Friday, April 24, 2009

Teaching English with Freestyle Fellowship

I had a lesson this week over the SVO sentence structure. That class is in the middle of learning different ways to construct sentences so I wanted to make it easy to remember this specific type. At some point, Freestyle Fellowship's "Hot Potato" popped into my head and an idea was born: use the words of Aceyalone, Mikah 9, P.E.A.C.E. and Self Jupiter to teach it!

First, I gave some background on Hot Potato and taught them the hook from the song:
Hot potato, pass the potato (x4)
After they got the words down, I taught them tempo and tune by leading the class in chorus and metronomic claps. I couldn't get them dancing but I did get some enthusiastic claps and a few head bobs!

Next came some rounds of Hot Potato. I paired them up and gave each group a "potato" to pass back and forth while singing their newly learned song. And then I snuck in the grammar.

While demonstrating Hot Potato with the JTE, I visually broke down the sentences "I passed the potato", "I passed JTE-Sensei the potato" and "JTE-Sensei passed me the potato" into their SVO components. And before I could ask them to make their own sentences (relative to their groups), some already had! I checked for their understanding (e.g.,"What did you pass?") and found that many could create and understand SVO sentences. After a few more rounds with newly paired groups, most of the class could. Success!

I wonder if Freestyle Fellowship ever envisioned this?


  1. Who says hip hop isn't educational?

  2. Heh. I was playing music after school last week and the song came on. One of the students recognized it and started singing along. Fantastic :)