What is it that makes so interesting the work with children?
Perhaps their imagination, creativity and enthusiasm?
How can we exploit those qualities a child has naturally, to accelerate the learning process?
Which activities interest them most?
It is my firm belief that children worth the effort one makes in planning lessons and activities. They come to class with happiness in their faces, they say “Hi, Teacher!” to you when you arrive to class, they pay attention when activities are interesting, and they can let you notice their boredom when the lesson is dull and improper.
Paying attention to their ideas is a plus. They come to class with their own likes and dislikes, their interests and habits, and they want you to do something about them. If they want to study a specific topic, be flexible with the planning and make changes so as to teach what they are enthusiastic about.
Any topic is interesting for them, animals, dinosaurs, fiends, music, movies, school… The key is in changing and offering a variety of topics, so they don´t feel it is always the same.
Once, my students asked me: “Where did the first man on Earth come from? ” . As it was a bilingual school, I taught English and also Science and History in English. We were just starting classes and we had two more weeks in order to start with History. I had to change my Lesson Plan, and I said (as to make time to find information and investigate) “Let´s start with dinosaurs”, “Let start from the beginning, don´t you think it is better?”. The next day I had thousands of photocopies and material about Dinosaurs. They were very enthusiastic and even the less participative that didn´t behave so well cooperated with the class.
So a key to exploit the natural creativity and interest children have is adapting the lessons to their tastes.
Pair and group activities mean fun for them, and for us an opportunity to increase the STT (students talking time). At the same time we have more children speaking the language.
Please don´t hesitate to write more useful ideas to teach children.