English Teacher Article "How are you?" Lesson Plan for Young Learners

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Here's a lesson plan to teach young learners "How are you?" and "I'm (adjective)".

Target Language: How are you? I'm (happy).

Vocabulary: happy, sad, hungry, mad (flashcards)

Target: Young Learners

Greetings and Warm-up: Greet the class with a good-morning or good-afternoon depending on the time of the day. Have the class stand up and respond to your greeting and do the warm-up. Ask the students, "Do you want to sing a song?�? Usually, they'll nod and begin to twitch and sway their bodies. Some will respond with a yes. Songs I teach young learners include the "Eensy Weensy Spider�?, "Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes�?, "The Alphabet Song�?, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star�?, "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush,�? "Ring Around The Rosey�?, and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat�?.

After the warm-up, sit the students down. Introduce the new vocabulary using flashcards. Show the flashcard or place them on the blackboard. Point to the flashcard and say happy. Have the students repeat after you. Do this a few times for all the new vocabulary. I'll also act out the emotions using facial and body expressions. The children seem to enjoy it.

Model the dialogue with a puppet. I use a Panda puppet to help me do this. Place the flashcards on the blackboard. Take Panda out of a special bag. Say "Hello Panda�? and then introduce him to the class. Ask Panda "How are you?�? while pointing to the happy flashcard. Panda's answers: "I'm happy.�? Do this for all the flashcards and repeat the process a couple of times. Make a mistake or two along the way. Point to the mad flashcard. Have Panda say, "I'm hungry.�? then turn to the students, and have them tell Panda the correct answer.

Divide the class into 2 groups. One group asks the question "How are you?�? And the other group answers, "I'm (adjective) depending on the flashcard shown. Run between the two groups. Better still, if you have a helper or if the homeroom teacher is present, ask them to help you. Alternate the dialogue between the two groups a few times until they get the hang of the dialogue.

Activity: Sit the students in a circle. Hold up a flashcard (happy) and point to it and say, "I'm happy.�? Then hold up a ball and say, "How are you?�? Demo with several students. Give the ball to one student and the flashcard to another student. Have them stand up. Get them to practice the dialogue. Do this several times with several different students until the class gets a feel as to what they are suppose to do. If the students are very timid or shy, have two students stand up and do each part of the dialogue. So, two students say, "How are you?�? And the other two students say, "I'm happy.�? Play the music and get the students to pass the ball and flashcard around the circle, both going in opposite directions. Stop the music. The two students holding the ball and the flashcard stand up and do the dialogue.

If I there's a Chinese or Japanese teacher or helper in the class, I'll play the "How are you?�? game. Divide the class into two equal groups, teams A and B. If there's one team with an extra member, have one student play twice. Line up the two teams in two single straight lines. Demo the game with a few students. Team A students go to Team A teacher and Team B students go to Team B teacher and is asked the question "How are you?�? while being shown a flashcard. The respective student responds. They then go to the end of the line and the next student advances. When ready, start the game by shouting out go and encourage the students to advance to the front. Show your student a flashcard and ask him/her "How are you?�? S/he answers, "I'm happy.�? and then goes to the end of the line and the next student advances. The first team to get through the questions wins. As a reward, the winning team gets a round of applause.

To wrap up the class, have the students do a drawing activity. Hand out pieces of blank paper. Have the students watch you draw a happy face. Place the flashcards on the board and ask the students to pick one and draw it on their piece of paper.

Go around the classroom and ask the students, "How are you?�? while pointing to their piece of paper.

If there's time remaining, teach them a new song or sing again the song you did in the warm-up.

I end the class with a good-bye and say, "That's all for today. See you next time.�?

Copyright (c) 2006 Stefan Chiarantano- all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

Maybe you could also teach that it is only polite to ask someone "How are you" if you have met them before. I get fed up with salespeople I've never met asking how I am!

yes i anjoyed it very much. thank yuo your lesson. i wanna be english teacher in the future.

It is indeed polite to ask "how are you?" certainly in the UK, America and here in France it is asked all the time. It is part of the ritual of introduction, a means to show that you have some interest in that person. It may be the first time you meet them, however, if you ask "how are you? and they reply, "I am well, but it has been a difficult week because my wife had a bad accident on Monday." this would give you the knowledge that maybe you are not seeing his true personality today and he may be different if his circumstances were better.

Following an injury three years ago (broken head and seven weeks coma), what I lost was most words I knew in five languages.

I never can make sense of "How are you?" questions. When I hear this, the only thought I have is, "How are you (doing) WHAT? And why do you want to know?" Logic and memory is improved, but conflict with linguistics.

"How are you?" is rarely used among native speakers and when it is used the answer is almost never a serious response. The phrase is a formality and no longer carries its original intent. Anyone who responds to "How are you?" with a response such as "I'm hungry." or "I'm excited." will look like a complete fool. Don't teach this.

Where do you get the 'rarely used' claim from?

Instead of "How are you?", You could substitute, "Are you ________?" and fill in the word on the flash card: happy, mad, sad, excited, etc. The response from the other partner or team is, "I am _____." Students may respond and tell what makes them feel this kind of emotion. Dialogue with the puppet. As a school librarian, I might have the puppet say, "I am happy when boys and girls remember to bring back their books!"

Great lesson plan! Here's a "How are you" song that could be good for the end of class review or for the beginning of next class.

YouTube - How Are You - Simple English Song
http://youtu.be/NPlpR0juEc8

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