1. (Optional) Quick revision of language and setting up of props needed for first song.
For example, drill colours from colour word prompts and then get the students to tell you where you should put the flashcards around the class (‘Under the door’ etc), to run and touch during songs like ‘Red, Yellow, Blue’ or ‘I can sing a rainbow’.
2. Revision of actions to get them moving
Get the students to ‘Stand up’/ ‘sit down’ as quickly as possible, then make the two actions random to make them listen more carefully and try to catch them out. Continue with all the actions done in the course so far (ski quickly; touch colours and classroom objects; mime animals and transport, etc).
3. Song 1: Warmer action song. Students sit down and then get straight back up again for an easy-to-organise action song like ‘Red Yellow Blue’, ‘Musical Statues’ , ‘YMCA’, ‘the Wheels on the Bus’ etc. If possible, this should be a song they have done at least once before– introducing new stuff is better left until they are more warmed up.
4. New language
Introduce the new language for the day, e.g. introduce a new lexical set such as toys; add more vocabulary to a topic you’ve introduced before, such as adding new colours; teach new phonics; teach word recognition of words they already know
Revision of previous weeks’ language, preferably through a fun game
6. Song 2: New song
This is a good point to introduce any new songs- while they still have some concentration power left! This might be, for example, a song that you want to use as the first song of next week’s class, a song that practices the new or revised language above, or a song that sets you up for the language you are going to introduce next week. This and the ‘revision’ stage above can be switched around if you want to use a song at the next stage.
7. (Optional) Song 3: Settling down: Use a quieter song to settle the kids down for bookwork, e.g. alphabet and counting songs. I tend to get the students moved to the table with their books and pencils ready on the table and do one of these songs before they open the books. The first thing we talk about in the book is then the thing connected to the song, e.g. ‘What number page?’ after a counting song.
8. Bookwork: You can use a chant or song for opening books and closing books if you know or can make up a suitable one, or just have some quiet music in the background if you like.
9. Song 4: Re-energiser
Do a physical activity or a physical song they already know well to get ready of restlessness built up during bookwork.
10. Quieter activity
For example, jigsaws, crafts or storytime.
11. Song 5: Grand finale
Finally, a rousing action song to send them off on a high. This should be a fun, physical song, but one where you are all standing round together such as ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes’, ‘Hokey Cokey’ or ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ rather than a tearing round the class one like ‘Tables and Chairs’ This being the last thing in the class, it’s best if you use a song you can easily extend or cut short to match the available time, such as one with plenty of verses or one that can be repeated with variations.
The plan above is for a 55-minute lesson with up to about 14 students, but even with half that number of songs your class should be like an Andrew Lloyd Webber production (but without the boring bits!)