Days of the Week

The concept of days of the week is usually a new subject for my students. They barely understand it in their own language. That’s ok. There’s no reason I can’t teach them a new concept as well as a new language. This happens quite often. I usually see it with Days of the Week, shapes, and time. I believe a child is capable of learning any concept with sufficient repetition.

Days of the week are long words with strange spellings. I start by teaching this song. I don’t expect them to learn the pronunciation of each word immediately. I want them to learn the tune. Then as we hear it several times over several lessons they begin to remember key sounds to each word. Then we focus on the word written and the first phoneme. They can’t read “Tuesday” but they recognize the T and they know its not Th because I focus so much on the correct pronunciation of Th.

We make cards with each day and wheels and an engine like the video. The child then puts the days in order. It takes several repetitions, but they all eventually learn them.




I’m willing to bet every English teacher has their own personal favorite alphabet song. This one is mine. I’ve heard it a thousand times and I’m prepared to hear it a thousand more. It took me about that long to understand what Elmo says at the end.

Hangman is a great way to reinforce the names of the letters, which bare little resemblance to their sounds. Thanks English!

For those who don’t know how to play: This is a 2 player game. One person picks a word. They then write a dash for each letter in the word, indicating how many letters are in the word.  The other player then guesses letters from the alphabet that might be in the hidden word. If he guesses a letter that is in the word, it is written in its place.  If the guessed letter isn’t in the word, you draw another body part of a hanging man in the gallows.  What a Game!


Made by me )

Fun with Word Lists

I’m in love with

She has a made a website full of awesomness.  It will take me awhile to go through all the great ideas and printables she has created. One of the gems I found was her great word lists:

Pictionary-Words-Easy      Pictionary-Words-Medium

This is just a sample. You can find more at her List of Printables

So what can you do with these word lists?

I play a game called, Charades, Pictionary or Hangman.


I mixed together both easy and medium words.  Most of my students falls between these two levels. I cut them up and put them in a jar (that was once used for cinnamon and smells delightful).


The person who pulls the word then gets to decide what game we will play: Charades, Pictionary or Hangman.  If they don’t know they word, we play Hangman and they learn a  new word.

As the students play, regardless of the game, they may not know how to say what it is they want to guess. I allow them to guess in their native language but I show them the word at the end of the game.


My key philosophy of teaching English to kids: I don’t care what we are doing or talking about as long as it’s in English. I like to introduce new games into my lessons.  I explain the directions in English as I show them what to do and we play using only English. Games are great because they introduce a limited vocabulary set that is repeated frequently and the child is motivated to participate.

I look for games that are fun to play, are easy to learn, don’t take too long, and easy to replicate in Russia.  Battleship is universal and fun for both kids and adults.  I found a great printable and it comes from a counterpart of mine in the Canary Islands.  Must be a great idea!


Bingo was his name-o

It seems most of my students are crazy about animals, dogs in particular.  Awesome, me too )

This is another classic American kids song.  The great thing about using these songs is they are not only good for teaching English, but also the culture that native speakers all have.  I’d be hard pressed to find an American who does not know this song.

Why is this song great?

✓ Animals – dogs are cute and awesome
✓ Thematic – continues the farm theme from Old MacDonald
✓ Spelling – B I N G O
✓ Actions – clap your hands, pat your head
✓ Commands – listen and follow along
✓ Versatile – can change the commands as you learn new actions

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