24 March 2010

5 ESL/EFL Activities for Teaching Colours

This post is aimed at those teaching young learners. Children love colourful things and their worlds are full of colour, so they are often interested in the English words, plus the materials by nature are bright and colourful!

5. The Rainbow Song
You can have the students draw a rainbow before teaching the song if you'd like or just use coloured pieces of paper. Make sure that as you sing the song the students are connecting the lyrics to the words. Have them touch the colours as you sing the song. Once they are happy with the colours and the song mix up the colours and sing in a different order. This will help them to connect the words and the colours.

4. Hunting
This depends on your environment but it means the students are incorporating realia with their English. Tell the students a colour and have them find and touch something of that colour. They could also have to bring you something with that colour if you want to make it into a race. Depending on how many students you have you can have teams or keep the cometition out of it if you wish.

3. Memory
Layout some coloured papers, making sure the students are comfortable with the colours. Have the students cover their eyes, and take away one colour. The students open their eyes and say what colour is missing. If you have a large class split the class into small groups and have students take turns being the Paper Master.

2. Painting/colouring
Obviously this depends on your learning environment but this can be a great way to have the students use English practically. It's good for a quiet activity, which can be good for the quieter students. Either have pictures for the students to colour in or give them blank pieces of paper. Have them ask you for the coloured pencils or paints, "What colour do you want?" "Red, please". Ask them what they are colouring, what colours they are using, what they are drawing. This is a loose and relaxed activity but will have them using English for real communication. Remember not to stifle creativity, if the student wants to draw a purple cow, let them!

1. Karuta
This is based on the Japanese card game karuta. Once the students are comfortable with the colours, lay out coloured papers. Call out a colour and the students must try to grab the paper before the other students do. Split larger classes into smaller groups and play at the same time.

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