Cuckoo clock counting

Cuckoo clocks! I had forgotten how fascinating these objects can be for young children. Kitsch maybe but great for teaching target language time. Take a look at the photo I took outside a "cuckoo clock shop!" So how can we use this ideas to make target language time learning fun?

Firstly you may like to share this video of a cuckoo clock , the cuckoo and the characters that appear after the cuckoo and the music too.

  1. Now share the photo at the top of this blog post with the children.
  2. Count the clocks and revisit numbers.
  3. Count the miniature people we can see on or around the clocks etcetra.
  4. Ask the children to help you hunt the clocks that have a clock face where the hands show an "o'clock" (e.g. 4 o'clock )
  5. Practise how to say this time in the target language with the children
  6. Play a game of whisper "Cuckoo Counting Time".Simply whisper (quietly enough so children have to listen, but loud enough so that children can hear) a quantity of "cuckoo" sounds between 1 and 12. Can the children tell you in the target language the "cuckoo time"? So for example five whispered cuckoos means it is 5 o'clock.
  7. Write these simple times on the board and invite the children to read the times and then play a game of silent cuckoo clock time, demonstrating that they can understand the written target language time. Working with a partner ,one partner uses their hands to look like a bird's beak and opens and shuts his/her imaginary "beak" as many times as is on the target language written phrase and theother partner counts the actions and verifies that the number of cuckoos is correct. Partners swap roles. This can be a read aloud , listen and respond activity too if you hand out to pairs or tables sets of written target language times' cards too,
  8. Share with the children the photo below and ask the children in pairs, thinking about the video you have watched of the cuckoo clock, to create their own cuckoo clock.To do this may must design a traditional cuckoo clock or an up to date cuckoo clock in the colours of the flag perhaps of the target language country and add two card cartoon or film star characters they like at the bottom of the clock and add a card flap (large enough to write on) at the top under which is a cuckoo. The children need to add the face of the clock with the hands showing an o'clock time.  On the card flap at the top the children can add the written target language oclcok time to match the time shown on the face of the clock.
  9. Some classes will then be able to bring these clocks to life using sound effects  and APPs such as Yakit4 Kids or Chatterpix.