Every week, I teach extra “English Corner” classes to Grade 1 and 2 after school. These classes are for the kids who really want to improve their oral English and they usually have the best English in their classes.
I decided to mix things up with Grade 1 because 1: the weather is getting nicer, 2: constant in-class lessons can be boring for both the students and for me, and 3: there are tons of Grade 1 students who come to class, so games would be ideal. Today, we played kickball.
Keep in mind that Chinese students do not grow up playing baseball or kickball, but instead, they played ping-pong and badminton. The rules of kickball are totally new to them. I started teaching them the rules with an in-class diagram and instructions. But of course, this is boring and in my opinion, really difficult. The best way to learn a new game is by getting dirty, going outside, and doing it hands on.
After a lot of confusion, we finally got the game going. But it was not easy. It was sheer pandemonium and there were plenty of mistakes made. The kids were:
- kicking the ball, then standing there and not running
- kicking the ball out of bounds and running to first
- squatting over the bases
- kicking the ball, then running to third base
- running zig-zags outside of the baseline
- not running to the next base
- not touching the bases
At first, most of the kids had no idea what was going on. By the end, they were making good plays, having a great time, and best of all, they were learning English! They loved playing kickball and we’ll play again next week.
Added bonus: a lot of other teachers were out on the schoolyard at the same time, so I gained a lot of face. 🙂