Entries RSS Comments RSS

Posts Tagged ‘stories’

BBC Primary ‘goodies’

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

I’m making a list of useful links that parents might use with their children to practice and reinforce their Spanish, and was struck by how many ‘goodies’ there are provided by the BBC. So I thought I’d share! NB I’ve focussed on Spanish but they all come in a variety of languages – see individual sections)

1. The Lingo Show

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 19.25.45

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/lingo-show/

For younger learners (preschool onwards), The Lingo Show started out as a website featuring ‘language bugs’ who teach Lingo a few words in their language. As it was so popular, it became a TV series with episodes featuring  Jargonaise (French), Wèi (Mandarin) and Queso who teaches Spanish, and then a second series featuring the German, Welsh and Urdu bugs was made and broadcast in May 2013.

The website has fun activities as well as links to songs that feature.  Current languages include Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German, Sinhala, French, Welsh, English, Italian, Urdu.

Here’s an example of a song featuring Queso from Youtube, and the link to a counting song

2. BBC Primary Languages website

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 19.25.29

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primarylanguages/spanish/

The ‘old’ Primary Languages website with ‘animales animados’ and Jhonny (sic) and co was great (and you can still access the archived version minus games here) but I was really excited to be involved in ‘revamping’ the site and rebranding it. It was developed when languages were to be compulsory and the KS2 Framework was THE bible of primary language learning, but it still stands in my opinion. This site was written to be accessible to KS2 pupils and is organized in topics. It includes:

  • vocabulary with sound files to help pronunciation;
  • interesting tips and facts about Spanish/French/Mandarin;
  • vocabulary games;
  • videos;
  • songs;
  • links to other helpful resources

There were limitations to the things that could be done e.g. interactivity, ‘free’ writing, games beyond vocabulary recognition level  etc. And I sometimes wonder what happened to other ideas and resources that I saw and wrote that have never appeared on the site – including sentence building games, lesson plans. worksheets  and notes for parents.

I’ve used the site with Y2 recently and they love the songs – they listen as they work and have started singing along. Sometimes they want to see the words and other times they want to watch without. The tunes are excellent – the composer did a good job of making the words fit in English Spanish French and Mandarin to the same tune!

I’ve signposted it to my colleagues as well as a way that they can ‘do their bit’ to reinforce Spanish learning; non-threatening as it’s all there for them.

3. Bitesize (now the home of Learning Zone)

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.37.11

The ‘repository’ of all the BBC videos used to be the Learning Zone Class clips, but they have moved to Bitesize (actually since I started writing this post!) The Learning Zone is still there in archive form and still works; it just won’t be updated. If you scroll down to Spanish in the Primary section, there are lots of clips of programmes on a variety of subjects:

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.23.55

However, these videos – and others – are now listed on BBC Bitesize. There are categories for Spanish according to the ‘Key Stage’ system:

KS1 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zhyb4wx

KS2 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zxsvr82 

but also for Scotland.

second level (9-12 year olds) Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z72mn39 

(NB there are other languages too  in all the above sections! French, German, Italian, Mandarin)

These two clips come under KS2 School and are from a series called Adventures Abroad; a playground game called Abuelita ¿Qué hora es? that I’ve played with classes, and a programme about primary school routine in Spain that I know has been used and enjoyed by others who found Papo the parrot particularly amusing.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.46.45

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.46.25
The Stories poems and songs section is particularly interesting as it includes lots of traditional tales such as The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The Sun and the Wind and Frau Holle as well as traditional songs like Old Macdonald and new ones like this one about Don Quijote!

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 10.05.06

 

And that brings me on to…

4. Virtually there

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 19.28.16 Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 19.28.40

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03yzd0d/clips

This is a series of programmes in which a child, Ashleigh, is helped with her Spanish by friends in Spain via video conferencing. It also includes some songs and cultural information. (Also in French and German)

Here’s the trailer…

and here are the episodes:

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 10.07.56

 

Something I’ve noticed is that the clips all have a QR code option for sharing which I like! That means that I can make a display of all the QR codes and then learners can access them whenever they wish (as long as they have an iPad or mobile device!); for example, as an extension/further learning for early finishers.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 10.10.51

 

I really like Virtually there. Ashleigh isn’t a KS1 child; I’d say she’s nearly secondary age so it would appeal to older KS2 learners and also KS3 beginners. I also like the mix of ‘live’ episodes and songs; the gender song is one of my favourites.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 10.33.46

So, there’s a round up of BBC online ‘stuff’ for primary learners. Hope it’s helpful!

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!

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 13.51.38

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)

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 14.02.58

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!

 

Stafford Primary Languages Conference – Tip Top Language Learning

Friday, March 28th, 2014

As promised, my presentation from Stafford last week! A quick whip through some of my favourite activities with a view to inspire and also keep everyone awake after lunch 😉

Links –

Rachel Hawkes’ phonics

Music for Los vocales D.I.S.C.O.

Rhabarberbarbara

Jo Rhy Jones phonic activities 

Oso Pardo pdf

Boowa et Kwala – Peut tu marchez comme un canard? Fingerpaint song

Padlet.com – for collecting ideas (online post it notes)

Storybird – make up your own stories using illustrators images. MFL Storybird wikispace

I also mentioned Tellagami, Pic collage and Book Creator app. Check out this post for more details!

Again, if I’ve forgotten to upload something that I promised, please let me know!

 

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

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

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

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

Image 9

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

Image 10The book is popular for a number of reasons

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

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

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

Image 8

 

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

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

Image 11

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

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

Image 13

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

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

 

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

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

Harold y el lápiz morado is available from Abebooks and Amazon

 

Learning Spanish with children’s books

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

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!

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.57.16

Favourite books for PLL – Tú ¿Qué quieres ser? / Cuando sea grande / Yo astronauta

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

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

Following on from yesterday’s post , my other Imapla book is Tú, ¿Qué quieres ser?

Image 1

This has the same quirky style of drawing and poses also poses a question; in this case, what would you like to be? Each page responds with the same structure:

Yo quiero ser (profesión) para ver el (color) de (sitio)

Image 2

There are some of the usual professions to which we often aspire as children like bombero (fireman) and pirata, and then some more unusual ones like bruja (witch) and extraterrestre (alien). I like the eye holes that peek through the book and form part of each of the images.

The simple structure means that it’s easy to substitute the three changeable aspects of the sentence to make new ones about professions chosen by the learners. For example –

Yo quiero ser JARDINERO para ver el VERDE de LA CÉSPED Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 15.45.18
Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 15.45.43 Yo quiero ser ENFERMERO para ver el ROJO de LA SANGRE
Yo quiero ser MECÁNICA para ver el NEGRO del PETROLEO Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 15.47.09

 

Another book on the subject of future plans/jobs is Cuando sea grande

Image 10This is one of the Scholastic Rookie Readers series A and is again very simple.

It opens with the statement Cuando sea grande, podré ser lo que quiera and the little girl goes on to dream about the job she might have with each page featuring a different job.

Una doctora, una granjera,or even la presidenta. Image 12

The thing I like most about this book is the final page that recognises that the little girl is still a child and just wants to play!

Image 9

 

One final book on a similar subject is Yo astronauta, a lovely book in which a child dreams about what they would do if they were an astronaut. As the setting is space with the child visiting various planets before coming back to earth to see the sun set with friends, it’s a book I might share when looking at Los Planetas or discussing the solar system.

Image 11

 

For more ideas on jobs and professions, see also these posts

Los oficios

How I might use Yo quiero ser by Nubeluz

Favourite books for PLL – Tú, ¿Cómo estás?

Monday, August 19th, 2013

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

When I was in Barcelona a couple of years ago, I found a couple of books by Imapla that I loved, both very simple but also quirky.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.17.38 Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.17.50Tu ¿cómo estás? is one of them, a large board book about how people are feeling, using ESTAR. Each double page has just three words – name + está + ’emotion’ adjective and a  drawing of the child in question. The quirky drawings  show the emotion but so does the font in which the emotion is written. And the final page asks the question of the reader with a mirror.

I love reading it as a bit of over acting is ‘required’, and learners love joining in. After the first reading, I reread it substituting the names in the book with those of members of the class; as a child is named they get to act the emotion or feeling. On the final page, I ask individuals to respond by choosing an emotion from the story. I model the first person ‘Estoy…’ with my response but don’t necessarily expect it to be used in responses. We might then add more emotion words to give more choice, then make our own versions. We might make a storyboard with 6 boxes, the final being the question. Or a mini book from a single sheet of paper. We might take photographs of learners demonstrating emotions and make a big book with the photographs. Or we might use BookCreator app on the iPad to make an ebook with photographs or drawings, text and embed audio as well.imaphoto

 

This book is a great one for linking with PSHE about feelings – many classes have a board on which pupils indicate how they’re feeling at certain times of the day by moving their name to an emoticon, and having read this book, this activity could be done in Spanish too. And another aspect of the book, the use of calligrams (writing the word to show meaning), links well to word processing and ICT, or alternatively art if you do it by hand!  Nervioso might be quite straightforward, but how might you show enfermo or celoso? Would you use colour, shape, texture?

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.09.17

(examples in English from Twinkl)

So, lots of ideas from a very short, simple book!

20/08/13 – I’ve just recalled this Storybird that I wrote that. although not all the feelings go with ESTAR, fits well with this story.

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 16.24.18

In this Youtube video Imapla shares another of her books – I haven’t found that one in print. Yet! But I’d like to use it as it challenges the colours we normally associate with objects like the sun and the sky and gives colours to things like the wind and holes.

I’ll share the other book tomorrow in my next post.

Favourite books for PLL – De quelle couleur est ta culotte?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

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

 

When I first started teaching Primary languages, I went on a course run by LFEE in Salignac for French teachers (thoroughly recommend it – I worked hard but had the time of my life and rediscovered a love of French that I’d lost when I was made to start from scratch at secondary school.)  During my time there we went on a trip to Souillac and several of us spent a while in a bookshop looking for suitable books to use in our classrooms. And this was the one we all loved.

IMG_0037De quelle couleur est ta culotte? is a lift the flap book that poses the title question to a series of animals.

Each animal has a name that rhymes with its species e.g Lucie le Brebis, Mumu la Tortue and Émile le Crocodile

IMG_0038

and you lift the flap to find the answer:

IMG_0039

At the end there’s a big surprise as Armand l’elephant is a little forgetful…

I’ve used this story with EYFS – and younger in fact. They love the animals, recalling their names, and the colour of their pants. And everyone giggles hysterically in mock horror as the surprise is revealed – because we are, of course, surprised every time we read it ;o) I ask questions e.g. Valentine a la culotte rouge ou bleu?   Qui a la culotte rose? De quelle couleur est la culotte de Aimee? offering choices if needed and then we read it again with choral responses as we lift the flaps; sometimes a particularly confident child will want to ask the question too although it’s more usual to just say the name of the animal. When I shared it in Reception, we drew a washing line of pants and coloured them in for the animals. I’d probably make it into a game now, either on the IWB with a race to match the animals and pants, or as a team game with images of the animals and coloured underwear. And I’d also look to make the story our own, perhaps not about pants this time but about another item of clothing: De quelle couleur sont tes chaussettes? perhaps or a teddy bear: De quelle couleur est ton nounours? or even change it a little and ask Comment est ton chapeau? which could be answered with adjectives other than colour.

I used to teach Kindergarten at the (Catholic!) school with children from 18 months to 3 years, and was sharing this book with them when an inspector arrived. My momentary fear that the inspector wouldn’t share my love of the book, and that of the Kindergarten head who had a great sense of humour, was unfounded as she was giggling along with all the children and said she thoroughly enjoyed the French lesson!

I’ve found a sound file of someone reading the story too! De quelle couleur est ta culotte? sound file

 

Favourite books for PLL – Das ist ein Buch/Wo ist mein Hut?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

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

Moving to Switzerland added German books to my book case where previously there had only been French and Spanish. Not very many as books are exorbitantly priced  (I mostly borrowed them from the library) but some.

I love books. I am indeed a bookaholic and whilst I am very fond of my technology (and this series will feature ebooks), I’m not sure I’ll ever stop preferring the smell and feel of a ‘proper’ book to swiping an electronic device. So I had to purchase this book –

IMG_0041Esel (Donkey) asks Was hast du denn da?

Affe (Monkey) replies Das ist ein Buch.

Image

Esel has obviously not seen a book before and wonders if it texts, needs wifi or Tweets; Affe patiently replies Nein, das ist ein Buch until he decides that it would be best to let Esel read the book …

I love Das ist ein Buch because I’m Monkey when most people think that I’d be Donkey. I also like the ‘there’s more to life than swiping and tweeting and making noise’ message.

I think this would be a great story to share with a class, certainly the “Das ist ein Buch” refrain would soon be picked up, and the language is quite easy to decipher with clues from the pictures supported by actions from the reader. And it lends itself to adaptations with the scaffold “Kannst du…+ verb?”  with other things that a book might be able to do.

Below is an animated telling of the book and the whole book appears one one sheet here.

My second book is Wo ist mein hut

IMG_0043

 

“Mein Hut ist weg. Ich will ihn zurück” says Bär. He patiently asks the other animals if they have seen his hat but noone has until the deer asks a good question that jogs his memory!

I like this book as it is again repetitive with Bär asking each animal “Hast du meinen Hut gesehen?” and thanking them politely when they haven’t “Schon gut. Trotzdem vielen dank” so lends itself well to class reading. It could also be developed into a game where learners hide an object whilst one of the class is outside for them to discover on their return (good question practice) or in small groups with cards, with question Hast du ……… gesehen? and reply Nein, ich habe……. nicht gesehen if they don’t have the card or Ja, es ist hier if they do. You could easily substitute the verb for gestohlen (stolen) gegessen (eaten) versteckt (hidden)and so on.

 

So that’s two of my favourite German books – others include the Lieselotte series about a mischievous cow, and all the Pixi Bücher that you can buy very cheaply wherever you see the stand below as well as in supermarkets. I’ll post again with my favourite ebooks another time!

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 12.24.36

 

 

Los mellizos del tiempo – The Time Twins

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Image

Although I love a good book, eBooks are increasingly becoming part of my life for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that, in an educational / classroom context, an eBook projected onto a IWB / via AppleTV or Reflector app is so much easier to share than a printed text.

I’ve previously written about Calliope, Queen of the Zebras, an iPad app story, and Soy demasiado grande and Le facteur spatial in I can read..eBooks, so I was interested to have a look at some of the more advanced books by bSmall .

Los mellizos de tiempo is one of their original eBooks in the Let’s read series, aimed at older learners who can read independently. This series are bilingual parallel texts with Spanish on one page and English on the other. (Also available in French!)

Image 1

 

“The twins’ grandfather has invented a time-travel watch. Whoosh! The twins suddenly find themselves in Ancient Egypt. But will they ever get home again?”

Having used the CDRom versions of the I can read books, I’m familiar with the double page spread with colourful illustrations. The eBook preserves this and also the ability to have the book read to you. What I like about this book is that there is a separate audio control for Spanish and English text so you can choose the language you wish to hear, unlike the I can read books that I’ve seen where both texts are on the same control. There’s an image scrubber at the bottom of the page that means you can move smoothly from beginning to end of the book or home in on a selected page. Wonderful!

As to the story, it’s quite simple and easy to follow, especially as there’s the support of the English text too. It’s short enough to be used in one go but also long enough to be read in a few ‘episodes’ to a class. I think it would be great to use in the primary classroom as it links so well with the ‘topic’ of Egyptians, or under the ‘learning journey’ of Treasure taken in Year 4 at WCPS. And that got me thinking…

In the next post I’ll be sharing some ideas about linking Spanish and the Egyptians!