Using English in Performances

Using English in Performances

November Speech Day (on Zoom)

The past few eventful weeks have been full of memorizing English speeches and scripts for recent big events at the kindergarten. From the beginning of November, our selected Speech Day kids practiced their speeches every day with the English teachers. We started by reciting each word together and then practiced on the stage leading up the the big day.

On the 25th, we celebrated Thanksgiving by performing a short skit. Jupiters played turkeys, Saturns played Native Americans, and Mercuries played Pilgrims. Each class spent time learning some basic lines, then we performed all together while wearing our specially crafted Thanksgiving hats.

Our Native Americans gathering their harvest

As December approaches, our focus shifts to the upcoming Christmas show. This year’s theme is Home Alone, a story about a boy who gets left behind by his family on Christmas Eve and has to protect the house from burglars. Everyone has a lot to remember, especially Mercury class, so we’ve all been working very hard!

Mercury boys playing Kevin in Home Alone

When getting ready for a big event like these, whether it be a short skit, a speech, or a big holiday show, there are certain things we always work on with our kids.

  1. Getting them able to speak loudly in front of a big group of people
  2. Remembering certain words and phrases without teacher help
  3. Adding the right pronunciation and inflection to what they’re saying
  4. Showing them how to use their whole body for their performance

All these points are what makes a normal presentation into a great one!

We are so proud of our kids at the kindergarten for slowly becoming more confident in their English skills and performance skills!

Recording Memories in Art

Recording Memories in Art

Since our fall semester is so busy, it’s easy to get caught up in all our events and forget everything we have done up until now! In order to properly enjoy all our holidays, we make sure to talk about them a lot both before and after they have ended.

Our favorite way to keep school memories fresh is to draw them out on large pieces of paper. The kids start out by drawing the main part of our picture in crayon. After everyone finishes, we paint the background and let the pictures dry in the sun.

English Teachers will pull each student aside after the pictures have dried and ask the kids for a description of their picture. We then translate into English and write the description for them as a caption.

This month, we drew our memories of Halloween and our fall field trip to Kanazawa Zoo.

Our favorite moments from Halloween were our fashion show and –of course– trick-or-treating! It was so fun to see whose costumes were everyone’s favorite by looking at everyone’s artwork.

Our fall field trip from the beginning of November to the zoo was also so memorable! Many kids loved drawing pictures of the elephants, okapi, kangaroos, and other animals!

Looking back at our recent events, it’s been fun thinking about all the things we have done and seen together as a school.

Now it’s time to look forward to Christmas and other school events!

Introducing…

Introducing…

This academic year, we have been teaching with a new system in place.

The new system, called STAR, mixes English with special topics to help immerse our students into the language more while doing different activities.

We have added three new special classes:

Timo Teacher is in charge of our music class,

Janna Teacher is in charge of our Theatre class,

And Thom Teacher is in charge of our science class!

Our English teachers teach their special class to a different grade three days a week.

Here are a few words from our teachers about how the past few weeks have been with our new program in place.

Timo Teacher:

“Timo’s STAR class is focused on teaching rhythm through 3 different approaches: Drumming, dancing, and singing.

The Mercury class [learns] rhythm skills [with] drums and other percussion instruments while the Jupiter and Saturn classes [do mainly] singing and dancing.”

*All of the music that we use in the class is either an ILH original songs created by TILT, or a monthly kindergarten song.*

Thom Teacher:

“So far in Science class we have studied anatomy, the senses, and this month we are studying water.

Through experimentation, I hope that [the kids’] motivation to speak English will be sparked by a natural curiosity [in science].”

Janna Teacher:

“We have been using Phonics as a way to practice good pronunciation and voice projection while acting in Theatre class.

My goal is to have students confidently practicing phrases that are used daily at ILH! We have also been exploring our creativity and imagination!

After teaching STAR class, our teachers return to our regular classes and teach normal english after that.

So far, it’s been a lot of fun! We are happy when our kids go home and practice what they’ve learned with us even at home.

>>>Check out our Instagram page for more daily life photos<<<

Book Review: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny

Book Review: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny

This book we recently did for story time with Mercury class, although it was a simple enough story for all three age levels to enjoy.

P. J. Funnybunny is tired of being a bunny. So he decides to travel around and live like a bunch of different animals to fit in somewhere else. He ends up realizing he is the happiest being himself–a bunny!

This book is great for teaching different animal names in English in a fun way. It’s also a cute way to address self-love and accepting what makes you unique!

Many people, not just kids, try to be someone else to see if they will be more comfortable that way. After seeing how different people live, it becomes easier to know who you want to be.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Our overall rating is 5 stars!

Do you have any book recommendations? Leave a comment!

Book Review: My New Normal

Book Review: My New Normal

Welcome to our new series: book reviews from our teachers at ILH!

This book we recently ordered online after hearing about it on the American news.

A 7-year old girl from Michigan, U. S. A. named Mackenzie wrote this book. She struggled with being a child living through the COVID-19 outbreak, and wanted to share her experience to other kids who may also have a tough time adapting to daily life.

We read this book to our students this week and it was easy for them to understand the message of the book. Some parts of the story only applied to the current American school system, so it wasn’t completely relatable. But having a book written by a kid was amazing to share with our students!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Our overall rating is 3.5 stars!

Do you have any book recommendations? Leave a comment!