Like everything in our lives so does the lesson need to have some way of starting. 

Let's name the starting of the lesson the introductory routine

Routine in a lesson is similar to habits; if you want to shape yourself in the desired way and achieve a lasting result, you need to repeatedly do things that will lead you to the desired consequences. In other words, you establish habits. 

The introduction to every lesson is, therefore, a habit, which consists of routinely performed activities that consequently lead to a permanent effect on children's lives: educational, social and personal.

You can choose what to include in the routine and shape your own desired effect on children, providing you know what you want to achieve, of course.

My introductory routine:
  • I want us to greet first, so we do the body counting (some sort of brain gym activity) and after that, we sing a 'hello' song. This way children also learn how to count (in a 'by the way' manner).

  • The next thing I want to do is 'prepare them' for the lesson. Children need to activate their brains, so we perform some brain gym activities into which I incorporate shapes. With rhythmical counting, while touching our limbs (in different places on our bodies), together with clapping, we outline different shapes. The shape-activity always ends in a sentence like 'It's a star.' (if the shape is a star).
  • The next activity in an introductory routine is a rhythmic game, with which children practice concentration and some language learning (vocabulary, articles, sentence structure) can be included. Since it is a game, the elements of a game are tailored into the activity to gamify it.  

  • If it is children's first contact with English, it is better to start with social games first, for establishing a positive emotional environment precedes academic learning.
  • The last activity that I use in the routine is so-called 'Poster Presentation'. In that, children present something that is relevant to the ongoing project and is gradually upgraded during the course of the project. With poster-presentation children practice speaking and reporting.

How long does it take to get through the routine?

I never rush. Usually, it takes 15 to 20 minutes. After that, we start the 'body' part of the lesson. 

After the routine, there's not much left of the lesson, is there?

If you plan to organise a 'Child-centred classroom, you cannot have a quality child-centred learning within a 45-minute session. You can rush through it and leave children bereft of internalising the process and only skim the topic for the vocabulary.  

There is a lot more to tell about the project stages. You can read all about it in my next posts. 

If you want to be reminded when it is posted, I suggest you sign up (see the top right 'follow by email', or put your email address on my list). This way you won't miss anything.

Until my next post, you can read related themes:



What is a project-based approach (PBA)?

It is a way of teaching, similar to CLIL, only with the language aims in mind when organising an activity or a task. Moreover, one of the primary focus of the learning process in the PBA is also socialisation. 

Since it is child-centred learning, the PBA is gradually shaping an independent learner. To achieve that, the aims are oriented in learning the process rather than the results/ information (as it is practised in traditional teaching). Once mastering the process, one may always find a way how to get to the results/information independently. 

Where's the catch?

There is no coursebook, workbook or exercise book. There can, however, be a teachers' guide (manual).

In traditional topic-based concept, the topics are covered one after another (for example, Let's meet, Clothes, Animals, Family etc.). Once you've closed one, children are evaluated, and then you move on.

In PBA, many topics are relevant throughout of the year and are entwined in different projects. Topics (the most straightforward ones are clothes, weather, and activities) are covered at each project, only the vocabulary is different.

What does the manual provide?

The manual provides the essential frame of the PBA, which are the steps in approaching the project and how to organise the activities to address socialisation and child-centred learning.

There is not one manual published yet (at least not the one for the PBA I advocate and practice). But, there is this blog that gives some insides, and there are courses, which you can attend to get some practical experience about the PBA. There is, however, the manual in the writing process.

Let me give you a rough programme-frame of the PBA, just to see the idea.

The PBA programme-frame


It is of paramount importance that the teacher him/herself is an independent learner. In that, he/she has the experience of how to learn independently and is, therefore, more open to the presented way of teaching. 

A teacher chooses a project in which different topics are synergetically entwined under the same theme. Also, it is a teacher's job to find/ select the aims and organise the activities through which the aims are addressed.The practice has shown that for the students, the age of six to eight, a yearly cycle of the seasons works excellent.

The concept of the lesson-planning is based on the fixed structure. There are the introduction, body, and conclusion, but have slightly different aims in comparison to the traditional teaching:

The introduction consists of the set of activities wrapped in an introductory routine. Activities are based on the topics, which can be followed throughout the year. Every activity has aims that it covers. For example:
  • Greeting with a 'body count' and/or 'shapes' (aims: warm up with brain gym, greeting, introducing numbers and shapes).
  • Games for socialisation (aims: ice-breaking, establishing connection)
  • Rhythmic game (aims: concentration, vocabulary and/or grammar practice)
  • Poster presentation 'about me', 'about today' (aims: speaking practice)
The body executes the activities of the stages in the project (will be described in detail in my next posts).

The conclusion is a reflection on work and self-evaluation.


There is a lot to tell about those project stages. You can read all about it in my next posts. 

If you want to be reminded when it is posted, I suggest you sign up (see the top right 'follow by email', or put your email address on my list). This way you won't miss anything.

Until my next post, you can read related themes: