One Potato, Two Potatoes
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Language Focus Other songs about: classroom management, intonation/rhythm, food, counting
Counting from 1 to 7. Potato/potatoes (initial awareness of countable nouns and plurals). English rhythm and intonation.
One Potato, Two Potatoes Lyrics
♫ One potato
Sit in a circle. Everybody extends one fist (or two) into the circle. A leader then goes around the circle and touches the top of each person's fist as everyone chants the "One Potato, Two Potatoes" rhyme. When the chant reaches, "More!" the person whose fist the leader bumps is "out" and takes their hand out of the circle. Start the chant again from the next person.
"One Potato, Two Potatoes" is a classic choosing rhyme you can use for splitting a class into groups, or just as a simple game to practice counting and chanting.
Young children really enjoy elimination games like this as long as being "out" is done with a sense of fun. When introducing this game, include yourself as one of the players. Make sure that you are one of the first people "out" so that you can model being a good sport. Laugh, joke, say, "Oh no!" or make a funny face to show that you are having fun. See our blog post on Elimination Games With Young Learners for more ideas and tips.
Have the person who is "out" continue with the counting so that she stays involved. Each time someone is "out," that person continues the chant, starting with the person next to them. 1
You can use this game for choosing anything. For example, choosing a classroom helper, selecting someone to read, or for making teams for another game by doing several quick rounds to pick out a group. 2
Passports. At the beginning of each of our classes, we give each child a sticker or stamp in his or her English passport. After collecting all of the passports, use this chant to select which passport to start with. 3
For a variation on the game, have everyone stand in a circle with the leader pointing to each person as you chant. When the leader lands on "More!" that person must quickly sit down. 4