Star gazers.

December and it's the time of dark night skies with hopefully clear views of stars. Now is an ideal opportunity to use the starry night sky as a way of exploring bilingual dictionaries, nouns and adjectives with the children.This will help them to become more independent in their use of bilingual dictionaries and their understanding of grammar too.

  • First show them a starry night picture and ask them to get out their "imaginary "telescopes and take a closer look at the starry sky.
  • Ask the children to become star gazers with you.Explain that stars can shine brightly as individual stars or as constellations of stars.
  • Ask the children to imagine they can see shapes of objects and items in the night's sky.
  • The first objects,colours and items  they see ,must be words they can say in the target language- so familoar nouns and adjectives.
  • The children should recall nouns and adjectives that are familiar so no suggestions can be incorrect as they are using their imaginations and their memory. 
  • Ask them to compare what they think they saw in ntheir starry night gaze with what their talking  partner saw. Did they see anything the same or similar?  
  • Ask the children to write a list of all the words they have shared with each other on their mini white boards.
  • Ask the children to remind you about the role of a noun and an adjective in a sentence.
  • Can the children identify the nouns and the adjectives in their own written lists? 
  • Ask the children to put an asterisk (to represent a star) next to each noun in their written lists. 
  • Do they need to check the spelling of any of the nouns they have written? 
  • Give out the bilingual dictionaries so that they can check spellings of the nouns. Remind them of our simple "post it" rule .(Place a "post it" in the centre of the bilingual dictionary) .Before the "post it" we are looking up the target language first, and after the "post it" we are looking up the English first).To complete this task it is "before the post it rule",
  • Now make them "space explorers" .Time to use bilingual dictionaries to find nouns ...nouns in space that they think would make wonderful stars. This time it is "after the post it rule"
  • Ask the children to find a minimum of three new nouns e.g. a star in the sky can look like -  a dragon, a space ship ,a  jewel.
  • Give the children star templates.One template per noun.Ask the children to write on one side in the target language one of the nouns they have found and on the other draw the object either as a single shining star or as a constellation of stars that make the shape of the object.
  • Attach string to each star and hang these on a star gazers' mobile in the classroom.