Friday, 1 June 2018

Teach Primary Resource award finalist!

In September 2016 I first published this resource, Box of French: Je suis préhistorique!  It's a series of nine lessons designed for Year 3 children, which teaches greetings, colours, the concept of gender and articles via cave paintings, Stone Age tools and Iron Age jewellery.

I heard today that this resource is a finalist in this year's Teach Primary Resource awards:

Special thanks are due to Nathalie Paris, who suggested I enter some of my resources for the awards.  The winners will be announced in October.  Very exciting!

The Spanish version, Box of Spanish - ¡Soy prehistórico! is also available in my Sellfy shop.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Pointing and Flicking

The Pointing activity is something that students can do individually or in pairs. 

  • They have in front of them a copy of the Pointing sheet (for example the colours one above), and the teacher has a copy on the board.  
  • As the teacher says each word, the students touch the correct image on the sheet.  
  • First of all the teacher says the words in order, then randomly. 
  • Finally, the teacher points to the words without speaking and the students say the words.  
  • Students will be able to think of other ways that they can use the sheet to help each other to practise, for example giving each other sequences to find.
The physical act of finding and pointing to the right image makes students listen, think and focus.  A variation on the Pointing activity is the Flicking activity:

  • Students work in pairs. 
  • Each pair will need a coin or counter, a whiteboard marker and a laminated copy of the Flicking card. 
  • Students take it in turns to put their coin or counter on the black circle and push or flick it onto one of the images. 
  • If they can say the correct word for that image, they can write their initial on the square with the marker. 
  • The winner is the first student to mark his initial on all the images.  (Each image can potentially have both students' initials on.) 

A more challenging version has an extra spider and star:

If students land on the spider, they have to erase their initials on one of the squares they have already 'won'.  If they land on the star, they get another turn. 

All these resources are available here

Monday, 21 May 2018

French and Spanish Art

It's the time of year when schools are having French days or Spanish days and need things to fill them, or when teachers want an artistic activity to fill in a spare lesson here and there.  Here are the ideas previously mentioned on this blog, that may come in handy for such an occasion:

Klee letters - combining art and writing

Vision On!  - creating art out of words

Magical Miró - ideas for exploiting the images of Joan Miró

Decorative Letters - making illuminated texts

The Shape Game - creating an image out of a shape

Imprinting Verbs - creating characters to inspire writing

Moorish Mosaics - making mosaics and exploring symmetry

Gaudí's Mosaics - making mosaic suns inspired by Gaudí

Guatemala - traditional patterns and textiles

Bend it, shape it, any way you want it - using plasticine and play doh

Food flags, informative flags - creating flags out of food, words, images...

Calligrams - converting text into images

Calligrams part 2 - creating calligrams using outlines and stencils

World Cup calligrams

Letter by Letter - make personal calligrams from your initials


Saturday, 19 May 2018

Mi gramática and Ma petite grammaire

Yesterday saw the publication of my grammar resources for Key Stage 2 French and Spanish.

Each resource is a collection of activity sheets and information sheets to support both beginner learners and non-specialist teachers with the grammar named in the Key Stage 2 national curriculum for Languages.  The resource would also suit lower Key Stage 3.  The mind maps in this post show the grammar which is covered in this part 1 (Nouns and Adjectives) and what will be covered in part 2 (Verbs).

Each activity sheet has an explanation of the grammar point in the form of a conversation between children.  It endeavours to include many of the questions that children ask during their language lessons and to answer them!

Find the resources in my Sellfy shop:



You can get 25% discount off the normal price before the end of Sunday 20th May by using the code GRAMMAR.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Grammar in Key Stage 2

I've mentioned before that the national curriculum document for Key Stage 2 Languages doesn't give us much to go on as far as content is concerned.  It's particularly impenetrable for the non-specialist teacher.  The grammar part is the "bit" of the two-and-a bit pages of the document:

"understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English."

On the face of it, there doesn't appear to be a great deal to it.  However, if you drill down into these simple statements, such as "the conjugation of high-frequency verbs", there are a lot of grammatical points to be covered if children are to build sentences and longer texts successfully.

I have been thinking about exactly what grammar we need to cover in Key Stage 2 to enable this part of the curriculum to be met, to enable children to write longer texts confidently and coherently and, of course, to lay a solid basis for Key Stage 3.  I have used Mindomo to mindmap the grammar that I think we need for French and Spanish.  Please feel free to use these mindmaps to help you in your work and to show your English co-ordinator what you do!  Very many thanks to members of the Languages in Primary Schools Facebook group for their input and lively discussions about what should be included and what we should call it!