When I first started teaching online I did not know what props to use. I just gathered a few items I already had in my house. Some of those items turned out to be props I still use, but I also found some really valuable ones that I heard about from other teachers. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites.
One of my favorite and most versatile props is a Russian doll. These are so useful for learning different sizes and for comparing sizes (bigger, smaller, biggest, smallest, etc.). If you buy a colorful doll, it’s also useful for practicing colors. Finally, you can use it to practice vocabulary related to family.
Russian dolls would also be great for portraying conversation. Often times students don’t understand how to respond to questions as simple as “What’s your name?” or “How are you?” Seeing something more life-like might be more valuable than a puppet in order to make the speaking more realistic and comprehendible to the student.
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Unique Stuffed Animals
We often have to talk about objects and letters being big or small. I love using my alpaca stuffed animals to demonstrate big and small. They are a surprising prop for students and they love how cute and cuddly they are. Kids probably see tons of teddy bears and monkeys, but I would be surprised if they see a lot of alpacas. It’s always good to introduce something new.
Having a unique stuffed animal can also make you more memorable, too. Kids likely see a handful of teachers, but if you have a special stuffed animal they will tell there parents, “I want to see that teacher with the _______!”
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A Cute Puppet
I recently bought this panda puppet from Amazon and the kids absolutely love it! This puppet is especially unique because you can surprise students with it by only showing the bamboo first. Then slowly push the panda up and out of the bamboo to engage them with delight.
This is the type of stuffed animal that makes shy students feel comfortable and quiet student start talking. You can hide your face behind it to make the student feel like he or she is only with the panda, and then have the panda introduce you so the student will tag along and start working with you, too.
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Students often have to learn about firemen and other service jobs. This brings a firefighters world to life and would be a fun way for the student to practice the vocabulary. You could engage the firefighter figures in real life conversations or have them use the vocabulary that the student is learning. Even if the students are not learning about firefighters, this prop could be used to practice colors, household items, modes of transportation, and more.
There are always lessons on household vocabulary and sometimes those lessons are boring. Bring the household vocabulary to life through games and discussion. You could play hide and seek with the objects. You could have the student try to tell you as many words as possible. You could even enact a tea party!
Use these fish to portray a fun under-the-sea adventure. Give each fish a different voice to engage in conversation, or use them as a reward for the student. Every time you reward the student with a different fish, have the fish say something charming or silly to make the student laugh.
These props could be used for anytime of year because in the summer they are relevant and in the winter we want to dream of a sunny day. These could also be used as a unique reward for the student to talk about something fun you have done at the beach. “At the beach I collect seashells.” “At the beach I make sand castles.”
This toy is beneficial for students and teachers alike? Feeling tired or stressed in between sessions? Squeeze your squishy toys to wake up or get some stress relief. Want to talk about ice cream melting or being devoured to teach some advanced vocabulary, use your squishy toys!
New York City
All of our students know about New York and LA, but how often do they get to see it in 3D? This life-like set can be used for practicing directions, using city vocabulary, and for measurement comparisons (tall, taller, tallest).