I love using Arts and Crafts, in my teaching!
Using arts And Crafts, can be an great way to facilitate language learning with young learners.
For mixed age and level classes arts and crafts activities can supplement a course book which isn’t always appropriate for all students.
Cardboard Box Houses
My most favourite craft, is making cardboard dollhouses, which is a great way to recycle old boxes and create a new toy, which we can use later, in class!
Dollhouses provide hours of fun and can be configured in any number of ways. I find that, using cardboard is a fun way to construct a place to use in class in order to teach and practice ie colours, rooms, furniture, prepositions, adjectives and so much more…
Are our students even remotely interested in all the above ? Not really!They want to play with the item ie box, turning out to learn, so many new things!
When in Primary school, my daughter, Alexiana, created her own recycled doll house out of recycled items from around our home. Large cardboard box for the house, cereal boxes as dividers for the rooms, lids, wrapping paper for wallpaper, bows, glitter glue and paint, plastic applesauce containers for a table, medicine box for a bed and cotton balls for pillows and many other cool ideas.
That doll house, has been used in my lessons, all these years! When I showed it to my 3rd graders, for the first time,they wanted to make one ,too!
Inspiration, is contagious!
Children are visually inclined people. They love things that they can see and touch. This is why we have to use educational materials that they can see and touch with their own hands.
To teach or revise vocabulary, here are questions you can ask the children.
1. Where do you sleep?
2. Where do you take a bath?
3. Where do you eat?
4. What room will you use when you want to sleep?
5. What room will you use when you have guests?
6. Do you have a play room at home?
7. Where do you play with your brothers and sisters?
Then you can ask questions about the different colours they see.
Time to teach the main parts of the house.
25) washing machine
Students are asked to describe what they see
ie There are four chairs in the yellow kitchen
Time to work on prepositions of place, some more. To do so, you could try the following activity.
Upside down home
After describing what they see in the dolls house ,you can divide the class into two teams. One team leaves the room. During their absence, the other team moves five different objects/pieces of furniture around. For example, they may place a cushion on the floor, remove a remote control, change something on a team member, or overturn something. When the other team returns, they must find the five differences and talk about which item is where.
Here are two links to help you make them -or have your students make their own dolls house…
As I hope I have demonstrated in this post, arts and craft, definitely have a place in the language classroom and can be used in many different ways. They are a great resource for discussions as well as practising a variety of language. Activities incorporating art /craft are motivating for students, provide an often welcome change of pace and can stimulate and develop creative and critical thinking skills.
Whether these activities work for you or not, just the fun of making crafts together will improve the tone of your classroom, and the engagement of your students. Guaranteed!