On September 12th our group (Rasmus, Kaisa and Sara) went to Nipsula to conduct an activity session teaching basic English to children. After the families had gathered to Nipsula, we got to know the children through free play. Our organized activity took place during our morning circle. We explained to the parents our intentions for the session so they could better guide their children as well. First, we introduced ourselves and got to know the children’s names. We sat in a half circle and sang Five little ducks first in Finnish and then in English. Before we changed the languages we went over the numbers and the animals in the song. We watched the music video, which had subtitles and was slowed down. We used the same hand movements for both videos to help children keep track of the lyrics and timing. We taught them numbers one through five in both languages. Our intention was to continue our session, but ultimately decided it was best to cut it short due to the children’s short attention spans. We felt the children were getting somewhat restless. It was nice to receive positive feedback on subjects such as the duration of the session and that we included both Finnish and English in our instructions. The parents appreciated us using music as a means of teaching English.
On September 19th our group (Josefina, Piret, Sanni, Anni) assembled in Nipsula to lead an English language activity session. Our activity of choice was a colour learning song. The purpose of the activity was to expose the children to basic English vocabulary, and in our case, to colours. Our audience was a group of children whose age ranged from 6 months to almost 4-year-old, and in total there were 7 children. The children were accompanied by their mothers, and they also participated in the activity.
The formal activity of the day started with a morning circle, during which we introduced ourselves and explained the day’s schedule. After that, we introduced the theme of the day by showing coloured cards. We told the names of the colours in both Finnish and English, but we left some time for the children to say the names if they already knew them. The next step was to gather in front of a big screen to which we had connected a laptop. Our main activity was to show a song video on youtube and sing along. The lyrics of the song introduced colours and we showed appropriate coloured cards along with it. First we listened to the song twice in this manner. The children danced along with it. After that we brought colourful instruments and told the children and parents to choose ones of their liking. The instruments provided were egg shakers and boom whackers. Then we played the song twice and let the participants to play along with their instruments of choice.
The children participated by dancing when we only listened to the song. However, we noticed that the children were even more enthusiastic about the instruments. Some children noticed that the colours of the instruments were the same as the colours mentioned in the song and were excited about it. After finishing the activity, the children continued playing as per their usual schedule in Nipsula.