Parachutes are a ton of fun in any ESL lesson. They can be amazing tools for teaching a variety of topics like shapes, colors and verbs. Best of all: kids absolutely love the Parachute.
There are a lot of ways to use a parachute in your ESL classroom. My favorite way is to use the parachute as a transition activity that takes your students from one activity to another and ends with them sitting in a circle on the ground.
The only materials required are a Play Parachute (available on amazon for around $20) and the song Make A Circle.
You can find Make A Circle on YouTube, Amazon, in I-Tunes or by purchasing Super Simple Songs vol 1 directly from Super Simple Learning website. Super Simple Songs vol 1 is easily the album I’ve used the most in my EFL Classes.
- While still in the bag ask your class what colour the bag is.
- Slowly take the parachute out of it’s bag one corner at a time and while asking what colour each section is.
- While your still holding the parachute have your students make a line and ask for a ring by identifying the colour e.g. “Yellow please”
- Reply using “Here you are”.
- Don’t give your students the parachutes handles unless thy say “Thank you” in response.
- Take your students through the song without music so that they learn the verbs in the song. There is a great video of a teacher doing a similar action without a parachute located just below these 12 step instructions. This servers two purposes 1) pre-teaches the language 2) extends the length of the activity.
- Once your ESL class is primed and ready to go: start the music.
- The last line of the song is “now sit down.” This means if done properly your students will be sitting in a perfect circle on the floor.
- Clean up.
- Go around the circle collecting each handle while prompting the students to say “here you are”.
- You should reply “Thank you”.
- Once the students are in a circle on the floor you have a great opportunity to use vocabulary cards, read a book or do any number of alternative ESL activities.