KS1 Rockets and Colours Firework Song

Today I am working with a school getting ready for next half term French language learning in KS2. the KS1 staff are keen to be involved and as our first focus will be Bonfire night I am going to introduce them to the simplest of songs using colours that they can practise and perform with their KS1 classes!

It allows teachers to practise four colours in the target language with the children: blue,red.orange and yellow 

Each colour is a rocket firework - so we have made them sound like they are zooming off in to the sky . If you are a network member or coming along to DfE CPD then there is a simple sound file too to help - but really it's probably not needed here.

We have used the song "The Farmers in his Den" to fit the French and Spanish words to  a familiar tune 

You could decide to add more too and the children could think of the sounds for these colours too!

You will need coloured rocket cards like these:

  • Practise the colours of the rockets with the children, play familiar games like hot and cold hide and seek and detectives in the room- who is hiding the colour.
  • Practise the sounds of the colours zooming off in to the sky on Bonfire Night
  • Sit the children on the carpet in front of you and play the tune of "The Farmers in his Den" and pass the coloured rocket cards around the children .When the music stops- can the children holding the cards tell you the colour? Start the song again and continue the game.
  • Now you are ready to practise the key phrase : les feux d'artifice ( in French) and los fuegos artificiales (in Spanish) and die Feuerwerke (in German). Practise and add clapping for each syllable and the rhythm . 
  • Make the clapping and the spoken words sound like pretty fireworks in the sky etc!
  • Practise the target language Firework Song below (to the tune of The Farmer's in his Den" with the children and ask them to make the colour repetition sound like fireworks disappearing in to the sky.
  • Now your class is ready to perform the song. 
  • Ask the children to stand in a circle and give the coloured rocket cards to four children.Can they remember the colours in the target language. As a class sing the song and when the children hear the colour of the firework if they are holding the card they can either pass the card on to the next child and the next child and the next child until the  song moves on or the child holding the card can make the firework rocket move and dart up in to the sky. 
  • You may even have a class assembly song and performance here too!

Firework Songs in French and Spanish


Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Rouge, rouge, rouge, rouge!

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Bleu, bleu, bleu, bleu!

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Vert, vert, vert, vert!

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Jaune, jaune, jaune, jaune!

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Les Feux d’artifices

Orange, orange, orange, orange!

Les Feux d’artifices


Los Fuegos Artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

İRojo, rojo, rojo , rojo!

Fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

İAzul  azul azul azul!

Fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

İVerde, verde, verde, verde!

Fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

İAmarillo, rillo,rillo!

Fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

Los fuegos artificiales

İNaranja, ranja, ranja, ranja!

Fuegos artificiales


Die Feuerwerke

Die Feuerwerke


~Die Feuerwerke

Die Feuerwerke

Die Feuerwerke


die Feuerwerke

Die Feuerwerke

Die Feuerwerke


Die Feuerwerke

Die Feuerwerke

Die Feuerwerke


Die Feuerwerke

The progress we are making,an account from the teachers.

We are drawing toward the end of another busy year for our network .It’s time to review progress and see how our children are developing as young language learners. Of the 90 school within the network 32 of the schools are supported by either a visiting teacher or a language assistant teaching from our SOW . It seems pertinent to ask these colleagues what progress looks like to them in their schools across both key stages.

 I have the great pleasure of working with these enthusiastic, passionate and highly committed colleagues every academic week of the year.I asked some of my colleagues to write several sentences on progression they have seen this year ,all with a specific focus across three languages (French, German and Spanish

We meet on a very regular basis to discuss and practise language activities and as a unit of colleagues we have established a sharing and networking community....often pushing each other on!

What is very important here is that the progress described is a true simple reflection of what the children are demonstrating and achieving  at different learning stages.The comments are those of  practitioners who take ideas and put them in to primary practice.

We are certain that many of you will be able to say and identify very similar points.That’s reassuring isn’t it? 

What I identify as I read these comments is that we have gone past simple words and repetition and the learners are becoming interested young linguists,confident that they can listen, speak read and write and therefore communicate in another language! Hurrah! 

Key Stage One Learners: Spanish

Ana (Native Spanish speaker, QTS Primary with Early Years’ specialism). Here's her end of year report on the  specific noticeable progress she sees in KS1 this year. Ana teachers KS1 in 5 of the 6 schools where she also teachers KS2)

Greetings in Reception

In KS1 the main progress I can see is in the children, who  have learned Spanish for a couple of years- so Year 1 and 2 .
  • They are confident.
  • They link and use previous knowledge in new topics.
  • Their minds are open and receptive, they enjoy and don’t feel shy to try.
  • Some of my children in Reception after doing Spanish previously in nursery, can independently say their names, how they feel ,their favourite colour, the weather, days of the week, animals, numbers up to 20, body parts and follow a lesson where I mostly only speak Spanish.
  • These children show how important is to start teaching a foreign language in early years as their little minds are more than ready! 

Year 3 Spanish Beginners 

Joanne (PGCE QTS Primary Teacher with a primary language specialism ,teaches both Spanish and French) Joanne considered  the specific  progress she has seen in her Spanish Year 3 beginner class .She teaches from Year 1 to Year 6 in a local school. This is her end of year report.

Year 3 Superheroes Autumn Display

The Year 3s are just a joy to teach and the progress they have made this year has been impressive.
In their first year of learning Spanish, “my little Language Detectives “have wholeheartedly thrown themselves into their Language learning and have had lots of fun trying out new sound patterns and words.  
They respond to mimes and gestures and they amaze me with the amount of vocabulary they retain and recall and the inquisitive questions they ask. ('If Spanish has an upside down question mark at the start of a question and an upside down exclamation mark at the start, does all punctuation go upside down?' I ran with a flurry to grab a handful of Spanish stories and books so we could put our Detective sombreros on and investigate.)

Silly songs are immensely popular with my Year 3s (particular the fruit song) and the children even ask me for links so they can practice the songs at home. They have been known to come in the following week with an accompanying full on dance routine!

Year 4 Moving on on German

Barbara Foerster ,Year 4 German (native speaker German , TA and language assistant) Barbara works in a local school as a class TA and also as the teacher of German across KS1 and KS2. Barbara’s focus is upon Year 4 children who are moving on from being “beginner” learners.

My current Year 4 class are really good at German. They are very interested in the language and pick up new phrases very easily. 
I am very pleased with the progress they have made over the last few months - moving from simple sentences, e.g. my name is ... I am feeling good, to more complex sentences and phrases, recalling already known language fairly easily.
They are now able to have a  simple conversation and tell the other person about themselves and also ask questions.

Some of the things they are able to say are: their favourite colour,( and what I really like is that using the same phrase for “my favourite” ... they can translate that knowledge to say other favourite things, e.g. favourite pop group, singer, football star or number), where they live, when their birthday is and how old they are.
My aim for next year is to make them become even more independent !

Progress across LKS2 and UKS2 

Catherine (PGCE QTS Primary teacher with a languages specialism).She teaches four schools, French in two schools and Spanish in two schools. I asked her to suggest one specific noticeable skill step forward in each year group from Year 3 to Year 6  in both languages. This is what she has identified:

Across Key Stage 2, I have seen children become more independent learners. 

  • In Y3, children have progressed from repeating words and phrases to holding a conversation with questions and answers. 
  • In Y4, I have seen children become able and confident to write simple sentences in the target language.
  • In Y5, children are becoming confident in using bilingual dictionaries. 
  • In Y6, children have progressed from being able to read sentences in the target language to reading full scripts in the language. 
In general, I have seen children become more engaged and proactive in their own language learning.

What does UKS2 look like this year?

Emilie (native speaker QTS Secondary and Primary French Teacher). She works in 6 schools and across both Key Stages. Emilie was asked to consider the type of progress she is seeing in UKS2 as a platform that can be built upon into Year 7.Here is her report on progress in Years 5/6:

  • In Years 5 and 6 children are beginning to understand and read longer sentences/paragraphs made up of familiar language.
  • They are producing in writing and speaking longer sentences using simple connectives.
  • They have acquired language learning skills such as looking for cognates and strategies to work out new language (i.e using clues, context, etc.)
  • They are familiar with a range of structures including talking about likes, dislikes and preferences.
  • They are becoming more and more confident in speaking and have become very fluent in talking about themselves (name, age, where they live, etc.)

A view from the bridge between Year 6 and Year 7 

Jayne (Secondary and Primary French teacher) teaching French and Spanish in 6 different schools from KS1 to Year 6.Jayne has considered Year 6 children she teaches now and what they can do that she feels does now need to be acknowledged as they enter Year 7

  • Year 6 can remember so much of what they have done before!
  • They are keen to reapply knowledge and show what they can do.
  • In Year 6 they are beginning to extend their knowledge of sentence structure and  are keen to know more about language and grammar and how to use this to communicate.
  • Even in a new context it’s amazing what they can describe and how much new language they can add to their descriptions accurately.
  • They want to plan, prepare and use dictionaries to find what they really want to say!
  • In Year 7 maybe we should n’t hold the children back but let them explore language more independently and apply their language skills even if it’s in a new language rather than spending a long time re-explaining what they have done or what they can learn quite quickly .

So now we are ready to move on to next year and to enjoy working with our schools and young learners and to see where we get to next year ....??!

Language Learning and Drama

Language Learning and Drama

Why do I think they link so well together?

I was trained as an English / Drama and MFL teacher in the 1980s. An unusual combination at the time that I have never regretted. My personal passion for theatre comes from my love of literature in all languages and my wonderful AS Level in Theatre Studies many moons ago! I always remember the power of the texts and performances. My A Levels (German, French and English Literature ) were made all the more vibrant by Theatre Studies and a clear message that Antigone wasn’t written in English , that Mother Courage didn’t speak English and that pantomime had its modern day European origins in Italian satire! I wanted to read the texts in their original language to find out more about how they should be interpreted!

Theatre, the Arts and communicating ideas to others through performance and setting up an emotional dialogue have always been a passion of mine. 
As a modern foreign languages’ NQT many years ago I had the good fortune to work with a Performing Arts Department in an inner city  secondary school.The exploration of text and film through performance and the challenge to link language learning to the sequences of learning activities developed was an amazing opportunity. I remember how we focused on a five minute introduction to a film and took it frame by frame…asking the children to describe, anticipate  , translate into dance , Art , music , drama and target language  communication what they could feel and see! The pupils had limited language skills and often in class didn’t see the relevance or point of French and German , but put in this new context they rose to the challenges set them and explored and produced creative performances with language elements. This steep learning curve has informed my language teaching ever since!  

You can probably realise from the statement above that I love to explore theatre and drama on an intellectual level but that through my love of teaching and learning I have seen how “Performing  Arts “ are such a powerful tool to harness in the realms of language learning
Performing Arts embraces Art, Dance, Music, Theatre, mime, Opera, Ballet etc.

We are set the challenge to introduce children to “great” literature so in my opinion we need to provide the children with the tools to explore and bring to life this literature.Drama and dramatic devices and the use of these as parts of language learning can help us provide both a support and a springboard for the children as we do this!   

As a Primary Languages AST sponsored by my secondary school’s Performing Arts Department I was allowed the freedom to explore the beneficial links between drama and language learning- and it’s not all “lovey dovey” as some people may fear! My findings were reinforced when in 2004 I became a Primary Strategy Consultant and worked alongside the primary literacy team to promote the use of role-play and drama in exploring texts with young children.

Drama and dramatic devices promote in language learning:
  • Better and more confident communication skills
  • Deeper and more reactive understanding of text
  •  A purposeful reason to explore how to memorise and recall language
  • An understanding of why intonation and pronunciation matter and how these can enhance character
  • Importance of dialogue and actions
  •  Inclusive participation
  • Platforms upon which to develop independent creative writing
  • Dialogue reinforcement 

In Key Stage One we are already promoting listening and joining in, participating and using actions to convey meaning. Take a look at these blogs (bear explorers, growing sunflowers with numbers  and pirates). The bogs may give you your ideas of ways to use drama and dramatic devices to explore language content.

In Key Stage Two we are looking at ways that we can develop links between drama and grammar to make the learning of grammar creative and physical and to engage the learners in such a way that the application of grammar is a memorable process.(Making a drama out of basic grammar can explain more!).The ideas are easily transportable to KS3 too.Work with a drama teacher can help KS3 MFL colleagues develop some creative reinforcement and performances of grammar points in the target language.

We work with Art (take a look at Matisse and the Cut Outs ) (3D Art Renoir) to explore language content and contexts and generate opportunities to develop creative performances that enhance the children’s language and context understanding.

We encourage children to explore language learning through the use of their bodies to generate creative performances (Here are two examples:  colour mimes and word association  and body parts and movement)

We have created a sequence of simple plays for the children to explore as both reading comprehensions where they need to add the stage directions once they have understood the text and where they also now need to add the performance to communicate the humorous meaning.

We are exploring the use of drama to engage with poetry. Take a look at the blog of a verse from a famous poem by Jacques Prévert to link with our UKS2  café theme drama and mystery in the cafe

Sometimes we take it much further and the use of dramatic devices linked with other ways of exploring the performing arts can generate a whole creative performance using target language text. Take a look here Physical Pop Up Poems

In Key Stage Three and beyond

In Key Stage 3 MFL teachers are required to explore authentic texts …once again drama and the use of dramatic devices can be ways to bring this to life for all learners. Some of the techniques promoted above n the KS2 blogs may help with this. From 1985 to 2002 as a secondary  MFL teacher dramatic devices such as freeze frames, conscience alley, mime, hot seating  all allowed the pupils to explore language learning and content purposefully.

Sketches and the use of drama allow language learning  to be exclusive from an enthusiastic performance of numbers ,names and feelings by Year 7 in a whole year group performance to a  Come Dine With Me sketch with Year 9 disillusioned low ability boys , drama was a means by which everyone could engage.

Finally at the start of this blog post I mentioned Mother Courage and still in my memory is the way my lower sixth were able to engage with Leben des Galilei because of the way we performed key dialogues and monologues….The preparation and though behind the performances led to improved use of German , questions about grammar that cleared up sticky points and an observation and accuracy of pronunciation and intonation…because just like my Drama teacher taught me , they wanted to convey their understanding of the  true meaning of the text!

Hope you enjoy finding your own links between language learning and drama and that you find them really useful effective motivators of young language learners!

Pirates Ahoy with Year 2

This half term with Year 2 we are exploring the theme of pirates ....linking this to the children's work on the coast and/or the seaside.

It's all going to be about "acting" and being "dramatic" and we are going to use simple well loved games and activities to do this:

Hide and Seek

Hot and Cold

Simon says (Pirate says..)

Beetle Drive


Joining in with songs


n Spanish we will learn the chorus to el pirata Barbaroja ....with actions of course!

In French we will listen and join in with "Voilà les pirates" !We will be listening out for the phrase "Voilà les pirates"...joining in and freeze framing as we hear it marching around the classroom and singing the chorus!

We will be describing pirates in games of Simon says (Pirate says), acting out the pirate's equipment and playing a good old fashioned Pirate Beetle drive. We will use this song 

el pirate valiente

 to help us with this in Spanish plus this wonderful poster of a " real " pirate from e-ducativa.catedu.es. Find out more 


In French we will use the t



 modeler website pirate fancy dress picture and instructions


We will listen to

le petit matelot

 and listen out very carefully for the pirate's clothes and equipment on the rhyme! As we hear the items we will pretend to put them on or hold them etc! And we will use this lovely rhyme with actions (see the PDF based on the story from  

la petite boule blanche

 si j'etais un pirate ... to become real pirates!

Once we are pirates then we need to hunt gold and collect our gold in our pirates' sacks! How will we do this ...?

Well we can hunt sounds and words.

We will hunt key nouns we have learned during the year by playing hot and cold or hide and seek ,looking for pictures on coins hidden around the classroom that represent the key words we know.And sometimes we will make this even more challenging for our pirates by hunting key sounds in the words represented by the pictures! 

Transition in a suitcase between year groups

This half term we are at the end of the year's academic study of the target language across both KS1 and KS2. 
The new DfE POS requires that substantial progress is made ..... we also need to take stock and enjoy what the children have learned and the games, songs, stories and language knowledge they have explored.
In a previous blog I shared how I was supporting a school to put together a cohesive start up programme so that KS1 can enjoy learning alongside KS2 and so that staff have shared strategies and learning tools.Here's the blog 

Transition  happens between all year groups. How effective this transition is supports how effective and successful progression for all the children will be.
As you head back to school for the final Summer half term ...it's time to start packing those target language suitcases and sharing the strategies , learning tools and activities the children have enjoyed with the next class teacher!

Designer Suitcases
Ask the children to help you decide what your target language suitcase for the year's learning should look like?What have they learned this year?What content and contexts have you explored. Create the labels for your suitcase from this content and contexts. Your suitcase may be a folder with notes from the class to the next teacher , a virtual suitcase or a folder kept on the school VLE ...but it needs to look like you have all travelled on a language learning journey together this year- hence the labels!

Packing the suitcase!
Ask the children to share with you the games, songs and stories that have enjoyed this year.Revisit and use again some of the activities and resources and take a class vote on which to put in your class suitcase ready to set off for the next year of language learning.

Maybe it's your.....

and remember the books you have enjoyed reading too!

Don't forget those always useful items!
Discuss with the children the grammar that you may have explored. Add a noun treasure chest (facts about nouns and some key nouns from different content) and an adjective atlas (a picture on which the children can stick or add key adjectives they have met e.g colours/sizes/characteristics).Pop in a listening stick or two - so that the children with their new teacher can play some very familiar listening games and then build on these and move on!

Have you packed your phrase book?
What can the children now ask and say about themselves that means they are moving more toward independence in simple basic dialogue and conversation. Pack an example totem pole -if you made them- or create a cartoon strip or recording of a typical dialogue.
What's a totem pole? Take a look here!

Hurrah off we go! 
Celebrate with the children their success this year.Why not put on a class language exhibition to share with another class or parents what you have done this year?
Now it's time to check what's in the suitcase and pass it on to the next class teacher...so they can unpack the suitcase with the class next year.

When are we there?
Once September arrives then the next class teacher has a reference point that can act as a prompt with the children and the whole class can have great fun unpacking their suitcase and explaining what they already have learned. The suitcase can come out throughout the year when content or contexts are supported by the prior learning.

What does this look like in practise?
Well the wonderful @EWoodruffe has been packing her classes suitcases this July and here is her blog all about this Let's pack our suitcases

Plant pot story actions and song

Plant pot story , actions and song 

Last year as part of a JLN  network project during the Spring term I created a series of simple activities to link to KS1 growing things science focus we developed a these materials and the activities below . 
Thanks to Ana Garcia Lavado who drew the pictures and Emilie Woodruffe @EWoodruffe, Barbara and Flora who  provided the target language phrases and Joanne who created the simplest of plant growing songs based on the familiar refrain of Frère Jacques.

Our Learning Objectives 
To understand how a plant grows and the conditions it requires 
To listen and respond to commands in a target language
To practise performing a simple sequence of actions in the target language
To learn a song in the target language 

(As some of our schools have now developed their own vegetable gardens and plots we found real examples from the target  language countries to share with the children .
Here is a project at a school in Limoges , where you can find a chart explaining what they planted and in which month and pictures of the young gardeners planting their vegetable seeds

The Simple Lesson Activities
The activities below are based on  five simple pictures made in to a story that describes how we grow a plant from seed .Here's a plant pot pictures downloadable zip file 

Here is the   French plant pot story

.......and here are the PDF power point plant pot stories  in the other target languages : 

1. Discuss with the children the conditions required to grow a seed or a plant .
2. Look at crops from the target language country . We selected sunflowers in France, water melons in spain , Kohlrabi in Germany and rice in China. Share with the children pictures of these crops and compare the pictures of real crops with art work linked to the crops :  

And shared with them art work that depicted crops as paintings .Here is a goauche after Rufino Tamayo 

And don't forget the all time favourite Van Gogh's  Sunflowers

3. Read the story power point slides to the children . 
Here is a sound file of the reading of the story in Mandarin Chinese Mandarin plant pot story

Give out the pictures from the plant pot picture zip file to five children and ask the class  to help you to reorganise the pictures into the order that you saw them on the ppt story .Move the children holding the pictures into the correct order and then retell the story a second time . 

4. Order the plant pot pictures on the flip chart in the correct order . Ask the children to help you tell the  story this time .Can they help you to create actions for each story slide .

5 . We then shared with the children the simple song to the refrain of Frère Jacques in the target language .It's made up of the sentences on the power point.  For example in French we sang : 

Plante les graines
Arrose les graine 
Brille soleil brille 
Brille soleil brille 
Regarde comme elles poussent 
Regarde comme elles poussent 
Voilà vos fleurs 
Voilà vos fleurs 

Here's the sound file of the Mandarin version Mandarin plant pot song

We asked the children to stand up and listen and join in with the correct actions .
Then we encouraged the children to practise the song with us and try to sing along and join in with the actions
Finally the children were able to perform the song on their own!

You could go on to link this work with previous blogposts 

Springtime story drama and performance


Last year on holiday I bought this wonderful story Toujours rien and decided that it would be the basis of a sequence of lessons on Springtime

The story  is about an impatient gardener and how every day he expects to see shoots above the ground of the seed he has planted . Everyday he finds nothing and everyday a bird flies by too . Until he gives up and doesn't visit and that's the day the bird spots a shoot and picks the shoot and flies off and guess what the gardener comes along the following day ...... There is still nothing to see! 

Today I found this You Tube clip of a retelling of the story with animation and music by a class of French children

Why do I like this clip ? The children are  retelling the story , the story is animated simply and there is music as an accompaniment . Shown to the class , this could be the model from which our classes in UKS2 or Year 7 could create their own performance or their own photo story .

All you need is to read the story to the class, watch the story , cut up the story into sentences and ask the children to reconstruct the story .

Can the children make this into a recount with utterances from the gardener .

Maybe with language learner who are competent they could add asides for the bird. What's the bird thinking ( e.g j'ai faim / miam miam /  la plante pousse )

Combined with this recount of a story you could link the learning to science and use this resource about 

Le cycle du haricot

Or with younger children you could plant and grow seeds and practise this simple rhyme with actions from this French blog 

Le petit jardinier

Presents to make and writing to send in the target language for Mothers Day

Presents to make and writing to send in the target language for Mothers Day .........


t's nearly Mothers Day and I decided that the schools we work in should as always celebrate Mother's Day in the target languages .

We create simple cards and gifts for all the children to take home to their favourite carer !

These ideas from 


 can only but inspire everyone  no matter which language you teach . It was the la fête de grand -mère on 2 March 2014 in France but why could we use the ideas below to celebrate our Mother's Day this year?

If you teach French then all the better because you can use the lesson with the older children in KS2 as a reading and following instructions and pictures activity.

Take a look at what you could make and then read my ideas on how you could develop a  target language writing activity linked to the present :

instructions for the bouquet of flowers in French

Bouquet of flowers 

On each petal of each flower the children  can write one letter of their message to wish their mum or carer "Happy Mother's Day " in the target language and say that they love them!

instructions for the photo frame

Photo Frame

A picture in the frame is pretty obvious but what about the children thinking of all the adjectives that describe their mum/ carer the best and looking these up in a bi-lingual dictionary or using a word frame .The children can  fill the frame with all the kind and caring adjectives and phrases they can find and think of for their mum/ carer . With UKS2 children encourage them to use adjectival agreement carefully for their female carer  . 

instructions for the boite d'amour

Boite d'amour

Ask the children to trace around their boite d'amour template and then make a card template which they should cut out and  draw around  on paper three times so that have  three paper  heart shapes that will fit in the boite d'amour

On each heart shape they should on one side write a simple "I like" sentence about something the child likes to do with their mum or favourite carer e.g. "I like to go for a walk with you  " " I like to listen to music with you"   "I like to cook with you " , "I like to play football with you " 

You should brainstorm these phrases first and make a collection on the flip chart or whiteboard .

On the other side of the heart they should draw a picture to represent what they have attempted to say in the target language on the heart .

Put all the hearts picture side up in the box and give as  a present on Mother's Day . 

And then don't forget to read for the children the most marvellous story in the third person singular about why "Mum " is a super hero according to the story by the wonderful Anthony Browne  

In French..................

In Spanish.................

story clip

In German .................

Spanish KS1 ,Going Bear Hunting Rhyme and Game

Spanish KS1  ,Going Bear Hunting Rhyme and Game

Suish suash, glo glo glorogló
Plochi plochi plop
Túpiti túpiti tap , suu, uuuu
Tipi tip tipi tip
İAhhhhhhhh!  İEs un oso!

        The children are going normally going to listen to the story vamos a cazar un oso when we play this Going on a bear hunt rhyme and game .
But they love it so much that we often play it just for fun!


      Our children practise their numbers first .
3.       We set up a path of numbers across the classroom and the children step carefully across the path of numbers in a line. The numbers are repeated so we have three paths of numbers of  1-10 .the children sing / chant the numbers as they walk until the teacher calls stop!  The teacher calls out a number and if a child is stood on that number then they are out of the game and caught by the imaginary bear ! The teacher can call put more than one number.
4.       How many bear hunters will we have left after we have played the game three times
5.       Once we feel the children know their numbers well enough, we ask them to put on their bear hunter kit ( imaginary hat , binoculars , wellington boots) and we pretend to go out to see what the terrain is like .
6.        For each of the terrains – as in the book – we have a sound to represent  the terrain

Suish suash glo glo glorogló = river
Plochi plochi plop= mud
Túpiti túpiti tap= forest and owls
Suu, uuuu= snow storm
Tipi tip tipi tip = inside a cave

7.       We need to become good explorers , so we practise the sounds and add actions
8.       We ask the children to close their eyes and come with us on an imaginary journey through the different terrains .The teacher  tells the  story in English of their journey and the children join in  with sounds that “colour” in the terrain that is described . they are the sound effects.
9.       Now they are finally ready to become” Bear explorers “! They need to practise the rhyme , remember their actions and their numbers  too …..but when they get to the end of the rhyme they need to listen out for you to shout out / whisper / say very quickly etc the final line İAhhhhhhhh!  İEs un oso!

10.   When they hear you say the final line, they must freeze frame and stay very still until you have counted backwards very slowly from 10-1. If they move then the bear will catch them!

Playground games with our year 3 classes to celebrate what we have already learned !

Playground Games

Between now and Easter with our Year 3 classes we like to look back at what we have already learned on our language learning journey – particularly with the children who started to learn the target language about 6 months ago in September .
We revisit and practise familiar language – it’s all about inclusivity and bringing every child along on the new language learning journey . 
We revisit greetings , numbers  , colours, days of the week and months of the year and personal information questions and answers we have started to develop.
We find “Playground and PE games” an ideal way to add a creative and performance based element to this.

A simple game to practise our names in French
Why not try in French “j’ai un nom , un prénom...” and show the children this clip of young French children performing the game with their class teacher.

Here is a sound clip demonstrating the song 

Practising phonics using familar language

We like this simple game   for the playground of the hall, to engage children in listening accurately to the sounds in words . Here’s an example of how to lay the game

Cats and Dogs-

·       Split group into 2 lines, facing away from each other in the middle of the hall. Tell the children to stand in two lines facing away from each other.
·      One line are cats, one line are dogs. We have chosen these two animals in French because they both begin with "ch" but children need to listen  carefully to spot if its the cats or the dogs that need to move ·    
       Teacher will either shout ‘cats’ or ‘dogs’, the line that is called must make it to the wall they are facing without being tagged by the opposite line
·       If tagged, students switch onto the other line
·      The line with the most students, or a full line of student wins (time depending)
·      Change language for call outs e.g. ‘Chien et Chat’
·      Progress this by holding on to the first part of the word e.g. Chhhhhat
·      Play again and change the words
·      On Spanish we are going to play it first time through with pato and gato ...listeing for that initial sound!

 Games to practise core language

We have used the game “Les poissons et les pêcheurs for several years in our KS1 classrooms and we  think  it works  well in Year 3 too! 

The original game is described  below in French but we  play it in all the target  languages  we teach !
We just adapt the rhyme .....Here is the rhyme in French.
We say with the children  “petits poissons , venez, passez.....”

·       Select two children to join hands and make an archway for the other children to walk through in  single file.We often play it to practise numbers 
·       The class needs to chant “petits poissons , venez, passez.... and then the two children in the archway need to count from zero as the fish (the other children)  walk under their archway .
·      The fishermen (  the two children making the arch) have secretly agreed on a number. When the agreed number is met , the archway drops and the fishermen catch their first one or two fish .
·      The children who have been caught  join the fishermen and agree a new number , the game starts again and this time four children lift their arms to make four archways and that also form the net in which they will catch their fish
·      Change the content and agree that it’s colours or days of the week or months of the year and play the game again.The fishermen must decide which colour etc is the signal to drop their net and catch fish!

Communication Skills and PE Games
We want to make sure the children develop their communication skills so here are a couple of games we are using this half term with Y3 to do just that:

Role Tag Game
·        2 players labelled as ‘the person’
·        The ‘the person “’ players have a list of skills cards
·        If a pupil gets tagged by the ‘it’ person they are provided with a  task
·        Tasks could be ask a question , tell me your name , count to 10 ,  greet me ,
·        Pupil move to the side and complete the task
·        Progress= Introduce the rule of the ‘examiner’, who stands at the  side of the hall and approves/ disapproves whether the people  completing the task have completed the task (great for AfL)
·        You are going to need - Task Cards- as prompts for ideas of tasks  etc.

Simple Easter Celebration Rhyme 

Just before Easter have a go at this clapping rhyme in Spanish , based on the word for chocolate in Spanish ...funnily enough it’s “Chocolate “
Watch the two girls in this favourite You Tube clip show the class how it’s done.

These are the hand clapping rules for the game .....!
Choco = palm-to-palm clap with partner,
La = back-of-hand to back-of-hand- clap
Te = end-of-clenched-fist to end-of-clenched-fist clap

This is also a really good game to play with the whole class in a circle, doing the hand actions out to the side as opposed to straight in front of you, so that everyone joins in.

Can you play the game in French...? Well we took the famous drink “café au lait” and applied the same hand clapping rules and rhythm etc and it worked a treat!
Why not ask the children if they can think of some new words they know in the target  language to create their own clapping game !


Shadow Puppet Show Story Retelling and Performance

Shadow Puppet Show Story Retelling and Performance

Example :Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Activities that can be adapted for a sequence of lessons linking primary language learning and drama  with familiar tales for :

Early stage learners

 : Simple utterances of single words and phrases 

Developing language learners 

: simple sentence story telling

Established and moving on learners

 : using more complex sentences

It’s mid way through the year in our network and the schools have established patterns of language learning with their different year groups and stages not ages of learners across KS2 and also in KS1

We love story telling and we encourage performance by the children of the stories as this allows them to practise simple language , build questions and answers and create an outcome that demands they apply primary language learning and drama skills and techniques.

Last year we decided to develop puppet stories with KS1 and then later with KS2. We created a series of resources and stories based on mini beasts and sea creatures , which we all loved using. The children worked as a class to access the language and then in differentiated ability groups they worked together to  develop their own class and also group puppet performances of the simple stories to share with other classes.

I try to ensure that the stories we develop in school contains key and learner appropriate  transactional language within it which is transferable to general age appropriate conversation e.g. last year one of our stories was based around children looking for people to play a game (Who wants  to play?  Can I play? I don’t want to play! Come and join in with us!).

We are now getting ready  for work this year with the children on

storytelling of traditional tales

.We will focus for example on Jack and the Beanstalk, the Enormous Turnip and Goldilocks and the Three Bears .

We may show,share and read stories with the children containing quite complex language but in the lessons around the story I think it's important that we break the language down to the basic story line, so that all the children can participate ultimately in a performance based target language retelling of the story. 

Below are a sequence of activities /lessons based around the story of “

Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and a shadow puppet story

On holiday last year in France , I purchased this wonderful book – no words just simple black and white pictures . “Boucle d’or et les trois ours!” (Rascal – PASTEL publications) ISBN 978-2-211-06423-1

It’s absolutely brilliant! 

Boucle d'or et les trois ours Rascal Pastel

We can use it in French , Spanish , German , Mandarin etc in our network.

It led me to the idea that  to develop quality learning of storytelling and sequencing using target language learning 

this year 

I would develop a series of lessons based on shadow puppets and  silhouettes.

At a CPD evening with my language teaching colleagues from JLN , Joanne, suggested that the idea of shadow puppets would fit very well with her school’s Science project on “light and dark” !

She decided she would use the lesson sequence guide below with her shadow puppets to tell the story via an overhead projector and a screen link! 

So here are my stages of learning based on

Goldilocks and the three bears

and shadow puppets .My eventual performance and creative outcomes can support  the following stages of language learning:

Activities can be adapted to suit  :

1.Early stage learners

: Simple utterances of single words and phrases (possibly with the teacher or a child from a later stage of learning e.g .Y5 or Y 6 children working with Y3 as narrator )

2.Developing language learners

: simple sentence story telling using nouns, verbs and adjectives

3.Established and moving on learners

: using more complex sentences with adjectives ,conjunctions and action verbs , adverbs and possibly prepositions.

Support and sequencing of activities for the different stages

The sequence of activities will be the same for all learners and their stages of language development. The support may be different – so you may need:

  • a speaking frame or prompt bubbles with key words and phrases for the children displayed at the front of the class
  • you may offer children in stages 2 and 3 access to the bilingual dictionaries

Sequence of activities


The story line

.Discuss the story the children already know in English to re-familiarise the children with the story line . Introduce your shadow puppets for the four main characters in the target language .Can the children say the characters names in the target language to a partner and link the shadow puppet to a character in the story book that the class has been reading in the lesson. 


Shadow Puppet Parade

. Practise greeting the puppets in the target language , asking the puppets their names and how they are feeling – based on the story and ask for volunteers to offer possible responses. Select several children to come out and hold the shadow puppets and respond to the questions from the class on behalf of the shadow puppets .Encourage the more advanced learners to use more extended feelings e.g. I am hungry / scared /angry / frightened  etc (We teach extended feelings from the start of Y5 )

Say a phrase exchange

Give children their own smaller versions of the puppets and in groups of four ask the children to play a game called “Say a phrase exchange” .The children say a phrase that matches their puppet and each child in the group of four has its turn to speak and share and then the puppets are exchanged so the children give their puppet to the child to their right and the activity begins again . The only rule is that the next child can not say what the immediately previous child might have said. Once the game is established encourage the children to add voices for their puppets .



“Who is it?”

In this activity practise introducing the characters in a full first person sentence or a full third person singular sentence e.g Hello I am Goldilocks or Hello it’’s Daddy Bear”  and allow the children to practise the question “Who is it?. They may want to use both utterances in their puppet shows.

Practise the key phrase  “Who is it?“ with the children and then ask them to echo your character’s voice as they repeat the question after you. Can they decide by the tone of your voice – who is asking the question (Dad, Mum. Baby Bear or Goldilocks?).They must respond with a greetings phrase e.g Hello I am ..... or Hello it is ....


Call a character

. This means the children should after counting 1,2,3 call out the question “Who is it?” and you should call a character and the children should respond with the key phrase “Hello I am ......” plus a character and a  correct tone of  voice. This can be played as pairs and in groups to consolidate


Memory tray

This activity is so that the children can practise the names of the key items : chair/ soup/ bed/ house / and the characters . It’s just a simple game we have all played where we try to remember the items on a tray/ a power point slide / a flip chart and the items are removed one by one or replaced and other items are removed . Once you have practised all the items ,remove an item whilst the children hide their eyes  and then they open their eyes.Can the children say what is missing?


Memory tray mimes

. Ask the children to work with a partner and   think of mimes and movements that portray the items from the memory tray game . Suggest that the mimes should portray the object or its use and ask them to add a physical  movement that conveys the  sound of the word e.g. is it a quick word, a smooth sound word, a hard quick sounding word etc. (They do not actually say the word but they should mime and move like the word). Their mime should reflect the sound and the object .Can the pair work with another pair and can the second pair name the objects and then share their mimes.They can then play a game of memory mime tray , where each child performs all the mimes but misses out  an object – which one is it? With developing and moving on learners ask them to use a key question “What is it? “ and  “What’s missing ? and for the response to use a full sentence “It is ....” and The .... is missing”


Venn diagram descriptions

. Recall the story in English and then retell in the target language for the children using your original story . Emphasise and practise with the children the utterances by Goldilocks about each object e.g...

Chair-  too hard / too soft / just right

Soup – too hot / too cold/ just right

Bed-     too big / too small / just right

Now lay out on the floor in an open space plastic hoops with labels from above (too hot etc). Ask children to decide where each object  for each bear could be put  according to what Goldilocks thinks of the object– for example sometimes the children may decide to put an object in the link between too big and too cold etc  or juts to put the object in the hoop with the label too hot. Let the class decide  .

Give out paper versions of the Venn diagram and card cut outs of the objects (3 objects per items e.g. 3 chairs). Each child must select an object and working in groups of 4 can the children decide how to describe the objects . Early learners use simple descriptive utterances but developing and moving on learners say full sentence spoken descriptions of the items and place them on their Venn diagram . The group is in control of the descriptions and where they want to place the objects .  Ask each group at the end of the activity to share their  ideas with a second group and /or the class. They should say the utterances to describe the objects as if they were Goldilocks and demonstrate her reaction.


Now the  children can create their own shadow puppet performance of the story .They will need shadow puppets. They should use all the language they have practised and must add emotions to the story by the use of their voices . 

They will need shadow puppets :

Objects such as the soup bowls to show the class or add to their stage set and scenery

They will also need story boards to support them to sequence their stories  with simple picture prompts. Here's an example of what some of the story board looks like .... (Children cud be give pictures to place into the sequence of the story in the order that they want to retell and perform it.


Getting started with rocket mobiles

So you have just started teaching and learning a language in your school. It's likely that you have practised numbers , colours , a greeting , saying a name phrase.
Every year this rocket launch works a treat!
It allows children to read the key phrases and for you to use this as an AfL tool at this stage of the first year of language learning- has some of the core language stuck? Can the children recall the core language and how easily can they read the core language .
All you need is a rocket template and a name phrase on the rocket that the children should use to name their rocket before they launch it!
Using simple shapes with a written colour and a number between 1-10 inside the shapes. Ask the children to cut out , re-order  the shapes numerically as they wish. For example  this example has two rocket booster engines - one made up of even numbers and one made up of odd numbers between 1-10. 
They must then find a way to make the shapes and the rocket into a mobile so that they can  hang their mobile with other mobiles in the classroom to make the statement that they have launched their language learning!