reading – Page 2 – ¡Vámonos!
 

Tag: reading

My husband often has to travel abroad with his work and, knowing my love of books, has been trained to look put for things I might like to use in the classroom. This last week, as usual, he texted me from the airport to ask about books I might like. Only he wasn’t in Spain or Germany, Switzerland or Austria, countries that speak languages I teach (or love!); he was in Lithuania.However, I am always up for a challenge and when he sent a picture of the front of the book, I decided I liked his choice and said ‘why not?’ I think he fell in love with the covers too as he bought me two.

And so I met Kakė Makė! I couldn’t understand a word of the books, but I immediately loved the bright pictures and quirky character of Kakė Makė that comes through the illustrations.

From the pictures I decided that Kakė Makė ir Netvarkos Nykštukas was about Kakė Makė getting up to mischief, and making an incredible mess, and an elf taking her toys away. Kakė Makė then follows the elf and tries to get the toys back by completing some tasks including a maze and fighting a monster. I also worked out that Kakė Makė is a nickname and the girl’s real name is Kornelija

I’ve since found this video that tells the story in English – and I wasn’t far off! It seems that Kakė Makė translates as GooGoo MooGoo!

And then I looked at Kakė Makė ir didelė Tamsa and concluded that it’s about a shadowy monster that scares Kakė Makė and her friends, and Kakė Makė sets off to find it, capture it in a bag and dispose of it. * What do you think? Here’s a video of the story with no narration!

I think that, as a language teacher, it’s good sometimes to put yourself into the place of a learner who has very limited or no understanding (as was my case) of the language being presented. Not only does it help you to understand the level of panic that can arise when faced with a page of unfamiliar and apparently unintelligible  words, but it also clarifies how you have to rely on all the clues you can find to help you.

  • Pictures – very helpful here
  • Cognates – virtually non existent; I found laberintas and bibliotekininke
  • Punctuation like capital letters for names  – I worked out that Tamsa is the name of the monster and Pipiru is the dog. So some help but not a great deal!
  • Knowledge about stories – there’s usually an opening before a build up to a problem, the problem gets fixed and there’s a conclusion.

I also looked at the text and noticed a couple of things:

  1. Kakė Makė is written Kakėi Makėi a couple of times, both times at the start of a sentence, and once Kakės Makės; what do those suffixes mean? I wonder if it’s to do with subject/object of the sentence? Or possession?
  2. Speech is denoted by – – as in Spanish, and quotations by ,,    ” which I found interesting.
  3. I’m fascinated by the diacritical marks and accents. I want to know how they work! Does it alter the sound of the letters as in French, or the stress pattern as in Spanish? And is Lithuanian like Swedish (which I’m trying to learn on Duolingo)

I’m still not sure how, if at all, I’ll use them in my classroom but I’ve certainly enjoyed ‘reading’ them and exploring the world of Kakė Makė which, judging by my online searches, is quite extensive in Lithuania with product endorsements, themed parties, toys and much more! There’s an app you can download or you can play online (although cleaning her teeth isn’t the most exciting activity ever..) You can even be her friend on Facebook! I’m holding out to meet a Lithuanian speaker to help me read it properly!

*(After working this out, I did resort to GoogleTranslate to find out that the title means Kake Make and Big Darkness so I think I’m on the right lines!)

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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 last post about a couple of non-fiction books I bought in Bilbao, I’ve decided to share some other non-fiction texts that I’ve collected over time. In fact, I’ve concluded that I need to do it in several posts as there are quite a few, so here is part one which includes some ‘arty’ books! By arty I mean to do with the arts not just about artists although there are quite a few that fit that category.

Don Quijote – A Spanish Language Primer

I bought this lovely board book last year to share as part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of his death- and that of Shakespeare. It is essentially a word book with the left page in English and the right hand page in Spanish and intended for very young children; however, used in conjunction with this song from BBC Bitesize ClassClips, it gave a stimulus to introduce and discuss the most famous work of Cervantes in a simple and unthreatening way.

Link to purchase: Amazon

ISBN – 978-1-4236-3875-9


Gaudí

This book forms part of a series called Big Names for Small People and my copy is in English although you can buy it in Catalan  (and soon in Spanish – see the link below) I am a great fan of Gaudí and his story is so interesting that I really enjoy sharing this book with young learners porque si as well as in the context of our learning about Gaudí’s artwork when we discuss shape and colour. It’s also particularly useful for looking at timelines, chronology and working out how long ago things happened.

Link to purchase in Spanish: Amazon    Cossetània Edicions for the other books in the series

ISBN – 978-84-9034-414-9

It contains no words, but I also use Trencadís  with the above book. It’s a wonderful sticker book with outlines that you fill in with stickers that are taken from photographs of Gaudí’s original works so children get to be just like Gaudí without the mess of smashed crockery!

ISBN – 978-84-616-3706-5

And finally, before we leave Barcelona, here’s a storybook in English that gives a flavour of the city through the eyes of two dogs called Poppy and Max. Poppy and Max – Holidays in Barcelona is a work of fiction but I thought I’d share it here as it’s in context!

ISBN – 978-84-92745-31-9


Frida Kahlo (Colección Antiprincesas #1)

My final book (for now as I have more at school that I’d like to share!) belongs to a series that has attracted lots of attention and centre round the life and work of Frida Kahlo. It’s completely in Spanish and whilst the chunks are fairly short, it’s not the sort of book that you could expect children to pick up and understand without guidance. I like the small blue boxes that give definitions of key words like surrealismo and revolución, and also the stylised drawings of some of Frida’s works alongside photographs and pictures of her actual work. A fascinating woman!

Below is a video of the book being read in English, and you can see it in Spanish by following this link  and forwarding to about 12 minutes. The link that promises a lesson plan based around the book is broken but I’ve tracked it down to here – it includes some excellent ideas not just based around the book but also around promoting women and being ‘antiprincesas’.

ISBN – 978-987-33-9158-3


I hope this selection of books has been of interest. I’ll share more in my next post, focusing on books with a scientific theme.

Continuing on my posts about books I bought in Bilbao, we come to a couple of non-fiction texts that I bought at the Día del Libro market.  I was drawn to them as they are colourful, very visual and were also very reasonably priced at €5 (always a consideration when I’m buying several!) Non-fiction texts are less readily available than storybooks and it can be tricky to find ones that are appealing as well as accessible to primary school learners. So I was really pleased to find these. There are four in the series Aula del Saber and I selected these two as I already have books about the planets, and dinosaurs is a topic that y1 cover.

Firstly Curiosidades del Cuerpo Humano, chosen as it supports the Science curriculum as well as containing pages that will be useful for Health Week.  For example, this page will be useful to Y1 who are looking at dental health in Health Week as well as Y4 who look at what happens to our teeth, completing experiments using egg shells and Coca Cola!

Y5 are looking at life cycles and human reproduction so the page above would be interesting. As you can see, even without knowing much Spanish you can understand that the table shows the gestation times of various animals. There are several pages that outline the whole process of reproduction including the female and male reproductive system so it’s perhaps not one to put in the school library but rather a resource to be used in context.

I like that the information is on bite size chunks and that there are lots of diagrams and images to support understanding. This section would be good for finding cognates.


And the second book is Insólitos Animales which has a similar mixture of short texts, diagrams, tables of information and Did you know..? sections.

I’ve selected a few pages that drew my attention.

This one could be the stimulus for a sorting activity, giving learners a list of animals to classify into groups and create simple sentences e.g. Una ballena es un mamífero. Una rana es un anfibio.

Here’s an idea of what a double page spread looks like:

Some interesting vocabulary in the tables below; learners could follow the model and complete for other animals. The short texts could be used for a ‘Find the word for…’ activities as well as simple comprehensions that guide the learner through the text, calling on their existing knowledge of elephants/frogs as well as their linguistic knowledge to respond.

Y4 will finish their unit on animals before the end of term so I think we’ll have a look at this book together! And I’ll let you know any further ideas we have to use it.

In my next post I’ll share some other non fiction texts that I have collected. In the mean time, here are some other of my posts on a similar subject that might interest you:

Muy Interesante Junior

ColoradoLibraries (the West Sussex link no longer works but there are some resources here that are based around animals and their habitats)

¿De dónde viene el yak? my own non fiction text written using Storybird.

 

 

Another purchase on my travels to Bilbao was this book entitled Veo Veo.
It’s a really simple board book about two ‘lunas’ or moons that go for a walk to the park and play I spy. I liked it for the simplicity of the languages, for the repetition and also for the simplicity of the images.

So how would I use it?

  1. A book to read as the introduction to a guessing game: a number of images on the board and the leader says Veo Veo to which everyone answers ¿Qué ves tú? (the refrain in the book) before someone guesses which picture has been chosen. This limits the number of vocabulary items that need to be known to play the game.
  2. As a variation on the above, the leader could say what letter the item begins with Empieza con … or say what colour it is Es (de color) …. or give other simple clues.
  3. As above but using the whole rhyme that I shared in a previous post some time ago. (Sadly at the time of writing the link to the East Riding materials in the post is broken and I haven’t managed to track down if they are still in existence. EDIT: Now updated as I’ve found it!) It’s a call and response with the leader saying the parts in red and everyone else responding with the blue words before someone guesses.
    Veo veo I see, I see,¿Qué ves? What do you see?Una cosita. A thingY ¿qué cosita es? And what thing is it?Empieza con la ……. It begins with ………

    ¿Qué será? ¿Qué será? ¿Qué será? What can it be? (x 3)

  4. It could even lead into a Wake up Shake up style activity or PE warm up using the MiniDisco video below; I can see my KS1 classes enjoying being letters and waggling their fingers (and their bottoms!)
  5. Getting away from the song/game Veo Veo, I also thought that the book would be a good stimulus for some writing.
    The story has the ‘lunas’ seeing two items, one on top of each other, then on the next double page, a third item has been added underneath, and then another so that by the end there are five items:

    Una estrella sobre un pez.

    Un pez en la nube azul.
    La nube sobre un ciempiés.
    El ciempiés sobre un iglú.To limit vocabulary, you could provide a number of labeled images that pupils could cut out and stick in a tower as in the book. At the most basic level they could label the items and at the next level describe using simple prepositions like en and sobre in the style of the book: [noun] [preposition] [noun]
    A little more complex would be to add some time conjunctions primero, luego, después, finalmente etc to sequence the items.
    And to add extra difficulty pupils could choose their own items to arrange and describe, perhaps not restricting themselves to placing them on top of each other but also placing them a la izquierda or a la derecha, al lado de, entre etc to introduce further positional prepositions, and adding a verb to the sentence; for example, Hay un sacapuntas debajo del arco iris or La silla está al lado de la naranja.
  6. The texts from the above activity could be used for listening activities with pupils sat back to back, reading out their description for the other pupil to draw before comparing images at the end.
  7. Another listening activity would be with the teacher describing a stack of items (as in the book) from a bank of given images and pupils arranging the images according to the description. Or it could be a reading activity involving drawing or sticking the items.
  8. Or if you’re feeling adventurous and have a big space, what about giving instructions to place larger items in a tower (being careful of H&S of course!); this might be a good idea for a smaller group or club.
  9. An added challenge for pupils would be to make the items rhyme with each other; for example
    Una vaca debajo de una butaca.
    Un payaso en un vaso.
    Un sartén sobre un tren.
    There’s a PDF of rhyming words in Spanish here which is helpful as it gives meanings, and this post gives a download of some rhyming cards as well as more suggestions on rhyming word activities. More advanced learners could use Buscapalabras, but the meanings are not givens it’s hard for a (near) beginner to choose suitable words for their sentence.
  10. And finally, why not have pupils making their own books – using an app like BookCreator if you want to use technology or a mini book if you want to go ‘analogue’ – using all of the above, and perhaps having the own characters.

So, there are my ideas. Have you got any to add? Leave a comment below.

IMG_1397My school decided that this year we’d have a Roald Dahl theme for World Book Day on March 3rd. Children came to school dressed as characters from Roald Dahl books – so lots of Oompa Loompas, Matildas, BFGs and Willy Wonkas not to mention a Fantastic Mr Fox appearing around every corner – and lessons were to have a similar theme. Serendipitiously I had purchased a copy of La Maravillosa Medicina de Jorge during my recent trip to Mexico so a plan began to form.

I had originally thought about a dictionary lesson in which children looked up ingredients for there own ‘medicine’ and wrote a list. Suitably purposeful and fun at the same time. Looking at the timetable I realised that I had Year 5 and 6 on WBD so thought I would ‘up’ the challenge. So I did. And I’m really pleased that they rose to said challenge!

Below are details of what we did. There was too much for one lesson; in fact, to do each activity justice I’d say you’d need at least two and a half hours, if not three. One class had 30 minutes…

The lesson began with me reading a chapter of the book – in Spanish of course. The chapter, entitled El maravilloso plan, is near the start of the book and is the one in which Jorge/George considers what to do about his intolerable grandma. He toys with the idea of blowing her up or using snakes or rats to scare her but, realising that he doesn’t have the means to do that, he spies her medicine and hatches a plan. It concludes with a rhyme in which he excitedly shares his plan. It lends itself well to dramatic reading and has illustrations that help with understanding, plus there are quite a few cognates. Additionally, it’s three pages long so manageable!

FullSizeRender_opt1. Listen to and follow a chapter

I copied the text* so that children (in pairs) could follow as I read and also displayed the appropriate image for the section on the whiteboard. I stopped after each section to ensure that they were following the story, and also used lots of actions and acting to ‘animate’ the story. It certainly engaged the classes as there was no chatting during the reading, and they were so engrossed that when I reached the part where Jorge/George jumps on the table and actually did it, they were rather shocked. Did get a few cheers afterwards!

If we’d had more time… I’d have done a ‘find the word for..’ activity, both in English and Spanish.

2. Read aloud a rhyming section

I read the last section then we went back and looked at it again. I decided that the first section was all we could attempt in the time we had. I read each line and the class repeated, then we read it again together. Then the class read it to each other in pairs or threes. It was a real test of their phonic knowledge as they’d only heard it three times, and had four minutes to rehearse before I asked if anyone wanted to have a go at reading it aloud to the class. There were between three and eight volunteers in each class who bravely stood and read it together, some with incredibly good pronunciation that made me want to jump up and down and squeal! I think the children were impressed too, especially as two of the classes had heard their native speaking classmate reading it aloud and hearing that it’s quite tricky to get your mouth around it even when it’s your first language!

If we’d had more time… I’d have worked on more of the rhyme and had groups rehearsing a section for a whole class poem recitation! Fits well with the school literacy policy and current focus on poetry. 

IMG_14023. Listen to a recipe and put it in order

Moving on, I’d created my own ‘maravillosa medicina‘. I cut the instructions into strips and gave each group (threes) a set. As they listened to me reading the recipe, they put the recipe into order. They did this very successfully without much problem. Before we checked our answers using the PPT, I asked children if  they could guess any of the ingredients. They were successful with shampoo and got close to engine oil (¾ said petrol), understood that paper was included and knew that ‘comida de gatos’ had something to do with cats! We went through the recipe and discussed what the instructions meant.

Download la receta

If we’d had more time… we could have done another sorting activity with pictures of the ingredients as an extra challenge, or a ‘fill the gap’ activity with the text if we were feeling extra adventurous.


IMG_1389
4. Write your own ‘maravillosa medicina’

Using some of the vocabulary from my ‘receta’, I made some colour coded cards to guide recipe writing. Green = ingredients  orange = quantities and blue = instructions/verbs. Each table had a pack of words and we discussed how to form phrases using an orange and a green card, or a sentence using a blue, then orange then green card. Children then made up their own recipes for ‘una maravillosa medicina’ on a copy of the final slide. Some chose to work in pairs but others preferred to write their own recipe although they formed sentences together. They worked at a variety of levels: the minimum was to write a list of ingredients. Next level was to specify quantities as well as ingredients. The next level was to give instructions by adding a verb. Some children decided to aim even higher and add sequencing words such as  primero, después, entonces etc. I was really pleased to see that the dictionaries were used very intelligently by which I mean, there were very few children who tried to look up every single word. That’s progress as I find that some pupils are so eager to please that they try to write overly complicated phrases rather than following the structure and adding ‘glittery bits’ as I call them!

Download medicina cards

We ran out of time in the lesson to do this part – most classes had about 20 minutes but the vast majority went for it and there was some great work. I asked everyone to finish their medicine for next lesson and I’ve promised to award prizes for the best entry in each class. To help, we looked at how to use wordreference.com 

If we’d had more time… we’d have spent time making and sharing phrases with the cards before starting to write the recipes. We’d also have spent more time in class on writing the recipes. It’s always risky letting children take work home to finish…

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Next week I will share the completed medicines but I hope that you get a feel for what we did in this post. I enjoyed the lesson and I’m pretty sure that the pupils did too as there was no one off task in any of the four classes, and there was a buzz of discussion about ingredients and how to construct correct sentences throughout the day. I only wish we’d had more time.

So, I wonder what the theme will be next year?

* As I photocopied one chapter of the book only, this was not a breach of copyright. Schools have a CLA license and, as I own the book, it is acceptable as detailed below. The illustrations in the presentation come from that chapter too. For more information see http://www.copyrightandschools.org

copyright rules

PS I did dress up as a Roald Dahl character, but not from George’s Marvellous Medicine. Can you work out who I am? (I’m the one in mortal danger!)

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My idea to share at the Show and Tell was based on a post I wrote in August –

El que busca encuentra

The picture I shared is on that post (in two parts) and below I’ve uploaded it as one image. I’ve also shared another couple that don’t have questions.

el que busca

Mujeres célebres

Grandes científicas

Grandes científicas

IMG_0568 IMG_0569

Grandes genios de la informática (arriba)

Grandes personajes de terror (abajo) – perhaps for next Halloween?

IMG_0566 IMG_0567

Apart from the ideas in the previous blogpost, I was going to suggest that any Where’s Wally?/Où est Charlie?/Wo ist Walter?/¿Dónde está Wally? could be used in a similar way:

1. explain where Wally is using prepositions/positional language.

2. provide descriptions of other characters to be found: could be done as a reading or a listening activity .

3. learners could do the above with a partner, or in small groups

4. learners imagine the life of one of the characters and provide a biography, or put themselves into their shoes and introduce themselves (a little like Janet Lloyd’s ‘In the picture’ activity)

and so on!

(Apologies for taking so long to upload – I’ve suffered severe post -#ililc5 exhaustion this week!)

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.

photo 2

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 .

photo 1

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

| 4 Comments

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

photo 3

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!

Taking a break from my favourite books for primary language learning, I thought I’d share some ideas from someone else!

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.53.20On her blog, The Architect and the Artist, Debbie Palmer has written two posts about Learning Spanish with children’s books.

The first highlights a few series of books that she has found useful –

Froggy books by Jonathan London which are quite long but have good storiesScreen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.54.22

Oso books (Barefoot bilingual series) for basic vocabulary

Dr Seuss – familiar and fun!

Eric Carle – timeless!

All the links are to the US Amazon store so I searched UK sites to see what was available.

There are Froggy books available on Amazon.co.uk; Froggy se viste, La mejor navidad de Froggy, Froggy juega al fútbol although I’m not sure that El Primer beso de Froggy is worth THAT much money!

The Oso series can be found on the Little Linguist site for £5.99 e.g. Oso en la ciudad and  are also available (for a reasonable price!) on Amazon.co.uk

Likewise Eric Carle books can be purchased from Little Linguist e.g. Oso pardo, whilst Un pez dos peces and Huevos verdes.. are only available on Amazon.co.uk.

Then I remembered Abebooks.co.uk which searches all over the place for hard to find books – and sure enough, up popped several of the titles including lots of Froggy books at much better prices (although watch out for shipping costs!)

 

The second post recommends book thematically e.g. colours, numbers, family, house and home, weather, prepositions.

Debbie lists several books for each category and stars some of her very favourites, some of which I haven’t seen before. She’s linked to where you can pbtain them if you’re in the US so I’ve looked for those and linked to sources for UK buyers.

NB I’ve highlighted books that I’ve read/used in RED; the others, I’m going on Debbie’s recommendations!

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 10.52.40 Elefante tiene hipo (out of print but available from Abebooks if you’re willing to pay the postage!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 10.57.07 Demasiados globos (Abebooks once more!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.09.23 Salí de paseo (Abebooks and Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.14.10 Go away big green monster/ Fuera de aquí horrible monstruo (LittleLinguist and Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.16.45 De la cabeza a los pies (Amazon and Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.23.09 Ruidos en la casa (Amazon – with Kindle edition!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.30.23 Si yo tuviera un dragón (Amazon, Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.31.24 Yo tenia un hipopótamo (Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.35.17 Chumba la cachumba (Abebooks – Amazon only have it at a ridiculous price!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.36.32 Azul el sombrero… (Little LinguistAbebooks, Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.40.36 Los animales no se visten (Amazon, Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.44.15 Un recorrido por las estaciones (Abebooks, Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.47.42 Quiero más fideos (Amazon, Abebooks)

 

So now I have a list of books to investigate to add to my library! I hope that’s helpful to someone – and obviously thanks to Debbie for the ideas!

PS If you’re not in the US or UK, Abebooks does have other “nationalities” of site as does Amazon of course!

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