Yoga Video Stories in the EFL classroom
After publishing my last post MINDFULNESS IN NATURE, I was contacted by an English teacher from Romania who was eager to explore how mindfulness and yoga could be used in the English language classroom. I am so pleased to see that so many like-minded educators stop by on my website and dare to venture into new non-conventional teaching practices.
One of the ways I use to restore my energy is yoga. It’s been scientifically proven that this form of exercise helps students
*with their classroom behaviour
*improve their memory
*boost their self-esteem
*feel less anxious
Of course, we cannot deny the physiological benefits of yoga such as better posture and strengthened core muscles. That’s the reason why more and more UK schools are implementing yoga classes as part of their mindfulness curriculum.
Over a year ago I decided to experiment with using yoga exercises in my English lessons for young learners… and I haven’t looked back. I’ve collected a wide range of resources and I am so happy to share with you a great YouTube Channel for kids. It’s called Cosmic Kids Yoga and its founder Jaime creates video stories which involve a lot of yoga poses and great storytelling. It’s the perfect combination, isn’t it? What’s more, you don’t have to be a yoga expert to do the poses, Jaime does this for you.
I’m sure that once you are on her YouTube channel, you can find lots of ideas but here’s something I did with my young learners last week.
We read Michael Rosen’s story "We're Going on a Bear Hunt". If you can’t find a copy, you can play this Youtube video
Or this one in which the author retells the story:
I used the illustrations to teach the vocabulary.
This wonderful story gave us the chance to explore the senses. We talked about what can hear/see/smell/touch while you are going through
*the long wavy grass
*the deep cold river
*the oozy mud
*the big dark forest
*the swirling whirling snowstorm
*The narrow gloomy cave
We also talked about how the children felt while going through these places. How would they feel if they had to do the same?
We recycled the new vocabulary, too.
This is when the fun began. We all stood up and I played the yoga story told by Cosmic Kids Yoga.
NB. Make sure that the kids have plenty of space. If possible, rearrange the chairs. If your floor is not carpeted, you may ask parents to bring a yoga mat or a blanket for your yoga-based English classes. Also, it would be better if you inform the kids in advance when you have planned to have such lessons so that they can wear something comfy. Make sure that you explain to the parents why you have decided to include yoga activities in your lessons.
Have fun! Jump along as well!
Next time I will share with you more ways to use yoga in your lessons.
Meanwhile, you may want to check out other ideas on how to utilize mindfulness tools in your EFL classroom.
my interview with Gemma Rigby, Primary School teacher and founder of Omya Spot from Sydney, Australia.
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Until we meet again, be blessed