Having an understanding of what children like, and integrating that into your lesson design, I think, is one of the secrets to having great lessons.
I remember when I first started teaching that I was scared stiff that the children wouldn’t like me, or that I wouldn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, kids are very sensitive, so most of them will actually pick up on your fears! The best advice I received when I started teaching, was to make sure you have fun teaching. Everything else will fall into place.
Understanding what children like is much easier if you’ve had children. If not, remembering your own experience as a child can support you, as will spending time with children, even if its only with the children in your classes.
In general, here are some of the key things children enjoy in class:
- Active games – for example, where they’re running, throwing (e.g. sticky balls), jumping, and so on
- Songs – especially where there are actions (TPR) they can do to the songs
- Messy play / crafting (not all children enjoy arts and crafts though)
- Being silly
- Using realia in class
- Mini whiteboards!