Saturday, 7 February 2015

Active conjunctions

Thanks to Vicky Bruff on Facebook for sharing with us this picture of an activity from Teaching Ideas
It is a very simple and effective way of explaining visually the use of link words in sentences.

I am currently working with the wonderful Julie Prince on ways to make grammar in primary foreign languages "active and kinaesthetic" plus how we can link the activities to learning objectives from the DFE KS2 POS. 

The picture inspired a really simple "active grammar" learning idea that could be so effective!

In this activity I am concentrating on conjunctions (connectives ) to link two sentences together to  make a more complex primary foreign language sentence.
In doing this we could explore with the children one or more of the following DFE POS KS2 learning objectives:
  • speak in sentences,using familiar vocabulary,phrases and basic language structures
  • read carefully and show understanding of words,phrases and simple writing 
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words
  • understand basic grammar to build sentences
What's the idea?
Well just as you probably already do,ask the children to draft write simple sentences on mini white boards that are linked to the content you are currently covering .Effective contexts for this activity may be: the market, describing a monster, clothes, the weather ........

e.g. here are some fruit examples.....
les pommes sont rouges
les bananes sont grandes et jaunes
moi j'adore les raisins

moi j'aime les oranges

First activity

  1. Ask the children to write a simple sentence using language content you have been practising with them.
  2. Ask the children to share their sentence with a partner and take turns to proof read each of the sentences.
  3. Ask the children to write the sentence on to a strip of paper or card- large enough for other people to be able to read from a distance.
  4. Stand the children in a circle with the sentences on card facing in to the circle.
  5. Take it in turns for each child to read out their sentence still holding the card facing toward the other children in the circle.
  6. Share with the children your conjunction cards.You can decide which are appropriate conjunctions for this activity- but I suggest that you have at least 5 options.
  7. Place the conjunction cards in the middle of the circle .
  8. Check with the children that they are confident about the meaning of the conjunctions and how to pronounce the words.I would play a "sounds like game" here.Can they make the word sound like the job the conjunction does in the sentence e.g contradicts/ joins together/offers another option etc....
  9. Invite a child to read out his/her sentence and to select a conjunction ,pick it up from the floor and walk over to  a second child and ask him/her to read out his/her  sentence.Now ask the two children to stand in the middle of the circle and say the whole new complex sentence together. 
  10. Repeat the activity with two more children and a new selected conjunction.
  11. How many sentences can the children write independently when they return to their tables that include a conjunction to connect two sentences together?  
Second Activity

  1. Blu-tac the conjunctions to the whiteboard or flip chart so they are visible to all the children .
  2. Play the "Sounds like" game" from above.This time though ask the class to say for you a conjunction that "contradicts" or "joins together" etc- do they all select the same conjunction?
  3. Divide the children in to groups of four.
  4. Can they connect each of their sentences to the other sentences using some of the conjunctions they can see on the board? They can not use the same conjunction twice in a row.
  5. Ask the children to write their "long" sentence containing conjunctions out on a mini whiteboard.
  6. Ask the children to practise speaking their sentence together.Can they remember how to say their complex sentence without looking at the written word?Ask them to add actions to help them with this.
  7. They must create a spoken performance of the class to include actions and a connecting movement  and "sounds like" performance of the conjunctions between clauses so that each of the original sentences flows via a conjunction on to the next sentence.
  8. Ask each group to perform their complex sentence for the class