Everyone smiles in the same language.

Smiley spoons.jpg

Everyone smiles in the same language! The idea to develop this as a one off stand alone lesson and to link this to an exploration of feelings and emotions came to me when I was at the Bilbao Guggenheim this Spring. Esther Ferrer’s interactive installation “las risas del mundo” ( see below in this Tweet from “descubrir el arte”) engages you with faces that appear on interactive screens and smile back at you as you look at the face.Each screen is placed above an area/ country of the World and each face on the screen is a person from that area or place.

What a brilliant way to celebrate diversity and range of languages spoken in your schools.

As a team of primary teachers we will use this to celebrate EDOL.We produce a set of simple resources and a focus for Primary Langauges Network every year in September to celebrate European Day of Languages.It’s a day established languages of the World.This has inspired our theme this year “Everyone smiles in the same language”.

Here are a few ways that we are adapting the theme for the classroom:

With a song launched at our annual Primary Languages Network conference:

Writing our own extended sentences to describe our feelings and emotions,using them for speaking ,reading aloud and listening activities and creating a photographic display linked to “las risas del mundo”.

Discussing and understanding how to empathise with each other and feelings and looking out for non verbal communication and listening to spoken communication about feelings and emotions.

And finally! A Class World map of smiles. Create your own Art installation of smiles. Ask children to research verbs for “to smile” and“ to laugh”  in languages from around the World or to share home language vocabulary they already know and use. Ask the children to record these words and create emojis to represent these verbs. On a map of the World create an emoji record of the written word and the drawn emojis, sticking the emojis near or on the countries where the language is spoken.

Mindful listening.


Two minutes of mindful listening offers so many benefits to your language learning classrooms. The Bitesize Mindfulness resource packs (in English,French and Spanish) offer teachers the opportunity to help learners develop listening skills, concentration,mindfulness and at the same time explore listening in a target language.

The video transcripts (with accompanying English translations in the French and Spanish resource packs intended to support non-native speakers) allow teachers to:

  • use the videos to re-focus children after busy lunch times or physical activities

snowdon mindfulness.png
  • to engage children in deeper understanding of the spoken text prior to listening to the target language and watching the mindulness clip

  • to share and use across the school with the wider teaching community and use as regular and re-visitable video clips as part of the school’s mindfulness focus and work on wellbeing. To be able to link listening in another language to this is surely an added bonus too! Even to use as a special resource across the school on European Day of Langauges as mentioned above.

  • to link mindfulness , listening and exploring the target language with creative and imaginative cross curricular learning opportunities- space, mountains, the sea, travel .There are 40 themed clips, all easy to access in a self contained PDF.

space mindfulness.png

And then what about developing additional listening ,speaking,reading and writing activities based upon these clips? For example:

  • bilingual dictionary noun, adjective or verb hunts to share with others in the class the sights, sounds,colours, emotions, actions that individual children may have felt or that the target language spoken text in the videos encourages them to consider.

  • listening activities: listening out for specific words, phrases or sentences as they are spoken or listening to the spoken text without being able to see the screen and following the written text as it is spoken.

  • speaking activities based on the scenery, the environment,the people and creatures the children may see in the video clips or imagine may live in these environments

  • reading tasks based on the target language transcripts accompanying the videos- going on noun,adjective and verb hunts, identifying questions and answers, spotting the commands in the text.

  • creative writing of simple poems or descriptive sentences or short texts based on the video clips.

    We hope you enjoy using this resource and that you are able to reap the benefits of just those “two minutes of mindful listening” in either English ,French or Spanish. 10 German videos to follow soon!

    The videos are free to Premium members of Primary Languages Network , at a discount price to School and Teacher members of Primary Languages Network and cost just £24.99 as a downloadable PDF resource to non- members from our Active Lingo shop.

Harness Primary Languages Power


Primary languages power!

Yesterday I could see, feel and hear this “power” in the Primary Languages Network CPD "getting ready to go back to school" for our associate teachers.

The annual CPD day is powerful!. it is an opportunity for the associate teachers who work in 47 of our 272 schools on a weekly basis to share,network and develop as primary classroom practitioners.On a weekly basis they see and experience how young children progress in language skills.

The team is now 19 strong. Each member contributes throughout the academic year to our groiwng wealth of evidence of progress in primary language learning, both of young learners and the schools that commit valuable school budget and timetable time to target language learning .Within the team there is expertise in Literacy, Sport ,Drama, Dance,Music,Art, Maths, Special Needs.EAL. What a powerful dream team! All are QTS,most have done PGCEs,all with experience of teaching a primary foreign language. Some are native speakers,some primary class teachers, some with leadership experience, some current/ former secondary language teachers, several ex- secondary  Heads of Departments,some language teaching material designers, some ITT trainers,several language tutors.All of them believe in the power of primary languages and how we need to harness this progress in KS3 and beyond.

Nowadays the team inspires me and powerfully drives forward the materials, planning and next steps in the growing network.Everything discussed yesterday will be shared with at least the 272 schools in Primary Languages Network. Most of the new ideas will be shared more widely through webinars, CPD and training and via our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Today I feel I need to ask though "are we (the wider modern foreign languages' teachng community) taking the POWER of the primary practitioner and primary language learning seriously?" A challenging question!

Currently our PLN practitioners are a strong and positive example of the raft of primary languages' practitioners nationwide.They do share and they do speak out but I am not certain that therir voices are being heard LOUDLY enough. I genuinely believe that we can not keep on ignoring the effective good practice taking place in primary schools. I acknowledge that there is still work to be done however I think that "primary languages power" should not be ignored later in secondary language learning.The progress being made should be celebrated and built upon!   

Evidence of progress! Where's the evidence? Well there is evidence and I am certain that primary practitioners would be keen to share the evidence..Each week in classrooms across the country children in very different settings are exploring the four core language skills, developing and extending cross transferable language learning skills, growing in confidence and interest in learning other languages and making links between home languages and a new shared class target language.

Look at pupils' work and see the evidence.Please look with a "primary" eye at the work of "emergent language learners".Remember that learning a language is a long term progression and don’t expect perfection.Reflect on mistakes older learners make and see the potential of the young primary learners. Listen to the children who have learned a foreign language for four years now and can independently produce spoken and written simple sentences, identify nouns , adjectives ,verbs and manipulate these, not always perfectly but willingly,bravely and adequately.

Right now,whatever the progress ,interest and enthusiasm generated, this is a positive platform to be built upon in secondary language learning. (I speak here with the voice of secondary German teacher from 1985-2004 and the voices of my secondary colleagues working in primary languages). KS2 children sing songs, play games, create purposeful display with their own work, progress steadily over four years  from word to phrases to sentences in their speaking and writing of a target language. Their learning will have been age and stage " emergent language learners" appropriate. This needs to be embraced.

Certainly,the tangible "primary languages power" felt yesterday in the CPD session,is informed and strengthened by the growing bank of  evidence of progress made by young learners. This is coupled often with creativity and this should not be feared.It’s brilliant to explore target language colours for example in Art and Design or to use simple classroom commands in PE.In primary there is a willingness and ability to push creative boundaries in primary language teaching and learning.Sheer joy! 

Primary language learning should never be perceived as insignficant or ineffective.The evidence is out there! It could just be a story a child heard or participation in a class assembly that creates the willingness to want to learn more about a foreign language in the future, but it is ALL significant.It needs to be harnessed and celebrated.   

Tomorrow at the start of the new academic year pupils at the start of KS3 will be happy to go back over familiar language.What a great place to start as there is comfort in this for the new pupils in a brand new school.Revisiting and re-using is not redundant learning. Eleven years olds will be hoping though that this will be with a more mature approach than in primary school. For example ,they will happily go back over colours and give you time to teach other children in the room,who may have learnt a different language but they will be looking forward to writing a colour poem or to reading a challenging text too. And what if they have learned a different language in KS2 or none at all? This does not mean that the children can’t catch up or even progress ultimately more quickly than others. Ifg this were the case then many linguists would have been stukc ina one foreign language silo.Why not challenge them to apply prior language learning skills from a different primary foreign language or from their own home language skills or their primary literacy and problem solving skills ?Yes this can be challenging - but should not be viewed as an obstacle.  

Certainly here within the school members of Primary Languages Network there is evidence of progress. We are a practical hands on teacher led community, which supports, develops and inspires colleagues  whatever their experience of delivering primary languages.We work with all school settings,who often nowadays have very limited or no significant budget for primary foreign languages. This year we intend to evidence and share more widely what we see week by week.  

Yesterday as I observed this strength of knowledge and experience amongst my colleagues, it struck me what a waste it will be yet again if we do not  harness the "power" not just within our network but across many other providers' and schools' KS2 primary languages work too.

The start of a new academic year is a great time to listen to the power of the expert primary practitioners and to allow the new cohort in KS3 time to feel confident enough in their new surroundings to actually share what they already know or to make links from familiar to the unfamiliar.

Why? Well these pockets of effective progress ,such as the PLN associate teachers and the network schools in Primary Languages Network  have laid down, are important building blocks that can lead to improvements at the start of KS3 and then on in to KS4 and beyond.

This academic year please do not ignore the power of primary languages practitoners. Take a good look at your new Year 7 language learners as they arrive in your classrooms in the next couple of days. Afford them time to settle in,.Don't worry about revisiting the familiar but look for new approaches with the familar that are age and stage appropriate for eleven year olds and add challenge and build on the power of primary language learning.  


Greetings garden


Such a simple idea that I saw today at the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop inspired me to think that this could be a really effective whole school community "back to school and language learning" activity.


I watched a little boy rush to the garden space outside the shop and plant the spoon he had painted.

What about if we created a "Greetings Garden" in our schools?Flower spoons painted and decorated by the wider school community and the staff and the children with colours and patterns linked to a greeting from a language, either spoken in school or at home or a country visited on holiday and its culture. Each spoon could then have the target language greeting written on to the painted spoon. Each decorated spoon is then part of the school "Greetings Garden".   

This could be in a garden outside or in a school sand pit area.It would be an opportunity to invite children , teachers , carers and parents to create their own wooden spoon greetings flowers and to plant them in the school "Greetings Garden".It would make a fabulous Euroepan Day of Languages whole school creative activity too!

Look forward to seeing your ideas! 


Sparkling Summer Sentences.


It's a hot end to the school year. Here is the simplest of last lessons with your primary language learners. Build sparkling Summer sentences and sequences of sentences,appropriate to the age and stage of the learners.

The simple activity will work withh all KS2 primary language learners.You will just adapt the activity depending on the level of the language learner. Children are going to revisit, remember and air write greetings , farewells, simple phrases ,sentences, questions and answers and then draw their own "sparkling Summer sentences" to take home and keep until next academic school year.

As the class teacher you need a magic writing wand or a sparkling pen or pencil. 

On the board, write down sentences that you know the chidren have already met (greetings, farewells, simple questions and answers , feelings and emotions, personal information phrases , specific topic phrases e.g.weather phrases etc).

Ask the children to look at the sentences you have written down and to discuss with a partner what they think the phrases might mean.Take feedback and practise the phrases with the class with magic sparkling air pens. 

Ask the children to try to anticipate your sparkling air pen writing.Write one of the phrases from the board in the air using your magic sparkling wand or pen. Who can guess correctly the phrase etc you have written?

Allocate different words from the sentences on the board to different children in the class.More than one child may have the same word.Ask them to write out their word on white boards and add colour and sparkling shapes to make the word dazzle! Set a time limit of 5 minutes.

Ask all the children to hold up their white boards.Select a phrase or sentence from the board and invite one child to come to the front.Thos child's responsibility is to select other children,who are holding up the different words on their whiteboards that make up the sentence you have chosen from the board.The children selected must come to the front and help to build a whiteboard word chain that shows their words in the correct order to create the dazzling sentence. Ask the class to read aloud ther sentence in their most Summer time dazzling voices.

Select another sentence, another volunteer to organise other children and their whiteboards and repeat the word chain and spoken activity again.

Ask the children to select their favourite sentence and to create a Summer time dazzling sentence with sparkling Summer shapes and colours to take home , keep and read and remember until next school year.

Primary language learning. "PLN" at your service!


Welcome to the World of Primary Languages Network.We are here to help your school and staff develop the confidence to deliver effective and creative primary languages.Here's what one of our primary schools thinks about the service and resources we offer at Primary Languages Network.


We are a network of over 250 schools.Primary Languages Network has a dedicated team of primary languages teachers who work in 49 of these schools every week of the school academic year. We teach French ,Spanish and German and can offer support with other languages too. Our intention is to "keep the PRIMARY in language learning".


Find out more here about our vision and the progress we have made since Janet Lloyd founded the service in 2011. 

From 2011 onwards we have been busy developing the effective service we offer now to support all our network schools.These schools range from beginners and non-specialist linguists to established  and outstanding practice in primary languages' schools. Every school can access over 5,000 resources and benefit from the dynamic and bespoke support we can offer. As primary practitioners we understand the aims,challenges and requirements of the busy primary classroom and school.


All Primary Languages Network members have access to the PLN virtual learning environment .A one stop shop for inspiration,sharing of work, ideas, seasonal special activities and materials and a comprehensive Scheme of Work.


Together we have developed a SOW which offers primary schools effective, creative planning and total support with the teaching and learning of primary French and Spanish in KS2 from Year 3 (age 7) to Year 6 (age 11). 

Our intention is to empower teachers to understand the what,how and why of language teaching and learning activities.All our resources are primary focused and have audio and language support for class teachers with little knowledge of the target language.Every lesson plan guides you step by step through the activities. There are games , power point challenges , interactive videos and activities , follow up and consolidation sheets , differentiated tasks and Puzzle It Outs assessments in listening,speaking ,reading ,writing with a focus on progression in language learning skills (one per half term if required) 


Save your successes and share and demonstrate your progress with the whole school, the wider community and store your outcomes safely in your unique User files on the VLE. The VLE has a mobile APP so you can very quickly take a photo of an activity in class and share and save in the User files.


Our CPD webinars will help your school and staff bring language learning from the French and Spanish KS2 Ready Made SOW to life. Here are two examples of our webinars this year, devised and led by our PLN primary languages teacher team.

In all our lesson plans we make sure that effective primary stage appropriate progress is built in across all four core skills-listening,speaking,reading , writing , across language learning skills, basic grammar (nouns,adjectives and  basic verbs) and phonics/ phoneme-grapheme transfer. 


Our proven and refined tracking and assessment tools will help your school assess next steps and keep a record of progress and our network coordinator,Catherine, is on hand by email and pre-arranged webinar to help you with any issues or individual school challenges or requirements. 


Every year we hold our annual conference and premium members are entitled to a free place at the conference. In 2018 our conference is focusing upon "Making languages sparkle". At every event we make sure that the CPD is valuable and helps schools to reflect on practice , network and share own experiences and leave with next steps and support necessary to achieve these next steps. Here's a taste of our 2017 conference.

As your school progresses take advantage of our Primary Languages Development Award

You can follow us on our Primary Languages Network Facebook page or on Twitter account too.

We look forward to you joining us and thriving as a member of Primary Languages Network.To find out details of our different membership options plus our monthly subscription options or to contact us for more information then just click here. Further details and membership options.

World Cup Language Skill Speed Trials

Ball game ready to play.JPG

Getting ready for the World Cup fever that will hit your classrooms soon? The football World Cup means foreign languages are everywhere. From the names of players and teams and proper nouns for countries to sub- titles and people being interviewed in different languages! Great opportunty to set up our "World Cup Word Speed Trials". Challenge language learners to test their dexterity, speed and language skills. This morning thanks to Facebook,I was insoired to tweet about this game, originally created for EYFS and Nursery.

Here is the game, adapted for use with KS2 and possibly Year 7 language learners.

Aim of the game

  • To challenge each player to move the ball through each tunnel (tube) in the correct order as quickly as possible.
  • The order that the ball must travel is determined by the content and the sequence of the target language words e.g. days of week (Monday to Sunday), months of the year (January to December , numbers 1-10 , tens from 10-100 etcetra.
  • The game will work with verb endings too - so  take a regular present tense verb and can the player move the ball through the tunnels in the correct order from first person singular (I) to third person plural (they). 
  • You could give tables names of countries and see who is fasteste and best each week etc ,using different or same content.

A target language four core skill and grammar speed challenge.

  • Writing- recall and then write out the target language words on cards for the content required e.g. days of week / numbers 1-10 etcetra.
  • Writing - create a a written target language plan of the the tunnels positions on rough paoer first or gap fill missing letters on a pre-prepared target language plan of the game board.
  • Speaking -before starting the game, say the anticiipated correct route of the sequence of words or phrases that the player anticipates the ball will travel  as the ball passess through specific tunnels.
  • Reading out loud- call out the word on each specific tunnel as the ball passes through that tunnel. 
  • Reading - read the words of the verb phrases written out in the target language and create symbols to represent these instead of words on the card tunnels on the game.
  • Listening and responding- listen out for the word or verb phrase spoken by the teacher and then move the ball through the tunnel. 
  • Listening and responding-  listen out for the word or verb phrase spoken by the teacher and then move the ball through the tunnel. This time though the teacher will say the words in a random order.
  • Grammar- re-create the paradigm of a present tense verb by moving the ball through the tunnels in the correct order
  • Sentence structure- reconstruct a simple target language sentence using a noun, verb and an adjective or adjectives.
  • Sentence structure - reconstruct an extended sentences, using singular and plural nouns, personal pronoun ,verb, adjectives in correct position with correct agreement and a conjunction to create the extended sentence. Don't forget the capital letter on the first word , the full stop as a tunnel on it's own and a comma when required.  

To make the game:

Step One - Before start you need a tray, a small football (Subbuteo size really) , tubes to cut donw to make a tunnels , blu-tac , card and paints.

Step Two -Take a look at the diensions of your tray lid so that you can see the rough size that to cut up the tubes to make tunnels to fit on the lid and allow space to move the ball around the board.You could use cardboard and create your own game boards.


Step Three- write out your word cards.

Day word cards.JPG

Step Four- Cut down the tubes to size, paint the tunnels and blu tac to the tray. 

Step Five- Blu-tac the word cards to the tunnels .Use blu-tac so you can use the game board again and just change the word cards.

Days of week blu tacked cards.JPG

Add the subbuteo size football and source stop- watches if you want to time the game or an egg timer to see if the children can complete the game before the egg timer runs out? The game is ready to be played.







Mexican waves football greetings!

World Cup characters .png

Let's celebrate the way the players and the fans will greet each other in all the various languages they speak at the football World Cup. .
Show your children this clip of 30 different ways to say hello from around the World

Now let's play the game.

  1. Ask the children to recall as many different ways  of greeting each other both in their own home language , school language and in other languages they have seen on the video clip
  2. Practise the greetings they suggest.Practise the sound of the greeting. Ask the  children to think of the shape of the greeting both as a  sound they hear (is it wavy/sharp/spiky etc) and as a written word.Ask the children to raise their arms in the air and peform the shape of the word/s as they say them say the same time.
  3. Stand the children up and table by table create a mexican wave of greetings that are both spoken and performed as sound shapes around the room.

Creative Teaching & Learning in the Primary MFL Classroom


Guest blog post : Susanne Wilson

How can primary practicitioners empower the next generation of primary class teachers and enable them to feel confident in the delivery of creative primary languages in their own future classrooms? 

Here is a guest blog post from primary languages teacher and trainer,Susanne Wilson, about her ITT CPD on 25 April 2018, exploring and addressing this very question. 

I was looking forward to seeing the Warrington Teaching School Alliance trainee primary teachers for the second time. Having met them in January we had already had a day’s training where I presented an introduction to MFL, so the trainees already had some experience in what MFL teaching in the primary classroom looks like.



Last Wednesday, the trainees came to the SMILE centre in Warrington full of enthusiasm and buzzing with ideas. Many had seen some of our Associate Teachers teaching French and Spanish in their placement schools so were keen to find out more.


The objective of this 2nd day of MFL training was to explore Creative Teaching and Learning, ways in which creative ideas can be brought to life and give excitement and relevance to Primary children learning a language.


First up we explored the theme of Dragons & Unicorns, a popular one with all our children and an exciting way of introducing SPAG points such as masculine/feminine, singular/plural. Well done for being such a great sports and taking on the Limbo challenge! An idea by Robert A which is great fun and believe it or not really helps the children to grasp the concept of masculine and feminine! The trainees enthusiastically played matching cards and dominoes too.  Plenty more Total Physical Response games gave a practical element to their training with plenty of ideas to take away. They soon realised that all the ideas are transferable to other areas of the curriculum too.



Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s Superlinguists!

By exploring the theme of using Superheroes to learn adjectives, personal information and so much more, the trainees further grasped how creative you can be when teaching another language. So many resources are on the VLE and ready for teachers to use, however the trainees came up with loads of fresh ideas and fresh takes on the theme.

Dbn5TysWkAAQgcd (1).jpg


Here you can see the trainees making utility belts as a creative way of teaching classroom objects. Once again the extent to which this idea could be used across the curriculum was of great interest to the trainees. Plus once again they got stuck in with gusto!



Our third topic of the day was a cross curricular classic – The Romans. This time the trainees were tasked with creating their own series of MFL lessons on the theme, based on what we had learnt previously. Trainees worked brilliantly in groups and bounced great ideas off each other. Their new classes in September will be lucky to have them!



An afternoon exploring ICT and the use of Apps to creatively enhance language teaching and learning topped off a highly productive day. Michelle H’s expert and detailed webinar provided a platform from which the trainees could further explore the use of Apps in their MFL teaching. Creating Chatterpix characters and linking them to our morning’s themes of Superheroes, Romans and Dragons & Unicorns was fun, engaging and thought provoking, how can we get the most out of technology to inspire our children to learn a language?



The trainees really engaged with all the ideas and empowered themselves at the same time. They came away brimming with confidence, many saying that they felt ready to teach a foreign language now, even without being specialists.

And how did the next generation of teachers find the day?  Well,here are some of their evaluation comments: 

  • Really enjoyed the day. Have lots of creative ideas. Feel much more confident about teaching a language and linking it to other subjects.
  • Very useful training. Apps very useful.
  • Great ideas to help with building confidence in teaching a FL.
  • Lots of great ideas to take away and practical aspects. Engaging and informative.
  • Engaging and informative. Lots of great ideas that I can apply. Susanne was very helpful and approachable. I felt I could ask her anything. Took away lots of ideas that I will be using in my classroom!

For more information on our CPD courses for ITT or for existing specialist and non-specialist Primary MFL teachers, please contact Primary Languages Network

Wedding, Art and Selfies

invitada 12.gif

This blog post is all about exploring famous Art and linking what we can see in a picture to emotions, creating personalities amd characters and generating "Word and Art Selfies" in the style of the famous artist.It's easy to create links between Art ,Drama and performance, empathy and  simple language work

The piece of Art I have chosen in by Henri Rousseau "une noce a la campagne". The portraits of the characters are strong and lead to discussion about how happy the wedding guests and the bride and groom are,... etcetra. Or is this just a very formal Victorian style painting? 

Here are the stages of the language , Art and Drama investigations your class could carry out.

Step One

Reveal the picture to the children.Discuss with the children in the class, which people they think go to a wedding. Who might these people be?  Which family members do they already know in the target language and who do they think the guests are?. Can they come out and indicate the guest and say the phrase “This is + family member noun “ in the target language. 

Step Two

Play character charades. Show a noun card to a volunteer. They mime the person as they look in the painting and members of the class should try and guess in the target language who it is. Encourage the children to ask “Is it......?” and encourage the volunteer to respond to the correct answer with “Yes it is".

Step Three

Give out post- its. Create a word storm around the famous painting.Can the class add labels to each character in the picture. Can the children now add words and phrases in the target language that describe the picture e.g. characters’ feelings, ages, names , the colours they can see in the picture, weather etc.Don't forget the dog too!

Step Four

Ask the children in groups to create their own freeze frame of a wedding photograph in a similar style to the Henri Rousseau picture. The children must create a name , an age and an attitude for each of the characters. Each of the children in the group will take on the role of one of the characters. Children may use props if these are available. Allow children time to practise saying their name, age , how they are feeling and who they are in the picture freeze frame. Ask the children to add one action that they think represents the character.

Step Five

Bring the picture tableaux to life! Each picture could be filmed as they come to life or photographs taken and then the children could say their characters statements as a short introduction to the character.

Step Six

Word Storm Art:This would lead easily to a piece of art work in the style of Rousseau to depict/celebrate a wedding, surrounded by a "word storm" of phrases and words in rthe target language to create the frame of the pictrure each child paints. (E.g. I am called I am....years old I feel happy etc I am the bride / groom/bridesmaid/father etc).


Earth Day Plates


It's Earth Day on Sunday 22nd April. Here is a great opportunity with your KS2 classes to make links between themselves and the rest of the World and think about a common purpose- looking after our Earth. Steph P and her classes took a simple idea,often seen in classrooms. The children created these paper plate displays in the picture above to consider their position in the Universe and explore key nouns and two simple sentences "I am called.." and "I live in ..."in the target language. These can easily be adapted to focus on Earth as if we are looking down on Earth from Space.

Earth plates


Let's  create "Earth" plates.

Simply use the noun for Earth , the continent , the country , the name of the city , name of the  town and finally the sentence "I live in.." (in the target language) which the children need to complete with own address.On the reverse, writng in the target language the name phrase and a greeting add a cartoon drawing of the child.Make the class flip chart the "Ground control Chart".

Play "Astronauts to Ground control " games first. Divide your class in to small groups or pairs of word astronauts. Set up simple word sorting games on desks and tables .Give out packs of cards with nouns for Earth / continents/ a country in each continent including own country/ names of local towns and villages.

  1. Can the children identify what the words may mean and can they see links between target language nouns and nouns in English or home languages? Take feedback and gather information on the flip chart which you have named as "Ground Control Chart". 
  2. Can the children organise the nouns in different groups - alphabetically, from the smallest land mass (i.e. home / street where they live) to the largest space (Earth). Again take feedback and make a note of these investigations on the"Ground Control" chart. 
  3. Sentence building challenge. On your "Ground Control Chart"  write the target language phrase for "I live in ...".In pairs or individually challenge the children to write in draft (or organise cards as prompts for speaking) and create the longest "I live in ..." statement they can ( so I live in + street/ village/ town/ county/ country / continent/ Earth). Take feedback and write up several examples on your "Ground Control Chart".
  4. Set up an "astronaut" memory challenge - how much of one of the sentences can the children remember? Give the children thinking , remembering and repeating with partners time. Invite volunteers to come to the front and say as much of the sentence as they can .
  5. Time to create those Earth plates!

Snapshot of learning : Revision lesson: Personal information Q&A and colours with Year 3 at Barrowhall Primary School.


This morning I went to observe Robert Artingstall teach Spanish to a Year 3 class at Barrowhall Primary School – the Easter holidays are just around the corner and after finishing off this term’s topics including World Book Day and the Gruffalo in Spanish today was the perfect opportunity for a revision lesson.

As I arrived Robert was doing the morning register in Spanish: ¿Comida caliente? ¿Tostada? ¿Uno, dos? Some children answering in Spanish others in English. Then Robert started chatting across the room to Gonzalo, a native speaker from the class – there was no mistake, we were here to learn Spanish!

The lesson started with a greeting song and then another ‘action’ song that got the children moving and singing in Spanish.

Robert then explained that the children were going to do some revision work today.

They started with the ‘hide and reveal’ powerpoint from the Ready-made SOW (Year 3 > Spring 2) – the instruction is to try guess the phrase or the question as it slowly appears on the screen and before it’s completely revealed. Children were asked to quietly tell their partner what they thought the phrase or the question was. They did really well and it allowed Robert to do some consolidation work on pronunciation and mention question word ‘Cómo’ in Spanish and the fact it’s used in 2 different familiar questions (Cómo te llamas? Cómo estas?). The last slide on the powerpoint is then used as a support slide for children to make up their own conversation.

 Hide and Reveal 'Personal Information' powerpoint

Hide and Reveal 'Personal Information' powerpoint

 ¿Cómo..... te llamas or ... estas ? Place your bets! 

¿Cómo..... te llamas or ... estas ? Place your bets! 


Then they moved on to colours. First Robert asked the children to recap as many colours they could think of and write them on their whiteboard, they checked their answers and Robert took the opportunity to do some phonic work particularly about the sounds ‘j’, ‘ll’, z’ which are very different to English. They practiced the colours with actions and then played ‘Simon dice’.

 Lovely writing from memory.

Lovely writing from memory.

 Robert going over sound/spelling link and key sounds in Spanish.

Robert going over sound/spelling link and key sounds in Spanish.

Finally Robert used the ‘Rainbow writing sheet’ where children have to think of and draw an object that corresponds to each part/colour of the rainbow (for example a strawberry for red, a banana for yellow, etc.).


This task allows for bilingual dictionary work as children have to label the thing they are drawing. Before leaving the children to work independently or in pairs Robert checked that the children were confident using the dictionary and did a whole class example also reinforcing gender (fem/masc) recognition and understanding.

 First, find the line in the middle of the dictionary, on one side it's Spanish to English, past the line it's English to Spanish - know which side you need to use.

First, find the line in the middle of the dictionary, on one side it's Spanish to English, past the line it's English to Spanish - know which side you need to use.

 a cherry is 'cereza' and it's feminine because it says 'fem' and 'la'.

a cherry is 'cereza' and it's feminine because it says 'fem' and 'la'.

** All the resources mentioned are either from Youtube or from the Primary Languages Network VLE.