Storytelling, Yoga and Coding
By Natalia Rekic Muci, Code Week Teacher in Serbia
It is not easy to find authentic English materials for the younger ones apart from songs, chants and traditional stories. Yet, these can be boring after a while. That’s how I came across Cosmic Kids Yoga, in search of engaging authentic resources for young English language learners. With Cosmic Kids Yoga, children can learn and do yoga while listening to Jamie’s stories (she has an amazing English accent). What is so special for me about this story is that I uploaded my lesson idea to the Digital Educational Materials Resource Pool (Tempus Public Foundation, Hungary) and received a Digital Teacher Award for my work.
One of the experts’ review on the good practice:
“This good practice is an excellent example of how to
naturally combine activities like learning a language, yoga and robotics. It is
full of exciting ideas, that develops children in a complex way.”
Step 1: Meet Calypso the Flamingo
To help students understand the story better, I created a storybook for them. We read it together and highlighted some important words (flamingo, birthday party, fly, parrot, surfing, monkey, jungle, crab, playing football, coconut, pineapple, mango, banana). The following questions also helped them understand the story: How old is Calypso? What does she have today? What does she forget? Who helps her?
Step 2: Yoga-time
We used bath towels as we don’t have yoga mats at school. The video lasts for 16 minutes, perfectly enough for classroom use.
Step 3: After-story activities
To spice up the lesson, I used programmable floor-robots and micro: bits during the after-story part. First, we revised the directions and basic instructions (turn left / right, move forward
/ backwards three steps). Then we practised the most important words from the Calypso story with the cards I prepared for the robot activity.
There are many ways to use the cards and the floor-robot for consolidation. The simplest one is when the students choose a card and direct the robot to it. They say the instructions
in English and name the cards. If this is not their first yoga time, they can even perform the yoga pose when they land on a card (e.g. tree pose).
You can make the task more challenging by adding dangers or obstacles. We put volcanos or made a labyrinth out of pencils.
The most challenging task was when we used the micro: bit to show the directions on shake. Students had to visit the different cards in chronological order based on the story but they had to start in the direction the micro: bit showed them.
Step 4: Story-telling with Blue-bot application
I created a mat for the Blue-bot app to retell the story while directing the blue-bot through the mat. I started the sentence and the students finished it. There is a printable version of this activity that students can do as homework.
Download materials: http://natienglish.com/blogcikk.php?p=190