Thursday, October 4, 2012

Movement and Directions


Map Exercise

Although students don't need to get up and move around for this one, they usually have a lot of fun with it. If you'd like to incorporate technology you could even use Google Maps, but in my experiences I found that the students had more fun with real paper maps. Again, realia is always fun! Whenever I travel I try to buy a city map and bring it home with me but you can also find them in the travel section of your local bookstore.

There are alot of differing tasks you can give them after handing out the maps to each group but one is to have them visually locate the place and then describe its location in relation to surrounding buildings, streets etc in a sentence. Here, you incorporate not only prepositions of place but also city vocabulary. You can then extend the activity by asking them to make a list of five new locations and challenge another group of students to find them.

School Scavenger Hunt

Students are given directions to a "secret" location in the school and once they correctly follow them and arrive must get a new set of directions. The last location will have a special object they need to bring back to the classroom. The group completes he activity the fastest "wins" and must then go around to the other groups to help them complete the scavenger hunt.

Simon Says

Simon says is a quick and fun way to reinforce new and old vocabulary. You can practice both prepositions of place and classroom objects, clothing, body parts etc. Even older kids enjoy it but remember not to drag it in for too long. 


Almost everyone loves to dance and not only are they a great way to practice direction words and parts of the body, but they also are a great exercise for following directions.  I just actually did this in a conversation class  and even my shyest students were excited and enthusiastic about learning the new dances. It also ended up being a great cultural exchange when I asked them about their country's popular dances. Attempting to explain the importance and teach me the rules of their special dances was a fantastic speaking exercise and a fun one too. After about ten minutes of working together to communicate the steps, my beginner students were able to teach me Damat Halayı, a traditional Turkish dance, and couldn't be more proud.

Here are just a few dance songs that I have had success with in my classes: 

The Cha Cha Slide

The Cupid Shuffle

                                                                      Cotton Eyed Joe

Additional ideas/extended projects:

A flash mob! Looking at various videos, students learned what a flash mob is and together, we planned to do one this year on campus.

For younger children, Heads Shoulders, Knees and Toes is a great one, too.

In conjunction with H,S,K,T, children may also enjoy a game of Simon Says, which also uses parts of the body. For more ideas on teaching children check out this great link of activities and games:

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