¡Vámonos! – "The decision to learn a language is an act of friendship. It is an outstretched hand." John le Carré
 

I was overjoyed to be asked to present at the inaugural PHOrum meeting for members of the Association for Language Learning last Wednesday evening (get well soon Susanne x). My presentation was entitled Take One Book and can be viewed below along with links to some of the resources and ideas I shared.

You can find out more about the Take One Book by going to their website. A helpful literacy idea with amazing resources! https://www.takeonebook.org

There are multiple versions of the story being read online in Spanish online – this is one and here’s another one that are read in both Spanish and English, and this one has the bilingual text but just Spanish narration.

Wordwalls:
https://wordwall.net/resource/6417210  Esta no es mi gata

https://wordwall.net/resource/6416418 Es mi gata Q+A with words

https://wordwall.net/resource/6417038 Es mi gata Q+A no words

Joining in with a story video featuring Nigel Pearson sharing the book in German (Wo ist meine Katze?) https://vimeo.com/123422432 Well worth watching this masterclass in engaging a class in a story!
If you want to story as written in the book in German here’s a video of it being read

A number of resources are available for the original text (in English) that could be adapted.
A puzzle to adapt
https://www.readytoread.com/documents/rtr-carle-activities.pdfResource
Resources on TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Have-You-Seen-My-Cat-by-Eric-Carle-Bundle-Resources-4566552?st=2bc1e1ad0f265de650a2c2f0f099b137
A literacy lesson plan
https://tracieanzara.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/7/2/11727035/lesson_2.pdf

ReadWriteThink Planning PDF http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/stapleless/StaplelessBookPlanningSheet.pdf
Word cards http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson131/wordcards.pdf
Lesson ideas http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/using-predictable-text-teach-131.html?tab=4#tabs

Tissue paper cat craft https://www.gluedtomycraftsblog.com/2015/08/tissue-paper-black-cat-kid-craft.html
Hidden cat article https://www.cnet.com/news/find-the-cat-photograph-with-tricky-kitty-stumps-many-as-it-goes-viral/
Infographic showing the effect of loss of habitat on wild cats https://www.agenciasinc.es/Visual/Infografias/La-perdida-de-habitat-amenaza-a-los-felinos-del-mundo#results
Article about the Cat Island https://www.ngenespanol.com/traveler/descubre-la-isla-de-los-gatos-japon//
Animalandia – a great website with short factfiles in Spanish about a wide variety of animals as referenced in slide 46. http://animalandia.educa.madrid.org/

There will a PHOrum meeting every term so if you don’t want to miss out on the next one, do join ALL. Find out how here.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I was asked to speak at The Language Show which this year went online and was delivered via Zoom. Below is my presentation and brief notes on what I talked about.


Thank you to all those who saw it ‘live’ for being there – even if I couldn’t see your faces which I found quite disconcerting – and for your questions and comments. I saved the chat and enjoyed reading back your comments. Any questions that were in the chat and not put into the Q&A tab so therefore went unanswered, I’ll answer below.

My presentation.

If you want to see me delivering it live, you can view the recording of the session for the next month (so until mid December 2020 I would think) via the Language Show website and clicking on my name (see below)

Below are links to resources, reading and things on which I commented/shared as there are lost of hyperlinked images!

The pitfalls of Google Translate https://www.redlinels.com/pros-and-cons-of-google-translate/
Physical Spanish Phonics https://brilliantpublications.co.uk/physical-spanish-phonics.html
Hands of the World at WCPS http://www.whitehousecommon.bham.sch.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3020:this-is-me-signed-in-makaton-hands-of-the-world-project&catid=81&Itemid=278

One of the songs in which we collaborated – Makaton used to communicate across countries and languages.

Old World Language Families Tree https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/59665/feast-your-eyes-beautiful-linguistic-family-tree See also http://www.sssscomic.com/comic.php?page=195
Oxford University Press dictionary sheets https://global.oup.com/education/content/dictionaries/free-resources/oxford-school-dictionary-word-origins-free-resources/?region=uk
Something Rhymes with Purple podcast https://play.acast.com/s/somethingrhymeswithpurple

Language Links posters https://www.lightbulblanguages.co.uk/resources-language-links.htm
Slide 37 worksheet https://www.lightbulblanguages.co.uk/resources/PrimarySpanish/days.pdf
Slide 36 The great Eskimo vocabulary hoax and other irreverent essays on the study of language. http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/EskimoHoax.pdf
Futurelearn course on Intercultural Studies – Language and Culture https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/intercultural-studies-language-culture
eTwinning https://www.britishcouncil.org/etwinning
Let’s Go Cultural! Erasmus+ project https://erasmusplusletsgocultural.blogspot.com/

Hello! song from the above project.

Find out more here too. WCPS Let’s Go Cultural blog

In the chat Lisa Ng asked about the exercise on slide 21. It’s from a unit on your town and the task the children were doing was using the structure En mi pueblo hay (place) Aquí se puede (infinitive) We’ve been talking about what there is/isn’t in our town, and what our town is like, and moved on to looking at infinitives. The task was supported by a ‘trapdoor’ grid that we’d used to rehearse the structure. The child whose work I shared had extended his sentences using adjectives which weren’t on the grid and applied his previous learning of adjectival position and agreement. I’d suggested it as a way to enhance their writing but not pushed the point which was why I was so pleased.
Paula asked if I remembered The Language Show a few years ago at Olympia with my trolley of resources. Of course I do! I still have it although in Covid19 times it has been rested for a bit as I’m not allowed to use as many resources.
And I’d just like to reiterate what people were saying in the chat about making mistakes and being an example to your learners. I completely agree – modelling how we deal with mistakes, and showing that we are lifelong learners is SO important. One of my Y4 classes answer the register by greeting me in variety of languages and I’m trying to learn (and remember!) the response to each. They’re being very patient and keep repeating it until I get it correct. Problem is, by the time the next week comes, I’ve forgotten most of it. I keep trying though – which is all I ask of them!

Finally, if you teach primary languages in the UK, I recommended joining Languages in Primary School group (LiPS) on Facebook. Here’s the link. Please make sure you answer all 3 questions when you ask to join! https://www.facebook.com/groups/primarylanguages


If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll answer.

I’ll leave you with Westlife – More than words

Register for free and join online!

Due to current circumstances The Language Show, which is normally held in November at Olympia in London, is going online this year.

Held the weekend 13th-15th November, the show has three streams of talks:
For those who love languages – talks, entertainment and insights.
For language teachers – CPD for teachers in primary, secondary, HE, FE, adult, EFL/ESOL
For language professionals – interpreters, translators and those who want to put their languages to work

Each stream offers a programme of seminars starting mid morning on Friday Saturday and Sunday and are all free to attend via Zoom. Some that have caught my eye include

Friday 13.30-14.15: Unlocking the hidden meanings of everyday words which is all hidden meanings and ancient connections, and the etymology of words.

Saturday 13.30-14.15: Foods and Words: Can our appetite motivate language learning? which looks at the history of some staple British food of foreign origin and introduces basic linguistic principles to understanding their names.

Sunday 11.00-11.45: 5 Weeks of Low-Prep Fun in the Language Classroom – Janina Klimas which offers 25 easy-to-prepare, engaging activities and resources that get students excited about learning languages and through some of the rough parts, all while having fun. 

Friday 15.30-16.15: Introduction to subtitling – Lindsay Bywood which will cover the various types of subtitling, how they are created, how the industry is set up and how to train and get work as a subtitler.


I’m definitely signing up for “We Are Multilingual”: Identity-based activities to promote and enhance language learning which is being delivered on Sunday 14.30-15.15 by Linda Fisher and Karen Forbes on behalf of the Multilingual Identity in Education group at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

On Saturday from 1300-1345 you can join me as I talk about how language learning is about More than words. Here’s the blurb!

“This session explores the notion that learning a language is about so much more than lists of words and grammar. Drawing from the speaker’s own observations and experiences as a lifelong language learner as well as a teacher and mother, we will consider the importance of context, culture, communication, celebration and connections in nurturing learners with an enduring passion for language(s).”

You can register for free now on the website Follow all the latest news by following The Language Show on Twitter or Facebook.

Hopefully ‘see’ some of you there!

In these strange times, the online conference is the way to go and thus I sat down at my laptop, coffee in hand and attended the ALL Primary Languages Conference a couple of weeks ago. Nicknamed ‘Acapulco’ by Steven Fawkes (there was a reason but nobody can recall what it was!) the conference was based around five pillars as can be seen from the graphic.

Others have shared their takeaways already, including Nathalie aka Nattalingo, as well as their presentations (Suzi’s is here) and I thought I’d share mine in the form of my sketchnotes.
Disclaimer: I had to ‘leave’ early so I’m afraid I didn’t do one for Suzi’s session nor Nathalie’s but you can access their slides at the link above!

Keynote speaker Dr Michael Wardle , OFSTED Lead on Languages
“The curriculum needs to be BROAD and AMBITIOUS throughout EACH and EVERY year group.”
Sue Cave talking all things phonics.
A strong knowledge of phonics affects all areas of language learning.
Clare Seccombe – learning to walk before you can run is very important!
e.g. knowing a small pot of words really well that can then be extended by EFFECTIVE use of a bilingual dictionary.

An excellent conference and really well organised. Not only were the sessions great, the chat was good too with ideas flying so fast it was sometimes hard to keep up with it all! I recommend that you sign up to ALL as there will be future events for members, specifically designed for primary called PHOrum and they will be quality events! You can find out how to join here and also about the other benefits!

Taken at Colegio Esperanza, Tlaxcala November 2015

Films like Coco (watch it here), The Book of Life (trailer)and even James Bond have made this a festival that is much more well known than when I began teaching many moons ago!

*This is compilation of previous posts plus a couple of new ideas!*

This website is new and I love it! https://dayofthedead.holiday/ is well presented and comprehensive in explaining the festival – when, where, why, who and how – as well as offering ideas for how you can celebrate including make up tutorials, craft ideas and recipes.

National Geographic is worth looking at for images, a succinct explanation, questions and a glossary for children https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/dia-de-los-muertos/ and also here.
And also this which is not “child” specific.

This video is a helpful video that explains what happens during the festival, full of vocabulary and presented in steady clear Spanish.

And this one colourfully explains how indigenous festivals became mixed with catholicism to make the festival as it is today.

Finally I want to point out the Rockalingua song that has proved popular with my pupils in recent years. If you go to their website you can watch a video of the song as well as download the words, worksheets and other materials for free.

Taken in Mexico City 2015

I’ve shared ideas on this theme before; if you click on the images below, they’ll take you to the posts!

Crafts, a poem, a story and a song

This post was a review of a book all about a child getting his wires crossed (no thanks to his sister!) about what happens on Día de los Muertos. A lovely book – I recommend it!

I adore this video; it really simply explains what happens with no words and leads to amazing discussions.
The post also includes many links to other materials and ideas including colouring, craft and downloadable PDFs to support lessons.

A video explaining the festival, a piece of music and a song.

An interesting news article about changes in the way Día de los Muertos is celebrated, and how it’s moving from private to more public. I was certainly struck when I landed in Mexico City on October 31st 2015 by the exuberance and spectacle of the street celebrations but also by the quiet of the personal celebrations by individuals on the subsequent days. I think there was a Halloween/Día de los Muertos divide going on, but that was my perception. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Taken in Mexico City 2015

Whilst I know that many schools do not celebrate Halloween (mine don’t!) I thought I’d share these ideas that I’ve used, made or seen over the years.

  1. A Halloween Storybird.
  2. Songs about ‘calabazas’
  3. Songs about ‘esqueletos’
  4. A story.

1. A Storybird for Halloween

In 2012 I made this Storybird at the request of the Reception teacher at my school. I say ‘my school’ but at the time I lived in Switzerland and they were missing me!

I happily created it and shared it with them, and then with you via my blog in this post.

Unfortunately in the intervening years, Storybird has changed the way you can share so the link was broken so I created a PPT of the pages and added some activities and extra slides today, then narrated it. The link to it is at the bottom of the post.


2. Songs about ‘calabazas’

I’ve shared the first of these songs before when I subtitled it (using a tool that doesn’t exist anymore so it’s lost 🙁
However, you can switch on the CC subtitles now and whilst, not perfect (the third ‘calabaza’ is ‘enojada’ and the subtitle read ‘que no y no’) they serve the purpose!

As you can see, each ‘calabaza’ is expresses a feeling using the phrase ‘se siente…’ and you could follow up this song with asking ¿Cómo te sientes? (How are you feeling?) with children responding “Me siento…”


Here are the lyrics:
Cinco calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente muy cansada.
Cuatro calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente asustada.
Tres calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente enojada.
Dos calabazas sentadas en su casa
Una calabaza se siente muy frustrada.
Una calabaza sentada en su casa
Una calabaza se siente sorprendida
Cinco calabazas duermen en su casa
Cuando sale el sol, se sienten muy felices
.

Cinco calabazas sentadas en su casa.

I’ve just discovered this second video, also about ‘calabazas’ and emotions. This time the ‘calabazas’ are more animated, and express their feeling using the verb estar. Some interesting vocabulary used including gruñona, a great word meaning grumpy or cranky! Another opportunity to discuss feelings, asking ¿Cómo estás? with children replying Estoy… It also offers an opportunity to look at the present continuous Estoy+gerund.

Here are the lyrics:
Letra:
Una calabaza, sonriendo, sonriendo. x3
Una calabaza está feliz.

Dos calabazas, gruñendo, gruñendo. x3
Dos calabazas están gruñonas.

Tres calabazas, bostezando, bostezando. x3
Tres calabazas están con sueño.

Cuatro calabazas, llorando, llorando. x3
Cuatro calabazas están tristes.

Cinco calabazas, riendo, riendo. x3
Cinco calabazas están jugando.


3. Songs about ‘esqueletos’

I’ve long been familiar with the Babelzone song about ‘Los Esqueletos’ that has a skeleton coming out of the ‘tumba’ every hour of the night as the clock strikes, and have shared it many times! The version below has a bit more ‘movida’ and also uses ‘desde…. hasta’ to give a range of time (from … until) rather than ‘cuando el reloj marca…’ Certainly an earworm!

Tumbalakatumba – very catchy

I also like this version as it’s a rhyme rather than a song; great to work on rhythm and link language learning to music. You could find the percussion instruments and really get a beat going!
And then it becomes a song encouraging you to dance. First moving your ‘cintura’, then your ‘cabeza’, ‘rodillas’ and finally your ‘cuerpo’

If you prefer ‘calaveras’ to ‘esqueletos’ you could try this version or this one.

And linking ‘los esqueletos’ to parts of the body, you could try “El Baile del Esqueleto.” To the tune of Dem Bones, the song encourages you to move and dance whilst simply talking about how your bones are connected to one another. You could use it as part of a science lesson on the skeleton, or as an exercise in finding the word for or working out what the lyrics mean using scientific knowledge.

I’ve recently found this one too Tumbas por aquí, tumbas por allá that would be fun for a topical tidying up song!

And not entirely a song about ‘esqueletos’ but here’s a ‘Halloween’ version of 5 babies jumping on the bed with skeletons and a ghost Mummy telling them off!


4. A story about a broomstick

During lockdown I recorded a number of stories for my pupils and, like many people, had some online shopping sprees when I couldn’t get out. I combined these when a colleague discovered that I had bought a Julie Donaldson/Axel Scheffler book that is her favourite and asked me to record it for her so she could hear what it sounded like. I’ve uploaded it here for the next few weeks if you’d like to use it. After that, you can have a look at this version which is animated with pictures from the book (but also has some spelling mistakes!) or this one.
If you have a Twinkl subscription there is a set of vocabulary to accompany the story here and the bottom of this post has a couple of craft activities too. Obviously, activities for the English version Room on a Broom could also be used and/or adapted, especially craft activities as they have no text on them; here are some examples Kiddycharts Scholastic Teaching Ideas

And from the roomonthebroom.com, here are some downloadable activities:
Finger puppets
Pairs game
Can you find..?
colouring

So – there are my ideas for Halloween. As I said at the beginning, I don’t celebrate Halloween in my schools, but we do look at another festival at this time of year – Día de los Muertos.

But that’s for another post!

Must fly!

During this strange half term when we’ve been at school but not at school, I’ve been setting Spanish work for KS2 using Showbie. That’s been great as I’ve been able to make use of lots of resources including the wonderful Learn Spanish at home videos made by Clare Seccombe that accompany her scheme of work. I’ve been able to set the work and collect it via the app.

¡Hola a todos!

Showbie allows you to send written comments but also images and voice messages. The latter not only save time but have been particularly popular with the children. In the early stages I had so many comments that ‘it’s lovely to hear your voice!’ and ‘hearing you made me smile!’ This, combined with a wish to stay in tough with the younger children made me think.

I’ve taught Y1 quite a bit this year and they love anything active so I started by recording rhymes as a challenge (see previous posts) Then I moved onto stories like the ones about Elmo and Elmer.

They proved so popular that I decided to try and record one each week and share it via the school website/Twitter. I didn’t always succeed but I’d recorded quite a few by the end of term. Even if they were only viewed by a few children it was worth it.

If we go into lockdown again, I’ll start up once more. And it’s given me an idea for next term when assemblies are banned – I’ll be recording some assemblies based around books that can be played to the children in class. I’ve got quite a pile of suitable ones!

Here’s one of my videos that I really enjoyed recording as it’s one of my favourite books and allows me to be really dramatic. And if you think I pull some amazing faces, you should see some of the ones sent to me via ClassDojo (the platform we used with KS1) 😉

Continuing on the theme of colours, the next story I decided to share with the children is all about Elmer the elephant.
In the book, we meet Elmer and his multiple colours, and then discover things that are that colour like snow, an ice lolly and fruit.

Here it is:

Since recording it, I’ve discovered the video below which takes the book towards the story of Elmer in which he wants to be the same as everyone else to fit in. [You can find that story here.] They each colour in a picture of Elmer and explore the idea of being the same but different

Then I found this song that is really lovely and worth sharing with children as it speaks about the value of diversity.

The lyrics are:

De mil colores es su piel
se llama Elmer y es genial
un elefante quiere ser
de igual color que los demás. (2 veces)

Para ser feliz no hay que ser igual
para sonreír no hay que ser igual
para divertir no hay que ser igual
porque el color no importará. (2 veces)

(Elmer, el elefante de colores – Canción del cuento de David McKee
Autor: Juan Rafael Muñoz Muñoz
Arreglo: Luis Miguel González)

I also like this version of the songs with pictograms to aid understanding.
If you’d like another version of the story I shared, here’s a little child reading it. Very different style to me – far cuter! And I also found a couple of activities here that you could do related to the story.

Elmo y Clara cantan sobre la importancia de lavarse las manos.

Following on from my previous post about Elmo, here’s a lovely little video all about washing your hands – very topical!

Here are the lyrics if you wanted to join in!

(spoken) El agua está lista. El jabón está listo. ¡A lavar las manos! ¡Sííí!

Si tu salud quieres ciudar, tus manos tienes que lavar.
Los gérmenes eliminar y el agua siempre conservar.
Frota arriba. Frota abajo.
El jabón para lavar.
Del meñique hasta el pulgar, cada dedo de tus manos.

Después de jugar, antes de comer.
Luego de ir al baño, me lavo las manos x2

The last line of the chorus drove me bonkers as I just couldn’t work it out so I did some research which led to the Sésamo website where there are a multitude of resources including links to further handwashing videos (see the end of the post) and this worksheet in the section LIMPIOS that accompanies the song. It has four pictures for children to colour then cut out and put into the correct sequence to wash their hands.

However, I found no lyrics so I needed to call on some Spanish speaking mates who were equally puzzled. Sin embargo, a bit of detective work by @SpanishSam and @amandasalt and the line ‘Del meñique al pulgar’ was found. As we discussed, el meñique (meaning little finger) isn’t a word that sprang to mind although we’d heard it before.

Amanda found this section of information that suggests playing a handwashing game – give two or more children water and the same amount of soap and see who can produce the most bubbles whilst they sing the alphabet song (or another well known song!)


Sam found it in this really helpful document that accompanies the series, giving lesson ideas. activities and other resources to promote good health. Needs further investigation I feel but in the section related to this song it suggests playing ¿Lavarme o no lavarme? giving a variety of scenarios and ask children to decide if they need to wash their hands or not, and also suggests some cross curricular activities linked to Maths, Science and Food.

Click to download.

If you want to investigate handwashing in greater depth, this 12 minute videos explains why we need to wash our hands and sees Elmo finding out about the science behind handwashing whilst trying to escape from a huge germ that chases him!

There are also links via the Limpios section of Sésamo to other videos on handwashing:
Lavarse las manos antes de comer
Lavado de manos antes de comer (with another song!)
Lavado las manos después de ir al baño
Lavarse las manos después de it al baño

Finally, in these times of Covid-19, Elmo and his friends have been encouraging children to wash their hands for 20 seconds as well as offering advice to parents on how to talk about the virus. More information here
I’ll leave you with a couple of videos. Remember ¡lávate las manos!

As we continue with ‘lockdown learning,’ I’ve made another video for my pupils. This week, I move away from chocolate and rhymes and ask the question ¿De qué color es Elmo?

Years ago on a trip to Spain, I found some Barrio Sésamo books in a random shop and two have become permanent favourites. Unfortunately ¿Qué oye Epi? disappeared many years ago but I still have one of them which is great for practising colours and the question ¿De qué color es?

In my video we meet Epi and Blas, and discover other members of the Barrio Sésamo gang who aren’t the same colour as Elmo in the story. Here it is.

There are lots of Barrio Sésamo videos that you might like to use in the classroom. I particularly like this one in which Elmo and Abby learn with Rosita how to sing ‘Si estás feliz…’

In case you wanted the words:

Si estás feliz, tú puedes aplaudir. (If you’re happy, you can clap)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes aplaudir.
Si en verdad estás contento, tu sonrisa es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your smile is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes aplaudir.

Si estás feliz, golpear con los pies. ((If you’re happy, stamp your feet)
Si estás feliz, golpear con los pies.
Si en verdad estás contento, a tu rostro es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your face is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, golpear con los pies.

Si estás feliz, tú puedes gritar ‘¡Hurra!’ (If you’re happy, you can shout Hurray!)
Si estás muy feliz, tú puedes gritar ‘¡Hurra!’
Si en verdad estás contento, tu sonrisa es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your smile is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes gritar ‘¡Hurra!’

Si estás feliz, tú puedes aletear. (If you’re happy, you can flap)
Si estás muy feliz, tú puedes aletear.
Si en verdad estás contento, a tu rostro es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your face is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes aletear.

Si estás feliz, tú puedes hacer todo. (If you’re happy, you can do it all)
Si estás muy feliz, tú puedes hacer todo.
Si en verdad estás contento, tu sonrisa es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your smile is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes hacer todo.




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