When teaching English abroad for an entire semester, it can be easy to run out of ideas. Need new lesson plans for your ILP Gym class? Look no further! While some awesome ILP vacations and experiences will be a part of your semester abroad, you will also spend your time teaching English to a class full of adorable kids!
International Language Programs is here to help. Whether you are looking for tips for planning for the first week of lessons, or need new ideas for ILP lesson plans after you’ve been teaching for a few months, check out these darling ideas for your next gym class:
- Traffic Jam
- Under-The-Leg Freeze Tag
- Activity Dice
- Throw The Ball Q & A
- Animal Musical Chairs
- Ball Relays
- Simon Says
- Color Walk
- Crab Walk Race
- Bubble Bash
This idea is so creative and fun; Set each child up with a hula-hoop “car”. Each child steps inside the hula-hoop and carries it around, listening carefully to the traffic cop (that's you — then you can let the class take turns). The cop will shout out directions for the class to follow.
Example time — every kid will be walking (okay, running) around the classroom with their hula-hoop cars until they hear the cop shout “Rainstorm!”. Everyone drops their hula-hoop, then moves their hands like windshield wipers until the cop says “Green Light!”.
Continue running around the classroom until the next announcement. Other phrases can be “Summer Time!” where everyone drops their hula hoop and dances to their favorite jam, or “Rush Hour!” where everyone lines up behind the next “car” to form rush hour. Add in your own phrases and other props for a ridiculously adorable lesson plan.
Under-The-Leg Freeze Tag
Explain to your class that in this game, someone will be “it”; their job is to tag all the players. Once you have been tagged, you have to stand still with your legs apart, forming a triangle. You can only get unfrozen if another player crawls between your legs. If everyone is tagged and frozen, the child who is “it”, wins!
Write random activities (like do 7 jumping jacks, run in place for 4 seconds or high five everyone in class) on post-it notes before taping them to each side of a large foam die. Repeat until you have at least 2 dice. Take turns rolling, and instruct the whole class do what’s on the dice. Or, have teams that roll for each other.
Throw The Ball Q & A
Instead of Question and Answer, this game is full of Question and Action. Tape questions and actions all over a soccer ball (or any other largish ball). Have your class stand in a circle and either toss, roll, or pass the ball to their classmates. Whatever their right thumb touches, the student has to do or say! Questions like "what is your favorite food?" or "how would you spend a day in America" work well , and actions like "do 5 jumping jacks" or "give your neighbor a high-five" keep the class active.
It’s a cute way to get to know your students better while still being active.
Animal Musical Chairs
This game is perfect for using fun props. Gather all the animal related props you can, and have your children dress up a certain animal. Next, set up a ring of seats to play musical chairs (1 less chair than you need). Tell your students they have to act like their animal while playing musical chairs! You will see kids crawling slowly like turtles, flying like butterflies, hopping like rabbits, and swimming like fish until the music stops.
Put pairs of balls of varying sizes into a container. Get everything from tiny pom-pom balls to huge exercise balls if you have them. The more, the merrier.
Split your class into two teams and select 2 racers to compete against each other. Tell the racers they need to race from one side of the class to the other, holding a ball…between their knees! The first team to race all their players, wins. It’s hilarious to watch your kids waddle across the floor holding ping-pong balls between their legs.
An oldie, but a goodie. Try to come up with most outlandish things you can think of when it comes to doing Simon Says; let your class take turns being Simon to get more English in.
Before your class gets there, tape down pieces of colored construction paper into a wavey ring around the classroom. You can either instruct your class to jump to each space, skip every other one, only touch the green cards, or any other variation. Add in props on certain cards to help get your number of items needed for each ILP lesson.
Crab Walk Race
Set up a mini obstacle course before class. It doesn’t need to be complicated; just a few chairs the students will have to circle before arriving at the end. Have the kids do the race in all different ways; hoping on one foot, flipped over on their backs like a crab, or like a doggie. The more variations, the better!
This gym game is fun inside, but can also be done outside if the weather is good. Blow a stream of bubbles and have your children pop them all as fast as they can! Try blindfolding one child and have the class give instructions on where to swing arms or legs in order to pop the bubbles. Or, have all students pop any bubbles they can reach while doing jumping jacks.
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