Physical Tour de France Grammar Game !

The class need to decide on three symbols to represent nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Stand up right for a noun, wiggle your body for an adjective and pump your arms for a verb 

(just like you would have symbols in Charades for book, film, musical etc).

Warm up the class first -

  • Show the written word for a noun (discuss this) and ask the children to show you the correct actions
  • Show the children the written word for a verb (discuss this) and ask the children to show you the correct action
  • Show the children the written word for an adjective (discuss this) and ask the children to show you the correct action.
  • Show the same cards again but don't say of these are nouns/verbs or adjectives.Ask the children to demonstrate the action. they think matches the word type.

Divide your class into “Tour de France t-shirt teams- different coloured t-shirts . No team should be le maillot jaune/la camiseta amarilla or das gelbe Tshirt. This one is for the winners at the end of the game! 

Let’s brainstorm nouns, adjectives and verbs that we associate with sport and particulary with the Tour de France. You couod suggest that the children check and access these in the target language in bilingual dictionaries first!

Here are some to start us off  ……….


Cyclist , bike , wheel, tyre, puncture , race ,helmet , t-shirt , shorts ,road ,city ,start, finish ,speed, power….


fast , fit ,tired, thirsty, determined , exciting, powerful , competitive ,breathless,sporty


to push , to pedal ,to race ,to compete, to challenge , to cheer, to watch , to participate, to win , to lose , to pass , to crash, to celebrate

Put the individual words as written target language words on to cards in a bag.Select five nouns, five adjectives and five verbs .

Check that the children have had time to look at and remember the meaning of the words with a partner in their team before you put the words in the bag. 

Rules of the team competition!

  1. A volunteer  from a team selects a word from the bag and decides if it’s a noun, an adjective or a verb. 
  2. They must mime the word type action to their team.
  3. The team receive one point for guessing this correctly
  4. The volunteer must mime the meaning of the word- one more point for the team if they can guess and say it in the target language.
  5. If you play this UKS2 Year 6 or with KS3  there are two bonus points if they can put the noun or the adjective in to a simple sentence e.g the helmet is blue (etc)
  6. There is one more bonus point if the team can create a first person singular present tense statement if the volungteer has pulled a verbmout of the bag! (e.g. I push , I pedal, I race etc )? 

Superlative Tshirts!

Look at the tshirts awarded in the Tour de France - explain that the tshirts are awarded for the fastest cyclist  up a mountain, the fastest on the road, the person who wins the most races during the tour etc.

Discuss in English what the "most" really tellls us- it means that on this tour no one can do better in that particular race or on the whole tour.
Share le maillot jaune with the class

Take a look at how to form the superlative in the target language!
It's a good activity at the end of Year 5 or Yerar 6 and would work well in KS3 Year 7 too.

Search for characteristics
Ask the class to help you to find adjectives in the bilingual dictionary that describe "positive " qualities in a person (e.g helpful, kind, funny, friendly, supportive,organised, tidy, sporty etc)

Take vote
Give out card yellow tshirts as voting cards - one per child.

  • Ask the class to take a vote on the most important characteristic they have found in the list of adjectives you have compiled if ..... they needed help learning something / wanted to be cheered up / wanted someone to keep them company etc

  • Now take a vote on which four characteristics have been most important in your class this week/ this half term/ this term/ this year?

Who is the most .....?
Practise with the children creating the superlative of the adjective. for "the most organised boy" / " the most organised girl" ,"the most creative boy " "the most creative girl etc - the tidiest , the most helpful, the kindest.
Can the children spot the changes when we are describing a boy and when we are describing a girl?

Design your class tshirts 
Ask the class to design a tshirt to award to their partner to say what the best quality of this person is.
They must design the tshirt and add the superlative phrase

Our class reward tshirts
Now can your class help you to design reward t-shirts for the duration of the Tour de France?
These can be awarded on a daily basis for the “superlative” people in your class during the Tour de France!
Display the t-shirts with their superlative labels for all to see and add the faces of the children who win these t-shirts one by one.

Abracadabra Adjectives and Magic Tricks!

Here is one post unashamedly for my colleagues who teach German.
Grammar in German can be such fun! You just have to think of ways around the adjectives and the cases.
Let's make magic with adjectives!
We have a lovely short sketch that we use with Year 6 in our JLN SOW for German about a magician and his hat and all thew wonderful things he pulls out of his hat ....but not the rabbit he is looking for!
The activity below will help you to reinforce adjectival endings used with singualr indefinite nominative nouns or with indefinite accusative nouns, create a performance and hopefully have some fun!
There are probably 3 - 4 lessons of activities here.
You may also like to practise the verbs "haben" and "sein" prior to these activities.The following blog post have activities

Cinderella,carnival masks and the verb "to be "

The verb "to have" and a wizard's potion

Magician's steps:
You will need 

  • a magician's hat or bag
  • 6 animal cards - each animal all white balnk pictures ( a dog,a fish, a cat , a snake, a rabbit and a guinea pig)
  • 6  more of the same animal cards - but each of the animals must now be a different colour -(e.g a red dog , a green cat , a purple guinea pig)  

Step One 
Practise the magic word- all magicians need a magic word "Abracdabra!

Step Two
Introduce the animal cards for your magic trick (two masculine , two feminine and two neuter nouns.)
Pop them in your magician's hat and ask the children to say the nouns as they disapper in to the hat.

Step Three- the magic word!
Create a speed chant - saying "Abracadabra and the noun for the animals in your magic hat/bag as they appear - using the singular indefinite nominative case e.g. ein Fisch, eine Katze , ein Kaninchen etc.
Say the magic phrase and nouns with "gusto"!  

Step Four- the magic signal trick!
Now add a magic signal to identify masculine nouns maybe a twirl of the hand , for feminine nouns maybe a swipe of the forehead, for neuter nouns a click of the fingers.Ask the children without your help to say the animal nouns with their magic symbols as you pop them back in the hat/bag!
Invite volunteers to come out and be magician's apprentices - can they say the magic word and then pull an animal out of the hat/bag.Can they say the correct singular indefinite nominative article and the animal noun plus also make the correct magic sign? 
There should be a round of applause from the audience (the other children ) after each magic trick

Step Five - Magik Menu and adding a touch of white!
Pop your white animal cards on the flip chart.
At the top of the flipchart write the title "Magik Menu"
Write next to each animal the sungular nominative indefinite article plus the coluor white with correct adjectival agreement and the animal noun.
Ask the children to see if they can see a magic pattern?
Try your magic pattern with three new animal words ( one masculine, one feminine and one neuter)
Does the pattern still work?

Step Six- Magik Menu and adding a touch of colour
Remove the white cards and the key phrases you have written
Add the coloured card animal pictures
Can the children on whiteboards and working in pairs, write the Magik Menu list that they think is now required?
e.g ein roter Hund, eine schwarze Schlange , ein graues Kaninchen) 
See if as a class the apprentice magicians can complete the flipchart "Magik Menu"

Step Seven
The class is almost ready to try out a colour changing magic trick!
First they need to watch, listen and observe an expert magician - you! 
You need a magician's bag or hat with the six colured animal cards already concealed in the hat.We are goig to use the verb "haben" so that we can now share with the children the change in adjecrival ending when the noun has a singular indefinite article in the accusative (..... einen Hund/ eine Katze/ ein Meerschweinchen) 

You must use the following phrases to make the magic work
Show the white animal card to the audience 

Say : 

 Hier ist ein weisser Hund

Pop the card in the magician's bag or hat

Ask the class to help you say the magic word!


Pull out the coloured version of the animal and say 

Ich habe einen roten Hund 

  • Ask the children to talk with each other about the words they have heard and the changes they may also have heard.Take feedback .
  • Try the activity again with a second masculine noun
  • Ask the children to see if what they think they notiiced happens again?
  • On whiteboards start a Magik Menu with the phrase "ich habe..." and the animals , colours and the changes to the article and the clour they hear.
  • Check and take feedback
  • Ask the children ro try out the magic trick with the third masculine animal noun you have used in step five. 
Repeat the activities above with feminine nouns and then with neuter nouns!
With the class make some simple rules about the use of adjectives with nouns using the verbal phrase "hier ist ..." and simple rules about the use of adjectives using the verb "haben"  
Make sure that these are visible in the classroom for the next step.....

Step Eight - our magician's show!
Can the children working in differentiated abiloty groups of four create their own colur changing magic show but this time with fruits or vegetables and colours?
They must make the props.
Use the phrases in Step Seven and write their own scripts and then perform their "abracadbra adjective magic tricks" for the class!

Making a statement to describe jobs and roles in the future with Year 6 leavers

As our KS2 Year 6 get ready to leave primary school, next half term could be a wonderful time to ask them to reflect on what they want to be in the future.

It is also a time to celebrate what they can now do in a foreign language. 

Last week in Spain I found this wonderful book and it gave me an idea about how we can could create similar books with our Y6 language learners in all languages! 

They can demonstrate  how they can now use a bilingual dictionary to access the language they want to use.They can show how they can manipulate simple sentence stucture , nouns and present tense verbs too!

The book is made up of pictures of different types of people.You can see four characters on the front of the book .
As a concept itself it's a brilliant book- just to read and have fun reading and muddling up the sentences with the children on Spanish 

However the concept translates really well in to language work on sentence structure in any language.On each double page spread there is a bright colourful caricature picture of a type of person (pirate/cook/clown etc) and on the left hand page of the double page spread, the page is divided in to three sections and each section can be turned over individually.

The top section is the statement about the character (present tense of the verb to be in first perspn singylar e.g I am / soy / je suis /ich bin ) plus the noun  for the character (e.g. pirate / cowboy etc)

The middle section is the verb in the first person singular present tense associated with the character's actions ( e.g. cowboy - I ride   / cook - I prepare etc) plus the noun that is linked to the action ( e.g cowboy- I ride - my horse  / coook - I prepare - the meal) .

The third section is about where the character's actions take place (e.g. cook- in the kitchen/ in the restaurant etc)

(Turn over one of the three sections and the sentence  is correct grammatically -but the meaning becomes slightly odd or bizarre.That is part of the beauty of the book!)

I think we can use the idea of the double page spread though to create our own entertaining end of our primary school career book .
Each child needs to generate their own three section statement to explain what they want to be when they grow up.It's a description of the job, the role and the objects/people /place involved in the role.

Section one - first person singular of the verb to be and the appropriate nooun for the role or job chosen
Section two - present tense first person singular verb associated with an action involved in the role or the job plus a noun representing an object or person connected to the actipon
Section three - the place the action takes place

e.g"  I am a doctor/ and I help the patients/ in the hospital " 

  • All we need to do now is create a large card book with double page spreads for each child in the class. The children draw a caricature on paper of the role or job they have chosen.This is glued on to the right hand side of the double page spread.
  • The children then write their messages in the three sections which have been ruled  off on the left hand side of the double page spread.
  • Once the book is complete all you need to do is cut to the centre fold the three sections along the ruled lines .

Now we have our own book! 
We can read it as it should be read or see also what types of entertaining sentences we can make by turning individual sections and understanding the new information  we read!

Countryside comparisons :location detective lists and poster presentations

Having spent some time last week in Pays Basque, visiting France and Spain, I not only found an ideal way to compare seaside between France and Spain,using the target language Simple seaside comparison with verbs, conjunctions and sentence structure , but I also visited Ainhoa!
What another gift!I realised that with UKS2 we could create a simple unit of work comparing Grasmere in the Lake district and this French/Spanish border town.

So why do I think that we can make a comparison between Grasmere and Ainhoa and why am I so specific in my choice? 
We are going to be "location detectives" and eventually create our own poster presentations.(It would work well using Book Creator too with sound clips etc)

Ask the children to keep two lists of key comparisons between Ainhoa and Grasmere.
Each list has a heading phrase "Ainhoa" or "Grasmere".These lists are called the "location detective lists"

Now let's start our comparison investigations.....

Here is the first clue! Take a look at this!

The Gingerbread shop in Ainhoa is in a very old building and is just a small counter where you can buy the flat oat- like gingerbread.If you have ever visited theSarah Nelson's Gingerbread shop in Grasmere you will know that this is a very small old building with a counter and the gingerbread is the same consistency.
So bingo! Here we have our first comparisons......

Step One :A "Gingerbread" investigation 
  • Share this video of the Ainhoa shop and making gingerbread wth the children- just to give them a sense of the produce
  • Taste some simple gingerbread biscuits
  • Can the children collect adjectives to describe the look of the gingerbread and the flavours in gingerbread?

  • Take a look at the buildings where the shops are in Grasmere and Ainhoa

Here is the Sarah Nelson's  gingerbread shop in Grasmere

And here is the building in which you find the gingerbread shop in Ainhoa.

You could also discuss the fact that we share traditional tales and listen to the shared traditional tale about the Gingerbread Man in French

Step Two
Make a comparison record on our "location detectives lists"

  • Can the children working individually or a small supprted group start their comparison lists.
  • Can they use infinitives of verbs to describe:

What you can buy (On peut acheter....) 
Where you can find this (On peut trouver le magasin dans un vieux magasin)
What you can eat and what it tastes like (On peut manger...... C'est ......)_

You may like the children to look at recipe for both gingerbreads and compare ingredients using bilingual dictionaries. 

Step Three 
Both villages are beautiful and traditional and are visited every year by many tourists.They are both situated in the heartof the countryside. So here we can make our second comparisons!

  • Share pictures of the two villages - you can google pictures of the two towns to find the schools, the churches, the rivers , the hillside and the village/town centres.

  • Ask the children to note down the names in French for the buildings- both villages have a church , hotels , a cafe, a primary school,shops
  • And the countryside features  they can see in both villages? Both villages are surrounded by hills and mountains and there is a river in each village.
  • What colours can they see? Ainhoa is red and white and Grasmere is grey stone with black and white buildings.
  • Are there any other adjectives they want to use to describe what they can see? Give the children time to find these in bilingual dictionaries.

Step Four
Make a comparison record on our "location detectives lists"

  • Can the children,working individually or a small supprted group,continue their comparison lists
  • Can they use the phrase "il y a...." and the correct use of the indefinite article to describe:

The buildings and use colours / additional descriptive adjectives
(Il y a...........C'est .....)
The countryside around the town and use colours / additional descriptive adjectives(Il y a .....C'est ......)

Step Five 
You can also describe the local sports! 
In Ainhoa you can play pelota and there is a court on the side of the church building with seating for spectators.
  • Try the game with your class.
  • You need a tennis ball (rather than  the traditional hard ball) and  bats- for the  players.Play the game against a wall.

  • Watch some of this lonely planet video , which shares the game of "pelota".(You may want to watch the video first to check you are happy to share this with your class)

  • And now take a look at the Grsmere Games ( the sports of tug of war, wrestling, tossing gthe caber, and fell runnig all come to mind!)
  • On You Tube you can find examples of "fell running" during the Grasmere Games ro show the children.Share some of the video clips of the Fell run with the class

Step Six
Make a comparison record on our "location detectives lists"
  • Can the children explain the sport of "Pelota" in Ainhoa- ask the children to write down a simple description with the verb "jouer" - Where do you play? How many people play? What do they play with?
  • Can the children explain the sport of fell running using the verb "courir"- Where do they run?(Up a hill/over a stream/ in the mud/ across fields etc) How many people run at one time?
Now it's over to your location detectives to create a poster presentation, comparing a country village in French Pays basque with a country village in the English Lake District!

Simple seaside,geography comparison,verbs and sentence structure

It's great to actually visit the target language countries and cultures of the languages we try to share with our young language learners and last week I was lucky enough to be able to do just that!
I spent part of the week in Basque France and Basque Spain. This next half term with Year 5 our focus is the seaside .We have looked at the seaside before with our younger learners and so I am always looking for more sophisticated approaches to the theme of seaside.
Well here staring straight back at me was a                                                                             sophisticated seaside and geography focus!

It's so simple! 

  • Take a look at the map. Last week I visited Biarritz and then later in the week San Sebastian! 
  • Here we have an ideal describe,compare and contrast series of activities .
  • These seaside resorts are so near to each other!
  • The activities can be completed in French or Spanish and will engage our learners in sentence structrure, use of common verbs and the use of conjunctions to make comparisons......

Step One - the country,the resorts and language investigation!

  1. Share  the map with the class.Ask them to look at the seaside and coast.Can the class identify the border between two countries? (You may want to explain too about the basque country and their own language- can the children think of similarities in the United Kingdom e.g English and Welsh/ the coast in NW England and North Wales etc)   
  2. Can the children investigate the map and find the three resorts.
  3. Can they work out how far away the resorts are from each other?
  4. Can they decide which languages are spoken in the three seaside towns? Can they write a simple present tense sentence using the verb " to speak" to explain the target language they think they would hear in each town - e.g "A San Sebastian on parle espagnol" and "A Biarritz  on parle français
  5. Can they now add a conjunction and create an extended sentence with the two sentences they have written? Give the children a choice of conjunctions - which do they prefer to use e.g et/ mais/pourtant ? 
Step Two - the weather report

  1. Ask the children to investigate the weather with you in Biarritz and in San Sebastian during one specific week.All you need to do is google the weather for the two places and find the weather forecast for that week. Can they write a weather report for the two towns using conjunctions e.g "Le lundi  à Biarritz il fait beau mais à San Sebastian il pleut"?
Step Three - the resorts and the food 
  1. Let's investigate the food.Can the children find out what food they would eat if they had "tapas" in San Sebastian or ordered cakes in a "salon de thé" in Biarritz?
  2. Can the children help you to make a list of foods that they could eat in these two places...."On peut manger ............ à Biarritz, on peut manger ............à Saint Jean de Luz et on peut manger ........... à San Sebastian"
  3. Can they now add their own preferences from the lists of food using the conjunction "pourtant"?
Step Four- the places and the activities

It's here that the children will see that the seaside resorts may have different foods, sometimes share or have different weather but that the resorts share similar geography and seaside activities! 

All we need to do is:

San Sebastian


  • Give out two pictures of the beach- one of San Sebastian and one of Biarritz- to pairs of children (same pictures for each pair).
  • Can the children make a list in the target language of the geographical features and the buildings they can see in the pictures?
  • How similar are their lists for San Sebastian and Biarritz?
  • Can the children investigate the pictures and make a list of verbs as infinitives to describe the activities they think they can see on the beach in each picture?
  • Can they now make a list using "you can ..." e.g in French "on peut..." of the activities and explain that the same activities take place in Biarritz and in San Sebastian?
Step Five -Writing a description
Can the children now write a descriptive text comparing the seaside in San Sebastian and Biarritz?
What  have they found out?
What are the similarities and differences between the two resorts? 

Animals ,actions and verb paradigms

I wanted to think of a way today to explore with some teachers how we can explore verbs in the present tense with UKS2 language learners ,who are "advanced" UKS2 primary language learners.
I wanted to explore discussion,team work and creating a paradigm of a verb as well as understanding the mechanics and meta- language of verb conjugation..... 
This is what I created.

My ideas are based around this small book in French , which I have used so many times with children to explore actions , animals and infinitives of verbs associated with each animal.(With younger children we have explored nouns,as names of types of animals that may do the action e.g . "la grenouille" and "sauter" .This can lead to great lift the flap books or pelmanism cards games made by the children).

Firstly I decided which verbs I was going to focus upon.With a group of 20 teachers I needed two "er" verbs,so I selected voler and nager
Then I thought of two types of animals that I could link with the key actions in the verbs
(I was training 20 teachers - so I needed two verbs and 10 picture cards per verb.For the activity there are two teams of teachers).
I sourced animal pictures of birds and fish
I needed 10 bird pictures and 10 fish pictures?
Why?Well all will be revealed.....

Step One 
  • Print out on card the bird pictures and the fish pictures

  • Write one part of the paradigm in the present tense of the verb "voler" on the reverse of each bird picture 
  • Write  one part of the paradigm in the present tense of the verb "nager" on the reverse of each fish picture

  • You could decide on an another action and another animal so that you have 30 cards (make sure you have enough -one for every child in a class of 30 etc)
  • For each verb card set of ten cards you will have enough cards for each of the first,second,third person singular/plural in French.You will have enough cards left over to write the infinitive on one card and the plural command form on another card.(The number of verb cards in a set may vary depending on the language)

Step Two
  • Keep the plural command cards to one side.
  • Ask two children (one per verb so if you have three verbs,you will ask three children) to observe with you and to not join in the first part of the activity.
  • Muddle up the rest of the bird and fish cards and hand out randomly -one to each child
  • Ask the children to find their animal families by walking around and saying the noun of their animal card e.g "l'oiseau" or "le poisson"
  • Can the children gather together with their animal family in one area of the classroom
  • Now ask the children to turn over the picture cards and show all the other members of their animal family, the phrase that is written on the back of each card.
  • Can the children recognise what type or phrases are written on the back of the cards?
  • Do they realise that they all have parts of the same verb paradigm?
  • Designate an "observer" to each team- can they help to organise the group in to a paradigm of the verb - infinitive, first,second, third person singular and first,second ,third person plural ?
Step Three
  • Can they form the paradigm of the verb in to the shape of the animal or the action?
  • Ask the group to discuss what magic word they require to make the static shape verb paradigm come to life.Wait and listen , take feedback.Which children realise that we need a command and it must be a plural command to make every part of the verb move?
  • Ask the group to decide what the plural command would be for their verb.
  • Ask the group to send the "observer" to the teacher to say the target language word for the plural command
  • Give the "observer" the correct plural word command form card!

  • Now can the team think about how the verb paradigm could "come to life" and add an action for each part of the verb that explains the action of the verb?
Step Four 
  • Ask the observer to lay the paradigm of the verb out on a table or display area so that other groups can see and read their verb paradigm. 
Add a twist- come back and revisit it again!
  • Create enough sets of verb cards for the children in your class but this time you must  omit one or two parts of each of the verbs  e.g.

  • As the children create their paradigms of the verbs can they spot the missing parts? 
  • Ask the teams to write the missing parts down (as they think they should be written) and send the observer to request the missing parts.
  • Ask them to check the correct version against their own written version(s)
  • Can they now complete their paradigm with the new cards? 

Listening,responding and comprehending UKS2: une fourmi rouge

Just been listening to this silly but entertaining song which I think will be another way to extend and practise listening with our UKS2. Last week I shared Quiz Quiz Swap Listening and Responding with a twist- restaurant style as an activity to develop listening skills and here is another opportunity .Plus this would make a great song to practise ,sing in the end of year Y6 or leavers assembly and have some of your best actors performing the story too! 

Here is a link on Momes website to the words too une fourmi rouge

It fits in well with our UKS2 JLN SOW cafe culture focus too!

In the song I can identify the following key words as words we already know:

rouge,bleus,points,petits,cafe au lait, morceau,sucre,nez, cuillere

Listening ,Responding and Comprehending Activities Step by Step:
  1. .Explain that the song is about an ant taking a walk over a cup of coffee,attracted by the sugar.Ask the children to listen for pleasure- perhaps clicking or clapping along to the beat.
  2. Give out the text and ask the children with a finger to follow the words as they are being sung.Pause the recording and ask the children what word they have just heard.Restart the recording and then pause later in the text etcetra.
  3. Give out the key words that you think the children have already met.Can they tell you the meaning of the words?
  4. Ask the children to draw a large cup and saucer on a piece of rough paper or a whiteboard, as them  to listen to the song again and as they hear the key words to put them in the 2D cup and saucer.
  5. Ask the children with a bilingual dictionary to try and work out three important things from the text- the description of the ant ,the journey the ant takes across the cup of coffee and what happens to the ant.Take feedback.
  6. Now ask the children to listen a final time and to hold up the key words as they hear them in the text.

And now it's over to the class, to use the text and the sound recording to put together a class performance of the song , with rhythm (clapping or clicking) and a performance of the events in the text bu two of the class actors or actresses!

Quiz Quiz Swap with a Listening and Responding Twist- Restaurant Style

We love Quiz Quiz Swap and can play the game from from a very early stage in our young language learners' target language acquisition journey. 
All you need are sets of cards with picture items on them and you can set up simple guessing activities or asking and answering questions activities too.
The activities below are for our UKS2 learners,linked to eating out at a seaside fish restaurant in Spain but could easily be altered for other languages too!

With our UKS2 learners I want to look at how well they listen and respond and how quickly they can hear differences.It's a fun activity based on simple cafe culture conversations and add a listening and responding twist that they will enjoy!

Quiz Quiz Swap with a Listening and Responding Twist

  1. Practise the core language to create a simple cafe dialogue between a waiter and a customer.You may like to start  by using my Happy Meal dialogues.
  2. Share the specific dishes with the children which you want to use in this activity.Below are my dishes for a Spanish meal.
  3. Play two games of Quiz Quiz Swap.First game a guessing game where each child has to guess what card the other player is concealing from them and then they swap cards and move to new partners.Second game build in questions and answers to create a cafe dialogue,with a freeze ,stop and listen built in, where you call "Freeze" the children stop talking etc and you select a pair for the class to listen in to and hear their conversation.
  4. Now you can add the listening and responding twist! It's simple really.You need a bag of the pictures that the children have as Quiz Quiz Swap cards.As the children are performing their Quiz quiz Swap dialogues,randomly select a picture and call out "I would like + the item you can see on your picture".The children need to be both focusing on their conversation and ready also to listen and respond if they have the picture on their cards you are looking for.Children with that picture must raise it in the air and shout out the name of the dish.The child you hear first,wins a point for their class group or table. 
  5. Once the class are confident you can ask members of the class to be the "caller" and draw pictures from the bag and call out the request with the  name of the dish.    

Here are some of the Spanish dishes I am going to use .I took these photos during a meal at a seaside fish restaurant meal.I deliberately chose items that either could sound similar (e.g the children must decide what type of olives they hear called out or can they hear when it's bread and water or bread with tomatoes?) The items chosen,specifically address the fact that our Year 6 KS2 learners have already met foods ,drinks and simple meals in the JLN SOW  .Now we are taking them on a "Cafe culture" trip -at the end of their KS2 language learning journey.
So for our Spanish cafe culture here are a few of the dishes I selected :

aceitunas (con queso/pulpo/boqueron) 


pan con tomate

pescado con patatas

Nouns and Articles Stepping Stone Challenge

Over the last six months I have been busy training teachers in primary schools to look at ways to deliver primary grammar and to develop their own and their pupils understanding of grammar.Last week we delivered intermediate French and Spanish. Here are my blog posts,should you like to take a look
Taking a closer look at nouns,adjectives and verbs
Activities to take a closer look at nouns,adjectives and verbs

What I love about this CPD is how dynamic it is and how it depends on the groups of teachers as to where we go with an activity too! It is currently part of our DFE funded MFL project Language Learning for Everyone

 At the start of  "Intermediate French and Spanish" we do look again at nouns (we consider and explore these in our beginners sessions).Here is the blog post on I spy nouns and we revisit definite and indefinite articles and we identify the patterns for masculine and feminine nouns and their definite and indefinite articles. This CPD is to help teachers not only be clear about the grammatical structures for themselves but also to consider ways to revisit and reinforce young language learners. These activities work too in German we just have to consider three noun types: masculine,feminine and neuter and work only in one case e.g. nominative or maybe accusative with this level of learner.

In  our "Spanish Intermediate CPD" we focused on making the possible options of article clear for the children.We focused on the process of identification and then selection....

So let's think! If  the learners know the noun,have identified if it is masculine or feminine, have identified whether it is singular or plural , have unpacked all the terminology just mentioned and worked through the process of identifying the information  required can we help them to practise recalling and identifying possible best fit definite or indefinite singular and plural articles and  then selecting the one needed?  

We discussed as a group how we need to internalise the key words and then we created this challenge game!. Here is a photo of the flip chart page as the game was being created: 

Game One :Get Down the Board!

  1. Randomly add the definite and indefinite articles to a board game or flip chart.These can be written more than once and need to written in stepping stone shapes.
  2. At the top of your board game add to small circles in a different colour with "m" or "f" written inside these - to denote masculine or feminine.
  3. Ask for two stepping stone challengers ( volunteers top try the first game)
  4. Invite a challenger to the front!
  5. Can the challenger make the journey from the top to the bottom of the board game stepping only on masculine or feminine stepping stones? The challenger identifies for the class which route by first touching either the "m" or "f" circle at the top of the board.
  6. Can they make the whole route from top to bottom of the page stepping only on masculine stones if they selected the masculine circle at the top?
  7. Does the challenger need to draw a bridge - that means add a strategic stepping stone and write in it another member of the masculine article family ( the challenger can select which specific article) so that the challenger can continue the journey to the bottom of the board?
  8. Invite the second challenger to the board and can they complete the journey for the feminine articles?
We liked the idea of this game because it makes the learners think about the possible options,discuss the possible articles and internalise the articles too
We also thought that you could revisit this game again and again as a 5 minute filler or a game at the end of a lesson.
The game could be played on a table or with a group of children too.

Game Two :Noun Challenge

  1. Play a very similar game to above but this time the teacher adds challenge - 6 pictures or items that represent nouns the children have already learned.Can they remember if they are masculine or feminine by remembering  which definite/indefinite article they practised with the noun.(Remember that Ana and Emilie tell us that they teach their own children the nouns always with an article and never just as a noun!) 
  2. Set up two teams. Each team must select three challengers.
  3. Each challenger comes to the front individually and selects a picture or noun that he /she has discussed already with their team and is confident that the team knows whether the noun is masculine or feminine.
  4. The challenger names the item and says the definite article for the noun to the teacher.
  5. If yes then they can try to make a route across the stepping stones as in the game above. 1 point is awarded
  6. If they are not then the challenger must sit down and wait for another go.0 ;points is awarded
  7. As the challenger makes his/her way down the board, he/she collects points - i point per correct stepping stone including if he/she needs to create a bridge and add an article stepping stone.
  8. Each team has three goes .Which team is the winner?

This game makes the learners recall nouns and think about correct articles 
If played as a team challenge over a period of time the children will have a real purpose for internalising nouns and genders.
Once again it could make  a 5 minute filler or a game at the end of a lesson.
The game could be played on a table or with two teams per board game too so every child has to partcipate if they are teams of three players.

The Mad Hatters Tea Party! Creative "at table" conversations for UKS2

Next term we will be creating cafe culture conversations with Year 6.They have practised food,drink and key request phrases and polite at table language throughout their language learning career so far. It is all part of our SOW 

Janet Lloyd Network SOW

Summer Term for Year 6 is hectic and this is an opportunity to have a one off and creative lesson all based on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.If you follow my blogs you will know that we have connections with Lewis Carroll here in the area and indeed in the centre of Warrington ,we have a stone sculpture of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Last term some of our Year 6 wrote some marvelous descriptive pieces based on Alice in Wonderland and linked to the  launch of the Royal Mail commemorative stamps 

Alice in Wonderland and describing people in speaking and writing


A Mad Hatter's Tea Party suggests crazy food and lively conversation with unusual guests!

The first thing we need is our tea pot ...because in our tea pot are all the phrases we ar going to need to create our lively conversation- 

1.Preparing the table with an "At the Table" conversation framework

Create for yourself a large card tea pot! 

In the centre of your tea pot you need to blu-tac all the phrases that the children might need to build the framework of their lively conversation.Revisit the at table phrases from Y6 Autumn 2,the polite request phrases from Y3 Summer 1 and the picnic phrases from Y3 Summer 2.   

Can the children help you to identify and organise the phrases out of a crazy tea pot and in to a sensible order for  dialogue based on sharing food?

2.Laying out the food for our Tea Party

Ask the children to now complete their own table cloths for the picnic- this is a piece of paper really but make it table cloth style and like a checked cloth....

The children need to work in pairs or fours with one table cloth.

Can the children lay out their chosen food items on their table cloths and word squares- each square a different food item word in the target language.

(The children need to revisit prior learning and brainstorm foods and drinks they have practised and used in their work during the last three years - so in our case this could be Hungry Giant's breakfast (Y3) ,Going on a Picnic (Y3),buying an ice cream (Y4,the market (Y5),the Christmas meal in Y6 ,the authentic foods from the Cafe Culture focus  in Summer term Y6 etcetra).

3.Creating our Mad Hatter's Tea Party Menu

Each guest at the table needs to invent at least three fantastical food items using the food items written as words on their table cloths: 

For example in French:

un croissant bleu

une tarte multicolore au choufleur

une grande glace rouge et piquante 

Can each guest bring their item as a word card to the table with a picture of the item and place it in top of the table cloth.

4.Creating the table conversation

Now the guests at the table can build their conversation and select items they want to try.They must add opinions about the items they select - as if they have tasted them of course!

Sit back and watch your Mad Hatter's Tea Party performances! And maybe share them with another year group too!

Conjugating a verb : A Verb Artist Talk Walk

So we are now moving on with quite a few of our young learners in UKS2, particularly in Year 6.It's Summer term when we get back and it's time to explore verbs in more detail and consolidate the knowledge we have been gathering and see how the big picture fits together- conjugation of a verb! The DFE POS for KS2 asks us to work with our young learners on the "conjugation of high frequency verbs".

It is in my opinion really important that we strengthen children's own perception of "moving on" and "getting better" at language learning and that we help them develop positive self efficacy that will carry them on in to KS3 language learning . Below hopefully is an opportunity to support our children to do this.

My intention in the activities below is to  revisit pockets of prior learning, to unpack processes with the children and  to get them (not me!) practise the whole present tense conjugation of some high frequency verbs. It is in my opinion important that we make sure that UKS2 children can access identify and use infinitives in a target language,can create the stem of the verb and then are able to add appropriate  present tense verb endings which match if required (depending on target language) the correct personal pronoun.
When you think about this ,it is a process that has to be identified,explored,unpacked, practised and children have to be allowed to then manipulate and produce their own (not always accurate of course) versions.The production needs to be memorable and valuable and part of a creative whole activity.

I love using Art to bring language learning to life.If you have read my previous blog posts on 3D Art and a Renoir picture, you will know that we can use a painting to good effect to explore grammar and link this to purposeful creative communication and performance:

I have been looking around for a painting linked to lifestyle,history and culture  to do this and have decided to use this painting by Georges Seurat - "la grande jatte".It will work so well.....

It's all about a Sunday afternoon stroll,a walk in the park and an observation of leisure activities.Take a look at the picture! What can you see?

Remember the ultimate aim of the activity is to ascertain that the children are secure in:
  1. Finding/recalling and identifying infinitives of high frequency verbs  
  2. Can change an infinitive in to a stem to which can be added appropriate verb endings which match with an appropriate personal pronoun.(I wrote a blog post on personal pronouns and a photo shoot drama activity that may be useful as a pre-cursor to this sequence of activities Getting used to personal pronouns
  3. Can create and recall the whole paradigm (pattern) of a present tense high frequency verb .What do I class as high frequency verbs? Well the suggested list of high frequency verbs proposed by the Assessment for MFL in Primary Schools  from the government's Expert Subject Advisory Group suggests these verbs amongst others "drink,look,like,,carry,make" .They fit very well in to the activities below.  
Here are the activity steps
1. Picture Exploratory Walk
2. Talk Walk
3.Verb Artist Talk Walks 
4.Verb artist sketches 
5. Live park talk walk

  1. Go on a "picture exploratory walk".Share with the children the Georges Seurat picture.Walk  with the lady and gentleman on the far right of the picture. Look around with the eyes of these two characters, what can they see? Ask the class to call out actions that they can see in English .Walk with the children from far right to far left of the picture and talk about the picture.
  2. Write these actions as they are spoken  on the white board in English (e.g swimming,watching,talking).
  3. Can the children help you to change the actions you have written in to infinitives ?Discuss with the children how we form infinitives in English.Use two of the actions you have written up on the flip chart as examples- so if you have written "swimming" ask the children to explain how we would need to change this to an infinitive by removing the ending and putting" to" at the front so it reads "to swim".Can they help you with one other action on your chart? I think that this is an important discussion process in English to go through before we assume that all children understand what an infinitive is and how to identify one in their own first spoken language.
  4. Give out bi-lingual dictionaries and ask the children in pairs to write on strips of white card.On these strips of card they are going to write down target language infinitives of the actions.Firstly ask them to select one of the actions you have listed on the white board but has not been changed to an infinitive in English.So if you have written walk or walking  ....can the children think of the infinitive in English( to walk) and then can they locate the target language  infinitive of the verb and write it down.I think that this is an important  process to go through here and to allow the children to work out that they can think of part of a verb but they are going to fond the verb they need in a bilingual dictionary as an infinitive - so they need to convert the word in their head in to the infinitive form and look for that.
  5. Now ask the children to work in pairs and to convert all the actions however they are written in English on the whiteboard in to target language infinitives. 

  1. Now share a "talk walk" with the class.Display a large version of the Georges Seurat picture.Invite volunteer pairs to the front to mime  one of the target language infinitives they have found and to show the card strip with the written out infinitive and say the infinitive in the target language.Can another volunteer come to the front,locate whereabouts on the picture we can see the action and  blu-tac the infinitive to the Georges Seurat picture in the correct place.Repeat this with all the actions you brainstormed and different volunteers from the class.
  2. Ask the children once you have completed your "talk walk" to look for spelling links between the ending of the written words they have blu-tacked to the picture.Explain that these endings are the key to making the infinitives come to life and to creating stems of the verbs we can then use.   
  3. Let's focus on one group of regular verbs in the target language and by this I mean that the infinitives all have the same "endings".I have selected to talk,to swim,to jump,to walk,to look (watch) for this picture as in German that's easy as verbs in the infinitive end in "en" , in French I have selected  "er" verbs and in Spanish these verbs end in "ar" in the infinitive.Remember the focus is on can the children go through the process and understand how to conjugate a verb and not can the children recite a verb accurately .We are therefore keeping the activity to one group in French and Spanish as this will help us to focus the practise of the process around the skill of "conjugation" and less so on memory and recall.
  4. Verb Artist Talk Walks .Share with the children a small portion of the picture.Ask them to help you to decide which of the verbs you are now focusing upon fits this portion of the  picture (for example the woman looking out on to the lake on the far left of the picture).Can the children help you to bring the action "looking" to life? To do this you are going to have to find the infinitive, create the stem of the verb- demonstrate how you can form the stem.I like to ask the children to think of the letters we need to remove from the end of the infinitive as box lid  suggest that you are opening the artist's paint box.In the paint box are 6 personal pronouns and 6 important matching endings.Now take a "verb artist talk walk" with the stem of the verb! Can they help you to sketch the character from head (infinitive , first person singular etc)to foot as the present tense verb ...? The children must talk you through the process otherwise you can not add the next part of the verb and you can not complete your artist's sketch of the character and their action.
  5. Ask the children to work in pairs and take Verb Artist Talk Walks with other characters and their actions in the picture.Add a time limit to the activity - so some groups may complete two characters and other pairs may complete more or less than this.They need to talk through the process with their partner and show their "workings out" - infinitive, create stem, add verb endings and personal pronouns on paper.
  6. Can they create an "Verb artists sketches "artist's sketch of one of their verbs as a paradigm( in the shape head to toe of the character in the painting who is performing the action ?
  7. These "Verb Artist Sketches" would make wonderful concertina characters - head and feet drawn in the style of Geroges Seurat ( notice they way he uses dots and lines) with the paradigm of the verb written as a concertina for the body.Add a QR and a recording of the children or take a photo with Chatterpix APP and record the children saying their paradigm and you have creative evidence of the children conjugating a high frequency verb.Take a photo of the "workings out" and you have evidence of the children working through the process of creating a paradigm and conjugating a high frequency verb. 

  1. You can take this one step further and probably know what is coming next - as I love performance! Make this in to a "live park talk walk" ! Each pair is responsible for a verb and must speak and perform the verb as an interpretation of the type of action associated with the verb and in the style of the artist.One child speaks for singular and both children speak for plural .You are now Georges Seurat walking around the park ,looking for the characters for his picture!Actions and verbs may be repeated but ask all the children to freeze frame in their first action positions and as you walk around the classroom.When you  the artist stands next to a pair they should come to life and start to perform their paradigm.The class are helping you the artist to step back in to the picture and create a "live park talk walk"!