Monday, 12 October 2015

Writing an Autumn Poem- Leaf Style!

This writing activity is based upon encouraging the children to use the language they already have learnt and to create their own poems about Autumn
The poems need to sound like an"Autumn walk"
It's an activity that all stages of learners can do as it relies upon recall and use of language they already know.
All you need are six leaf shapes.

The children should work in groups of four or with more advanced learners in pairs.
No poem will be the same in the class! 

You will need
Each group needs six leaves- numbered 1- 6 .
Each leaf shape  has a number on it.
Each leaf shape has an instruction written on the reverse side.

Writing a poem game- leaf style!

  • Spread out the six leaf shapes number side up
  • Roll the dice!
  • Select the leaf with the number on that is shown on the dice.
  • Turn the leaf over and create the line of the poem, according to the instruction on the reverse of the leaf shape.
  • Once the line is written, the leaf must be placed back on the table number side up and can be selected again if that number is the one that appears when the dice is rolled.
  • Each team or pair's poem will have atleast six lines as each numbered leaf must be used atleast once.
  • You could make this a time trial too - where the first pair or group to use up each of the numbered leaf shapes and completes their written poem are the winners.
What's on the reverse of the leaves as instructions?
Well there are prompts on the reverse of the leaves: 

1= nouns we know
2= adjectives we know
3 = a sequence of numbers we know
4= a sequence of colours we know
5 = instructions or commands we know
6 =an opinion word or phrase we know.

Let the children be creative.remind them that their poems need to sound like autumn walks- crisp, crunchy,snappy ,swirly etc
Can the children use their target language nowledge, repeat key words etc in the lines of their poems to create the atmospheric feeling of an Autumn walk its simplest form.................

Chien, chien , oiseau!
Trois, six, neuf
Noir,marron, orange!
Ecoutez! Regardez! Marchez!
Excellent, excellent,excellent!

A bit of performance and a bit of technology!
And of course if you know me well , then I would want to encourage the choldren to perform their poems and even record their poems as speaking leaves using an APP or a QR!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Creating Characters and being Junior Judges on Strictly!

I love Strictly! We have used Stictly before in our network - a couple of schools created dance routines with directons, counting and commands.It worked really well.

Joanne, my associate colleague set up a Stictly Come Dancing Judges panel with numbers and personal info introductions too!

This year I am certain that children would love to become target language "Junior Judges"- just like the ones on the real programme.Watching "Strictly It Takes Two" I realised how we couod easily use this idea with children talking in the target language.

We will practise the verb "to be" and nouns.Add interesting adjectives and we could make similes too!
It's a simple but topical way of creating descriptive sentences, practising the verb to be and looking up and using nouns too and writimg,reading and saying out loud sentences in the target language!Oh and don't forget the children in the class will have to listen to each other too!

The tools we will need to be junior judges!

  • We need to consider which parts of the paradigm we will need to describe pictures of dancers.  
  • Firstly we need to practise the verb "to be" and selecting and placing the correct parts of the paradigm of the verb "to be" under dancers pictures "he...."/"she......"/ "they (male)......" they (female)....." and "they (male and female).......
  • Secondly we need to investigate nouns we may like to use to describe dancers and the characters they are portraying.Let's collect useful nouns  from our bilingual dictionaries: ( pirate/ princess/ fairy/wizard/cyclist/penguin/bear/gentleman/ lady/ fruit seller etc).I would show the children some clips of the dancing from Strictly come Dancing or you could show picures on screen of soke of the dancers in outfits etc- Movie night or Halloween night would be two good themes.There are plenty of pictures out there on the internet too to use...... 
  • Now let's play Simon says with the nouns and add actions and freeze frames

Judge the dancers!

  • Why not show the children a couple of the dancers and the dances and let the children write out a descriptive sentences about the characters in the dances e.g "He is like a pirate" or "They are like monsters" etc
  • Why not additionally or alternatively make it a guessing game.One person reads out the sentences he/she has written and the  rest of the class must guess who the sentences desctribes from the people in the show.
People Pillar Poems
You could always finish off the activity by creating some of my People Pillar Poems- using the characters from the both a writing and 3D display activity.Thanks to Clare Seccombe for the template!
Take a look here 

Spider's web.Reading and Writing Creative Game

On a walk the other day a good friend of mine took this fabulous photo. We saw this web and we knew it was a spider in the middle but look carefully and you could ask yourself ....."Is it a spider , is it a tiger....?" The colourings and the dew mislead you! 

As it is Autumn and some of us will also be looking for ideas for Halloween ,I thought this idea would fit well with writing in UKS2 in the target language.It makes a great guessing game and an interactive reading display too!

  1. Show them the picture and ask them which animals they can see.
  2. Ask the children to think of imaginary spider's webs and mystical powers.Ask them to look up in their bilingual dictionaries possible animals and adjectives such as colours and shapes to describe them.
  3. Ask the children to note down their findings.
  4. Brainstorm other possible animals that you might see in an imaginary spider's web
  5. Discuss the possible colours , size and shape of the animals
  6. Note down the language you discuss on the whiteboard
  7. ask the children to write three inetersting setences about the animal that they want caught in the spider's web 
  8. Ask the children to draw a spider's web.Can they then write their sentences clearly and carefully long the threads of their webs.
  9. In the centre they need to create their spider.Under the spider will be a picture of their own animal that they have described.
  10. To create their spider they must fold a piece of paper in two and on the outside flap draw the spider.Cut out the shape of the spider.It must be a size that can sit in the centre of the web the child has drawn.
  11. Now the child should add on the inside of the folded paper a drawing of the imaginary animal that is described in the written sentences. 
  12. The folded spider flap needs to be added to the web
  13. Each child is now a spider's web creator and must find partners in the class to work with
  14. The partners in the class must read the sentences, draw on a mini whiteboard what they expect to see caught in the spider's web.Then the partner can lift the flap of the spider picture in the cnetre of the web and see if the drawing matches the original drawing of the spider's web creator?
  15. The children swap roles and the reading activity starts again.
  16. The children can swap partners several times and once you collect in the webs you have a wonderful display! 

Mille feuilles moments!

Inspired by the Great British Bake Off  yesterday evening I realised what great fun we could have with writing in the target language - creating our own mille feuilles ! 

It is such a simple idea and would work with children writing at different stages in their language learning and although it is very much a French cake , I can't see why we couldn't use this in other target languages too!

  • Each layer in our mille feuilles will be a layer of paper.
  • Each piece of paper will have some special writing upon it .
  • Each layer of filling will be the additional information we want to add.
  • The icing decoration on top will be the "Word Art" depiction of the writing we have done throughout our layers- it will give our readers a  taste - a clue to what they are about to read!
  • As with all good cakes the proof is in the eating! So we are going to let our class friends read our writing and decide if the word art gave us the correct clue to the writing

How will this actually work?  

  1. Identify the content you want the children to write about- personal information, likes and dislikes, family , the weather, animals etc.(Simple familiar content for beginners...perhaps more challenging content with more advanced learners)
  2. Brainstorm key language with the children
  3. Give each child five strips of paper or ask the children to cut paper to the correct size to make a mille feuille cake.Show the children what one of these cakes looks like.
I have selected two current focuses from our own VLE and SOW 

Beginners: Simple Colour Cakes
Now we are ready to make our cakes.Our cakes are going to be about colours.

Bottom layer - a strip of paper.Write our first sentences -a sentence to tell someone a colour we like.
Filling layer- second strip of paper- a pictionary of items in the colour we have just written about.
Third layer - new strip of paper- a sentence about a colour we don't like.
Filling layer- a pictionary of items in the colour we have just written about
Top layer- our Word Art decoration- just how are we going to add our icing and decorate the top of the cake so that our readers have an idea about the messages we are giving when they geing to read the cake and deconstruct the cake layer by layer?!

Moving On: Autumn Cake Walk Poems 
This is going to be an Autumn poem using commands, counting and colours.
Bottom layer - a strip of paper.Write our first sentence: a command, colours and numbers to set us on our walk.
Filling - a strip of paper that has simple sentences about leaves we find on our walk
Third layer -a new command, colours and numbers to continue on our walk.
Filling - a strip of paper that has simple sentences about animals we find on our walk
Top layer our Word Art depiction of our poem and the type of walk our readers are going to go on, when they start to deconstruct the cake and read the information!