Regardless, the McDonald restaurants in China rolled out the tie-in campaign -- little Minion toys -- with their Happy Meals in the summer, but the Chinese kids had to wait til late September to see the movie.
A cosmetics and personal care chain, Watsons, also offered Minion memorabilia. I got some Minion fans. I mean fans that have Minions on them, not fans of the Minions.
For a class of young beginners, I needed to photocopy and cut up lots of little yellow and blue Minion parts. And in fact I dragooned my Applied English girls to cut everything out. Well, most of them are planning to go on to become kindergarten and primary school teachers, so it's a practical activity for them. Sure.
Speaking of reviewing vocabulary, with kids, its useful to check their comprehension by choosing the wrong body body part, like grabbing your ear and asking, is this my eye? If you can ham it up, you can get them laughing.
Then we did the Hokey Pokey dance (you put your right leg in, you take your right leg out) with them, which always cracks them up. I think I'm the Hokey Pokey queen of Zibo. The kids all had finished Minions to take home.
I would be very remiss if I didn't mention the role played by my husband, Ross, who was Santa Claus at the party. After the party, each of the kids drew a picture for us.
And "Big Hero" is very popular although I haven't yet seen the movie and haven't used him in a lesson.
They were 16 piece puzzles per puzzle. I wrote the numbers 1 to 16 on the back of each puzzle piece, and 1 to 16 on the corresponding space on the puzzle board. Then for the class I gave each kid half of their puzzle pieces. The rest I had in yogurt cups, so all of the number 10 pieces were in one cup, the number 11s in another cup, etc. I asked them, what do you need? Here's number 10. I dumped all the number 10's on the table and enjoyed watching them go bezerk finding their own piece. Looks like you need a piece that is pink. Can you find a pink piece? Now, what number do you need next? They ran across the classroom to find the right yogurt cup and bring it back to the table. And remember that this is in the evening, after they've been to a full day of school. Their energy and enthusiasm is amazing. And so on, through the numbers. Deeply educational? Maybe not. But these kids deserve to have some fun, kids absolutely love completing things and putting things together.