Magic Wands

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.


Trick or Treat

Halloween is a great time to do a super fun lesson. Here is a super simple game using the wonderful Halloween materials and songs that my friends at Super Simple learning have produced. Divide the class into two groups. Each group form circles. Draw two large “trick or treat” bags on the board, one for each team. Place six Halloween flashcards(witch, ghost,etc.) facing out on the board. Explain to your students that we are going to go trick or treating and introduce six “treat” flashcards. One of the flashcards is the “candy” card. Shuffle these cards and hide them behind the Halloween cards. Here is how to play. Give each team a ball of small Halloween toy. Play some energetic Halloween music while the students pass the ball around the circle. When the music stops, the students holding the ball come to the front of the class and “Rock, Scissors, Paper”. The winning player chooses a flash card first. The other player chooses next. If a player finds the “candy”, draw it in the “trick or treat” bag and reset the game. You can also draw the other “treats” in the bag as well. For 10-15 minutes of game play, the team that finds the candy card (three times) is the winner.

Phonics Shuffle Game

This game can be played using any six cards or music, but this game is great using the wonderful “Super Simple ABC’s” flash cards. The game is Super Simple too! Teach the gestures and phonics of the cards used before the game. If your teaching a large class, ask for six students to come up to the front of the class. Give each student a flash card facing towards the other students for all to see. Review each flash card again. Have the six students turn the cards around face backwards. Play some energetic music. Have the students not holding cards clap to the beat of the music. This is a good way to get everyone involved. The six students holding cards “shuffle” the cards by exchanging them with each other. When the music stops, the students holding cards (still facing backwards) stop exchanging cards. Ask the other students, for example, “wheres a-a-a apple?” If a students knows, they raise their hand and choose the person holding the card. The students holding the cards can answer “yes” or “no”. For the last card, ask the students “what’s this?” For small classes, line up the cards on the board and the teacher can “shuffle” the cards. Play once or twice.

“How are you?” Gesture Junken

Here is a fun game to do after you have done “If You’re Happy” song from Super Simple Songs  One. Have your students stand up. Review four emotions using flashcards and gestures (best limit four emotions for this game). Shuffle the flashcards and explain to your students that you will “randomly” choose one or the emotion flashcards (don’t show them the flash card yet). Ask the students “How are you?”. The students must choose one emotion and using gestures and answer “I’m happy”,  “I’m sad”,  etc.  Now dramatically reveal the flash card you previously chosen. The students that chose the same emotion as your flash card,  are out and must sit down.  Shuffle the flashcards again and repeat until only a few students remain. Give these students a sticker or just applause is fine. You can repeat this game several times with the same or different emotion flashcards. Remember, you shuffle ALL the flashcards each time so it is possible that the same emotion comes up twice or more. This makes this game exciting!