With 11th November coming up, particularly with the 100th anniversary of Armistice this year, my school has had been planning whole school activities to commemorate Remembrance Day. I like to join in – it’s a good way of keeping Spanish visible and also an opportunity to be creative.
With Spain not involved in WW1 or WW2 and not celebrating Remembrance Day as a national event, this left me with a challenge. I decided to focus on peace and, having discovered that I would only be teaching Y5 and 6 this week, to share some Spanish history.
We began by discussing what Remembrance Day is about, and I asked what they thought Spain’s role was in the World Wars. It was a good opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about who was and wasn’t involved! I then went on to talk a little about the Spanish Civil War in the most basic terms. We talked about the difference between a monarchy and a republic, discussed what an economic depression is and about why the Nationalists might have revolted. I showed them Guernica by Picasso (as they are familiar with him) and told them about that particular episode. It was supposed to be a quick resume of what happened as one of the reasons why Spain weren’t involved (one of the pupils suggested ‘They had no one to send to fight; they’d all killed each other!’) but the pupils were really interested and wouldn’t stop asking questions. In the end I asked them to save the questions for when they were doing their written task, and I’d happily try to answer them then. They stuck the poem in their exercise books, and recorded a couple of sentences about what they’d learned about the Spanish Civil War or Remembrance or peace.
Poem El dia de la paz to download as PDFThe second part of the lesson was about peace; poppies help us remember those who died in conflicts, but also remind us of man’s folly, how we should learn from the past and seek a peaceful future. I found this simple poem that I read, then pupils read with me. I asked them to discuss with a partner what they thought the poem might be about and why, using all clues like the illustrations and cognates to help them. We discussed together what it meant then read it once more in groups. I’d found some poppy templates and provided some sheets of the word PEACE in a variety of languages. For example this image or this one. Pupils decorated the poppies with the word peace in languages of their choice as a demonstration of their wish for peace in our world. We discussed the meaning of different coloured poppies – the most well known red, purple for animals and white to remember all those who died in war including those who refused to fight and those who committed suicide as well as a commitment to peace. (I didn’t know about black poppies until I saw this video today!) I also mentioned that in France people wear bleuets for Remembrance Day, cornflowers which also grew in the fields of France. Pupils kept these colours in mind as they decorated.
I taught Y5 on Tuesday and you can see some of their poppies below. I really enjoyed the lesson and think that the children did too, judging by the incessant stream of questions! Y6 tomorrow.
The other book I purchased at Foyles belongs to the series Sabelotodo which translates as Knowitall or Smartypants.
I was torn between two books, this one and one about dinosaurs. In the end I chose this one as the other book I bought was about dinosaurs. You can see a couple of images from the dinosaur one at the bottom of the post.
I liked this series as it’s very child friendly with bright images and short chunks of information on a theme for each double page spread along with a ¿Sabías que…? strip of interesting facts. The pictures draw you in and contain such great incidental language; I particularly like the exclamations at the gladiator fight!
Así eran los Romanos covers Roman life, society, the army, Roman inventions such as the baths, food, Roman emperors and Roman gods.
I’m sure that it would be well read if I were to lend it to Y4 – particularly as we have a bulge year with 3 instead of 2 classes at one of my schools! I wonder how long it would take them to find these interesting facts…
Y4 study the Romans at both my schools and I developed a whole unit linking their Spanish with the topic several years ago. I was sure I’d shared it but it seems I was mistaken; I shared (at length!) about The Egyptians
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!
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 Dinosauriosin 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!
I’ve been asked to share the following project to ensure that as many people as possible hear about it and have the opportunity to participate. I wish I was a teenager again as I think I’d have jumped at the chance!
GUERNICA: SPEAKING TO MANKIND
“Guernica is to painting what Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is to music: a cultural icon that speaks to mankind not only against war but also of hope and peace.” Alejandro Escalona
80 years on from the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Picasso’s painting Guernica is as powerful and disquieting today as it was when the artist expressed in paint his revulsion and outrage over the first ever bombing of civilians within Europe.
The GAP Arts Project is looking for 20 motivated, creative young people aged 11-18 who are interested in immersing themselves in an exploration of the most controversial and moving anti-war painting of the 20th century, exploring its impact, its component images and reflecting on their resonances in today’s 21st century world.
Over three weeks the assembled company will engage in practical workshops, creative activities and rehearsals, working towards devising a collective artistic response – a performance utilizing a variety of artforms such as drama, movement, poetry and more, to be produced for a public audience.
If you are excited by this chance to work creatively as part of a team, to explore this key turning point in the history of Europe and to devise and perform your artistic response publicly, we’d love to hear from you. Whether your interest is in Drama, Art, Movement, Poetry or History, this project is for you. No experience needed, just enthusiasm, curiosity, an open mind and a willingness to explore.
Dates: 8 – 29 August 2016Times: Tbc (initially daytimes, potentially some additional evenings/weekends in last week)
Director: Ian Yeoman, formerly artistic director of Theatr Powys, 30 years experience of directing and devising theatre for and with young people. (Ian and all adults working on the project are DBS certificated)
Venue: The GAP, Jubilee Centre, Pershore Street, B5 6ND (city centre)
Cost: £80 per participant. This covers all rehearsals, costumes, production costs etc, PLUS membership of The GAP – Birmingham’s only young people’s arts space – and all the associated benefits –free arts events, free wifi, free tea & coffee, arts library, and the opportunity to be part of The GAP’s young creative community.
And here’s my session on Making links across the curriculum.
I didn’t get to share my Pinterest pages as they were blocked by the firewall, but here’s the link to my Roman resources for Spanish. If you click through the presentation, you’ll find links to things like the music for The Carnival of the Animals, a slideshare of Querido Zoo, links to BuildyourWildself and Switchzoo for making hybrid animals and a cheesy song in Spanish about the planets.
I’ve just come across this short video about the Spanish language via Pinterest.
It explains how Spanish came to be, condensing 2000 years into 3 minutes and shows why Spanish is such an important world language. Well worth a watch, whether as a tool for promotion or persuasion or out of interest.
Reading Los mellizos del tiempo got me thinking about integrating language learning in the Primary curriculum. As I mentioned in my previous post, it links so well with the ‘topic’ of Egyptians, or under the ‘learning journey’ of Treasure taken in Year 4 at WCPS. So I had a bit of a look around and came up with the following ideas, resources and links that might be of use to anyone who wants to do just that!
Egipto para niños – collection of fairly simple texts on a number of areas of Egyptian life including the Pyramids, food, manners and mummies as well as a bit of geography. This text is in fairly short chunks too. And Blog de los Niños has some short chunks of information, particularly about Egyptian gods and the meanings of the various crowns.
Here are some longer texts about various Egyptian ‘misterios’ including the Mummy of Pyramid KV22.
Historia Simple has some short-ish historical summaries of the various phases of the 2500 year long Egyptian era including a section on the Pyramids. There’s also some information on El Historiador.
And of course there’s Wikipedia – you can translate the pages back and forth between languages so you could have some fun with picking out key items of vocabulary.
Slideshare has some presentations for ideas and information including this lovely one from some young learners which is beautifully simple and asks some good questions on slide 4 that could be used for investigation.
And this blog has two simple presentations by Dora la Exploradora and friends, and Hello Kitty covering some of the basics of Egyptian geography and history in words and image.
However, my favourite find is from Junta de Andalucia. This site is a one stop shop about Egyptians, written in simple language and presented in short paragraphs with lots of visuals, making it really accessible. There is a dictionary of key terms as well as the facility to click on highlighted words for an immediate ‘pop up’ definition. Lots of interactive maps and also a hieroglyphics maker within the site also make it a great place for young learners to find out about Egypt. There’s also a webquest that guides learners through the site, posing questions that can be explored and investigated. (There’s another more complex webquest here along with other Egyptian resources shared on the Tiching site.)
A close second goes to a resource from Gobierno de Canarias that takes an interactive look at the Pyramids with extra information, again simply presented, appearing as you click on specific areas of the pyramid.
Videos are another source of information that can often be more accesible than just text.
And then there are these cartoons, the first from a series called Érase una vez.. and the second from a series called Martín Martín.
And here’s another I’ve just found which is a short video about the Egyptian pyramids:
You might also like to try the Barrio Sésamo approach with this video in which Lola visits the Pyramids or this video which presents images and name of the animals of Egypt before moving on to images of buildings and then some short snippets of information about Egyptian life.
You know how I love a good kitschy song! Here’s one called Momias de colores by Rockolate. When my hand is feeling better, I might try to subtitle the video using Amara or at least write them down!
(see also Fátima una momia responsable below under Stories for another song)
(see also Stories below!)
Perhaps with older, more advanced learners you could use some of the definitions from this ‘Glosario’ for a match the word to the definition. You could choose key words like Faraon, Esfinge, Obelisco, Momia, Papiro, Sarcófagos, Vasos canopos and so on.
And this vocabulary list gives you the Spanish word with the Arabic equivalent. Could provide an interesting language comparison activity.
And here’s an online hieroglyphics tool. Would be fun to write some words in hieroglyphics and ask learners to decode before they write their names. Or they could write key Egyptian vocabulary in hieroglyphics for display as well as in Spanish for a multi lingual display!
The Egyptian system of counting and adding etc was very developed and you can find out all about it here (in more detail than I think I need to know but if you like Maths…)
This site has lots of writing at the top (useful information!) but the really ‘useful’ part for learners is the chart with the Egyptian number glyphs and the puzzles underneath, both for whole numbers and also for fractions. I foresee lots of fun with setting maths problems for each other… There are a few more maths problems here.
A document explaining that Egyptian numbers are not positional so you can write the units, tens, hundreds etc in any order! Un sistema aditivo – el egipcio
And of course there are all sorts of things you can do at a very simple level such as sequencing and using geometrical shapes when making Egyptian jewellery, and making pyramids.
I found this free video story about Egypt called El pendiente de la princess: Cuento de Egipto. Sadly it doesn’t go full screen but the man telling the story speaks clearly and fairly slowly so it could be used for a true/false activity or perhaps a multiple choice activity.
However, I found two more promising possibilities!
2. This PDF (rita_ladrones) has links to useful sites (some I’d already highlighted above before I found this!) and also some activity worksheets. Whilst the middle sheet on characters in the book would be hard without reading it, the first sheet (matching words with images and writing your name in hieroglyphics) needs no knowledge of the book, and I think that the third sheet which is a sequencing activity could also be done without reading the story, and actually gives a very simple synopsis of what happens!
3.Then I discovered that there is an online version of the CD rom of activities about the book, complete with Teachers Notes (in Spanish!) There are various activities including finding synonyms and antonyms, sequencing text and a wordsearch – see below image for contents. Some activities are quite challenging for primary learners; however, a bit of challenge can be a good thing!
Fátima, una momia muy responsable
Fátima una momia muy responsable is a lovely story about an Egyptian mummy called Fátima who wants to be a tour guide and keeps scaring people! She builds up a great collection of hats and torches by doing it, but one day…
It’s a narrated version of a book that has been used in many Spanish primary schools.
Some ideas for using the story –
act out the story
talk about colours and sizes describing the hats that Fátima collected / was gifted
pretend to be Fátima and give a tour of a pyramid
one of the class blogs I discovered had a song on it about how Fátima dances which would be great fun, whatever your age! You can access the words here or here, and here is a recording of young learners singing it!
I love ‘being a magpie’ and collecting ideas, and here are some classes in Spanish primaries that have done an Egyptian topic and shared their ideas.
Mis cosillas de Educación Infantil – this link takes you to the posts for the entire project. I particularly like the concept map that they made which includes lots of important vocabulary organised systematically. I think that having a map of what is already known that is added to as time passes and more information is gathered is a great way of documenting learning and progress, especially if learners post questions that they’d like to investigate and see them answered as they explore and investigate!
E.I. 5 años Carlos Ruiz have been doing an Egyptian topic too and this is the first of a number of posts on what they have done. If look in the archive, there are further posts documenting their work throughout noviembre and diciembre 2012 including the sequencing activity referenced in the Maths section above and an interesting post giving instructions on making ‘papiros’.
La Clase de la Bruja Maruja have done a project on Egyptians too and have published some of their work as well as links on their blog. Of particular use I think are the simple worksheets they used that could easily be used in the primary language classroom. I also love the fact that they’ve been using the wonderful Woodlands site by Mandy Barrow using GoogleTranslate to put it into Spanish!
So, I hope you’ve find the above useful. I know that there are many more things that could be done; for example, I haven’t even started on the possibilities for art projects! If you have any ideas or resources, please leave a comment – it’s good to share! And even if you haven’t, leave a comment! Its good to know that people are reading!
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.
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!)
“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!