Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Conjugating a verb : A Verb Artist Talk Walk

So we are now moving on with quite a few of our young learners in UKS2, particularly in Year 6.It's Summer term when we get back and it's time to explore verbs in more detail and consolidate the knowledge we have been gathering and see how the big picture fits together- conjugation of a verb! The DFE POS for KS2 asks us to work with our young learners on the "conjugation of high frequency verbs".

It is in my opinion really important that we strengthen children's own perception of "moving on" and "getting better" at language learning and that we help them develop positive self efficacy that will carry them on in to KS3 language learning . Below hopefully is an opportunity to support our children to do this.

My intention in the activities below is to  revisit pockets of prior learning, to unpack processes with the children and  to get them (not me!) practise the whole present tense conjugation of some high frequency verbs. It is in my opinion important that we make sure that UKS2 children can access identify and use infinitives in a target language,can create the stem of the verb and then are able to add appropriate  present tense verb endings which match if required (depending on target language) the correct personal pronoun.
When you think about this ,it is a process that has to be identified,explored,unpacked, practised and children have to be allowed to then manipulate and produce their own (not always accurate of course) versions.The production needs to be memorable and valuable and part of a creative whole activity.

I love using Art to bring language learning to life.If you have read my previous blog posts on 3D Art and a Renoir picture, you will know that we can use a painting to good effect to explore grammar and link this to purposeful creative communication and performance:

I have been looking around for a painting linked to lifestyle,history and culture  to do this and have decided to use this painting by Georges Seurat - "la grande jatte".It will work so well.....

It's all about a Sunday afternoon stroll,a walk in the park and an observation of leisure activities.Take a look at the picture! What can you see?

Remember the ultimate aim of the activity is to ascertain that the children are secure in:
  1. Finding/recalling and identifying infinitives of high frequency verbs  
  2. Can change an infinitive in to a stem to which can be added appropriate verb endings which match with an appropriate personal pronoun.(I wrote a blog post on personal pronouns and a photo shoot drama activity that may be useful as a pre-cursor to this sequence of activities Getting used to personal pronouns
  3. Can create and recall the whole paradigm (pattern) of a present tense high frequency verb .What do I class as high frequency verbs? Well the suggested list of high frequency verbs proposed by the Assessment for MFL in Primary Schools  from the government's Expert Subject Advisory Group suggests these verbs amongst others "drink,look,like,play.watch,carry,make" .They fit very well in to the activities below.  
Here are the activity steps
1. Picture Exploratory Walk
2. Talk Walk
3.Verb Artist Talk Walks 
4.Verb artist sketches 
5. Live park talk walk

  1. Go on a "picture exploratory walk".Share with the children the Georges Seurat picture.Walk  with the lady and gentleman on the far right of the picture. Look around with the eyes of these two characters, what can they see? Ask the class to call out actions that they can see in English .Walk with the children from far right to far left of the picture and talk about the picture.
  2. Write these actions as they are spoken  on the white board in English (e.g swimming,watching,talking).
  3. Can the children help you to change the actions you have written in to infinitives ?Discuss with the children how we form infinitives in English.Use two of the actions you have written up on the flip chart as examples- so if you have written "swimming" ask the children to explain how we would need to change this to an infinitive by removing the ending and putting" to" at the front so it reads "to swim".Can they help you with one other action on your chart? I think that this is an important discussion process in English to go through before we assume that all children understand what an infinitive is and how to identify one in their own first spoken language.
  4. Give out bi-lingual dictionaries and ask the children in pairs to write on strips of white card.On these strips of card they are going to write down target language infinitives of the actions.Firstly ask them to select one of the actions you have listed on the white board but has not been changed to an infinitive in English.So if you have written walk or walking  ....can the children think of the infinitive in English( to walk) and then can they locate the target language  infinitive of the verb and write it down.I think that this is an important  process to go through here and to allow the children to work out that they can think of part of a verb but they are going to fond the verb they need in a bilingual dictionary as an infinitive - so they need to convert the word in their head in to the infinitive form and look for that.
  5. Now ask the children to work in pairs and to convert all the actions however they are written in English on the whiteboard in to target language infinitives. 

  1. Now share a "talk walk" with the class.Display a large version of the Georges Seurat picture.Invite volunteer pairs to the front to mime  one of the target language infinitives they have found and to show the card strip with the written out infinitive and say the infinitive in the target language.Can another volunteer come to the front,locate whereabouts on the picture we can see the action and  blu-tac the infinitive to the Georges Seurat picture in the correct place.Repeat this with all the actions you brainstormed and different volunteers from the class.
  2. Ask the children once you have completed your "talk walk" to look for spelling links between the ending of the written words they have blu-tacked to the picture.Explain that these endings are the key to making the infinitives come to life and to creating stems of the verbs we can then use.   
  3. Let's focus on one group of regular verbs in the target language and by this I mean that the infinitives all have the same "endings".I have selected to talk,to swim,to jump,to walk,to look (watch) for this picture as in German that's easy as verbs in the infinitive end in "en" , in French I have selected  "er" verbs and in Spanish these verbs end in "ar" in the infinitive.Remember the focus is on can the children go through the process and understand how to conjugate a verb and not can the children recite a verb accurately .We are therefore keeping the activity to one group in French and Spanish as this will help us to focus the practise of the process around the skill of "conjugation" and less so on memory and recall.
  4. Verb Artist Talk Walks .Share with the children a small portion of the picture.Ask them to help you to decide which of the verbs you are now focusing upon fits this portion of the  picture (for example the woman looking out on to the lake on the far left of the picture).Can the children help you to bring the action "looking" to life? To do this you are going to have to find the infinitive, create the stem of the verb- demonstrate how you can form the stem.I like to ask the children to think of the letters we need to remove from the end of the infinitive as box lid ....so  suggest that you are opening the artist's paint box.In the paint box are 6 personal pronouns and 6 important matching endings.Now take a "verb artist talk walk" with the stem of the verb! Can they help you to sketch the character from head (infinitive , first person singular etc)to foot as the present tense verb ...? The children must talk you through the process otherwise you can not add the next part of the verb and you can not complete your artist's sketch of the character and their action.
  5. Ask the children to work in pairs and take Verb Artist Talk Walks with other characters and their actions in the picture.Add a time limit to the activity - so some groups may complete two characters and other pairs may complete more or less than this.They need to talk through the process with their partner and show their "workings out" - infinitive, create stem, add verb endings and personal pronouns on paper.
  6. Can they create an "Verb artists sketches "artist's sketch of one of their verbs as a paradigm( in the shape head to toe of the character in the painting who is performing the action ?
  7. These "Verb Artist Sketches" would make wonderful concertina characters - head and feet drawn in the style of Geroges Seurat ( notice they way he uses dots and lines) with the paradigm of the verb written as a concertina for the body.Add a QR and a recording of the children or take a photo with Chatterpix APP and record the children saying their paradigm and you have creative evidence of the children conjugating a high frequency verb.Take a photo of the "workings out" and you have evidence of the children working through the process of creating a paradigm and conjugating a high frequency verb. 

  1. You can take this one step further and .....you probably know what is coming next - as I love performance! Make this in to a "live park talk walk" ! Each pair is responsible for a verb and must speak and perform the verb as an interpretation of the type of action associated with the verb and in the style of the artist.One child speaks for singular and both children speak for plural .You are now Georges Seurat walking around the park ,looking for the characters for his picture!Actions and verbs may be repeated but ask all the children to freeze frame in their first action positions and as you walk around the classroom.When you  the artist stands next to a pair they should come to life and start to perform their paradigm.The class are helping you the artist to step back in to the picture and create a "live park talk walk"!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Beginning with languages blog 6

Across our network we work with schools who are all at different stages of setting up and delivering primary language learning and each year we welcome new schools who want to set off on their own individual school's language learning journey.

This year these specific "Beginning with languages " blogs will try to offer "bite size chunks" of indirect help and support to schools, who are doing exactly that .... just setting off and implementing  a language learning curriculum .

Take a look back at"beginning with languages" blogs one ,two,three ,four and five
Your checklists so far have been:

Sept - Oct ,(first half term) Checklist
  • It's all about establishing a whole school support system for all your staff
  • It's about small steps and simple language learning
  • It's about children and staff beginning to enjoy language learning
Mid October (end of the first half term), an additional new checklist bullet point!
  • So how are you all getting on? How do you know that primary languages are being implemented in all the classes and are the teachers and children having fun in their learning? 
November (moving in to the second half term of language learning),we added a couple of new challenges to your checklist!
  • How successfully have you been able to build in "revisiting" opportunities to build the children and staff's confidence with the language you introduced last half term? 
  • Are you introducing,revisiting and re-using familiar games with familiar and unfamiliar language for example (e.g Bingo or Splat or maybe a game of Quiz Quiz Swap?)
  • Have you encouraged all staff to practise key language using sound files and songs?
  • Can all staff and children practise and learn a Christmas song or carol in the target language? (In beginning with languages blog three you can find links to You ~tube clips of a Christmas song lin French, Spanish and German
December-January (moving forward) your checklist: 
  • Did all your staff  try out a simple listening and speaking Christmas activity based on a Christmas  song?
  • Have staff considered and been able to identify the links between activities we may use in KS1 when encouraging children to read and KS2 beginners language learning (sound-spelling links and activities)?
  • Are KS2 staff building opportunities  in to activities in the New Year  to help learners to  "broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words ...."- Are staff in KS2  exploring nouns with their KS2 foreign language learners? 
February-March moving forward your checklist: 
  • Try to deliver sequences of lessons based on simple content and language learning skills 
  • Are your children beginning to participate on basic role play activities , asking and answering questions about themselves?
  • Can the children ask a question  politely and give an appropriate response?
  • Can you see evidence of signage and display created by the children in the target language?
  • Has school celebrated a festival or whole school event (Carnival/World Book Day) and added a target language learning or cultural element?

And now we are at the end of the Spring term?
As a coordinator or the teacher in charge of developing primary language learning in school you need to reflect on what you have achieved,no matter how small the steps are.
  • School has completed two terms of language learning.What does the overall coverage picture look like now in KS2?
  • What successful  activities have been shared with you by other members of staff?
  • Has school has begun to develop a formalised pattern of language learning.What are your next steps to build capacity and sustainabilty? For example do you need some language upskilling, pedagogy CPD input or to buy resources to support staff?
  • The children have enjoyed a celebration or event where some target language and target language country culture has been explored. Can you now plan for an end of year celebration whole school focus and celebration in languages?
  • Teachers have introduced the children to simple language learning based mainly so far on listening,speaking and some very basic reading and possibly writing.Can you now begin to introduce an element of story? Try using familiar stories to aid comprehension in a new target language and add an element of creative writing - a mini book, a poster, display of word art or caligrams? Here is one example that might genrate ideas of your own !Caligrams and holiday suitcases
So your next steps as you return after Easter could be ....
  • Organise and lead a staff meeting/part of a staff meeting in the Summer term,where all staff  can  share,try out and discuss some simple games and activities that colleagues have all tried and enjoyed with their own class. 
  • Ask colleagues to take a learning walk around school during one staff meeting to look at target language class display and signage.Can they think of ways that they can develop new signage with the children or produce a display created by the children in the target language?
  • Introduce staff to clips online of famous stories read in the target language.Discuss how they could use these in their classrooms to explore a story book.For example here are three French,German and Spanish clips of the "Hungry Caterpillar".Discuss possible spoken and written activities that the teachers could try linked directly to the video clips e,g a diary of food eaten, a card concertina model of the hungry caterpillar and alternative fruits he could eat etcetra.
  • This blog post may help you as coordinator to begin to forward plan for future effective  story reading in  target language learning classes (in line with the DFE POS Learning Objectives). Reading in the target language is great!
In German this clip is accompanied by music 

In French the children retell the story below 

In Spanish the clip is quite quick  so the music helps to tell the story too

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A taste of chocolate!

Well it's nearly Easter and therefore I can mention " chocolate...!
Here are some ideas that could make for a fun last lesson before Easter or even a celebration lesson later in the year as we break up for Summer.

UKS2 Free Trade Chocolate Video

Brilliant gift to the language learning classroom and also for global citizenship too!The clip is English and French with Spanish subtitles and  Free trade share the daily life of children who live in communities where the cocoa beans are picked for Free trade so chocolate can be made.

Letter Strings and Sounds in Spanish
This is the simplest of videos.....

  • We can practise key letter strings in the word "chocolate" 
  • We can investigate likes and dislikes of chocolates with additional flavours (lemon/ginger/chili/orange/raisin) in a class survey after singing the song
  • We can create our own version of the song using higher numbers and /or adding our addidtional flavoring
  • We can just song a long and enjoy the song  or conceal the screen and listen for numbers and hold up number cards or fans when we hear the numbers.
Chaud chocolat 
A very simple song to listen to and then create our own class version.
I like the clip because it's real and take a moment or two to settle the choir and the audience and then it's a brilliant at performance!

Un bon chocolat chaud
For older children why not ask them to listen to this wonderful song about getting milk from the cow to make a hot chocolate...listen out for "un bon chocolat chaud" add a clicking along with the song and then adding the spoken phrase "un bon chocolat chaud" with an action of drinking hot chocolate and again have fun listening,responding and joining in.

You can also get the words online (just google un bon chocolat chaud lyrics) so you could print them off and use this as a follow with your finger reading text too with more advanced readers).Thanks for the idea Vicky Cooke!  

And as a French grand finale at Easter 

Why not just enjoy listening to this beautiful song performed by les enfantastiques choir.
"La chanson chocolat".

A taste of German "Schokolade"
Here is a German song with the Gummy Bears just for fun and to join in with the chorus "Schoko Schoko Cho KaKao"
Perhaps a chance to hand out cards for each syllable and have cheer leaders with the cards at the front just to add to the fun!

Revisiting food in German but "the children eat chocolate!"
Great way to revisit foods and meals during the day .... practising word recognition of foods first with the screen visible , watching and listening and then with the screen concealed or minimised.
Second time round ask the children to order pictures if food on their tables as they hear them being sung.Can the class join in with the chorus "Die Kinder essen Schokolade"?

Creating a simple playground clapping game speed challenge 

The game below shown in the video clip (thanks to Fatima Duerden for reminding where to find this) works in Spanish and German with the original word "chocolate"
and in French we have tried it with cho-co-lat chaud ( four syllables) too!

and just because we can and it's bouncy fun and lively ....

La tartine au chocolat!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Activities to take a closer look at nouns,adjectives and verbs and understand basic grammar

Below are some of the activities that we used during our Intermediate French CPD , read all about it in our storify report here  
We offer intermediate French and Spanish with native speaker input and support.
If you would like to attend the CPD then you can find out more about possible events here.

We enjoyed sharing  with the teachers the following sequences of activities:

Developing our listening skills:

Making progress with listening

Sound spelling links

Hunting Easter egg sounds


I spy nouns

Adjectives  used in simple sentences (noun,verb,adjective with correct agreement) 

Shape sentence jungles (Rousseau)


The verb to be and Cinderella

Cinderella,masks and carnival time

The verb to have and a wizard's potion

The verb to have and a wizard's potion

Sorting  and correcting sentence structure 

Putting all your eggs in one basket

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Keeping a creative spoken record of progress in primary languages

It is so important to keep our tracking of progress "primary" and creative and the teachers who work with me in our network are doing just that! How are we finding ways to track our progress in the spoken language?

Last year Emilie @EWoodruffe took up my challenge to her to try out some APPS with our young learners.

With the wonderful Sylvie Bartlett Rawlings from Kent she set up a spoken class to class swap of family raps.
They used Autorap .
You can listen in here to two of her year 4 children describing the family and facial descriptions.
Emilie heard the children read out loud their written texts before they were recorded and so was able to track pronunciation and intonation etcetra

She then went on to try out Yakit for Kids with her own take on a fashion show.Simple, effective and we realised that we had a way of capturing children's spoken language and use of grammar ( adjectives after nouns etc)

You can find out more  about all these ideas here in Emilie's presentation  at our JLN annual conference 2013.

Recently we have received from one of network school teachers - Lynsey McHugh, clips  of her children performing their creative Puppetpals dialogues based on personal information conversation.Here she can keep evidence and a track of how well the children are engaging in conversation. You can ee more of Lynsey's Puppetpals clips on our Facebook page  Janet Lloyd Network Facebook

And recently we have realised how easy it is to track progress through songs.We have run a carnival song competition which has allowed our Year 3 beginner learners the chance to show off their pronunciation and intonation.

This year.2015, we have used Yakit for Kids to record and keep evidence of use of simple sentences - noun,verb,adjectives with Year 4 designing monsters,thanks to Ana by the way!

And to once again thanks to Ana and her year 5 children we have a record of our children in 2015 ,talking about clothes they have designed - using adjectival agreement and placement  

Making progress with listening.Activities using all four skills.

This year we have been focusing on how we make progress in language learning with our children and how we can track this and record this.
Here is a simple activity which can be used with all four skills...... to see how children are progressing.
In our JLN SOW we offer teachers sound files and podcasts to support themselves with upskilling in the target language, but we find that teachers can use these too to develop their own listening activities .The podcasts are great for children moving on from word level! 
Emilie Woodruffe @EWoodruffe   amd Ana Lavado Garcia @AnaLavadoGarcia have worked alongside me to create podcasts and sound file for every half term from Year 3 to Year 6- so we have lots of listening texts to work with .These ideas are therefore replicable with other podcasts. Simple too!

Step One 
Select the podcast and text that contains the language content you have been focusing upon with the class.
I have selected podcast one from Year 3 for this example (it's all about Emilie in French or Ana in Spanish)

Give out a series of words from the podcast text you want to use- in a muddled up order.:

  1. Can the children look at the words and decide what the listening text might be about?
  2. Can they spot any key language they have been practising e.g,question words,months, numbers?
  3. Can they put these to one side- you can now see who can identify these words individually.
  4. Can they anticipate in which order they may hear the words?
  5. Ask the children to listen to the text and put the words in the order from top to bottom in a vertical list as they hear them. 
  6. Would they like to listen again and see if they are happy with the order they have generated ?
  7. You can take photos of sample vertical lists of the children that you are following as progress pupils in the class  
  8. Now can they discuss with a partner what they think the listening text is about?
Step Two
  1. Can they now look at their list of words and gather facts about Emilie or Ana for example: 

Here is another opportunity to take photo samples of how the children can comprehend and link together sequences of words that belong together.

Step Three
  1. Give out the words written out on a table that the children have been sorting.
  2. Working in pairs can they create spoken sentences that use all of the words (Remember they have listened to a modeled text already).In this text they can create up to four or five  sentences  speaking as of they are ~Emilie in the first person singular- name/age/ birthday/ where Emilie lives/ feelings
  3. Ask the children in pairs to write down their sentences .You can collect in  their work after the activities and keep samples as evidence of progress in writing from memory.
  4. Ask for volunteer pairs to show and read out loud  their sentences for the class.Now you can listen for pronunciation and intonation  as they read aloud their sentences. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Putting all our eggs in one basket! Making simple sentences

It's really important that we look for and keep evidence of children's progress in language learning and that the children have something tangible to share and revisit as they make progress.
At the end of the first half term this year I encouraged my associate teachers to gather in leaves with children's writing on them.The writing  was based on the language they had been practising during that half term.Leaves? Well it was Autumn time. At the start of the next half term term the leaves were re-distributed amongst the class - could the class read out loud and remember the meaning of the sentences that had been written? Here is the original blog article Writing and reviewing a half term's progress

At the end of the Easter term I think that we can use the idea of "putting all your eggs in one basket" (in a positive way) to look at the progress children have been making with  grammar in Year 4 writing simple sentences (noun /3rd person singular or plural verb/ adjective).

In Year 4 we have been making simple sentences to describe aliens and monsters. So if we have three different types of coloured card eggs in a basket (several eggs from each colour) each colour can represent either nouns (part/s of the face or body), adjectives (colour with correct agreement) or a present tense part of  the verb "to be" ( either " is" or "are").

  • Can volunteers select three different coloured eggs and see if they can make a sensible sentences to create a spoken and written description of a part of the body - or is it impossible, because the verb or the adjective just doesn't fit correctly?
  • Ask the class to write out  a maximum of three descriptive sentences on an egg shaped card.
  • Collect them in and hand them out again at the beginning of next term .Can the children still read them?
  • Bring out those different coloured eggs in the basket- can the children still make sensible sentences with the eggs?

Monday, 9 March 2015

"Who are you?" and scarecrow caricatures of "I am....".

A few years ago on holiday in France , we drove in to a small bastide to find a very special festival taking place! A celebration of the local jobs and shops in the village! What a gift to a teacher of foreign languages .
Every shop keeper had created a full size caricature version of him or herself and his/her role in the village! 
These pictures allow us to practise and  consolidate children's knowledge of  the first person and second person singular of the verb "to be".

Scarecrow caricatures 
Take a look here!
Can you spot the baker,hotelier, butcher (!!!),pharmacist and doctor?

Take the pose!

  • Share the pictures with your class.Can they decide what jobs they might do in a town or village?
  • Do they know the names of the jobs in English? Can they find the names in a bilingual dictionary in the target language.What might they notice about jobs in the target languages - is there a different word for a male or a female person with that job title? What do they think about this? Do they think this is a good idea?
  • Ask them to find some new nouns for jobs in the target language using the dictionaries- are there male and female versions here too?
  • Write up on the flip-chart all the nouns you have found.Can the children "take the role" and in a voice which reflects the job they do  e.g mixing the dough or slicing the meat ,carrying heavy suitcases or looking carefully at medicine ,can they practise full sentence spoken introductions of each of the people and their jobs. The children will be using the first singular of the verb to do this (I am .....)
Guided scarecrow caricature tour of the town
  • Now let's try adding "Who are you?" and begin to conjugate the verb "to be" 
  • Ask children to volunteer to be a character  and help create a "scarecrow caricature tour" of the town.
  • Each volunteer  must think of an action representing the job you give them (If you can get hold of  the dressing up box from KS1 then they can get in to character with an item of clothing or a prop too). 
  • Can they take the pose?
  • Can they create the voice - what do the characters sound like? 
  • Can they add an action?
  • Can they put it altogether and become the scarecrow caricature?
  • Can the rest of the class ask as a choral question of each scarecrow  caricature in turn..."Who are you?"
Scarecrow caricatures
  • Can the children design their a scarecrow sculpture of one of the people you may find working in a town.Can they add the written question "Who are you? and the full sentence response "I am ....." ?      

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Hats away! Fashion show descriptive sentences and creative records

I have just read this fabulous article about Alexander McQueen and his fashion designs here in the Guardian Fierce ,feathered and fragile

With our Year 5 at the moment we are working on fashion shows and looking carefully at adjectival position and agreement after the verb "to wear" and the conjugation of the verb- so we can describe fashion shows.
It was the picture I noticed first of all. Inspriational! Let's really make our fashion shows come to life this year! How well take a look below....

  • Yakit for Kids Fashion Show

Last year Emilie Woodruffe shared with us non her blog how the children were able to create Yakit for Kids recorded designs of their outfits.Have a listen to one of theme here Je porte .......

  • Paradigm of porter

Last week Julie Prince took us through how we can create a physical paradigm of the verb porter.You can find out more in this Storify report of Julie Prince WTSA/JLN CPD

  • Hats Away!

And now what about Hats Away?
It's nearly Easter and this will make a final grand hurrah to our work on verbs and adjectives linked to clothes, colours and more detailed descriptions.Let's make our own " hat written and spoken records"
  • The hats can be fashion designer hats, sports hats, silly hats, Easter festival hats
  • All the hats can be 2D drawings or created as 3D hats in card (to be worn)
  • Each hat needs to contain a description of the hat, written into parts of the hat for example the butterfly hat in the picture could have the parts of full sentences written on individual butterflies which are colour coded so that you read all the blue butterflies for example to read  a full sentence: "je porte grand un chapeau multicolore (etc) 
  • Now let's take some talking photos- simplest form will be video or cam corder clips with the hat wearer speaking or Chatterpix if you can use APPS would be really effective.
  • One creative step further with Hats away!

Some of our schools have been looking at how to describe the characters of Alice in Wonderland.You can read the original blogpost Alice in Wonderland Describing People  and see the wonderful written results here in Progress in writing
So why not give your fashion show a theme : "A madhatters tea party .... and then it really will be "Hats away!"

  • Hat Links
Finally some of the links and photos in this blog post from February 2014 may be additional resources that you would like to add to your learning programme: Chapeau and carnival time

Verb processing machines

As our learners become more advanced in their target language learning and we look in more detail at verbs and how to conjugate verbs it is important that they process for themselves how to manipulate target language verbs and conjugate verbs.

Here is a simple visual activity which can help target language learners consider the "process" behind the conjugation of a verb

Talk with the pupils about the "infinitive being hidden in a sealed or locked box.
Can the pupils help you find the correct key to open the box.
The key they are looking for should be the key with the final letters of the infinitive we have to remove so that we are left with the stem of the verb to which we can add verb
  ending ( French - er/ir/re/ German- en/ Spanish- ir/ar/er)
Can we unlock the box and reveal the stem?
So now how can we process the verb....? Brainstorm ideas?
Now set the pupils the task of creating a function process machine that can take us from the infinitive to the stem through to the final written version of the conjugated verb:

stem ......personal pronoun to match the correct person etc...... verb ending that is correct...... final written conjugated verb with correct personal pronoun.

A second pupil needs to check that the first pupil's function process machine works and therefore try to follow the steps to produce for instance a second person singular present tense correct verb.

Roll! Add! Write ! Number Game.

Our beginner learners are moving on! Time to explore numbers between 12 and 31!
Firstly we need to practise and explore the numbers , use them in listening,speaking and reading activities,write them individually and play games with the numbers to increase confident and accurate use.The game below will encourage accurate written use of the target language.

Here is a game that can be played again and again and will suit all ages of beginner learners.A game that can be used with higher order numbers if you add multiplication and division too so we can play this in Y7 as well

  • Divide you class in to groups of four.These are now the teams. 
  • Each child needs to bring a dice to the game!They need to make the dice.You can find an empty  dice template  here.They now need to add the six basic numbers 1-6 written as words in the target language.
  • The game also requires a shared mini whiteboard  which has a line across the middle of the page.If the number the player has on his/her card is higher than  the number they can add up with the dice numbers rolled, the player who is "on" puts a tick above the line.Equally if it is less than the number added up , then the player puts a tick below the line- this helps the rest of the team guess the number.  
  • Each player needs a mini whiteboard and pen or a piece of rough paper

  1. Each child is responsible for writing a selection (three or four) of the numbers between 7 and 31 on to individual cards or pieces of paper.The children must put all the written target language number cards in the centre of the table.
  2. The cards need to be proof read by the team for accuracy against a class reference - flip chart/whiteboard/poster etc list of the written numbers.(The reference document needs to be concealed during the rest of the game)
  3. All these cards need to then be put into the "player's pot" (a box in the middle of the table from which the children take a card when it is there turn to be the "player" in the game.
  4. Now each child takes it in  turns to be the "player".
  5. First player takes a card from the pot and reads the umber but does not show anyone else. 
  6. The player rolls the four die the team have brought to the table (you can decide that only 3 of the 4 die should be rolled).
  7. Each member of the team adds up in their heads the total sum of the numbers revealed when the die have been rolled.The team members all write down on rough paper the total in the target language.They all reveal their whiteboards/ rough paper written totals .do they all agree? Have they all written the target language correctly?
  8. The player now indicates by ticking above or below the line of the shared mini white board ( as described above) if the number on his/her card from the pot is above or below the total.
  9. Now the rest of the team need to write down individually in the target language what they think the number on the card could be.
  10. The player reveals the number on the card.
  11. The rest of the team reveal their written target language guesses.
  12. There are points to be won! A maximum of four points....Points are awarded as follows- who added up the dice correctly? ( one point),who guessed correctly that it was a number higher or lower than the player's number on the card? (one point),who guessed the player's number correctly? (one point), who wrote it out correctly?( one point)
  13. Now it is the turn of a second player to select a card, roll the dice and the game starts again
  14. At the end of the game (a time limited game) which team member/s have the most points?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Hunt the Easter egg sounds ! (Beginners)

Nearly time to think about Easter and here is a very simple activity that  encourages children to look for the sound- spelling links in unfamiliar language.
Really simple idea.....

1.In the target language practise a traditional Easter greeting phrase- say the phrase in the style of Easter rabbits, melting chocolate, delicious Easter eggs etc
2.Share with the children the written target language phrase, but blank out a key sound-spelling link in the target language phrase:

In French blank out the "eu" in "joyeuses" and in Spanish blank out the "ce" in "felices".

3.Ask the children to listen to you say the whole key word (i.e "joyeuses" or "felices" ) and anticipate with a talking partner the missing letter string .Encourage the children to use prior target language knowledge of sound spelling links to do this.

e.g joy..ses 

(I would expect the children to make the link in French between the sound "eu" they can hear in the word "joyeuses" and their prior knowlegde of "bleu" or "deux" or to make the link in Spanish with the numbers "once" or "doce")

4.Now you can reveal the whole phrase - have the children anticipated the missing sound spelling link correctly?

5.Now divide the phrase into separate letter strings on coloured Easter egg cards and hide these coloured Easter egg cards around the room.For example here is "joyeuses" as letter string coloured Easter eggs ,ready to be hidden.

6.Ask for volunteers to hunt the Easter egg cards around the room and when he/she finds an Easter egg card to bring it to the front and to help you to reconstruct the key Easter phrase piece by piece (or egg card by egg card).

7.Allow the children 60 seconds to remember the colour and the key sound spelling written on the coloured egg shapes.Now turn over the eggs and muddle the order of the egg cards.Can the children say the colours in the target language of the eggs in the order that they think the Easter phrase should be reconstructed? 
Place the eggs letter side down in the order the children have decided .....

8.Turn over each egg one by one and reveal the letter string,say the sound together and anticipate the next sound. Where the children correct and does the order of the turned over cards create the Easter greeting phrase? 

9.And now the children can create their own Easter card chain greeting - using the letter strings in the eggs they have been hunting to put together the key greetings phrase .You can make this a differentiated activity with the same written outcome either with increased challenge from memory or as an activity where the coloured letter string cards have been muddled up but remain on view or as an activity where the eggs are laid out in order but two eggs and the letter strings are missing.