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Posts Tagged ‘games’

Rompecabezas y naipes.

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

On my trips to Spain I’m always in search of a bargain! I’ve recently not had much luck finding ‘Poundland’ type shops, nor the equivalent of a Swiss brocki but this time I came across a 1 euro shop down one of the Siete Calles in Bilbao. Disappointingly there were no books, and unfortunately I was down to my last few euros. However, I did find some bargains.

Firstly some vocabulary jigsaws. Following on from a tip from Eleanor Abrahams-Burrows at ILILC a few years back, I bought some blank ones from Wilko (also available from Flying Tiger) and made some bespoke vocabulary jigsaws for early finishers/take home Spanish bags/ to reinforce grammar points.

I was pleased to find these ‘rompecabezas’ in the shop and at 1 euro 20 I bought one of each. I’ll use them in much the same way as my homemade ones; let’s see which is the most popular. Additional activities that you could do once the jigsaws are complete:

  • put the vocabulary in alphabetical order
  • read and practice pronunciation
  • make a list of the words you find most interesting
  • make a puzzle for a friend with the words
  • classify the words – could be by colour, size, like/dislike, manmade/natural
  • find the word for… with a partner

My second purchase was a pack of cards. I’ve got lots of decks of cards already, but this my first  ‘baraja española.’ As you can see, they are not the same as the ‘baraja francesa’ with which we may be more familiar. There are four ‘palos’ or suites – oros (coins), copas (cups), espadas (swords) y bastos (sticks) – of 12 cards each. The different ‘palos’ are also distinguished by the number of breaks in the line around the edge of the card: oros -0; colas – 1; espadas – 2; bastos -3. And, in contrast to the 52 card ‘baraja francesa’, there are only 48 cards in the ‘baraja española’ as, whilst there are three ‘figuras’ – rey (king), caballo  (horse) and sota  (jack) there is no card marked 10.

If you’re interested in the history of them, the Spanish wikipedia entry is very interesting.

I was pleased to purchase these from a  cultural point of view as well as to be used when we’re working on numbers/counting etc

Here’s a post with some ideas on how playing cards can be used in language learning.

And some traditional Spanish card games that are played with the ‘baraja española’ are explained in this post. Some are played with a 40 card deck (which omits the 8 and 9) One such game, and probably one of the simplest too is Siete y media which is explained in Spanish here (to change it to English, click on English in the left hand menu!) but is basically a game in which the aim is to get cards totally 7 ½ points and no more, with number cards being worth face value and ‘figuras’ are worth half. A simple game that could easily be played in class with basic language:

te toca a ti – it’s your go

otra carta por favor – another card please

me planto – I’m sticking here (no more cards)

me paso – I’ve gone bust (my total is over 7 ½)

gano – I win!

¿jugamos otra vez? – shall we play again?

You many not want to add an element of betting for counters or points, but if you do…

apuesto… puntos/fichas – I bet …. points/counters.

I usually use decks of cards for activities such as :

  • pick a card and say its value in Spanish
  • pick two cards and add their values
  • playing 21 (very like Siete y media but with higher numbers so harder to play when pupils can only say up to 10!)
  • pick a card and saying the number bond to make ten, fifteen or twenty
  • pick two cards; what’s the difference?
  • pick two cards and multiply the numbers
  • higher, lower (in the style of Play your cards right!)

Do you have any favourite card games that you think could be used in the language classroom?

PS Loving these ‘naipes’ GIFs!

Inspired in IKEA 2.0

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

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I love visits to IKEA as, along with the scented candles and plastic bags, I invariably come away with all sorts of unexpected items.

In 2008 I posted Inspired in IKEA and quickly followed it up with Inspired in IKEA part 2. I continued being inspired in on A visit to IKEA in 2010 and with Breakfast from IKEA and En la granja de IKEA in 2011. And then there was my (continuing)  love affair with Señor Brócoli.

On Friday I decided it was time for the annual trip to buy gingerbread for the tree – and a gingerbread house too as my domestic goddess status doesn’t extend that far.

I always get excited when I approach the children’s section but this time I nada surprise as I met the LATTJO collection  mid way around. What an exciting development!

This little video showcases the new range

IKEA have started a collaboration with world class storyteller DreamWorks Animation highlighting the power and importance of play. DreamWorks Animation brings the LATTJO world to life through more than 25 short animated stories that celebrates and expands the imaginative world of the LATTJO characters.

Well, first of all I saw the Jenga-like stacking game with coloured bricks adding to the fun. I know that Jenga is used widely in language teaching – see Eleanor, Amanda and Erzsi‘s blogs! – and this could well add another dimension to its use. IMG_7377
Then I came across these cones – great for directions, target practice with a bean bag (for practising colour, number, counting up the score etc) IMG_7378
Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 20.54.45 And then I saw these number ‘sleeves’. The suggestion was to put them around bottles of water to make skittles which is a great idea.

I immediately thought of using them as arm bands and making human ‘skittles’, not to be knocked down but for counting activities. For example, give a sum in Spanish/French/German and the answer has to stand up, or children have a pile of cards with word problems in Sp/Fr/Ger that they have to assign to the correct ‘skittle’

I was also rather taken with the large inflatable die and the giant sacks but then I saw the dressing up! Oh my! I actually started jumping up and down!

I find puppets and dressing up to be an excellent way to get children talking in an imaginative way as I’ve shared before and here for example. So what did I see?

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Moustaches and beards. I think I look rather fetching with a beard, and you can still talk and see the mouth even wearing it!

And then there were wigs…

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…and other made head gear! I was particularly taken with the snail head, and also the brain which I decided to try on but I think – well, know!- I have a very big head as it kept popping off!

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And then if you’re feeling like splashing out more than £3-£6, you can get full dressing up costumes! The parts are available separately too 😉

You can also be an eagle or a bat, and you can add monster claws to make your rat scary!

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Queen

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Robot

 

Getting away from the dressing up and LATTJO, I made it to the children’s department where I found some great cushions. I bought the sunshine one and I’m going to use as an incentive/ to reward excellent work. Impress Sra. Stevens and make her smile like the sun, and you get to sit on the cushion next lesson. I may yet add the cloud to my collection for excellent ideas, but, as with everything, it’s where to put it between lessons! IMG_7395
IMG_7393 My final inspiration came in the shape of these piglets. Can you guess my thoughts…?

Indeed. Los tres cerditos. (Their Mummy is available too!)

Oh, one last idea – these GLON templates for a house, some flats, a church-like building and a mosque-like building look great for describing the town, particularly thanks to the variety of building shape that accommodates the shapes the children I teach see around them!IMG_7396

I hope I’ve managed to communicate my excitement. I didn’t buy all the items but I may well do over time. I do have the moustache and beard, brain hat, sunshine cushion and two sets of the number sleeves though!

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.

Communication4all

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

My FB wall reminded me this morning (edit – was yesterday now!) to wish Happy birthday to Bev Evans and I sighed. She passed away a few weeks ago so it’s another sad day for her family and friends. Her husband Paul tweeted

and I thought – why not?

Bev set up up Communication4all  in 2006 to share all the resources she had made to enable inclusion within her own school, and continued to share there, and then latterly on TES Resources where she was @tes_SEN.  Her resources have been downloaded 4.5 million times in 248 countries. Amazing lady – and very much missed.

One of her legacies is her website. There is an MFL section containing numbers,  days, months and seasons in French, Spanish, German and Polish as well as multilingual greetings and a few French resources on animals transport and colour. Very attractive and clear – well worth downloading.

However, there is a wealth of other stuff on the site that could equally be used in primary languages.

For example, the Spring time dominoes feature no language and could be used to practice numbers and spring vocabulary: for example in Spanish

un pollito     un pato       un nido      un huevo    un cordero    un conejo

uno dos tres cuatro cinco seis

For Christmas, why not try this activity that uses 2D shapes to make Rudolph, Father Christmas an angel and a Christmas tree; not only is it themed for a season/festival but it also allows you to discuss colour, size and shape.

Take Rudolph.

¿Cuántos rectángulos hay? ¿y círculos? ¿De que color son los triángulos? El círculo marrón ¿es grande o pequeño? and so on!

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Getting away from festivals, Bev made lots of colourful board games, often with a literacy theme, that I;ve used before in the language classroom.

Her bright bold snakes and ladders board can be used for any topic; simply have a list of questions or instructions for each number to which learners refer, changing the list according to the theme. Or you could make question cards (perhaps the same ones you use for QuizQuizTrade) and learners pick one up when they land on an odd square. (The link is to the numbered version – picture is linked to unnumbered version)

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Where in the world is Barnaby Bear? is a good game to link geography to knowledge of the world. It’s in English but you could discuss the languages spoken in the countries visited, the flag and talk about colours (Clare Seccombe has some great resources for this on LightBulbLanguages) and perhaps some discussion of transport.

 I love the Catching flies game for counting and as an introduction to who eats what for young learners, and also Build your own Gruffalo which could easily be adapted to another language and used when talking about facial features – great for our unit of mythical beasts! Likewise, Elmer’s Colour Collecting game is great for colours and Build a bigger caterpillar for numbers!

The Hungry Caterpillar is a story that I use in Spanish and there’s a good healthy eating game linked to the story; great opportunity to use food vocabulary as well as ‘es sano’ / ‘no es sano’, and ñam ñam / beurk! or ¡Qué rico!/¡Qué asco!

Likewise, the Handa’s Surprise resource is a data handling one, reinforcing maths skills and asking children to make tactical decisions too! And there are more games/activities too based on other stories such as Dear Zoo, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Hairy McClary.

Then there are all the editable labels – great for labelling table groups, making displays, creating flashcards on topics, creating clues for treasure hunts and generally making colourful resources. I particularly like the handprints and the wild animals!

One final thing I love – the colour sums in the Art section, and also the colour dominoes; love a good paint splat!

 

 

 

And that is only the things directly from the HOME page. I haven’t begun on the resources accessed via the sidebar. I’ll save that for another day, although feel free to explore before then. In fact, I’d encourage you to do so, and share with your primary colleagues as there is such a wealth of high quality resources’ hidden’ here.

One last thing – I am particularly nostalgic about the international rugby balls, originally created for 2007 Rugby World Cup and updated in 2011; that’s possibly one of the first times I ‘spoke’ to Bev and, having made them in English and Welsh, she made them in French and Spanish because we asked her. That’s the kind of lady she was!

 

Sharing lives, sharing languages

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

I’ve just received an email from the British Council Schools Online sharing these two resources (as well as mentioning the benefits of hosting/sharing a native language assistant) for primary language learning.

Our free Sharing lives, sharing languages activity packs are aimed at children aged 7-11 who are new to learning languages. They can be used in the classroom or with your partner school.

Encourage your pupils to greet one another in a different language with our Hello Everyone!activity pack

We heard it in the playground activity pack introduces children to numbers one to six in a different language through the context of playground games.

The activities are very simple and there plans are mostly language agnostic so you can decide on the language to be used dependent on skills or the language of a partner school. I’ll be suggesting to staff at WCPS that they use these activities as part of our whole school project through eLanguages in which each class has a different country on which to focus in the lead up to the World Cup finals in June.

I particularly like the playground games idea. Why not look at sites like  Traditional children’s games from around the world or this site that shares German games or this blog post or this one too. You might find some ideas in this PDF or on TES resources or Streetplay you’re looking for Spanish ideas. And what about these 3 programmes from BBC School Radio with dance based on playground games from around the world?

Jugando en español – #DevonMFL

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Last night was #DevonMFL Teachmeet. Despite being given warning, life took over and my contribution didn’t arrive in time for the night. However, rather than waste it, I decided to share it here!

So, here is my hastily – but not hastily enough – prepared short presentation on using games to learn Spanish in and out of the Primary classroom.

Teachmeet Devon 3.10.13 from lisibo on Vimeo.

I refer to various things in my presentation that may need further explanation – I’ve linked to some below but feel free to ask questions in the Comments if you need clarification.

Toenail game

La vaca Lola

More games etc can be found in this post/presentation called Games to learn and I also spoke at #ililc3 on using games and activities in the language classroom in a presentation entitled Let out for good behaviour!

What I didn’t say (I was trying to keep under 7 minutes!) was that Take Ten en español is brilliant for embedding language into the curriculum, and for supporting the non-specialist teacher! Check it out here! 

Let out for good behaviour – #ILILC3

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 15.02.29My second presentation at ILILC3 was called Let out for good behaviour.

The blurb said

Let out for good behaviour? refers to leaving the classroom being (often) seen as a treat. There are many ways to ‘break free’ of the walls of your classroom, both physical and virtual, and this session will involve both. Participation is required as we explore activities and games, that will enhance teaching and learning whilst bringing a breath of free air to a stuffy classroom. Technology will be involved but you don’t need anything but your imagination and sense of adventure to enjoy the activities.

Although my presentation was somewhat spoilt by the weather meaning we couldn’t get outside and make a mess with chalk, there was much giggling as we played Punto de contacto, went on a QR quest to solve animal riddles, went Placespotting and tried to win chocolate by solving dominoes. And much more of course! It’s great to know that some of the ideas I shared have already been used in classrooms!

Below are my slides from the session.

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Let out for good behaviour from Lisa Stevens
 I prepared a wikispace instead of a handout which gives links to activities as well as further ideas, and the presentation makes much more sense if you read it in conjunction with bit.ly/lisibobehave  (like the bit.ly link?)
I was really pleased at the end of the session that my Swiss QR quiz has gone to a good home in Switzerland class! If you want to have a go at it, you can download the codes, questions and answers from here!
If there’s anything that needs explaining/clarifying, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

#ILILC3 Show and Tell – Tools for Educators

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Screen Shot 2012-04-23 at 21.20.01At the ICT Links into Languages Conference aka #ILILC3 Show and Tell, amongst the fun and hilarity over Manx knobs and whether Swiss or Belgian chocolate is better, we did do some ‘serious’ sharing of ideas for language teaching. Others shared how to adapt and play Cluedo, Jenga, Blankety Blank ( I even featured in a question!) and Poker in a language classroom context.

My contribution was to share how to make games and other resources using Tools for Educators.

I’ve shared here previously about some ideas for using them so have a look at Tools for educators – board game maker and Los oficios job activities. You can also have a look at What did you do? game and What did you do yesterday? game, two resources for English teaching that I shared on The Language Point.

And here’s a bonus set of bingo cards for Easter that I’ve just made! Easter bingo

Perhaps if you make some games or resources, you could share them with others. There are a variety of places that you could share, but why not think of sharing with MFL Sunderland, a site run voluntarily by Clare Seccombe which is chockablock with great ideas, most of which have been made by Clare!  She’s launched a 70 Day Challenge to celebrate the 9th birthday of MFLSunderland – could you help her reach the 70 new resources target?

 

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.

Tools for educators – Board game maker

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Whilst reviewing resources on The TES resources website, I came across some that referenced Tools for Educators – Board Game maker  so I thought I’d investigate.

As is often the case, this site is not a language specific but it allows you to input your own language elements.

 

Whilst reviewing resources onThe TES resources website, I came across some that referenced Tools for Educators – Board Game maker  so I thought I’d investigate.

As is often the case, this site is not a language specific but it allows you to input your own language elements.

From a bank of images, you can choose to make a board game on a wide variety of subjects, using just images as in the fruit example, or incorporating instructions as in the mini beasts. These examples use the Galactic Challenge theme but there are three others from which to choose (it defaults to Galactic Challenge but all you need to do is go to the bottom of the list of topics and click on the board you’d like) The third and fourth examples show other board games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These games can be printed and laminated for future use, then used for a variety of exercises.

For example, take the fruit one. It could be used for-

a)vocabulary rehearsal – everytime a learner lands on a fruit, they say the name of it in Spanish

b)giving opinions – learners give their opinion of the fruit on which they land

c)asking questions – learners ask one another if they like the fruit

d)shopping – learners must travel the board buying fruit – perhaps give them a list of fruit and they must keep going until they have all their fruit?

e)pronouns – ask and answer ¿Hay uvas? and response could be Sí las hay or No no las hay

f)colours/adjectival endings – learners say what colour the fruit is eg La manzana es verde or Hay una manzana verde; Los plátanos son amarillos / Hay plátanos amarillos

And that’s off the top of my head. I’m sure with a bit more thought I could come up with more ideas. If you have any, post them in the comments!

There are also Printable board games so that learners can design their own games. what about using the Loveheart game board for likes and dislikes – or for Valentine’s Day? The question cards can be edited to include your own images or questions. Or perhaps use the Bubbles theme for wishes or wants!