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.

Daisy Chain Clauses and Conjunctions

This idea has been on my list to write for quite a while now! 
I have selected a daisy chain because it reminds me of Summer.It's now that we have the opportunity to assess what our moving on learners can  say and write.

They are going to write about their likes and dislikes with nouns and adjectives and use conjunctions to join their sentences together.

Take a handful of conjunctions in the target language:in French let's use "mais,et, car, pourtant,"

  • First let's physically feel and make the sentences.
  • Ask the children to make a list of favourite things - using nouns thye know for foods,clothes,animals or finding new nouns in the bilingual dictioanry 
  • Now ask them to list adjectives ,two per nun thjat they would use to describe the nouns they have sleected.
  • Ask them to think about the adjectival agreement with these nouns.Are the nouns masculine, feminine and in German neuter? 
  • Do they need to use each of the nouns in the plural or singular?
  • Ask then to check their adjectival agreement against the criteria above.

A physical daisy chain
Now it's palm of your hand time.
You make daisy chains with your hands so we are using our hands as the physical planner for the daisy chains we will make later.

  • Ask the children to open up the palm of their left hand and wiggle their fingers.
  • The index finger on the right hand is their pen with invisible ink!

  • Each finger and the palm of  the left hand represents a key part of the sentence

Thumb- personal pronoun 
Index finger verb
Middle finger noun
Ring finger first adjective
Little finger second adjective
Palm of your hand conjunction

  • Ask the children with the index finger on the right hand to touch each finger on the left hand as they say their physical sentence to themselves quietly.
  • Now they need to add the conjunction in the centre of their sentence by drawing a circle in the plan of their left hand with their imaginary pen and the index finger of the right hand.
  • Can they now add the next part of their setnece - using their fingers again as the prompts for the parts of the sentence?
  • They may need to reorder their finger roles if they use in French adjectives that precede the noun.
  • Once again they add their conjunction and move on to make their next physical clause in the long sentence.
  • If they can they should make five  clauses using the four conunctions.

A visual daisy chain!
And now they can make their daisy chains.

The centre of the daisy is the picture of the item- the noun they like.

There will be 5 petals on each daisy .One for the each a part of the sentence and the green stem of each daisy is the conjunction leading to the next daisy .
Now you have your daisy chain!    

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!

Shades of meaning,building vocabulary in a target language

I have just seen this tweet from @JaneConsidine .Thank you Jane! 
You can find this and more on The Training Space website
Such an effective tools for literacy but also such an effective tool for target language learning- "shades of meaning from "subtle " to intense" 

Time to get those bilingual dictionaries out again and this time pose the pupils individual  tasks to find "shades of meaning" based on an adjective that they may or may not already know.
You will need 6 adjective cards and sufficient of these cards for one card each .The pupils will swap cards as they repeat the activity three times with different adjectives.
(Immediately adjectives such as small / big/ naughty/ beautiful/ sweet/ lively.....come to mind)

  1. Give them a blank piece of paper
  2. Ask them to draw the "shades of meaning scale" on the left handside and ask them to help you to locate the descriptors for "intense" and "subtle" in the bilingual dictionary.Can the pupils help you to work out how to say "subtle" and then ask all the class to put the key language on the scale but in the target language .(in this instance in a foreign language I think "subtle" means - a gentle type of adjective and "intense" means a powerfuland strong adjective.
  3. Now give each pupil an adjective card.They mjust decide whereabouts on the scale they would place this card - first of all they may need to find the meaning of the adjective!
  4. Set the class a time limit for the next search and ask them to think of 3 adjectives that mean something similar and then find these in the target language dictionary.they must record them on their scale by writing them down in the target language.
  5. Set up a new "shades of meaning" challenge with a new piece of paper and ask the children to swap adjective cards.Can they find 3 adjectives they think have similar meanings to this adjective? (e.g big - tall,large,huge).Whereabouts on the chart do they think these words fit?
  6. Repeat the activity one more time.
  7. Now invite pupils to give feedback as you read out one of the 6 adjective cards. Can they say whether the adjectives they have found linked to the original adjective are more or less subtle or more or less intense- in their opinions? 
  8. How many different words have the class found? 
  9. You could record these on a class "shades of meaning" list in the target language. 
  10. Now you can encourage the pupils to alternate and use these new adjectives when describing people, things and places in speaking and writing.

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!

People Pillar Portrait Poem

I am looking for really easy and effective ways to create writing opportunities with young learners who are working out how to use nouns and the relationship between nouns and adjectives in the target language.
For all the ideas you need a picture stimulus and bilingual dictionaries and card strips  to write down their people pillar portrait poems .
i think that this activity would work  really well to for a Father's Day focus, for a Year 6 leavers focus on what describes  a Year 7 "ready to learn" new starter etc .... the potential is almost limitless

Stage One  
Focus on one masculine singular noun and a stimulus picture e.g "un clown"

  • Ask the children to look up and cross reference adjectives to describe a clown
  • Are there any adjectives that the children need to write in French before the noun- talk about these first!
  • Ask the children on rough paper to write the adjective in the correct position next to the noun in a list - therefore you repeat thre noun"clown" and write a different adjective next to the noun each time.

Un clown amusant,
un clown actif,
un grand clown,
un clown .........,
  • The children can now make your first "people pillar portrait poem".All they need to do is to write their list written in rough on to the card strip. 
  • Create plasticine or blu-tac feet for the card strip and add clown heads to the pillars.
Stage Two 
Focus on a feminine singular noun and a stimulus picture e.g. "une reine" 

  • Ask the children to look up and cross reference adjectives to describe a queen.
  • Ask the children to anticipate the familiar changes that they can remember to the spelling of the adjectives if they are being written next to a feminine noun
  • Explore the spelling of unfamiloar adjectives and find the feminine ending spelling 
  • Are there any adjectives that the children need to write in French before the noun- talk about these first!
  • Ask the children on rough paper to write the adjective in the correct position next to the noun in a list - therefore you repeat thre noun " reine"  and write a different adjective next to the noun each time.

  • Une belle reine, 
    une reine magnifique,
    une  petite reine,
    une reine.....

    • The children can now make your second "people pillar portraipoem".All they need to do is to write their list written in rough on to a new card strip. 
    • Attach the new card strip to the  plasticine or blu-tac feet  so that the card strips for the clown and the queen are back to back.Add  a queen's clown head to the new card pillar.
    Stage Three 
    • Ask the children to find their own two nouns -one masculine and one feminine.The nouns should represent people or professions.
    • Ask the children to create their own people pillar poems and challenge the children to try to use some of the same adjectives to describe both the masculine and feminine nouns.
    • This will allow the children to make comparisopns on spelling of the adjectives when being used with a masculine or feminine singular noun.
    Making the activity 3D
    Clare Seccombe and I have been busy challengimng each other to take ideas we have generated or found and add a twist.Recently I challenged clare to create a 3D version of the People Pillar Portrait Poem. The challenge was successfu; and here is Clare's blpog post response....

    Tea bags full of adjectives and flavour!

    Today,whilst training teachers,we explored creative ways to expand my blog post ideas on holding a cafe conversation based on a 

    Mad Hatter's Tea Party


    One of the ways we explored ,was based on the work we did earlier in the CPD session on adjectives and looking for adjectives in the bilingual dictionary and thinking about the agreement of adjectives.

    There are two levels to this creative activity.....

    • First of all each child needs a tea bag- made of paper, folded like a tea bag with an opening at the top- wide enough to pop a  small strip of card through
    • The children also need access to bilingual dictionaries.

    Level One

    Each child has to create an original "fantastic" tasting tea!

    In French and Spanish the noun is masculine - so this makes it ideal for  level one activities,as there is no agreement required.

    All our children need to do is to think of persuasive and exciting adjectives in English e.g. refreshing, sizzling, tingling, sharp, spicy

    They  need to look up these adjectives in the english section of the bilingual dictionary.

    Cross reference the adjectives in the target language section of the dictionary to check meaning.

    Write each adjective on a small strip of card - one per adjective ,making the written adjectives look the meaning of the word.

    Now they have their words to describe their  fantastic tea! 

    Adjective by adjective they need to squeeze out the tea bag ( take out each word and create a fantastical sentence about the tea in whichever target language you teach:

    " the tea is sizzling, spicy and fruity"  

    Now they can create their own drawing of their tea bag with symbols on the bag to explain each fantastical part of their drink of tea and the sentence written under the tea bag itself!

    Level Two

    In French and Spanish , a cup of tea has  a feminine noun! 

    So now each child can follow the activity described in the stages for Level One ,collecting adjectives and writing them on cards and putting them in their paper tea bag containers.

    The children then hand their tea bags and adjectives to  a second child in the class.

    This child has a template of a cup of tea:

    The second child empties the tea bag of its card strips and must write the adjectives on the tea cup with correct adjectival agreements to match a feminine noun in the target language!

    Now can they use  the adjectives to create a complete sentence in the target language? e.g "the cup of tea is fruity,sparkling,warm and refreshing!"

    They can now make a poster to advertise their cup of tea with a complete sentence.

    And finally can they remember their sentence and act it out for the class to try and sell this fantastical cup of tea top the class?

    Under the sea fish puppet and triarama performance

    A while back,a colleague of mine, Clare Seccombe sent me this triarama picture of "under the sea" and I added it to one of my Pinterest boards  Janet's Language Learning.She was interested to know how I would use this triarama to create a piece of spoken performance and/or drama!Well here we go ....!

    It is an ideal " under the sea" triarama for our Seaside project as part of our DFE funded WTSA/ JLN project.Find out more here Language Learning for Everyone and li ks really well with our other Seaside "fishy" ideas.

    The triarama you can see in the picture is from a blog post on colourful sea anenomes. You can find the instructions here in this blog on how to make the physical triarama.

    My ideas below link this 3D triarama to the story book and the adjectives used to describe fish in this wonderful book: 

    Setting the scene
    1. Read the story book to the class in French or German and share the wonderful drawings or create your own drawings and creative your own fishy emotion phrases in Spanish .Have a look at the blog post here to get a feel for the book and the ideas I have already written about.Fishing for feelings
    2. First create one large class triarama of an under the sea picture.Here is my class backdrop triarama.

    Now let's focus on the adjectives.....

    1. Adjectives add colour to nouns and give nouns character.Look at the sea anenome in the centre of the triarama at the top of the blog post, that's so colourful! 
    2. On strips of coloured card as the children to write the phrase "I am ....+  an adjective  that describes a specific  emotion - in the target language.Ask them to select a piece of  coloured card strip that they think conveys the meaning e.g red - angry , green- calm, yellow- happy , blue - sad etcetra. 
    3. Now ask the children to concertina their card strips with the written phrases on them,to make a sea anenome in the centre of your class "Under the sea " triarama".

    Time to practise "performance".
    1. Invite children to the front to select a coloured strip from our sea anenome and to mime the emotion that they can read and understand on the coloured strip.Can the class guess the  emotion?  
    2. Now we need to add the fish and build a performance.Ask the children to work in pairs and to create four fish characters of their own.Each fish needs a colour, a fantastical fish name and an emotion.Each fish needs a character conveyed by the way the speech bubble information is delivered
    3. For example here is a fish I have just made would you convey the colour,emotion and name?

    The grand class "under the sea"  performance!

    1. Ask the children to work on their tables (project tables would be best here so that we have a fair range of language speaking and writing ability on each table).The children on the table must  display all the fish characters and speech bubbles they have created.Each of the other children now selects a fish character to present in the class "under the sea" performance.
    2. They must attach their selected fish and speech bubble to a puppet stick, practise the way the fish sounds and moves and learn their lines!
    3. Invite each group with their fish to the front to use the class triarama stage set as their "under the sea" back drop for their "fish" performance!(Remember the fish puppet stick must have the fish and the speech bubble at the bottom of the stick as the child puppeteer will operate the fish from behind and above the triarama stage set) 

    Fishing for feelings

    We are going to be sharing ideas on "Seaside" at our DFE funded WTSA/JLN local network meeting twilights this next  half term. You would be very welcome to attend if you are near to one of these CPD twilights on the Training Schedule

    Here is one of the story resources with accompanying  ideas that we will be sharing and can be used in KS1, KS2 (beginners,moving on or more advanced learners) and potentially KS3 Y7.
    The ideas are based on this wonderful story book that I found last October in Germany and that I now have as well as a French story book too!

    Inside are the most wonderful chalk drawings on black paper of fish, representing a plethera of feelings and emotions.On each page there is one adjective to follow the title page repeated phrase:  "I am ....." .Each adjective describes an emotion. The fish sketches convey the feeling or emotion through their size,colour ,shape, expressions. Here are two example pages: 

    In German:

    In French

    A simple fishing rhyme with KS1 and Year 3 Beginners

    Game One
    Let's make our hands do the talking!
    How often do we tell rhymes about animals and use our hands as characters in the rhyme.Well here let;s make "hand  fish" in class -using our hands as the different fish!
    Well can you make your hand look big,small, courageous,curious, nervous, happy, sad etc?

    • Practise this with the children in the target language.
    • Call a feeling and ask the children to make their hand portray the action as if they   their hands are swimming fish ( swimming quickly, sadly, slowly, nosily etc to convey the emotion or feeling)
    • Make this in to a "Simon Says" game too.

    Game Two
    Let's make our whole bodies in to the fish! 
    Let's take our favourite French and Spanish (thanks Emilie and Ana!) party rhyme and tweak it a little ....

    In French
    Petits poissons, venez, passez, 1,2,3 

    In Spanish 
    Pequeño pez, ven y pasa

    So in German we can say
    Kleiner Fisch , komm, schwimm 1,2,3

    • And this time let's take out of a pot one of the fish descriptive words.
    • On the count of three in the rhyme ,pull out of the pot the fish word and  call out the word to the class- can they be the fish with the characteristic or feeling you have just said? 
    • Make it in  to "a last one out" game by then asking the children to freeze frame in the action, as you count on to 10 slowly in the target language(4,5,6,7,8,9,10) Any movement and they are out of the game!
    • Start the rhyme again and add a new characteristic or feeling ..... 

    Fishing for feelings with Year  3 or 4 beginner and moving on learners
    Do you remember the wonderful magnetic fishing games, where you had a magnet on a string and you popped the "fishing rod over the side of a card pool and caught fish with magnetic noses?
    (We have used this idea before in language learning- magnets on strings attached to rods and card fish with paper clip noses and we went fishing for sounds...We will be doing this again too!)

    If you are lucky enough to have the story book , then read the book first and look at the characteristics.Look up some of the words in your bilingual dictionaries. 
    • Give each child a word to draw as a fish (from the adjectives in the book). Get the children to create the magnetic noses with the paper clips. 
    • Now pop all the fish in a class pool or pretend pond.
    • You need a fishing rod .... go fish feeling fishing with a magnet on the end too.
    • Can a child use  the fishing rod to pull out a fish drawn by one of the class?
    • Show it the class and then let the class decide which feeling the fish represents.
    • Up to  three guesses before the child  who drew the fish shares with the the class the adjective and writes the adjective up on the whiteboard. 
    • Collect at least 8 adjectives on the whiteboard that are visible to the class.Check their understanding of the adjectives.
    • Give all the children mini whiteboards and ask them to draw fish for a partner to represent feelings.Make the " fish sketching" a timed activity - maximum 60 seconds - can the partner guess which adjective the fish sketch conveys? 
    • Can the children help you to create a fishing for feelings art gallery using adjectives and the phrase in the target language "I am....."

    Sea Creature Sketches .Year 4 and 5 Moving On Learners

    The fish in the sketches in the book are masculine singular nouns  and therefore we can use the adjective exactly as it appears in the dictionary .
    Discuss with the class what might change with the adjectives if you were using a feminine singular sea creature noun for example .......replace the fish with for example "a whale" in French or Spanish- feminine singular noun (la baleine/ la ballena).
    Investigate the changes to the spelling to match the new sea creature.
    Can the children draw for you a nervous or curious whale and write an accurate sentence to describe the whale's feelings?  

    The verb "to be" sea creatures and the fishy feelings mobiles !Year 5/Year 6 and Year 7 Advanced Learners.

    The book is based on the use of the first person singular form of the verb "to be " e.g in French "aujourd'hui je suis ....."

    So let's unpack the verb "to be" with this story and create a whole ocean of sea creatures and feelings
    You will need to first of all use the activity above , based on changing the adjectives from masculine singular to feminine singular and you will need to develop this further with plural nouns too.
    Now the children can explore with you a sea creature gallery of feelings.
    Share with the children pictures of sea creatures and ask them to help you describe the sea creatures feelings and to link appropriate groups of sea creatures to parts of the verb " to be"  .
    For example one fish on its own could be "I am" or "you are" or "he is" but it can't be "she is" or any of the plural parts of the verb "to be". discuss with the children ehy this is the case.Why are the parts of the verb called "singular" or "plural" ?What do these words tell us?
    As a class check out the plural spelling changes of the nouns you want to use for the sea creatures.
    Discuss the ending changes to adjectives that the children may want to use to describe the emotions of the sea creatures. 
    Create a whole class fishy sea creature verb " to be " paradigm and spend time discussing why certain parts of the verb can or cannot match with the sea creature pictures.

    Can the children create their own "Sea creatures and fishy feeling mobiles"? 
    • Give out the paradigm ( pattern of the verb) "to be" in the target language.Print each part of the verb on  separate  strips of card ( blue card would be really good for this).Ask them to put the parts of the verb in to the paradigm order e.g.I am , you are, he is etc). 
    • Ask the children to add an adjective to each of the parts of the paradigm and to think carefully about the spelling of these adjectives and to try to match the spelling to the type of nouns they can use with this part of the paradigm.
    • Can they now draw their own sea creatures to match the part of the paradigm and to convey the specific emotion or feeling of the adjective. 
    • Ask the children to add their drawing to their strip of card too on the reverse of the card strip.
    • Now each pair has the parts of their fish mobile ready to be assembled and displayed.Each strip of card will have a part of the verb to be, an adjective to match the part of the verb and a picture of the reverse to convey the emotion or feeling of the adjective.

    Hats away! Fashion show descriptive sentences and creative records

    I have just read this fabulous article about Alexander McQueen and his fashion designs here in the Guardian Fierce ,feathered and fragile

    With our Year 5 at the moment we are working on fashion shows and looking carefully at adjectival position and agreement after the verb "to wear" and the conjugation of the verb- so we can describe fashion shows.
    It was the picture I noticed first of all. Inspriational! Let's really make our fashion shows come to life this year! How well take a look below....

    • Yakit for Kids Fashion Show

    Last year Emilie Woodruffe shared with us non her blog how the children were able to create Yakit for Kids recorded designs of their outfits.Have a listen to one of theme here Je porte .......

    • Paradigm of porter

    Last week Julie Prince took us through how we can create a physical paradigm of the verb porter.You can find out more in this Storify report of Julie Prince WTSA/JLN CPD

    • Hats Away!

    And now what about Hats Away?
    It's nearly Easter and this will make a final grand hurrah to our work on verbs and adjectives linked to clothes, colours and more detailed descriptions.Let's make our own " hat written and spoken records"
    • The hats can be fashion designer hats, sports hats, silly hats, Easter festival hats
    • All the hats can be 2D drawings or created as 3D hats in card (to be worn)
    • Each hat needs to contain a description of the hat, written into parts of the hat for example the butterfly hat in the picture could have the parts of full sentences written on individual butterflies which are colour coded so that you read all the blue butterflies for example to read  a full sentence: "je porte grand un chapeau multicolore (etc) 
    • Now let's take some talking photos- simplest form will be video or cam corder clips with the hat wearer speaking or Chatterpix if you can use APPS would be really effective.
    • One creative step further with Hats away!

    Some of our schools have been looking at how to describe the characters of Alice in Wonderland.You can read the original blogpost Alice in Wonderland Describing People  and see the wonderful written results here in Progress in writing
    So why not give your fashion show a theme : "A madhatters tea party .... and then it really will be "Hats away!"

    • Hat Links
    Finally some of the links and photos in this blog post from February 2014 may be additional resources that you would like to add to your learning programme: Chapeau and carnival time