At this age I find it limiting not to use verbal communication in combination with visuals and ACTION.
If you can't remove this limitation, please disregard this answer. Otherwise, keep reading it!
In my experience with kids at this age, they respond positively with:
- fun physical activities: ludic games, moving around, challenges using their body (e.g. psychomotricity)
- instigating stories: using puppets or props, emotions (lightly exaggerated facial expressions, peculiar ton of voice, events happening to characters)
- concrete projects: arts and crafts, building blocks, toys, music
- media: videos, iPad games, etc
- nature: bringing them outdoors (green park, beach, etc), playing with animals or watching them,
- love: serenity, care and patience from the facilitator, positive stimulation, challenge proportional to the cognitive level, respect for his or her individuality
Considering that at this age most kids cannot develop abstract thinking, I never expected to test them on the concepts I'm helping them to build (if she doesn't know the answer, it's ok!). I always thought more like I'm facilitating them to form "building blocks" internally, like "planting seeds", that will grow with them and help them in the future, when their cognitive system is better developed.
I also follow some educators & philosophers that regard this age as a time to teach moral values, social and emotional skills, rather than science and informational skills [I'll provide some reference later ].
Here are some ideas:
- Paleontology concepts, Earth's history, care for species:
- tell the story of the extinction of the dinosaurs using puppets and emotions;
- play a relate video appropriated for the age (maybe scenes from Iced Age?);
- test (and reinforcement): ask them to draw the characters of the story and talk about what they have learned and how they wanted the story to end
- Water cycle / care for environment:
- play the video of the water cycle;
- present a skit with characters showing the consequences for the water system on throwing trash on the floor or using plastic bottles, etc;
- test (and reinforcement): have them build props using recycled materials and ask them how to protect the environment and what are the consequences of not doing it
- Human body / hygiene:
- play a video showing the "nasties" (or monsters) inside our mouth, that are flushed away when we brush our teeth;
- play another video with a catchy song about brushing our teeth (or play the song with them using musical instruments);
- bring a gigantic brush and simulate brushing gigantic teeth made out of toilette paper rolls (or something similar to a tooth); have them playing with the gigantic brush, pretending to brush their teeth; give them challenges
- test (and reinforcement): have them make the "mouth monsters" with playing dough and ask them how to prevent that from happening, using their life examples
Some educators that inspired this answer: Pestalozzi, Montessori, Comenius, Rousseau, Rivail, Jesus of Nazareth, Socrates