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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > 3 year olds, first lesson    

3 year olds, first lesson

Aldona 777
Russian Federation

3 year olds, first lesson
Dear Friends!
I īll have my first lesson with very young kids, with 3 year olds. I desperately need you advice. How can I stop such small kids from running or crying in case of emergency? Will they dread me as much as I dread them? )
And thank you all for your appreciation of my last contribution!

7 Jul 2009      

United States

You are teaching children who are still at the Playing stage.
It is very hard for children of this age to sit still for any length of time.
Therefore you have to teach them on their terms and conditions - that means
with a smile, fun, games, songs, and things children love to do.
Walk around the playground, point out things and say what they īre called
in English.
Remember these are little children who can īt even read yet.

I īm not sure what you mean by running or crying in case of emergency.
But if little kids are scared they do cry and they do run away if they are
frightened. That is what any normal person does. The Flight or fight reaction
is normal - and you can īt change that. That īs what people and animals do to survive.
(sorry if I misunderstood what you wrote)


7 Jul 2009     


Hi dont panic!!!!
i felt the same a few years ago when i was in the same situation.
You have to calm down and catch their attention, you can take a box containing something inside and tell them taht u have a surprise but they will have to listen and sit down if they want u to show it to them!
Tell them to guess what s in it and well ,then u continue with the class always lettin them know that u r in charge. Sit in circles and if one stands up or runs dont go after him/her becuase the rest that is sitting down will stand up and do the same if they see u. just let him get tired
Good luck ! i m here if u have any doubts

7 Jul 2009     


I īve been teaching for 32 years (oh my! Confused)  and I īve had only one year teaching wit 3 year-old children...I was lost! Cry   Then I did what the teachers were doing but in English! I added songs and acting, they love "let īs pretend" games. Nowadays you have a lot of teacher aids (is this expression correct?), go to Youtube and digit  "Super Simple Songs"  or visit www.genkienglish.com  there are lots of songs and activities. I use the songs and activities with my primary children, they love them.
Good luck and...play a lot, have fun!

7 Jul 2009     

New Zealand

I agree with the above comments.  The key to this is enforcing your rules with positive reinforcement for those children doing the right thing.

If one child gets up and starts running around - turn to a chile doing the right thing and tell them how wonderful they are.  The child running around wants your attention - you have just told all the children in the class that you will only give attention for positive behaviour.

I would play and play and play:
- simon says
- Make shapes/letters with your bodies
- make shapes out of play-doh
- sing songs - nursery rhymes are best - they are intended for littlies.
- clap
- go on adventures into the big wide world (the garden)
- read stories with fantastic pictures
- chant
- go on a safari in your classroom (using soft toys)
- play dress ups with dolls
- have a tea party
- have a teddy bears tea party
- paint
- draw
- colour
- laugh
- laugh
- laugh
- sing
- sing
- sing
- above all be positive - never tell off - just praise praise praise

good luck

7 Jul 2009     

Anna P

Teaching young kids is fun!  You will love it! All you need is to be prepared and really enjoy them. Children will feel if you are insecure and then you might have a hard time controling them. So, just relax and have a variety of activities at hand. Songs, puppets, simple stories (use Big Books, flannel boards, an apron with props such as 3 bowl bowls of different sizes for Goldilocks, etc). Check Hap Palmer or Greg and Steve songs. They are great for young kids are they include lots of movement and simple words. The idea of a mystery box is excellent. You can use it to introduce vocabulary.  You may have them in groups: One group at a dramatization area, another doing an art activity, others playing with a doll house or a play farm with small plastic animals...
It is hard to give ideas without knowing more about your class.  How long is it going to be? How many children? Is English a special class in their regular Preschool? If so, do they have another teacher?  Feel free to send me a PM if you have further questions.  I have taught 3 year olds for many years. Now I am a private tutor and most of my students are older but I still have a few 4 year olds.   I am sure that you will enjoy working with that age group.

7 Jul 2009     


Check this channel at youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/CullensAbcs?blend=2&ob=1
There are lots of videos and ideas of activities to work with kids.
I hope it will be useful for you...

8 Jul 2009     


Start introdcing a puppet that may be your friend in all your classes we have a bird puppet and he always tells us whats the weather like .Sometimes I hide it somewhere and ask where is he and kids love finding it !!
Have a hello song to start the class and some easy song involving movement as " hello thumpkin" they will love it .
Always include some new game , puzzle , song or rhyme .
Remember that they like replay!!! and never exhaust an activity in one day .When their wave of attention is high just change the activity and keep it for another day !
Hope you have fun with them and RELAX !! Let your creativity flow and you will just love it !!! Ana Lía

8 Jul 2009     

Dominican Republic

I know what you mean, small children are startled by emergencies like for example : fire drills.

 I hope this website helps : http://www.pre-kpages.com/discipline.html

8 Jul 2009     

Aldona 777
Russian Federation

Thank you all so much!!!
I īll digest the information and  apply it.

8 Jul 2009