Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ding!Dong! Bell!From phonics to language recall to beginners writing!

The activities in this blog post are additional ways to exploit our simple Christmas greetings song: Feliz Navidad or Joyeux Noel .
You can read about our original activities in listening and speaking ideas here Ring out those bells tonight.

The activities in both blog posts  are transferable to other contexts.
In my opinion the activities below allow us to explore the following DfE POS objectives:


  • explore the patterns and sounds of language 
  • speak in sentences using familiar language
  • write phrases from memory
The object of the activities below is to continue the theme  of bells and ringing bells but to deconstruct the language so that we are looking at letter combinations and listening for key  sounds in the target language.We then reconstruct the Christmas greetings songs line by line from memory.It is helpful therefore if you have practised the greetings song in the blog post mentioned above first.(In French we use the key phrases : joyeux noel / à tous /à vous)

For the Ding Dong Bell activities .....




  • Create your own bell letter combination cards for the key sounds in the text.You will need a template 

  • On each bell write one of the key letter combinations here in Spanish (for example: fe/liz/na/vi/dad/mis/a/mi/gos/mi/fa/mi/lia)

  • On the reverse of the bells you need to add a  symbol to represent a recent and familiar piece of language for example with our beginners we have chosen stars  symbols in different colours,numbers,gapped months of the year and smiley or non-smiley faces to suggest feelings.

  • Now the language learning fun starts! Give out the bell cards and ask the children to become bell ringers. They ring their bell when they hear their sound.Children without a bell come to the front and they are your carol singer
  • At the end of the song ask the children to swap bells and make sure your carol singers get a go at bell ringing too
  •  Finally ask the children to help you to either peg the sound bells to a classroom line or blu-tac the bells to the board to reconstruct the complete song 
  • Children could then take responsibility for one bell and one sound and create their own classroom Christmas decoration – like a bell paper chain of the Christmas greeting song


Make it a class challenge

  • Divide your class in to four teams. give each time a different phrase - say it orally do not give them the written phrase.
feliz navidad
mis amigos
mi familia
feliz navidad


  • Blu-tac the bells to the board with the sound/letter combination face up.
  • Each team must try to win the bells for – that once they are put back together, make up the line.
  • Can each team take it in turns to select a bell ,say the correct sound , suggest in which word it is located in the song
  • If they are correct ,turn over the card and can the team give you the Spanish for the number, colour or month clue on the reverse of the bell?
  • If they are correct they can keep that bell .Can they collect and create a full line from the song before the other team does? 
  • Can the class reconstruct the whole greetings song and sing it one final time?


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