Monday, 11 January 2010

Are you sitting comfortably ?

Then I'll begin !

Every so often TES Connect sends me emails with things they want me to look at. I usually give them a cursory glance before deleting them (I've often heard it before on Twitter!) However, one of the links they sent me today was this one, which immediately caught my eye as I had just been having another look at the fantastic MFL Storybird Wiki set up by Fiona Joyce.

So the 30th January-6th February is
National Storytelling Week. An ideal opportunity to try out some new ideas and some new stories.

There are Storybird stories to try - there are lots on the Wiki now and I'm just one of many who have already
blogged about it. There are also ready-made big books available from places like Little Linguist. Something else worth considering is getting a translation of an English story book and comparing the two. We are big Sandra Boynton fans in my house and I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of the Spanish version of "Moo, Baa, La La La" ("Muu, Beee, ¡Así fue!") I'd also recommend Elmer the Elephant and Rainbow Fish. The lovely Suzi Bewell recently showed me "Hooray for Fish" by Lucy Cousins, the author of Maisy Mouse, alongside its French translation "Drôles de Poissons", and described some of the activities for which they can be used.

Recently I've been reading up about Storytelling in the MFL classroom. Here are some of my notes. I hope they will be useful to you as well.

What can you do with stories ?
• Opportunities for experiencing rhyme, active methods, physical responses
• Pupils can react to sounds, words, phrases with a physical response
• Act out parts of the story
• Provide sound effects, missing words or phrases, or a refrain
• Stories provide a good model of pronunciation and sustained language. Pupils have to listen and concentrate
• High frequency words and phrases can be learned through stories
• Read story to the class, then pronounce and repeat certain words, reading from word cards
• Read story to pupils, they join in saying some key sentences and words while performing actions and sound effects. Children can gradually take over the storytelling.
• When introducing the story, use word flashcards of the things they’ll have to say and actions they’ll have to perform during the story
• Perform certain action for a certain group of words (e.g. months) or point to something in the room when you hear it
• Offers opportunities to listen, imagine, predict, comment, participate, express opinions, access longer texts without necessarily having to understand every word.
• Introducing a new story – identify key vocab (not just nouns) and limit the vocab to about 6 words or phrases.
• Decide on your objective: identify by listening? Pronounce accurately ? identify by sight ? read aloud ? write the words ?
• Involve children in the story from the start with actions and gestures, choral repetition of language, complete repeated sentences, hold up a card when you hear a certain thing

Follow-up activities:
• Make a model of one of the characters
• Learn a song with movements based on the story
• Write a description of one of the characters
• Pupils write their own stories inspired by the original
• Match words and pictures from the story
• Listen and draw
• Sequencing
• Making sentences from the story using word cards
• Drama
• Mini books

KS2 Framework:
• Y3 Literacy: “As children listen to sounds, words and phrases, they repeat and chorus, learning accurate pronunciation……They enjoy reading a few familiar words and phrases aloud and begin to write letters and familiar words.”
• Y4 Literacy: “Children develop their reading skills and learn to understand familiar written phrases in clear, printed script. They link listening and reading, by reading short familiar stories, songs and poems while listening to them at the same time. They write familiar words and phrases using a model and begin to experiment with building short phrases from memory.”
• Y5 Literacy: “Children….develop their reading skills by re-reading a range of short texts.”
• Y6 Literacy: “Children read a variety of longer texts from different text types. They read aloud with confidence and enjoyment, and also enjoy reading short texts independently.”
• KAL: “As they increase their understanding of the rules of sounds, spellings and grammar, they should begin to apply these rules when creating new language, both spoken and written.”
• LLS: Children plan and prepare themselves for a language activity – “How do you recall vocabulary in order to sing a song/join in a story/create sentences? How do you find key information in a new sentence or text ?
• LLS: Children use knowledge of English or other languages to help learning and understanding – “Listen and look for words that are similar and different in other languages. “
• LLS: Children pick out key words when listening
• LLS: Children learn a short poem, rhyme or story by heart
• Suggested activities: O3.1, O3.2, L3.1, O4.1, O4.2, L4.2, IU4.3, O5.3, O5.4, L5.1, L5.2, O6.1, O6.2, O6.3, L6.1, L6.2, L6.3, L6.4, IU6.3
• Dictionary skills

My favourite thing about stories in the foreign language is that they enable students to hear extended language. They get to immerse themselves in the rhythm, sounds and music of the language without necessarily having to understand every word. Especially important when so much of their work will be at a word or sentence level.
How are you going to celebrate National Storytelling Week ?

1 comment:

  1. Great post Clare and thanks for the mention - v kind of you. I used an audio CD of Cendrillon the other day with...Year 10 and they really liked it. One ex I did was to let them hear the story and relay race to the front of the room in pairs when they heard a specific phrase. Great for the competitive ones! And they were listening REALLY hard. At the end, we reviewed the language (modal verbs, negatives, a few precise phoetic points) and moved on. Stories aren't just for the little ones is my point I guess...
    look forward to reading your next post.
    Suzi x