crosscurricular – ¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo
 

Category: crosscurricular

Have you seen the latest issue of Teach Primary? If you have you might have noticed that I’ve been writing again.
This month I’ve provided a lesson plan and resources that link languages (in my case Spanish) with the music of Saint Saëns and specifically the Carnival of the Animals.

For those that have been in primary language teaching for a fair few years might recognise that this lesson is inspired by the QCA Scheme of Work which I used as my starting point before adding my own ideas and twists.

If you don’t have a subscription to the magazine, you can download the lesson and resources for free from Teachwire here
I’ve added the lesson plan below.

ISBN 9788469621431 Available from Little Linguist

When I saw this book on the Little Linguist stall in July (yes, I’ve had it that long without sharing it!) it immediately sparked ideas in my head so I had to buy it. And now I’ve got around to sharing them!

The Spanish version of The Smartest Giant in Town, it’s written and illustrated by the wonderful Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, famous for The Gruffalo/El Grúfalo and Room on a broom/¡Cómo mola tu escoba! The main character is Maxi who always wears the same clothes and same sandals, and is fed up of being the scruffiest giant in town. When a new shop opens, he buys himself some lovely new clothes, becoming el gigante más elegante. Feeling happy and content, he leaves the shop to go home… but he keeps meeting animals who need help on the way home. Item by item he happily gives away his clothes, singing as he does it. Then he gives away his belt… and he’s no longer happy as he’s cold now. However, there is a happy ending as he finds his old clothes, and all the animals he has helped thank him with a crown and a lovely card.

My immediate thought was how well it would fit with other activities I do based around clothes – using Te visto y te como, doing activities to accompany Juguemos en el bosque and singing ¿Qué hay en la lavadora? from ¡Español Español! (Have a look at this link to see how Y2 did this!)

Reading the story reminded me of El Pequeño Petirrojo which is my favourite Christmas story, and one of my favourite books full stop as the robin in that gives away all his clothes too. It works really well for acting out with props; I’ve even got a knitted robin and vests with which to dress him! (See my blog post about it!) So I could see us doing something similar with this book. The video below shows how the story has been used as a class assembly – I think that would be easy to do in class too!

And like El Pequeño Petirrojo, there’s a message to El Gigante más elegante. Both el gigante and el petirrojo happily give their clothes to others in greater need than them, end up sad, but are praised and rewarded for their selflessness. Therefore they are both a good way to link to the PSHE curriculum and be creative with the curriculum! Perhaps learners could write a simple thank you letter to el gigante, following a model/scaffold, and then write one to someone they’d like to thank.

I liked this activity that I found on Twitter. Good exercise in manual dexterity!

I think that having read the story, younger learners would certainly enjoy designing clothing for el gigante, labelling them in Spanish with nouns and adjectives, and beginning to write simple sentences with a scaffold. Equally, work around the animals, their names and the noises that they make would also work. Older learners might like to link emotions to parts of the story:
El gigante está muy contento feliz cuando da su …. al …..
La cabra está muy preocupado porque su barquito no tiene vela.

I also thought it might be fun to think of other uses for the giant’s clothes by different animals. El mono necesita el cinturón para escapar el cocodrilo.
Being even more adventurous, I think that this could be a good story to retell (in a simplified version) using Talk4Writing as it has repetition and would be fairly easy for learners to adapt.
This blog also gives some further ideas of how you might use the story, both before and after reading.
And I love the ideas suggested by Teaching Ideas – they’re for the English text but many of them, such as drawing and labelling a map of the tow, trying to sing the giant’s song, and making a scarf for him, are easily adaptable to another language.

This video tells the story in Spanish with the English text on the screen. It’s not exactly the same as the Spanish translation but it could be used by those who are less confident in reading Spanish, and also as an activity in listening to Spanish.

I have another two Julia Donaldson books that I’ve recently purchased. Hopefully it won’t take me six months to share those…

If you found this post interesting and/or helpful, please comment. And if you have ideas for using the book, please let me know too!

With 11th November coming up, particularly with the 100th anniversary of Armistice this year, my school has had been planning whole school activities to commemorate Remembrance Day. I like to join in – it’s a good way of keeping Spanish visible and also an opportunity to be creative.

With Spain not involved in WW1 or WW2 and not celebrating Remembrance Day as a national event, this left me with a challenge. I decided to focus on peace and, having discovered that I would only be teaching Y5 and 6 this week,  to share some Spanish history.

We began by discussing what Remembrance Day is about, and I asked what they thought Spain’s role was in the World Wars. It was a good opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about who was and wasn’t involved! I then went on to talk a little about the Spanish Civil War in the most basic terms. We talked about the difference between a monarchy and a republic, discussed what an economic depression is and about why the Nationalists might have revolted. I showed them Guernica by Picasso (as they are familiar with him) and told them about that particular episode. It was supposed to be a quick resume of what happened as one of the reasons why Spain weren’t involved (one of the pupils suggested ‘They had no one to send to fight; they’d all killed each other!’) but the pupils were really interested and wouldn’t stop asking questions. In the end I asked them to save the questions for when they were doing their written task, and I’d happily try to answer them then. They stuck the poem in their exercise books, and recorded a couple of sentences about what they’d learned about the Spanish Civil War or Remembrance or peace.

Poem El dia de la paz to download as PDFThe second part of the lesson was about peace; poppies help us remember those who died in conflicts, but also remind us of man’s folly, how we should learn from the past and seek a peaceful future.  I found this simple poem that I read, then pupils read with me. I asked them to discuss with a partner what they thought the poem might be about and why, using all clues like the illustrations and cognates to help them. We discussed together what it meant then read it once more in groups. I’d found some poppy templates and provided some sheets of the word PEACE in a variety of languages. For example this image or this one. Pupils decorated the poppies with the word peace in languages of their choice as a demonstration of their wish for peace in our world. We discussed the meaning of different coloured poppies – the most well known red, purple for animals and white to remember all those who died in war including those who refused to fight and those who committed suicide as well as a commitment to peace. (I didn’t know about black poppies until I saw this video today!)  I also mentioned that in France people wear bleuets for Remembrance Day, cornflowers which also grew in the fields of France. Pupils kept these colours in mind as they decorated.

I taught Y5 on Tuesday and you can see some of their poppies below. I really enjoyed the lesson and think that the children did too, judging by the incessant stream of questions! Y6 tomorrow.

 

A little later than planned, and with huge apologies, here are my presentations from the East Midlands Primary Languages Conference held on Nottingham on 5th December!

Más vale tarde que nunca.  Mieux vaut tard que jamais! Besser spät als gar nicht.

Firstly, my presentation on Crosscurricular links:

And here’s the presentation on Technology for collaboration:

It was a pleasure to speak, and I was also able to attend a few other sessions which are sketchnoted below.

A marvellous keynote by the ever effervescent John Rolfe.

An inspiring session by Chris Henley about being BRILLIANT – finding my WHY? and being Ms Different.

A Taste of Spain delivered by Carmen Santos from the Consejería de Educación in Manchester – loved making – and eating – my brocheta de fruta!

And Elaine Minett charing her Healthy Eating resources based around the story ¡Hoy no, Claudio!

Following on from the success of Practical Pedagogies 2015 and 2016 at International School of Toulouse, the third Practical Pedagogies conference is on the move to Cologne, and specifically St George’s International School.

I have been fortunate enough to be invited to speak at both Practical Pedagogies so far – in 2015 about Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning and then, after my sketch noting caused interest,  in 2016 I delivered a workshop on Sketchnoting for Beginners and also sketch noted the conference. I was dismayed when I discovered that IST was unable to hold the conference in 2018 as it is such an amazing event. Fortunately, my dismay and disappointment was short lived as a new plan was hatched and it’s all systems for November 2018 in Cologne.

At this stage, the programme has yet to be set and Russel Tarr, Practical Pedagogies mastermind and the man behind Classtools and Active History, has issued a Call for Presenters. He told me today that there have already been 120+ ideas submitted – including one of mine! – and that there’s still time for more. The deadline for submission is 31st January and I’d encourage you to apply if you have an idea. It doesn’t have to be primary language related – it’s a conference for anyone involved in teaching and at whatever level. It’s international and one of the things I love most is being inspired by educators from around the world who teach in other educational systems, under different ‘rules’ and circumstances, and discussing with them how they experiences can be applied in other contexts. If you do want to submit an idea, you can do so via this link to the Practical Pedagogies site.

Once all the submissions have been reviewed, a programme will be drawn up and booking will open in March! The advantage of being a speaker is that you get to attend the conference for a highly reduced price (50 euros but you get your restaurant meal on the first night paid for which would cost that, more or less!) and you get your foot in the door before anyone else. Plus speaking at Practical Pedagogies is a great experience! This year, I’m really pleased that it’s taking place during half term so I won’t need to beg to be released from school if I’m chosen to speak – and I’ll get to visit Germany and try out my developing German!

So go for it – nothing ventured, nothing gained and then, fingers crossed and thumbs pressed!

 

A brilliant opportunity has come to my attention via the LiPS group on Facebook. If you’re interested in art and/or languages and you live in or near Coventry, or can get there on 28th September by 4pm, I’d say register. And as the blurb says, it’s not just for language teachers – it;’s for any KS1/2 staff member. And if you do go, please report back as I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to attend as it’s just my thing! (Really hope they repeat it on a day i can attend!)

Teaching Modern Foreign Languages through Art
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
Thursday 28 September, 4.00-5.30pm
Suitable for all Key Stage 1 & 2 teachers and teaching assistants.
Knowledge of a MFL isn’t necessary.
Includes a tour of the new Picasso exhibition
Cost £20
Explore, consider and learn how to use art when teaching modern foreign languages in this cross-curricular workshop.
Finding inspiration from our newest exhibition Picasso: Linocuts from the British Museum, language expert Anna Grainger* will draw on her 20 years of experience to discuss ways in which non-specialists (so don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to speak a foreign language to take part) can use artworks to think about vocabulary, history and culture. This workshop also includes a special private view, tour of the exhibition, and an opportunity to learn more about the Coventry Primary Languages Hub.
*Notes on the speaker: Anna has taught languages for 20 years and is currently a specialist MFL teacher and international coordinator at Alderman’s Green Primary School in Coventry. The school has recently been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.
Booking essential, please contact Nicky McIntosh on 024 7623 4271, nicky.mcintosh@culturecoventry.com

Website

 

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I’ve just come back from a lovely holiday in Bayern during which I tried hard to use my German – with some success including a heated discussion with a woman in Königssee about passports and plenty of food discussions.

As usual I found myself drawn to bookshops (and dirndls but I resisted those!) and made a few purchases as you can see:

Elefanten-Sommer is a lovely PixiBuch about a little girl called Lina and her elephant, Rufus. They ‘trumpet’ together and are happy until Rufus does something naughty…

And Kasper Mütze is a PixiBuch that contains two stories about Kasper Mütze – Kasper Mütze hat Geburtstag and Kasper Mütze hat Besuch. Each page is very simple and rhymes, the phrases are quite repetitive which is great for me – and for my planned German club who will all be beginners.

Und heut ist Montag – I love Eric Carle books and I’m familiar with this one in English and Spanish so when I saw it in the bargain bin for 2€50 I snapped it up! Days of the week, food and animals – lots of possibilities. And it can be sung too!

And then I saw this book Ich bin das ganze Jahr vergnügt in Salzburg when I was sheltering from torrential rain in a Buchhändlung. Lots of rhymes and songs for different times of the year, some with actions (like In dem Walde steht ein Haus) and others with music. I particularly liked the two above; on the left, a poem with the days of the week, and on the right a poem I could use to introduce a Christmas tradition from Switzerland  called Räbechilbi.

Finally, at the airport I found two magazines that I thought might be interesting to children – and me!

National Geographic Kids is very colourful and has a variety of lengths of text in it as well as quizzes and interesting facts. I particularly like the bilingual facts signalled with the two flags which allow you to compare German and English, and also Check diese kuriosen Fakten. I’m very tempted to enter the competition too – think I might need to find a child to enter for me though…

And Dein Spiegel is the children’s version of the famous Der Spiegel. It’s more complex than National Geographic Kids but there are short news items like the one about the boys in England wearing skirts to school as well as longer articles about Sport, Natur, Kultur, Menschen, Wirtschaft and Politik. I’m hoping that I might learn something about the upcoming elections by reading the section below right. And then there’s the jokes page. Some are a bit complex for me but I like the two below left – my trumpet playing son particularly likes the one about the violin and cello!

I might have spent far more money but tried to restrain myself!

The other book I purchased at Foyles belongs to the series Sabelotodo which translates as Knowitall or Smartypants.

I was torn between two books, this one and one about dinosaurs. In the end I chose this one as the other book I bought was about dinosaurs. You can see a couple of images from the dinosaur one at the bottom of the post.

I liked this series as it’s very child friendly with bright images and short chunks of information on a theme for each double page spread along with a ¿Sabías que…? strip of interesting facts. The pictures draw you in and contain such great incidental language; I particularly like the exclamations at the gladiator fight!

Así eran los Romanos covers Roman life, society, the army, Roman inventions such as the baths, food, Roman emperors and Roman gods. 

I’m sure that it would be well read if I were to lend it to Y4 – particularly as we have a bulge year with 3 instead of 2 classes at one of my schools! I wonder how long it would take them to find these interesting facts…

Y4 study the Romans at both my schools and I developed a whole unit linking their Spanish with the topic several years ago. I was sure I’d shared it but it seems I was mistaken; I shared (at length!) about The Egyptians

However I do have a lot of my ‘finds’ bookmarked on a Pinterest board – https://www.pinterest.com/lisibo/spanish-romans/ – many of which I’ve used in class. I particularly like the resources on icarito.cl including the image below that learners used to label a Roman. There are similar diagrams for roads and Roman army camps.

http://www.icarito.cl/2009/12/como-se-vestian-los-romanos.shtml/

The lolly stick problem was also very popular with learners who puzzled over it for ages! And finally, here’s a worksheet I made to compare Spanish French Latin and Roman numerals.

worksheet-LAT-SP-FR-ROM-NUMBERS-1-31

Anyone tried any Roman activities? Do share them in the comments!

 

Continuing my posts on non-fiction texts, here are some suggestions of texts that you might use to engage those hard to please learners who need something a bit different to capture their attention.

Firstly, some DK Readers that I bought a long while ago on Amazon. They come in several levels as you can see below, ranging from one sentence per page plus reinforcing illustrated vocabulary through simple sentences using repetitive language to the inclusion of information boxes and fact files and beyond.

 

The three I have come from the lower levels as they were bought to be accessed pretty independently by learners, and are on topics that I don’t specifically teach so the vocabulary is mostly unknown.

This is taken from El Mundo Marino which belongs in the lowest level ‘prenivel 1 para principiantes’ and I used this with Y1 last year when they were looking at the seaside. I read it to the class, focusing on the names of the things found in the sea rather than the meaning of the phrases. It was then left for reading during the week by anyone that fancied and also as an activity for those who finished quickly. Perhaps you could encourage learners to label a picture of a sea creature using the book as a reference?

The second book is called Gigantes de Hierro and was bought when I had a pupil who was obsessed with vehicles. I now know a little boy who would very much appreciate this book! It contains some great pictures and I found it fun expanding my heavy machinery vocabulary to include un camión de volteo, una aplanadora  and una carretilla elevadora. Of course, it’s good for a bit of role reversal with learner teaching the teacher new words; just proves nobody knows everything! It’s a good book to read with a child or to a group of children, particularly with the onomatopoeia!

And then there’s ¡Insectos! which comes from ‘nivel 2 Lectura asistida’ and has some wonderful photographs of insects as well as interesting information. It’s quite complex as it’s a direct translation of the English version, but not impenetrable. For the page above left I might ask questions such as:

  • What is the name of that insect in English? Use the text to help you if you don’t know.
  • We call it a praying mantis – do you think the Spanish name is similar? Why?
  • What do you think ‘inmóvil’ means? Why?
  • Can you find a word for ‘huge eyes’ in the text? (relying on them knowing ‘ojo’)
  • How do you say ‘Its front legs trap the fly’?
  • Find the words from jump, trap, disappear

I like the fact file at the end too which,if anything, is the most accessible as the facts are so short. I’d have translations of each fact and ask learners to match them up with the Spanish as an extension activity perhaps, or as a little challenge!

If you search DK Readers Spanish on Amazon there are several including El Mundo Marino and Insectos although most come from the USA so beware the postage!


Deportes de riesgo – El vestuario de pegatinasI bought this book at El Prat in Barcelona last year as I was about to embark on sports with a particularly feisty Y6 cohort and needed all the ammunition I could get to keep them with me for the last half term! Every time we learn the vocabulary of sports there are children, usually boys it has to be said, who want to say that they do activities and play games other than the ‘stock’ ones like football, rugby, basketball, swimming and horse riding. And why not? I’m forever encouraging learners to be imaginative and ‘make it up’ in Spanish lessons so I can’t really object when they want to say that they go scuba diving or skateboarding. And this book covers, as the title suggests, some marvellously dangerous and unusual sports. It not only gives the name for the sport, but also talks about the equipment required which fits perfectly with the Light Bulb Languages unit that looks at sporting clothing and equipment to explore the definite and indefinite article. Again I wouldn’t let them use the stickers on the pages but I’d use the stickers on card and cut out to ‘dress’ the sports people, or indeed use the central pages as a picture dictionary which is what I did last time I used it.

There are sports mentioned that I’d never heard of, and it’s always good to find out the technical words in Spanish associated with sports. For example, someone who does el parkour is called un traceur or una trace use (all taken from French which is where it originated), un piolet is an ice axe and climbing chalk is polvo de magnesio

If I can bear it, I might even separate the pages of the book and use the pages as ‘laminas’ with questions associated with each, as well as reading activities to dress the people in the images according to written instructions.

One complaint about this book – there are four female sports people and over thirty male. Girls like dangerous sports too, Usborne!

ISBN – 978-1-4095-7265-7

Buy from Amazon and Ediciones Usborne 


My last collection of books in this post are from Mini Larousse 

I love these books for a variety of reasons:

  • They’re attractive with amusing illustrations that draw you in so can be enjoyed even if you don’t understand a word!
  • The text is in Spanish handwriting which is again novel, adds something to the reading challenge and is a good way to add a bit of culture and ‘authenticity’ as well.
  • The texts are presented in short chunks using bold to pick out key words.

Being a football fan, El fútbol was the first one that I purchased, attracted by the cover that features La Selección winning La Copa Mundial with recognisable drawings of players (although Iker Casillas has strangely got very dark hair and a huge chin!) In fact there are players throughout the book that learners will recognise including Frank Lampard, Bufon, Gerrard and even Gary Lineker.

I like the combination of prose and labeled images, and the balance of images to text is about right to not put off reluctant readers in  UKS2. As with previous books, I’d be happy for learners to access them individually and use the pictures and their knowledge of football in conjunction with language learning skills to read as they wish. To offer some guidance you could produce a list of key words and phrases in English and challenge learners to find the equivalent in spanish, perhaps giving them the page number as a clue.



Caballeros y castillos is a book that Y3 would find interesting  as one of their topics is all about castles and involves organising an imaginary jousting competition, complete with stalls and ‘betting’ on the jousts (from Youtube!) The page able would be useful for finding the names of people involved in the joust, and the one below could be used as the stimulus to design and describe ‘escudos’ (a twist on the Y3 Spanish topic on shape and colour)

And then there’s Los Piratas which is a bit advanced for the KS1 topic on treasure but great for reading for pleasure. Good to see some famous female pirates featured in this book!

You can purchase El fútbol and Los Dinosaurios in this series from Little Linguist.

ISBN – 978-84-15411-16-1 El Fútbol

ISBN – 978-84-15411-14-7 Los Piratas

ISBN – 978-84-15411-18-5 Caballeros y castillos

Other books include El Universo, La Prehistoria, Los 5 sentidos and El Cuerpo Humano.


Any ideas you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

Following on from my post on Arts themed non-fiction books, here are some books I have collected that have a scientific theme.

1001 bichitos para buscar con pegatinas

I bought this book in Barcelona last year for our Y1s who study mini beasts. I bought it not as a sticker book – imagine one book of stickers between 61 children! – but as a reference book for them to look for and name mini beasts, and for them to be able to label their science bilingually. I also like the variety of habitats shown including the desert, a cave and a rainforest, places that Y1 may well have not visited. As you can see via the link below, there are other books in the series including one about animals and another about pirates (another Y1 theme!)

Link to purchase

ISBN – 9781474909303


Larousse – Las estaciones


I can’t recall when I bought this book, or from where, but it is one of my favourites for its simplicity and range of information.

The above pages are brilliant for comprehension with learners given a grid with the four seasons and asked to fill it with the weather phrases from the text. It also has some phrases that more able learners like to ‘magpie’ such as no hace ni mucho calor ni mucho frío, estalla una tormenta,  and ráfagas de viento (which I admit was a new one for me too!) as well as using más and menos 

This double page spread covers what happens in spring and could be used for finding the word for… sap, roots, branches, buds, leaves, to sew seeds; and also for looking at the relationship between fruits – manzanas y cerezas (with which learners are familiar) and the trees on which they grow – manzanos y cerezos. And aren’t the illustrations wonderful?

One last double page which would be useful to Y2 who look at life in Antarctica. There’s a similar page for life near the equator where it’s always hot.

It’s listed on Amazon.co.uk at the ridiculous price of £173 but if you go to Amazon.com, the same series are more reasonably priced at $3.95

ISBN – 978-970-22-1445-8


¿Por qué  el Planeta Tierra es tan especial?

Planets is a Y5 theme that I’ve used many times as a cross curricular link with Spanish (see this post for my solar system plate books!), and this book was purchased several years ago, along with others, in Barcelona on a Comenius Regio trip. It was chosen by a non Spanish speaking colleague who felt that she could understand it, could use it and that her class would enjoy looking at it. And so it proved. This book, and another which is at school and that I’ll share another time, sit in the class library for the duration of the topic and are referred to regularly. Learners don’t understand every word but they like the graphics and enjoy the thrill of ‘reading’ in Spanish.

Again, the information is easy to decode as the learners are familiar with information about the planets such as their order, and can work out key vocabulary such as atmósfera, oxígeno, fricción, meteoritos, rayos, gira, respirar and so on. Great practice for huge numbers too!


The book isn’t just about the planets though; it’s about why Earth is so brilliant, and it concludes with several pages about climate change and how we can prevent our planet from becoming less conducive to life.

Buy from Little Linguist

ISBN978-84-261-3805-7


Pregunta al Dr Edi Lupa sobre el Clima

I bought this book from eBay and it’s one of my favourites. The texts are more challenging, and learners need more support to access them but the whole concept is worth the effort. It forms part of a series of books in which Dr Edi Lupa answers the letters of concerned animals on a  number of topics, in this case, the climate. The letter from the animal appears on the left and then the response of Dr Edi Lupa on the facing page. These are often followed by double page spreads that expand on and further clarify explanations.

I particularly like the Glosario at the end which explains some key words simply in Spanish. You could make a great matching up game with this that could be kept as an extension activity for Science lessons. In fact, you could make an activity out of the water cycle explanation above by removing the speech bubble words and asking learners to put them back in the right places so that the process works.

To buy from Amazon

ISBN – 978-84-96609-45-7


So that’s my ‘scientific’ themed books – or the ones I have at home at least! Do you have any favourites that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below if you do!

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