Thursday, 18 December 2014

Count down to Epiphany! Numbers and dates.


Thanks to one of my wonderful associate teachers Andrea for this simple idea to start the New Year in Spanish ,,,,and I think this will work in other languages too!
Andrea brought home from Spain a couple of weekends ago this advent calendar with a difference if you are a Spanish child waiting for the three Kings to bring your presents on 5 January!

The activities below would  transfer to other languages too where there is a festive celebration of Epiphany.
The activities are about numbers and dates


Puzzle It Out 
  • Give out number cards on each card is the figure for one of the numbers 
  • Ask the volunteers with the cards to stand at the front of the class
  • Don't give any of the children any clues but ask the class to decide how to put these numbers in to a sensible order.
  • Can they work out that these are dates of the calendar month from 25th December to 5 January?
  • Explain the significance of these numbers and how they are linked to the dates from 25 December to 5th of January.
  • Can the children say the numbers with you?
  • Can the children count with a partner the missing numbers from 6 to 24?
  • Listen to volunteers count the missing numbers.

Hunt the first!
  • Share with the children the written form of the number as a date.
  • Can the children spot an odd one out because the first of the month will be el primero in Spanish and le premier in French.  
  • Can the children identify and explain the difference between the first of the month and the other dates they can see.
  • Can the children now help you to write some of the dates in the target language between 25th December and 5th January
e.g. Spanish 
el primero de enero / el triente de diciembre

e.g.French
le premier janvier/ le trente d├ęcembre


Dates and a Quiz Quiz Swap Game of "Happy New Year" or "Kings for the Day"!
  • Give out date cards - one to each child (each card is between 25th December and 5th January).
  • Ask the children to remind you what is special about the date "first of January~" and why it's different to the other dates they can see on their cards.Have they remembered that its el primero /le premier...? Share with the children the importance too of 1st January or ask the children do they know the significance of the date. Practise with the children wishing  each other a "Happy New Year" in the target language.
  • The children must walk around the room whispering the question "What  date is it" to  another child.
  • The other child says the date on his /her  card.
  • The two children swap roles and then when they have completed the question and answer this second time, they swap cards and move to a new partner.
  • Hold pauses in the game and anyone holding the date card for 1st January must sit out the next round of questions and answers until you pause the game again.The class should wish them a "Happy New Year" in the target language: "
  • Anyone with the date card of 5th January gets a team point...as their Epiphany treat! At the end of the game which team will have most points and be "Kings for the Day" ?
Happy New Year in Spanish!

Happy New Year in French!









Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Exploring sentence structure in primary languages grammar.How are we getting on?

We have been considering ways to support all our colleagues to deliver appropriate primary target languages grammar as part of the language learning in school.This fourth  round up blog focuses on sentences structure: nouns ,adjectives and  commonly used verbs. 

We want our teachers to be confident enough to share with children clearly and successfully how to use some verbs in the target language.Remember we stage the learning of verbs across four years of KS2 ...so the activities below represent work with different stages of learner and year groups. 


Teacher's guide to the ways  to a step by step developmental understanding of nouns,verbs and adjectives from the perspective of a young child in primary school.


We like to encourage the children to look at texts carefully and become independent language detectives!The magical magnifying glass allows us to ask children to find key language ... and the magnifying glass allows us to search a sentence for the clues we are looking for.



Here is a novel and useful language learning tool that can be used as a device over and over again to explore sentences- putting parts of sentences back together, categorising parts of sentences etc.It can be used with beginners,children who are moving on to the more advanced learners. The device could be an independent activity left in the quiet order for children to use or complete independent grammar tasks during the week etc.




Creating simple descriptive sentences using a  noun, a verb and an adjective in this instance to create  jungle animals for our display back drop.
The activity is transferable to  other contexts and content.




First steps to independent writing ,taking notice of punctuation in the target language.An activity that can then be developed to text based mind the gap writing for dialogues and more detailed text with moving on and advanced language learners.






This is a simple activity that can be used on many different levels . You can work with the children with  key individual words,a series of nouns with adjectives, question , sentence , complex sentence or short text .



A calligram activity to help us fill our suitcase with useful Summer holiday clothes sentences.
A creative writing  activity that can be transferred to other contexts and content and can be used with different expectations of sentence structure outcomes 


a device to track the progress children are making in their ability to write descriptions about themselves and to ask questions- linked to a specific theme .In this case we are collecting leaves as it's based around an Autumn time theme.




This is a great activity using familiar language, drama and grammar for children who are “moving on” in their language learning. It reinforces the literacy work that schools are engaging their children with to understand the grammar of a sentence and the construction of a sentences  . It’s an activity that demands correct pronunciation and intonation of the target language and asks the children to not just decode but also understand the message they read and to demonstrate this through performance! It’s also great fun!




This idea can be used across a wide range of language and contexts but it really made me think about how we can help children to improve their target language with physical prompts.
We were focusing upon nouns ( and definite articles) simple present tense common verbs ( in this instance "to be" ) and adjectives ( colours in this case) and how they need to agree with the nouns they describe in French and Spanish.




Can the children identify the verb, the noun  and the adjective in a song or rhyme?Can they now add their own new nouns ,adjectives ans verbs applying the grammatical rules odf the target language?




Writing sentences using bilingual dictionaries to create a sparkling description of a crown or an object(as activity is transferable to other contexts) Activity on three levels :beginners ,moving on. advanced 





Ways to support children to develop their own independent reading  and writing skills at word and sentence level.




What a marvellous starting point to develop creative writing with young language learners, who have a developing understanding of the simple structure and rules of a target language sentence!




Why not create a class book shop window "display" of target language book covers - one book cover for each month of the year with learners who are moving on.Take a look at nouns, verbs , adjectival agreement and the superlative.Take learning walk along the sentence.Using our magical magnifying glasses, we can analyse the text on the book cover





A creative way to read carefully and show understanding of words,phrases and write our own dialogues 



We can work toward creating with our young advanced  language learners a drama and grammar sequence of activities using nouns, adjectives, adverbs and creating spoken, performed  and written similes!
At the end of the sequence of activities the challenge is to create a "spoken simile silhouette poem" based on a specific groups of adjectives or adverbs. 















Monday, 15 December 2014

Verbs and Primary Languages Grammar. How are we getting on?

We have been considering ways to support all our colleagues to deliver appropriate primary target languages grammar as part of the language learning in school.This third  round up blog focuses on commonly used verbs in the present tense.

We want our teachers to be confident enough to share with children clearly and successfully how to use some verbs in the target language.Remember we stage the learning of verbs across four years of KS2 ...so the activities below represent work with different stages of learner and year groups. 


Teacher's guide to the ways  to a step by step developmental understanding of nouns,verbs and adjectives from the perspective of a young child in primary school.


Using a familiar technique of Maths' functions machines to enable children to keep a re-usable record of the processes they need to apply to access and use grammatical structures



We like to encourage the children to look at texts carefully and become independent language detectives!The magical magnifying glass allows us to ask children to find key language ... so here we could be searching for 
verbs in a text for example. 




Bring Art to life !Practise verbal phrases with beginner learners.I use these  activities mid way/ toward the end of the first year of target language learning .The children are confidently recalling and  saying verbal phrases and personal information sentences about themselves which all contain verbs in the present tense



I like to revisit the same picture with the children as they progress in their language learning and confidence . They can see how much more they are capable of achieving and also we are building a soap opera based on the characters we are getting to know in the picture 


Hot Seating! questions and answers leading to a third person singular description of the character of some of the people the children have explored in the famous  painting.


The activities take the children from being able to ask and say who a character is in the first , second , third person singular and plural to developing personalities behind the masks for the characters and adding performance and drama !



Exploring the present tense of the verb "to have" and creating our own potion.Easily transferable activity to another character e.g. "the Christmas fairy on the tree " etc.




How to create different questions to ask someone else a question using the second person singular of the present tense verb 




Physical and expressive ways to explore and internalise the meanings and use of the personal pronouns we require when working with verbs.



Scroll to the bottom of this blog and see how we can create a ssequence of activities where the children programme each other as robots , using the imperative of the present tense verb( commands)





Creating your own Easter movie based in a simple famous rhyme and practising the use of regular "er" verbs in the third person plural.Great with children who are just moving on to become more independent and able to use bi-lingual dictionaries to find the target language infinitives of verbs 




Investigating verbs, exploring meaning and reconstructing text .












Adjectives and Primary Languages Grammar.How are we getting on?

We have been considering ways to support all our colleagues to deliver appropriate primary target languages grammar as part of the language learning in school.This second round up blog focuses on adjectives.

We want our teachers to be confident enough to share with children clearly and successfully how to use adjectives in the target language -just like Ruth is doing here at CPD using her jungle animal shape sentences (see below)!


So how are we going about this? Below are some simple approaches that we are using to integrate the use of adjectives in to our language learning from Year 3 to Year 6.


Teacher's guide to the ways  to a step by step developmental understanding of nouns,verbs and adjectives from the perspective of a young child in primary school.


Using a familiar technique of Maths' functions machines to enable children to keep a re-usable record of the processes they need to apply to access and use grammatical structures.




We like to encourage the children to look at texts carefully and become independent language detectives!The magical magnifying glass allows us to ask children to find key language ... so here we could be searching for adjectives in a text for example. 




All the activities below can be transferred to new contexts and content!



Simple games to begin with based upon listening and responding,pronouncing accurately and saying out loud, reading and writing adjectives.The activities here are based on colours,but could be transferred to other adjectives too.



Creating simple descriptive sentences using a  noun, a verb and an adjective to create the shape of an object.Here we are focusing on jungle animals with Year 4 children.




A game we call "fisherman's trawl". Working as a team to recall and remember ,to read, locate and find  adjectives.



In this instance the game is based around Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer .The idea behind the game is transferable can be used with lots of characters and items of clothes or hair/eye/ colours etc.




Ways to explore the agreement of adjectives with the person we are describing in the target language. Activities for our more advanced young learners. 



An opportunity with more advanced learners to put together their knowledge of nouns and adjectives and create their own imaginative and descriptive sentences. 









Nouns and Primary Languages Grammar. How are we getting on?

We have been considering ways to support all our colleagues to deliver appropriate primary target languages grammar as part of the language learning in school.This first round up blog focuses on nouns.
Here are some of the ways we have done this......

Teacher's guide to the ways  to a step by step developmental understanding of nouns,verbs and adjectives from the perspective of a young child in primary school.

Using a familiar technique of Maths' functions machines to enable children to keep a re-usable record of the processes they need to apply to access and use grammatical structures.



Ways to help teachers to present nouns and the use of gender and definite/indefinite articles with young children who are just beginning to investigate the structure of language



Several ways to help  beginner learners engage with the importance of collecting and identifying nouns in the target language 




A game that can be used over and over again to help children who are moving on in their language learning .Children use  bilingual dictionaries to explore nouns.



Games and categorising activities to bring together knowledge of nouns as the children advance as young language learners. 



A group activity based on the use of nouns.Each group has the same nouns to investigate and use .The challenge is that the children need to create interesting sentences and performances so just like sculptors they create meaningful and creative spoken sculptures.This will help children to link nouns to adjectives and verbs

















Sunday, 14 December 2014

Last week before Christmas simple language learning activities

For the week before Christmas ......here are some language learning activities that are easy to create and simple to use.


Stars,colours, numbers and a link to Van Gogh "Starry Night"




A target language song in French and Spanish to a familiar refrain to sing in the round,with a listening,speaking and reading element to the activity.



Using the song above,but breaking it down in to the sounds and letter combinations to create a listen, respond and reconstruct activity, based upon the theme of  "bell ringing"






"Knock! knock!Who's there?" activity/game with Rudolph pictures and a focus on the use of colours with ,masculine and feminine nouns. 



Using the simple open and reveal game to create "open and reveal "Christmas presents.
Take a look on this page too ,for the Christmas style open and reveal game 



One resource and three levels of Christmas character question and answer dialogues and conversations.