What do the 1st graders love the most?

After doing the “What do you like?” and “I like” grammar patterns over and over again, it’s time for the little ones to get up in front of their peers and give a speech.  But, how do you get first graders to stand in front of their friends and give a speech in English? You pretend it’s a drawing activity! This is a simple poster based speech activity based on the first grade final lesson of the year for the YICA curriculum.


Before the lesson starts, I put up a large piece of poster paper on the board. At the start of the lesson, each kid gets a single heart paper with the corners trimmed to make it more compact. I tell the kids to get out their colors. Colored pencils, markers, or crayons. I pretend to think about my own likes and dislikes and then draw illustrations of two or so of them on the paper. I keep it simple. Usually a cat face and pizza or strawberries and Music Station. Then, I ask them rhetorically what they like. “What do you like? I like pizza? Pizza picture, please” and point to their papers. “I like Doraemon? Doreamon’s picture, please. Let’s go!”

After about 10 minutes they’ll have a plethora of things on their papers. Then, it’s speech time. I dramatically put a stick of glue on the chalkboard tray and then hold up my paper. I prompt the kids to interview me. “What’s your name? My name is… What do you like? I like…” And then I spread glue onto the back of my heart and slap it randomly on the poster.

Seeing the fun of slapping the heart onto the poster, a few kids will naturally want to try it themselves. Call them up and prompt the class to interview that kid collectively. Once they finish their speech, put glue on the back of their paper and point them to slap their heart onto the poster somewhere.

Shy kids can come up in twos. And it’s easy to figure out who hasn’t spoken yet because they still have a heart on their desk. Easy peasy.

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