How To Plan an English Lesson for Children in Guatemala

How to Plan an English Lesson 

 

We have many resources that our teachers can use to help them plan their lessons both in the public schools and in our Learning Center. Some of our volunteers have never taught before, but not to worry – we have plenty of resources and ideas for you to use. 

 

Teaching in the Public Schools in Santiago

 

When we teach in the public schools, we have guidelines that we follow for each lesson. There is a master binder in the office for all of our teachers to review and use as a resource to help them prepare for each class. Generally, each class has a mix of vocabulary and basic grammar concepts. Some of the topics that we teach are the colors, fruits and vegetables, descriptions of people, school supplies, how to introduce yourself, animals, and many more. 

 

Lessons generally include a warm-up that can be a song or a short game – many of our teachers like to get creative here and do different activities to make the students feel welcome and comfortable. The next part of the class is focused on vocabulary words, and then an activity to help the students practice and remember these words. Each lesson is between 30-40 minutes, which varies depending on the school. 

 

Lesson Planning in Guatemala

Lesson Planning in Guatemala

 

Teaching at the One, Two…Tree! Learning Center

 

We use the same structure and resources to plan lessons for our Learning Center. We also include other topics, such as countries and continents, life on a farm, family members, the environment, and more. Since we have 1 hour to teach each lesson at the Center, we take advantage of that extra time and we practice vocabulary through more games and songs. 

 

An English Lesson Example 

 

I’m Teacher Gracia. I’ve been volunteering with One Two… Tree! for a year, and this was a lesson I planned for our teen group at the Center (kids between 10-14 years old) to learn about the Natural Wonders of the World. 

 

Teaching English in Santiago Guatemala

Teaching English in Santiago Guatemala

 

Every day, we start by taking attendance during the first 5 minutes. Then, I like to start with an activity or something interactive to get the students engaged right away. 

 

Getting Creative with Lesson Planning

 

We had previously learned a song in our Countries and Continents lesson which went well, so before the class, I searched for a few new songs on YouTube and I found one that I thought the students would love. 

 

English Lesson Planning

English Lesson Planning

 

I brought my phone to class, then I played the song a few times and asked the students to write down the lyrics in their notebooks. They absolutely loved it! 

 

After that, for each new lesson in the Wonders of the World module, we would sing together to start the class: They are Asia and Africa, North and South America, Antarctica and Europe, finally Australia.   

 

After this activity, I handed them a worksheet about the “Natural Wonders of the World” (a free worksheet I downloaded from an educational website www.liveworksheets.com). We read the new words, practiced the vocabulary and learned the meaning in Spanish. Then the students had time to complete the worksheet, matching the pictures with words such as forest, cave, river, and more. 

 

For this lesson, I also needed a computer to show the students a video about the 8 wonders of the world, so I brought my laptop. I put subtitles in English on and after each place was featured in the video, I paused it to give the students time to match each place like Niagara Falls, Mount Everest, and Amazon River, with the country they are located in on their corresponding worksheet. This helped the students practice the new vocabulary in different ways and solidified their understanding of the concepts through interactive methods.

 

Teaching English in Guatemala

Teaching English in Guatemala

 

Having Fun with the Students

 

After these activities, we had some extra time which we used to decorate a folder the students use to keep track of all the activities and worksheets we’ve completed over the past 4 months. 

 

We always finish the class talking about the topic we learned or playing a game and having a good time. Once the hour is finished, we say goodbye and see you next time! 

 

English Students in Guatemala

English Students in Guatemala

 

Does this Sound Fun and Interesting to You? 

 

Volunteer with us this year!  

 

We are seeking more English teacher volunteers to come to Santiago, Guatemala to help us expand our programs, reach, and impact on the community. 

If you would like to learn more about volunteering with us, please send us an email to: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com 

A Day in the Life of an English Teacher Volunteer

Are you wondering what a typical day in the life of an English Teacher Volunteer with One, Two…Tree! looks like?

 

Join us as we follow the footsteps of a current volunteer on a typical weekday.

 

Morning

 

It is a beautiful Monday morning and the alarm goes off at 7:00am. We get up, take a shower, get dressed and head downstairs to enjoy a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. Once we finish eating, we pack our bags and head out on foot to the school where we will teach our first English class of the day.

 

Santiago Guatemala

Santiago Guatemala

 

The classes usually start between 7:30 and 8:00am, and each volunteer teaches in two different public schools during the week. Today, we are teaching a group of 9-10 year olds vocabulary about farm animals. We sing Old McDonald Had A Farm to keep them engaged and have some fun while learning – the kids love this song! 

 

Teaching English in Guatemala

Teaching English in Guatemala

 

Lunch time 

 

After the morning classes, we go to the market to grab some food for our lunch and head home, where we meet the other volunteers to eat together on the terrace with beautiful views of the volcanos. We have a bit of time to chat, relax, and review the classes for the afternoon.

 

Local Market in Santiago Guatemala

Local Market in Santiago Guatemala

 

Afternoon

 

At 4pm, we go to the One, Two…Tree! Learning Center, which is about a 10 minute walk from the house, to start the classes with the kids. There are three different groups: the 6-7 year old kids, the 8-9 year old kids, and the teenagers. Today we are teaching the 6 year olds and we have some fun games and visuals to engage them in learning the names of family members.

 

After an hour, the kids’ classes end and we have an hour break where we discuss the lessons with the other teachers, share some ideas, and plan for the next day. Then, we go for a walk to get a chocofruta, a delicious frozen fruit stick covered with chocolate and nuts – a typical Guatemalan snack! 

 

Volunteers Lesson Planning

Volunteers Lesson Planning

 

Evening

 

At 6pm, we welcome the adults to the Learning Center for the evening classes, which are divided into the Beginners group and the Advanced group. Today is Grammar Day, so we are teaching them about modal verbs and the simple past tense. The adult learners are always so interested in soaking up as much knowledge as they can, and are asking us lots of questions to ensure their understanding.

 

It is now 7pm and all the classes for the day are finished. We walk back home to see our host family, Lolita and Chonita, and we enter by saying ‘Ixcola’ (ix k’ola), which is used to say hello when you enter a place with more people. It generally means ‘I’m home, how are you?’ in Tzutujil, the Mayan language spoken in Santiago. Other towns speak Kaqchikel, but Santiago, San Pedro and San Juan speak Tz’utujil. 

 

We have dinner with the host family today, but some other days we can cook and eat alone, or enjoy a meal with the other volunteers on the terrace or out in the town. 

 

Eating with the host family in Santiago

Eating with the host family in Santiago

 

In the evening, we chat in the courtyard with Lolita and Chonita, as they always ask us about our day and it’s also really nice to spend the evening outside because it feels like a forever summer night. 

 

We start to get sleepy after a long day of hard work teaching English to all the amazing students in Santiago! We head to bed to get some rest for the next day’s wake up call bright and early! 

 

Volunteer With Us This Year! 

 

We are currently seeking more English Teacher Volunteers to join us this year to support our growing Learning Center and English programs in Santiago. If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact us at: guatemala@onetwo-tree.com