! Have the ability to act silly! I often dress-up when reading books, play charades, make silly voices and faces, and sing and dance!
  2. Wear the right gear! Don’t dress to impress! Dress for a mess!
  3. Use a variety of techniques to animate readings.
  4. Children love to play pretend games!
  5. Have lively music that is easy for the children to understand and that you will enjoy singing very loudly to!
  6. TPR- Total physical response is a must for every lesson. Find out more by reading this post.
  7. Puppets are great for children, especially when you incorporate the puppet in every lesson.
  8. Play board games, physical games, and online games- We play Twister, bingo,English Raven’s games, and more!
  9. Include stories from great children’s authors and make the reading time fun. Check out my class wiki for various books and the themes they support.
  10. Use colorful flashcards and play games with the flash cards.
  11. Color with a purpose! Give children a task to see if they can follow directions, such as telling a child to draw a circle and color it yellow. Without direction, I’ve had children color on the wall and on me!
  12. Build your survival kit. Add masking tape, a ball, playdoh, a timer, etc.
  13. Incorporate drama activities such as mime and improvisation games.
  14. Felt boards are great for having children piece together what happened in a story or to learn new vocabulary.
  15. Finger plays like the Itsy Bitsy Spider work wonders. Read this post on how todigitalize your finger plays using Blabberize.
  16. Trust kids with technology! My five year-old students complete online activities each week which I put in a wiki. Kids love technology and will repeat what they learn.
  17. Explore the outdoors.
  18. Use realia- My students play Bingo with pennies from the USA. Introduce real world objects to students from an English speaking culture. Play Show-and-Tell!
  19. When all else fails, have fun!

More Resources

These are more resources to help you teach young learners.

My Slide Presentations

A list of YL blogs and Sites


Use one of these resources or ideas and share with me how the experience went with your learners.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *