If you find it hard to take care of a preschooler, imagine having to teach a roomful of them! There are, however, some great strategies you could employ to make sure you would not only be able to teach them successfully, but that they will actually enjoy being in class, as well. A lesson on action words is particularly exciting to teach and learn. Be encouraged by the fact that this is one of the easiest lessons to plan, because there are many possible activities you could use as a springboard for learning.
- Know the developmental characteristics of Kindergarten children. No matter what topic you teach them, it’s very important that you are well-versed about the general developmental traits of your students. This foundational knowledge will help you in your judgments about how to relate with them and how to best teach them. One of the major characteristics of Kindergarten children is that they are in their preoperational stages. That means they best learn if they are taught using real, tangible objects and examples. You should also make sure that you use the simplest words possible when explaining things to them.
- Use as many senses as possible. Kindergarten children learn best through multisensory learning. One way of teaching them about action words is to make them dramatize words like “walk,” “run,” “stomp,” “jump,” “wave.” You will find that your students will meet this activity with much enthusiasm, as they are also at the stage when they are rapidly developing their physical-motor abilities.
- Build up their vocabulary. One of the major features of the preschool years is that students are learning new words at a rapid rate every day. Apart from giving them common action words, you should also incorporate the learning of new vocabulary words.
- Create an “action wall” in the classroom. Apart from teaching them the concept of action words per se, you should also take this as an opportunity to broaden their sight words knowledge. Prepare signs of common action words such as “walk,” “run,” “eat,” along with corresponding illustrations. Post these signs all over your classroom. This way, your students will become familiar with the spelling of these common action words.
- Use a storybook as a springboard. Kindergarteners love to listen to stories, and you could use a storybook as a springboard for a lesson on action words. Read to them a story that they love. Afterwards, let the students act out the action words from the story that you will dictate. This way, your students will learn the concept of action words from actual context. Plus, your kids will learn literary appreciation as well.
- Use guide questions to help the students identify the action words. You could give a sentence such as “Pamela drinks,” complete with a corresponding illustration. Then ask your students, “What is Pamela doing?” This way, you can effectively guide them towards identifying action words within a sentence.
- Teach your student other skills apart from identification of action words. Apart from learning how to identify action words, you could go on to encourage your students to construct their own sentences that contain action words. For example, you could ask a student to act out an action word that you would whisper to his ear. His other classmates will complete a sentence about that action word he is doing. “Jared jumps high!” is one possible answer you could expect from your class.
Teaching action words to Kindergarten children is all about preparing an atmosphere of fun, enjoyment and multisensory learning. Because of the very topic that you will be discussing, your students should be up on their feet and doing a lot of movement. This should be quite a fun and easy lesson to tackle.