Ideas for Teaching Younger and Older Children Together

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When you only have a few younger children and a few older children, it is difficult to separate the two groups. Younger children are developmentally very different from older children, so how do you teach to engage all the children? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Older pair up with the younger. In activities like rhythm stick roll, mirror image, or concentration match it game (and many others), pair up a younger child with an older child to do the activity.
  2. Younger children have one challenge and Older children have an added challenge. In activities where you have a movement pattern (paper plates, body rhythm patterns, wind wands, egg shakers, etc.), give a simple movement for the younger children (and ask one of the teachers to lead them), and a more complicated movement for the older children (that you will lead as you sing). In activities where you are using a word puzzle for the older children (crack the code, envelope game, eraser pass), provide a picture puzzle for the younger children (3 piece puzzle, picture envelope game, what’s in the sack?). When you do a melody map, ask the younger children to put pictures up (that you have provided around the edges) on all of the ______ colored dots, and ask the older children to figure out what the word is on the highest note and lowest note (you could have different words around the edges that they choose from).
  3. Use activities that are applicable to all ages (silent video, song story, role play).

2 Responses

  1. Jenny

    Awesome ideas!! It would be beneficial for me if there were links (to your already created examples) to the various activities. I’m not sure what all of them are!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Jenny, That’s a good idea. Because I am preparing for a big workshop next week, I can’t get to it right now. Here’s an idea to figure out what each of them are: 1. Search them on this website. 2. Ask on the Facebook page (Sharla Dance Teaching Methods). 3. Look on the website To Teach a Child a Song or in the book of the same name. Thanks for asking!

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