A few weeks back I started up summer school English classes for the kids in town. This year I limited my class to 5th and 6th graders hoping that a smaller class would enable me to have a bigger impact. So far I think its working. Instead of my class of 30 from last year, I have about 10-15 (depending on the day). There are six boys (Jorge, David, Luis Angel, Miguel Eduardo, Hugo and Henry) and two girls (Cinthia and Andrea) that come religiously. Unlike last year, when it was like pulling teeth to get the kids to talk in class, this group proudly participates.
Today, I decided to skip the lesson plan and have a Halloween themed instruction in honor of one of my favorite holidays. I knew it would be a good day when as soon as I was turning the key to unlock the classroom door I hear the pounding of pavement and screeching of bike brakes behind me. The boys had arrived. I opened the door and they pushed past me all saying, "Good morning teacher." They rushed to their seats up front and patiently waited for me to begin writing the lesson plan on the whiteboard. Its 9:40 am. My class starts at 10 am. Nothing reassures me more that my work is worth while than the punctuality of these eager students.
I started the lesson with a review of changing words from the singular to plural form and reviewed the seasons, months and days of the week vocabulary. Most kids already know English basics; colors, days, greetings, animals, fruit etc. I was able to rush through the "boring" vocab to get to the "Halloween" vocab. Ghost, coffin, witch, pumpkin, trick or treat, candy... they loved it all. Then we reviewed some phrases: Sunday, October 31, is Halloween. Children wear costumes. Katie will dress as a witch. What will you dress as? The last question I made them all come up with a costume and announce, "I will dress as a ______. Each was rewarded with a handful of candy corn (Thank you Katie Goodhew for sending me Halloween treats!) I went student by student. There was a vampire, princess, ghost, monster... Then when I got to the last student, David, he said, "I will dress as Michael Jackson." Which serendipitously led into the final activity: the playing "Thriller," the kids favorite MJ hit. They all jumped up and cleared a little dance floor and got their Michael on. I captured a bit of it on tape for you guys to see.
p.s. Uncle Art, Tata Annie, Sylvie, Ariel, Sophie, Stan and little nena Dahlia, thank you for your lovely package! Today we used the brown construction paper that the box was wrapped in (nothing goes unused here) to make nameplates for the kids. They thank you too. As for the contents of the package, my stomach and I have decided upon other plans for those treats.