Last year I had to teach a small group of 4-5 year-old students in order to help the Infant Education teacher. I spent two hours every day with them, teaching reading, writing and numeracy.
I love small children and I love when they enjoy learning so, when I am with young students I usually act like a clown, doing things so that they can laugh and feel more motivated. A role I used to play with them was that of a CONFUSED teacher who had problems to remember names and letters.
Every day children had to do some worksheets in the classroom and I had to write their names on them to avoid mixing one's with other's. As it was a boring task and they had to wait until I had finished, I played my "confused" role, I usually called them fruit or vegetable names to make them laugh. At the same time, they offered me help to find more names for other students.
Taking into account that, I decided to incorporate the same idea to the English lessons so that my students could learn the fruits in the second language.
I prepared some fruit necklaces, using fruit pictures attached to a string, I gave one to each of my students: an apple, a strawberry, a cherry, a watermelon, a melon, an orange and a bunch of grapes. I told them that I had forgotten their names and I renamed them with the fruit names. Students only had to learn their piece of fruit, it was an easy task and it didn't involve any kind of learning imposition, in fact, that wasn't the aim of lesson, in that moment we were working on the tale of Pretty Ritty.
After two lessons using the fake names and the necklaces everybody knew the fruit names. I told them that I would give them a prize if they were able to remember the rest of the fruits. All of them won the prize.
If someone wants to make the necklaces, try the following links where you can find nice pictures: