Magicians, like myself, use magic wands all the time. But recently, I have been looking for ideas on how to use them in the classroom more. Magic wands can be used with picture books. I use the Longman’s Young Picture Dictionary with my toddlers. I give each toddler and mommy a “magic wand” or “fairy wand”. The toddlers “touch” the pictures as we practice the words. “touch apple” ” touch cookies”. You can use magic wands to touch anything: “touch your knee”, “mommy’s hand”, etc. Another way in which I have used magic wands in the past is to give one magic wand to a student. That student has the magic power the command the other students. ” walk” “swim” stop” “go”. Use the magic wand with a music activity. Put the music on and the student has the power to “freeze” the others and the music. Even the teacher can use a magic wand “Sit Down” for Story time or “clean up”. Tanja from Super Simple Learning has posted a great activity on her blog. http://ewspider.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/collecting-butterflies/
The other I went to see a magic show. It has been many years since I have seen a live stage performance. I’m usually the person performing magic, but I rarely see a magician perform. Watching the performers, I was able to experience how my students feel when I show them magic. One year I must have performed around fifty different tricks to the same class of students! I always wonder which trick was the most memorable of the year. So one day after class I ask a student, “Which trick do you remember the most?”. He replied, ” I remember when you made a mistake and the trick didn’t work!”
What do I enjoy most about teaching kids? Making them laugh. I learned a lot about making kids laugh from doing magic and from other magicians. Here is a link to a article for magicians, but you can apply it to teaching kids as well. Some of the points he makes are:
- Treating and object like something else
- Calling an object by a different name.
- Name play
- Make up sentences.
- Thing that don’t belong together.
- Physical comedy.
The other day I was doing a kids magic show for a Halloween party. Everyone seem to be having good time except one boy who kept heckling me. ” I know that trick!, I can do that!” I saw it on TV!”, “My brother has that one!” etc. I thought he would never stop. After the show surprisingly the same boy came up to me and said, “Thank you. That was so much fun!”