One of the later lessons for YICA’s 3rd grade curriculum focuses on time. It has a strong start, with a brilliant gesture based game and easily understood time bingo, but then falters at the end. Concentration? Really? So, I’ve swapped out the last activity of the unit with a variety show style time quiz.
I’m not gonna lie. The grammar in this chapter is all over the place. What do you study? Please! Ok, I get it. We’re supposed to progress from “What do you like?” in Lesson 5 to “What do you want?” in Lesson 6 and then end up here at Lesson 8 with “What do you study?” But, it’s a bogus question. Elementary school kids all study the same things together everyday. Why would they ask each other what they study? There’s just no good way to work that into a real life communication scenario for a kid. So, I flip the script. For Lesson 8, my focus is on vocabulary building, making direct statements with “is”, and speaking English as part of a speech or presentation.
It seems like every year another new head teacher presents this game as though it was new. It’s not officially in YICA, but it’s pretty much the defacto way to rework YICA Unit 4 into something passable.
One of the most downloaded and commented on activities of all of my posted activities was an old post about a 4th grade YICA based game built around the “directions” unit. In the YICA directions unit, they want the kids to actually navigate each other around a room, play acting taxis. But, it sucks. They never want to do it. So, I subbed a board game.
This is a simple update to a YICA worksheet. In YICA, the 2nd graders finish their color unit with a coloring book based activity. They’re supposed to line up, swap colored pencils, and fill out a sheet of animal illustrations. I took the spirit of that activity and applied it to a different worksheet with much simpler rules.
In my short stint as a junior high ALT, one of the most popular review games was Jeopardy. The school I was first assigned to had Jeopardy games to review at the end of almost every chapter. But, they say, Jeopardy games are 100% language based and there’s no way to adapt Jeopardy to the elementary level. Not so! I have done it and here are my categories.
Normally, the 2nd grade directions lesson for YICA ends in a big ol’ melee game. It’s… kinda hard to pull off. So, after it bombed with one of my troublesome 2nd grade classes this year, I opted to just fall back on an old classic: The board game. This one is Pac-man themed and I did my best to make it as self explanatory as possible because them 7 year olds don’t even care than I’m there, man.
This one is inspired by a YICA lesson for 2nd grade that has the kids make faces. The graphics for this lesson were kind of… Uninspiring. And, this lesson often falls between summer and Halloween, so the idea of a monstrous face came to me.
This lesson is a pretty focused one. I only take three weeks to complete it. The breakdown for those three weeks is very direct. I devote one class period to the places vocabulary. I devote the next class period to directions. And, in the last of the set puts those two things together. Unfortunately, the text book is pretty limiting for this Lesson. The only content they provide is the same map, done two ways. But, you can fudge the boundaries a bit.
This lesson continues the Yes/No Question grammar pattern from the previous lesson to its logical next step: Open ended questions. It does so by bringing colors and shapes together and applying those to clothing choices. The old Eigo Note series went all out with complete outfits. This version sticks to just t-shirt designs. And, it ends on a general interview activity that combines the Lesson 4 vocabulary with the open ended question grammar. Lesson 4 and 5 together are some of the strongest in the entire Hi! Friends textbook series. As such, my lesson plans for them center highly around the textbook activities, with one large scale project I made myself.