Read about how 7–9-year-old children learn and develop.

Characteristics Implications Need
Beginning to be logical and analytical Can see patterns, aware of language

Opportunities to experiment
e.g. making up own chants

Asking questions Need answers Freedom to express themselves and learn more than language
Reading and writing still minimal in L1 Still need support and help Practice and success oriented activities
Still have problems sharing Group activities not always successful

Teacher to guide them and chances to work alone

Developing confidence to express themselves Students will have views on what they want to do / talk about Chance to state opinions
Developing knowledge of the world around them Know more than we often give them credit for

Chances to use what they know


Children at this age group still love chants, but can add their own verses too. This stimulates their creative skills and gives them a sense of achievement when they can produce their own.

World knowledge

Giving students a quiz on a topic they will know something about requires not just linguistic knowledge, but also knowledge of a specific topic.

Wall displays

By now many children are developing their writing skills and becoming proficient drawers. They also get a great sense of achievement from seeing what they have created.

A mini-project on animals, for example, is easy to set up. Each child chooses an animal they like. They draw a picture of the animal and write sentences based on a model (see below) provided by the teacher. The pictures are neatly mounted on the classroom walls. Invite parents in too to see these lovely displays.


  • …………… is a big/small animal.
  • …………… lives in the jungle / on a farm / in my house.
  • ………….. eats leaves / other animals / ………….. .
  • ………….. can fly / run / swim, etc.


Games are popular with all ages, and it is a shame to push children into formal book-based learning early. They will become de-motivated and maybe even stressed. A really fun game can wake them up and bring laughter back into the classroom.

Get children to create funny composite animals, e.g. one with a tiger’s head, a bear’s tummy and an elephant’s legs (For example, this Funny animals arts and craft activity). This fun game works on many levels. Children can enjoy it purely visually and can also practise their English through it. It is also very good for using the possessive 's.