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Archive for the ‘Foundation’ Category

Los animales and Little Languages – the story so far.

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

I’m conscious that I haven’t posted since before school started so I thought I’d share something I’ve made this week.

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At WCPS, Foundation and Key Stage 1 teachers follow the Little Languages scheme of work for Spanish. It’s simple to use, has clear instructions and best of all, builds up from a +/- 10 minute activity/ies in FS to 10- 15 minutes in Y1 and 15-20 minutes in Y2. The activities can be repeated during the week or just done once, and there’s lots of repetition. Sound files are included to support the teachers (none of whom are fluent or confident Spanish speakers) and visuals too.

I’m timetabled to teach two Y2classes this half term which is great, so I’m following the same scheme but making it a bit more in depth and adding my own bits to it! At the same time, I need to ensure that the third class have a similar experience; their teacher is doing their lessons with half a class at a time as the other half go swimming and then the other half when they swap.

The last few weeks have been based around animals.

Week one we sang an adapted version of  Vengan a ver mi granja featuring a kitten (un gatito) and a duckling (un patito). We sang the song with actions then played Patito/Gatito, a game with cuddly toys.

We sent someone out of the room and hid the ‘gatito’. When they returned we had to find ‘gatito’ by listening to the rest of the class repeating its name; the nearer the person got, the louder we said ‘gatito’. One class was really good at the dynamics whilst the other needed a bit of help as they were loud from the start and didn’t leave themselves enough leeway to get louder without screaming! Then we played with ‘patito’. This led to horror when someone hid the cuddly in the class play oven! The next week, we added ‘perrito’ to the game. Very popular and the children recalled the words clearly after so much repetition.

Download wk 1 gatito patito

The next week we moved onto a story about wild animals called ¿Quién soy? in which you see small parts of a wild animal who asks ¿Quién soy? before revealing themself and saying ‘Soy un elefante / un tigre / una jirafa’ etc. Whilst reading the story for the first time, we assigned each animal an action and children showed they understood by doing the action on subsequent retellings. For example, un elefante was arm as a trunk; una jirafa, arm above head like a long neck; un tigre was claws in front; and un león was the same but whilst swishing your hair. They also joined in with ¿Quién soy? and some with the response too. Another game followed in which children mimed an animal and asked ¿Quién soy?, challenging their classmates to guess. Again, plenty of volunteers and lots of language. We also used masks to play a similar game with the images from the story; we looked at the clue images, chorusing ¿Quién soy?, and the child wearing the correct mask jumped up and announced ‘Soy….’  

Their favourite is…

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… accompanied by puffing out the cheeks (which strangely helped them to say the word!)

To continue the theme I made a simple labelling sheet with 8 animals, three of which they hadn’t met: un mono, una cebra, una serpiente. This led to a really good discussion about how they could work out which animal these words matched.

 

Mono looks like the start of monkey.’

Cebra looks like zebra.’ ‘It starts with a s sound not a z or a c though’

Serpiente sounds like snake because it’s got a sss at the start’ (that followed me reading the word with a very sibilant s!)

Download jungle animals worksheet

This week, the lesson was to be based around Alarma en la jungla. But I couldn’t it. I’m sure I’ve got it so Im not buying another copy until I’ve had a good look, and I couldn’t find a powerpoint or PDF online (that didn’t require me to sign up to something requiring my credit card details!) so I had to find an alternative.

Step forward, Animales salvajesThis is a lovely book that I bought in Spain for 2€ which has a little rhyme giving a clue to the animal hiding behind the ‘plastic page’. Look at the example below!

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We’d met all but one animal so I planned to read it to the class, sharing the book so that everyone could have a look, emphasising or explaining key words to help them guess. For example, the first animal is described as ‘verde’ and they have a chart of Spanish colours on the wall so that gave them a clue that it wasn’t the elephant! However, I was aware that my colleague in the 3rd Y2 class couldn’t speak Spanish and wouldn’t be able to read the book to the children. So I made a powerpoint with embedded sound for her so she could just show the pictures and turn the pages whilst the text and sound came from the IWB. And I added a question to each slide too ¿Qué es? as it’s a common question that they’ll hear repeatedly.

Download animales salvajes

Except we had two special assemblies so we didn’t use it! However, we’re all ready for next week. And hopefully the sound on the IWB in one of the classes will be fixed as the children are eager for a repeat of Veo a un animal on the BBC Primary Spanish website.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 18.25.09Firstly, it’s a guessing song about wild animals.

Secondly, they like the funny pictures and the catchy tune.

And thirdly, they are particularly impressed because I wrote it (and all the other Spanish/French songs, games and vocabulary /information pages on the site)  and this has elevated me to superstardom in their eyes!

We did however have a great game of ‘Secret leader’ in which we all sat in a circle and chanted a word whilst doing an action. We sent a child out and nominated a leader who would change the action whenever they wanted (I changed the word in response to their action as it was the first time we’d played but one child did it themselves so we’ll see what happens next time!). The child returned and had to work out the Secret leader.  “Oh, it’s like ‘Wink-faint’ isn’t it?” said one child which made me think of the days when we used to ‘murder’ each other and die violently and gorily! This class are only 6 years old though 😉 Again, a game with lots of repetition with the action reinforcing the spoken word.

I’ll report back on how we’re progressing at a later date. Hope you enjoy the resources I’ve shared.

Favourite books for PLL – ¿De qué color es Elmo? / Descubre y aprende los colores con Fido / Harold y el lápiz morado

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

One of my favourite occupations in Spain or France – and now Switzerland/Germany – is sitting on the floor of bookshops, supermarkets and any other likely looking shop, poring over children’s books. I could – and often do – spend hours searching for gems that I can use in the classroom. I consequently have a large collection of books but many are either out of print or “don’t exist” in searches as I bought them in supermarkets. De quelle couleur est ta culotte (shared earlier this week) is one such out of print book – you can get it but it costs a week’s wages! Two of today’s books belong to another category – they ‘exist’ (obviously as I have copies!) but can’t be found for love nor money! However, I’m still going to share them as the ideas can be used with other books of a similar vein, or with homemade presentations instead of a commercial book.

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I found ¿De qué color es Elmo? in a shop in Benalmadena about eight years ago and it instantly became a favourite, particularly with Nursery/Reception. The book poses the question ¿De qué color es Elmo?  and each double page spread offers a suggestion as to his colour on the left hand page with the response on the right hand page indicating that another character is that colour as well as an object in the picture, before finally suggesting the correct colour on the final page!

Image 10The book is popular for a number of reasons

It’s repetitive – it’s easy to respond to the question with a loud ¡NO! however old you may be! Or join in with the suggested colour when I pause ¿Es Elmo….? by looking at the colour of the writing!

Sesame Street is always a winner as the characters are so friendly. Many younger learners don’t know the English names for all characters but they do know Elmo! And those that recognise Big Bird are quite happy to accept that he’s called Paco Pico, or that Grover is called Coco!

The pictures are clear and interesting. Once we’re familiar with the book we look for other objects in the pictures that are the colour suggested. For example, the house – la casa – is suggested on this page. Then we turn the page and look in other pictures. And then we start looking around the room for more ideas. Sometimes we play “Traeme algo ….” – this worked really well when the age of my pupils spanned 1 – 3 years as the little ones were happy looking and pointing whilst the older ones needed a bit more challenge! As a follow on activity we might build up a collage of images in the different colours, like mini mood boards with a character at the centre of each. Older learners might label them.

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Someone recently said on a forum that they didn’t like little books as not everyone can see them in a class situation and that is true (although it’s a good way of staying warm as everyone squishes up close…) However, there is a very limited supply of big books, particularly in other languages. To get around this problem, I photographed each double page and blew it up to A3 size and laminated it, making my own ‘big book’. If I had had a projector in the room, I’d have simply projected the images from my computer onto it, straight from the photogallery  (the quick answer) or in a presentation (the longer lasting solution!) Lots of classrooms have visualisers now so why not use that to show the book? (Alex shares here how you can use a USB webcam as a  really cheap visualiser!)

As I said, I bought this book years ago along with another called ¿Qué oye Epi?, a lovely story about what Epi (Ernie!) can hear as he sits by his window. Unfortunately that book went missing and I can’t replace it. Fortunately I had ‘blown it up’ into a display so can hopefully find where that is (I’m a bit of a hoarder!) and use it again.

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Another book I have that is good for very little ones is Descubre y aprende los colores con Fido. I found this in a discount bookshop in Spain along with Descubre y aprende los números con Fido for 2,95€. I’m sure that there are many equivalent books out there!

Each double page focuses on a colour – verde, azul, rojo, amarillo and marrón (not an obvious choice for me but it works!) – and has a number of things to do.

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  • three examples of e.g. brown things (adjective after noun isn’t something I’d point out but sometimes a bright spark points it out for me!)
  • ‘point to the colour’ on the colour grid
  • turn the wheel to find the e.g. brown object
  • other labelled items that ‘go with’ the object on the wheel – in this case, things in the garden around Fido’s kennel.

This book works best with small groups of children or as a book for independent learning although you could use a visualiser to share it with a whole class, inviting individuals to point/turn the wheel whilst everyone else watches on the screen.

 

Image 7My final book (for now as I haven’t found them all yet!) on the subject of colour is Harold y el lápiz morado. Harold is a little boy (in a onesie!)  who decides one night, after much thought, to go for a walk in the moonlight. But there’s no moon… so he draws one with his purple crayon. And then he draws the path and the adventure begins as the purple crayon brings Harold’s thoughts to life.

Image 6Whilst it has lots of words in it and I wouldn’t necessarily read it all to the class in one go, I love the idea of “taking a line for a walk” (not quite in the same way as Paul Klee!) guided by your imagination! Added to that, it’s very visual as the drawings are clear you can follow what’s happening without understanding every ward. So I’d read it as an experience of listening to a story in Spanish, deciphering meaning from pictures, gestures and tone of voice. And then we might take our own lines for walks to see where they might take us! Perhaps we might even take it in turns to add an image to the story that could then be narrated in Spanish by the teacher (or that convenient native speaker in my class!)

Harold y el lápiz morado is available from Abebooks and Amazon

 

Fasten your bug-belts!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Fasten your bug-belts for some exciting news!

Starting on Monday 12th every weekday on CBeebies at 09.35 and repeated at 13.35 is…..

You may have already discovered Lingo and his multi-lingual bug friends on the CBeebies website – I know that he has been a hit with more than one family that I know! Lingo ‘the ultimate show bug’ is putting on a show and  and his performing bug friends help him prepare, teaching him some words in their language on the way, ready  for the ‘Big Bug Show’.

Well, after lots of planning, and auditioning of bugs, Wei the Chinese bug, Jargonaise the French bug and Queso the Spanish bug will all be starring in their own week of programmes on CBeebies.

The schedule is as follows –

Week 1: Chinese
Mon 12th – Ep 1: “Chop Chop”
Tues 13th – Ep 2: “Wei’s Giant Jump”
Wed 14th – Ep 3: “Cannonbug”
Thur 15th – Ep 4: “Wei Up High”
Fri 16th     – Ep 5: “Wei’s Buggy Best 3”

Week 2: French
Mon 19th – Ep 6: “Can-Can’t”
Tues 20th – Ep 7: “Trapeasy Rider”
Weds 21st – Ep 8: “Balancing Bug”
Thurs 22nd – Ep 9: “The Limbo Show”
Fri 23rd       – Ep 10: “Jargonaise’s Buggy Best 3”

Week 3: Spanish
Mon 26th – Ep 11: “Questanets”
Tues 27th – Ep 12: “Queso The Clown”
Weds 28th – Ep 13 “Ice Cream Queso”
Thurs 29th – Ep 14: “Strong Bug”
Fri 30th      – Ep 15: “Queso’s Buggy Best 3”

I’m especially excited as I have been involved with Lingo since the beginning of the process, firstly with the website and then with the programmes and, whilst my contribution was one of many and possibly quite small, it’s good to see the fruits of one’s efforts!

Make sure you tune in for fun, laughter and language learning at 09.35 on Monday. And if you can’t watch it then, record it or find it on iPlayer.

The Lingo Show

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

This week sees the launch of a really lovely offering on the CBeebies website aimed at 4-6s – and I’m very excited that I’ve been involved in it (along with many others!)

As the blurb from the BBC says –

The Lingo Show’ introduces different languages to a pre-school audience, sprinkled with a bit of culture.  Play fun games and learn new words whilst helping ‘Lingo’ the ultimate show bug and his performing bug friends prepare for the ‘Big Bug Show’. Featuring French, Spanish, Mandarin, Welsh, Urdu, Punjabi, Somali and Polish. It’s a bug-lingual adventure!’

This week the site is launched with French, Spanish and Mandarin to be followed by Welsh on St David’s Day, Urdu and Punjabi on 14th March and Somali and Polish on 28th March.

I am really excited that the site is finally live and hope that it is enjoyed as much by the users as it was by the four children in Reception on whom I tested it in its early stages. And I look forward to seeing what may happen to Lingo, Queso, Jargonaise, Wei and the other bugs in the future!

bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/lingoshow

Mis amigos Pooh y Tigger

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

I’ve been having a little look at Youtube resources again, and, inspired by the session last week on teaching Infants languages, I’ve found some sweet little videos featuring Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too! Now, Winnie is always a winner in my books – I just love that bear of very little brain! – but talking Spanish is even better.

A couple of ideas.
This clip is called Estrellita abrillar and is a version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (I know other words). The story seems to be that Lampi, the Heffalump can’t sleep and they sing to him. However, his Mummy sings different words so he sings them to the friends then goes to sleep. A cute little story in a song in just over a minute.

The words are:

Estrellita ¿cómo estás?

me preguntas ¿qué serás?

en el cielo brillas tu

como un diamante es tu luz.

Estrellita ¿cómo estas?

me preguntas ¿qué serás?



Lindo lampi ¿cómo estás?

No te quejes; duerme ya

La noche es para soñar

Pon su trompa, descansar.

Qué se acabe mal humor

y no ronques por favor.

Lindo lampi ¿cómo estás?

Es mejor que duermas ya



Then there’s this clip called Es la hora de pensar and is a little song to signal thinking time. I think it would be a lovely cue to send children to their desks to work on whatever they are doing, or as a signal to change activity. And not just in language lessons but as one of those ’embedded’ ways of making language an everyday, incidental thing.

Hope you like them!

Any other ideas people have found?