Monday, 19 February 2018

Gender and number: Trash or Treasure?

This year I inherited a Year 6 class who have done three years of French but no Spanish.  As they have done lots of French I am able to move them on pretty quickly, showing them how the grammatical notions that they know from English and French - number and gender - work in Spanish.

At the moment we are working on adjectival agreement with plural nouns.  So we know how to identify a masculine noun and a feminine noun and how we need to change some of our adjectives when describing something feminine.  We have read Los limones no son rojos which has lots of examples of plural adjectival agreement in action.  The children can explain to me why there is an extra s on some of the adjectives and why some of them also have an a instead of an o on the end.

I have designed the above Trash or Treasure? activity for the first lesson back after half term to make them think about what exactly shows that a word is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.  The words are a collection of nouns, adjectives and articles/determiners.  It’s not vital for students to understand the meanings of all the words - you are training them here to look for the clues that tell you about a word’s gender and number.

Each pair of students will need a set of the words and a Trash or Treasure board.  The following sorts are suggested:
  • Words that are definitely masculine
  • Words that are definitely feminine
  • Words that could potentially be either masculine or feminine
  • Words that are singular
  • Words that are plural
  • Masculine singular words
  • Feminine singular words
  • Masculine plural words
  • Feminine plural words
Which words would you put in these different groups?  Can you think of any other sorts that could be done using these words?

You can find out more about Trash or Treasure here and the board can be found here

After this activity we will do the Spanish version of this French adjectival agreement activity, which I have also prepared and which is available here.

UPDATE 23.2.18:  I used both these resources in my Year 6 lesson yesterday.  We re-read Los limones no son rojos first, talking about why the colours are spelt differently to the ones we originally learned.  The Trash or Treasure? activity consolidated their knowledge about gender and number, and I enjoyed hearing them saying things to each other like "We need to find anything with an s on" or "Find all the words with an a on the end".  They then found the sentence-building activity quite straightforward, and were able to put right independently any errors.  Some pairs chose to use the "son" cards to extend their sentences in the same way as the book had, for example "Las fresas no son negras, son rojas."
Looking for feminine singular nouns

Looking for masculine singular nouns

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