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Posts Tagged ‘new curriculum’

El que busca encuentra

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Following on from yesterday’s post, I forgot to say that there is a Facebook page for Muy Interesante Junior that has little snippets from the magazine as well as previews of upcoming editions.

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…and you can follow @MuyInteresante on Twitter for interesting facts in Spanish in 140 characters or less.

A regular feature of Muy Interesante Junior each month is the El que busca encuentra spread. It’s a bit like Where’s Wally? or ¿Dónde está Wally? (did you know that he’s called Charlie in French, Walter in German and BenJ in Swiss German? Find out more here) in that you have to find people in a very ‘busy’ picture! Here’s a section of the picture.

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What makes it different is that each edition there is a different theme for the ‘puzzle’; this edition it is “Mujeres célebres.” Alongside the puzzle is a section which gives you the images that you must find along with a couple of sentences about the person. With the new programmes of study in mind, I can see this as a great opportunity to engage learners in short texts as well as increasing their general knowledge, in this case about famous women, and revising and learning structures and vocabulary .

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For example, the short texts include details about countries of origin, occupations, years of birth and death.

1. You could ask questions about the women based on the facts. For example:

  • ¿Quién es de Francia?  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel)
  • ¿Quién es cantante? (María Callas, Edith Piaf)
  • ¿Quién viene de Europa?  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Madre Teresa de Calcuta)
  • ¿Quién es de un país que habla español? (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Evita Perón, Gabriela Mistral)
  • ¿ Quién ha ganado un Premio Nobel? (Madre Teresa de Calcuta, Gabriela Mistral)
  • ¿Quién nació en el siglo veinte? (María Callas, Indira Gandhi, Edith Piaf, Evita Perón, Madre Teresa de Calcuta, Katherine Hepburn)
  • ¿Quién murió antes de cumplir cincuenta años? (Juana de Arco, Evita Perón, Nefertiti, Amelia Earhart, Edith Piaf)

 

2. You could also use Clare Seccombe’s Tesoro o basura idea and board along with this PDF of the names  (Mujeres célebres) and ask learners to sort words according to given criteria (either with the information, or having found out as much as they can previously):

  • Las actrices son ‘tesoro’; las demás son ‘basura’.   (Edith Piaf, Katherine Hepburn)
  • Las francesas son ‘tesoro’; las demás son ‘basura’.  (Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Juana de Arco, Camille Claudel)
  • Las que murieron en el siglo veinte son ‘tesoro’; las demás son ‘basura’  (María Calas, Indira Gandhi, Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf, Amelia Earhart, Evita Perón, Camille Claudel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Gabriela Mistral, Madre Teresa de Calcuta)

 

3. You could use the information strips to work on large numbers and dates; say a date and identify the person:

  • mil novecientos siete – nació Katherine Hepburn
  • mil seiscientos noventa y conco – murió Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  • mil trescientos setenta antes de Cristo  – nació Nefertiti

And what about putting all the women in a timeline and using ordinal numbers to describe their position?

 

4. You could ask learners to find me the word for

For example:

  • The Nobel Prize (El Premio Nobel)
  • opera singer  (la cantante de ópera)
  • her unique voice (su singular voz)
  • the Pharaoh (el Faraón)

 

5. You could ask learners to fill in a form based on the information given: here are some I’ve made

Pen and paper form

Blue clipboard Stars

and then make up simple personal identification sentences about the women, using structures with which they are familiar:

Se llama Gabriela Mistral.

Es de Chile.

Es poeta.

Nació en mil ochocientos ochenta y nueve.

Murió en mil novecientos cincuenta y siete.

Es famosa por ganar el Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1945.

 

6. The information given could be extended with some research;

  • find an image and write a physical description
  • discover specifically where they were born and describe where it is (compass point, size, near to etc)
  • find out a poem written / song sung / film starred in / speech made / dress designed by the person and describe it using adjectives

and not necessarily just in Spanish. What a great way of bringing Spanish into other areas of the curriculum by having the inspiration in Spanish and continue it in English?

 

Of course, you can do activities without even reading the information!

7. You could describe the images of the women in Spanish and ask learners to identify the person from your description – or ask a learner to describe to the class or their partner.

Lleva un vestido negro. (Coco Chanel)

Lleva pantalones , botas y una chaqueta. También lleva una bufanda, un casco y anteojos de aviador. (Amelia Earhart)

Lleva una túnica /un vestido blanco y un tocado blanco y azul. Lleva un cetro de oro. (Nefertiti)

 

8. Or you could play ¿Quién es? (Guess Who?)  with yes/ no / don’t know questions being posed until the correct person is identified.

¿Lleva pantalones? Sí

¿Tiene el pelo rubio? No

¿Es Katherine Hepburn? Sí

You could extend the game to include the entire picture rather than just the 14 featured women – that could be a game that goes on forever!

 

And that brings us back to the ¿Dónde está Wally? element. Each of the women is hidden in the picture and, once they have been found, learners could describe where each is hidden in Spanish too. For example:

  • Madre Teresa de Calcuta está en el primer piso. Está a la izquierda, al lado de la ventana, entre dos chicos que llevan jerseys verdes.
  • Evita Perón está en la planta baja, a la izquierda de la escalera. Está al lado del tobogán.
  • Amelia Earhart está a la derecha en el primer piso. Está al lado de un robot grande.

And for those that need an extra challenge, there’s a list of additional people/items to find in the picture – good for dictionary skills!

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The latest edition of Muy Interesante Junior has ‘Grandes genios de la Informática’ as the theme of El que busca encuentra – time to start thinking where that may lead.

But I’ll leave that for another time 😉

If you have any ideas that I haven’t considered, please share them in the comments!

Muy Interesante Junior

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

My lovely husband John went to México in April and I promised afterwards that I’d share some of things that he bought back. However, I never got past the first item(s)! Time to put that right! photo 4 I was overjoyed that he returned with a copy of Muy Interesante Junior. Although I’ve never seen the Junior version before, I was aware of Muy Interesante from browsing quioscos over the years. It’s a (Mexican) factual/scientific magazine with the strap line “La revisita para saber más de todo” and the Junior version is along the same lines aimed at younger readers.  And I immediately thought: ‘Excellent! Non-fiction texts of varying lengths and for a variety of purposes – just what the new Curriculum ordered!’ As you can see from the cover and below, the edition has lots of interesting content including fact files, comic strips, activities, puzzles and articles. There are five regular sections (below with the focus for this edition in brackets) and also sections of Preguntas y respuestas, Club Junior and short Noticias.

El que busca encuentra  (Mujeres célebres)

Mundo salvaje (Serpientes)

Tecnología (Cómo funciona el Internet)photo 4

Cuerpo humano (El sistema inmunitario)

Tierra en alerta (tormentas solares)

Here are some bits that I particularly liked.

1. La Tortilla

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Many pupils eat this type of tortilla but how much do they really know about them?

This double page spread is all about MEXICAN tortillas. How to make them, the origins of la tortilla, interesting facts, records, statistics, health information and language related to la tortilla too. There are even  ‘dichos’ or sayings linked to la tortilla.

2. Protege a tus protectores

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In the section on El Sistema Inmunitario, this section is all about how to give your immune system a hand. Good for talking about healthy lifestyles and also for giving instructions in Spanish. Lots of cognates and making connections with things that they already know about staying healthy as well as the (short) length of the bullet points make it accessible to young learners.

3. Rocas del espacio exterior

photo 1 Space is one of the topics that I’ve found works really well as a cross curricular one in Spanish, and this series of articles (there are five pages worth!) add plenty of new information to my knowledge! Specifically, lots of information about asteroides, meteoros and meteoritos, and new vocabulary like una estrella fugaz, la lluvia de estrellas and los meteoroides. 

I found the graphic below interesting – good vocabulary list too! And I discovered that the seven gold medals handed out on 15th February at the Winter Olympics in Sochi all contained part of a meteorite that fell on Russia on the date in a previous year (doesn’t say when!)

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4. Las maravillas naturales

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In the middle of the magazine there were two inserts – the first was a set of 18 double sided cards featuring ‘las maravillas naturales de la Tierra’ – one side has an image and the other a short description of the place. Good for countries, recognising landmarks by their Spanish name e.g. Monte Everest, las Cataratas de Iguazú, la Selva Amazónica etc and for map work. I can also see how you could use the short descriptions for simple reading  activities:

You could give learners three cards and ask them to identify a landmark according to given statements. You could mix English and Spanish e.g. which place is one of the Seven wonders of the world? (Cataratas de Iguazú) ¿Dónde están los pilares de piedra? (China) Which place is the model for one of the habitats in Avatar? And what is the ‘habitat’ called?(Montañas de Zhangijajie en China; las ‘Montañas Aleluya’) And so on.   Or you could make two sets and learners work in pairs to read a sentence and identify the card by listening and following.

5. Del huevo al pollito

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The other insert is a double sided poster – one side has information about how an aeroplane flies and the other a really informative spread about the life cycle of a chicken, complete with pictures of chick embryos. You’d have to pick and choose which bits to share with younger learners but lots of good information that would be really useful for CLIL Science lessons.

photo 1photo 3There are so many other parts that I could highlight – in fact, too much material to assimilate in one go.

I can see that the articles on skyscrapers and tall buildings will be great for looking at large numbers, and I’ll certainly be coming back to the section on Héroes y Superhéroes as it looks at fantasy superheros as well as what makes a real hero, finishing off looking at some real superheroes like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Rigoberta Menchú (like the Hispanic touch!)

 

The bad news is that you can’t subscribe to the magazine from the UK – they’ll only send it to Mexico 🙁

However, all is not lost as there is a website

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 15.23.16          You can’t access the whole magazine but there are selected parts. The current edition online has three highlighted articles on the shape of the moon, dinosaurs and saving the rain forests, and each concludes with links to another three related articles.

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Then there are Temas de interés and Galerías of interesting photographs, again each linked to further articles and albums so there’s lots of content available if you explore!

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Additionally, you can do a web search and find out what was in previous editions  e.g. la sexta edición, la séptima edición,  la octava edición. This isn’t much help with the website as you can’t back track on there but… you can purchase ‘back copies’ via Muy Interesante Junior app in the App Store. (Sadly no Android version yet although you can get Muy Interesante in the GooglePlay store) Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 20.50.07

The app is free but you must purchase each ‘magazine’ for £1.99 or, at the moment, you can subscribe for a year (6 editions) for £5.49. I’ve just downloaded one copy so far (wanted to check the quality before committing myself!) and am very impressed. All the pages (80 odd) and the posters and the photo cards. Well worth the money I’d say, even if it’s only for ideas and information for you because (with ADE hat on!) if you want to use it with your class, you need to purchase a copy for each iPad so it might not be something for all the iPads in a class set. You might buy it for a few, or project it from one device using AppleTV or Reflector or Airserver etc for small groups to use as part of guided reading.

That’s all for now – I’m off to read my newly downloaded June/July copy!

I’ve saved my favourite activity/pages for another post – coming soon!

Something old, something new #ililc4

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

My second session at #ililc4 was entitled Something old, something new and concerned the new 2014 curriculum.

My presentation is below, and I’ll explain briefly what I said as I couldn’t attach the notes without making the Slideshare look ugly!

And there are lots of links ideas and resources at bit.ly/oldlisibo (should have thought out that URL more carefully!)

Something old, something new. from Lisa Stevens

As I explained on the day, when you have to submit your idea so far in advance and aren’t entirely sure how your idea will pan out, it is quite tricky to come up with a witty/apposite title. My choice of Something old Something new was mainly because I envisaged sharing some old ideas and some new ones plus some borrowed from others. However, as I came to think in more detail I began to think more about weddings!

Primary languages have had a bit of a torrid love life, being loved and then rejected by the primary curriculum, nearly getting up the aisle in 2010 but being jilted at the last moment when all was going so well. So I set out to explore the ‘prenuptial agreement’ (or Languages Programmes of Study at KS2), how we can make this ‘marriage’ work, how to convince those that are nervous about married life and how we’ll keep the spark alive.

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So I began by looking at the Programmes of Study, highlighting parts of the  document that I found interesting.

Purpose of study – Intercultural Understanding is still really important – it’s a vital part of language learning. Providing learners with building blocks AND mortar is key if they are to be able to express what they want in the foreign language. And ‘great works of literature’ doesn’t mean Don Quijote de la Mancha, A la recherché du temps perdu or Mein Kampf at Year 3; poetry is great literature and we regularly use an extract tom Machado in Year 5 as stimulus for writing.

Aims – It’s about a balance and variety of things; a breadth of experience that leads to progression. No arguments there!

The lack of detail in the Attainment target section could be seen as a bit disconcerting but doesn’t give much guidance. However, I’m hanging on to my Key Stage 2 Framework which is still a great document; follow that and you can’t go far wrong. Measuring progress in terms of I can statements is also helpful, and there’s been a great discussion on Primary languages forum this week on what we should be looking for in terms of skills progression. (Want to join in? Join the forum or ask to join the Sharing Primary Languages wikispace)

Subject content – I highlighted that whilst it says ‘substantial progress in one language’, this does not mean that looking at other languages is precluded; in fact, I’d positively encourage it as making links between languages  is a vital language learning skill. We discussed how a balance of skills can be achieved when some are more comfortable with speaking activities than the written word which seems more ‘serious’ and permanent. And we mentioned ‘the grammar question’ – it’s not such a bad thing! Nor is looking at languages such as Greek and Latin; very useful for understanding the formation of languages as I discovered on my year abroad at Universitat de les Illes Balears. Finally in this section we thought about laying those foundations for KS3. I referred back to a presentation I’d made at Language World called Bricklaying for Beginners and how bricks need mortar, and how it’s not a wall that needs demolishing at KS3; reinforcing but not knocking down!

I then took each  ‘pupils should be taught to..’ statement and split them into listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar, suggesting ideas and activities that might meet them.

There are lots of links on the wiki to many of the ideas but here are some comments:

  • ‘joining in’  is very important and builds confidence as does repetition e.g storytelling, reciting rhymes and poems
  • making links between graphemes and phonemes is important to enable increased fluency e.g. listening out for phonemes in songs/rhymes, sorting words, reading with your Spanish/French/German glasses so you view graphemes not as you would in your own language
  • confidence with phonics is vital to teacher and learner; syllables and stress patterns too – hence my pupils’ love of stress punching!  (a post about this and ‘animal symphony’ will follow shortly)
  • books are brilliant – not just fiction though! Non fiction is very popular with boys and also is great for linking to other curricular areas: going back to my analogy, this ‘marriage’ is about give and take! If you can’t find suitable books, make your own as with my Storybird ¿De dónde viene el yak?
  • learners can decode more complex texts without knowing every word if you provide them with the confidence to do so, embed language learning skills and discuss how languages work  from the very start.
  • writing doesn’t have to be in a book; whiteboards, post-it notes, mini books, Padlet, labels, paper chains, posters, your partner’s hand; they all count!
  • structuring and scaffolding is fine – trapdoors are great as starters as is making human sentences and physically rearranging words. The Human Fruit machine with 3+ learners holding a large dice with 6 images of nouns/adjectives/verbs etc on them and spin is a great way of making make random sentences and exploring how you can substitute words in existing sentences to make new ones!
  • I loved grammar at school; I liked the logic of it all and the patterns. So why not exploit that and make verb flowers, grammar songs and raps, dice games and so on. Use highlighters/colour to clarify grammar ( I lived by my red=accusative, green=nominative and blue=dative when learning German) be it nouns, adjectival placement, verb endings/groupings or spelling.
  • Use activities that are used in other areas of the primary curriculum; learners up level sentences in Literacy all the time so why not in the foreign language? Word pyramids starting with a word and extending to a complex sentence at the base? And card sorting activities too.

So that’s the session in a (pretty big) nutshell!

(Written whilst lying flat on my back in pain so please excuse typos!)