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Up and Down (the opposites) – Lesson Plan

Feb 20, 2014
A class with kids is like a theatre performance in which they are the actors and you the director

I usually use this lesson plan with kids between 4 and 7, in small groups of two or three or even in a one-to-one class.

I last used it early this week with two Spanish kids, Juan and Lola (6 and 4). As always, it was a great success! It covers an hour class and this is how it goes.

Knock Knock Hello song from Super Simple Songs 1.

Singing a song is a great way to get the class started and children love it. Here's a video from Super Simple Learning in which they sing this song at their Halloween party.

As Lola and Juan were already familiar with the song from the previous class, this time I added a twist to it.

After singing the song once all together, I asked Juan to stand right outside the room, with the door slightly open, and to knock as soon as the song was over.

Lola and I sang the song together and when Juan knocked on the door, Lola repeated after me "Who is it?", then waited for Juan to reply "It's Juan" and said loudly "Come in!".

Then, it was Lola's turn to stand outside the door. When she knocked, Juan asked "Who is it?" and let Lola in once she replied.

By the time it was my turn to knock on the door, Lola and Juan knew the song by heart (they're super simple songs, remember?) and could sing it loudly and confident. At the end of the song, they even remembered—without any help—"Who is it?" and "Come in!". Mission accomplished.

Make a Circle song from Super Single Songs 1.

We then took off our shoes, held hands and prepared for the real song of the day. Before singing any song, it's important to introduce its vocabulary and actions, so they can grasp some words while singing.

In this case, it's about opposites (big-small, up-down and round) so we practiced making the circle big and small, going round one direction and the other direction and then going up and down. When they knew the main words and movements, I played the song on my iPad and we sang it all together.

Here's a video with some teaching tips from Super Simple Learning:

The song ends with everybody sitting down, so, of course, I took advantage of that. The first time we sat on the floor, while the second time we went straight to the desk where I had prepared the crafty activity of the day. Nice and smooth.

Up and Down mini story book.

I always try to find activities related to the songs we sing. This time, on education.com I had found this cute mini story book called Up and Down, where a boy and a girl are having fun on a seesaw. You can also get it here.

Before the class, I had done all the cutting as they're still not very good with scissors. We then coloured the pages (added clouds, sun and birds in each one of them), stapled them together and made our gorgeous mini story book.

Remember, crafty time is not only for colouring!

While crafting away, I started humming the Make a Cirle song and as soon as it caught on (did you know humming is contagious?) I suggested a game they loved: singing the song with different opposites.

Kids love repetition so we sang it close to a thousand times, making our imaginary circle big, small, hot, cold, tall, short and even pink and blue (as Juan suggested).

Their parents told me they went on singing the song the whole day.

• Act the book out!

When the book was finished, Juan and Lola acted it out playing the two characters of the story. I helped them read it the first time and then let them get creative.

Through this last exercise they learnt:

  • I can go down
  • I can go up
  • Can you go up?
  • Can you go down?

Next week, we'll review it all by going up and down the bed. They'll love it!

Find more class layouts here.

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Terrible twos
The organs of the body: workshop for kids
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
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I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.