Klee facial expression flap phrases and picture gallery

I love Paul Klee and the way he uses building blocks of colour in his Art to convey emotion and meaning.... so what an ideal artist to use to allow the children to create their own "facial expression" art work .

I suggest that you use this picture, Senecio:

This Art and writing lesson follows on from the lesson blog post I posted  

Universal facial expressions ,emotions and different languages


We will be using the ideas in both these blog posts to celebrate Euroepan Day of Languages 2015.

Additional resources and lessons guides are available on the VLE  for the Janet Lloyd Network

  1. Revisit emotions, facial expressions and target language phrases the children can say that add "sound and language" to the emotion.
  2. You could hold a "physical face display " here with a card picture frame that the children use, by holiding up and using their face and the emotion and target language phrase to fill the picture frame and become the picture.You will need to model this first.
  3. Take a look with the class at Klee's picture "Senecio"
  4. Ask the children to follow Klee's model and to draw a picture of  the outline of a face.
  5. Give the children coloured card or paper and ask the children to add blocks of colour made from the card on the face .
  6. Each block of colour represents an emotion and acts as a flap under which the child draws a symbol or face to represent the emotion and writes the appropriate target language or target languages phrase linked to the emotion.
  7. Create a class display of "Klee facial expression flap phrases and pictures"

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.

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"!

Alice in Wonderland and describing people in speaking and writing

What a gift these new commemorative stamps are to celebrate 150 years since Lewis Carroll told his first story about Alice in Wonderland!

In the new DfE POS we are asked at KS2 to offer children the opportunity to:

"speak in full sentences"

"ask and answer questions"

"engage in conversations"

"describe people in speaking and writing ""

The article on CBBC news about the stamps is clear and child friendly with brilliant pictures of the stamps.

Click here!

Here is a perfect way to engage our young learners in speaking,writing and creating descriptions... and as I write I am about 7 miles from Daresbury ,where the village celebrates its connections to Lewis Carroll. Indeed there is a strained glass window to celebrate Alice in wonderland in the church and our local town Warrington has a stone table statue celebrating "The Mad Hatter's tea party"

Thanks to Ana and Emilie here are some of the main characters' names in French and Spanish


Alice - Alice

Madhatter- le chapelier fou

Cheshire cat- le chat du Cheshire

The white rabbit - le lapin blanc


Alice- Alice

Madhatter- El sombrero loco

Cheshire Cat -- el gato de Cheshire

The white rabbit- el conejo blanco

So first of all let's have a tea party! 

Of  course we could act out what we see and hold a simple food, cafe or at table conversation.  

We can use all the language we have practised based on foods, likes, dislikes and if you follow our SOW table language from Year 6 to animate this picture of the table with speech bubbles and to create the perfect menu too.....  

Now let's create our own stained glass window

Let's investigate the series of stained glass windows in Daresbury church with characters from Alice in Wonderland.Take a look at

the stained glass window here


  • Let's change the speech bubbles and add our own questions and answers between the characters - as simple as necessary of course ( ranging from greetings,farewells, feelings, likes, dislikes, the time etc)  
  • Let's make it a piece opf Art with tissue [paper and clear glue and add our speech bubbles and writing
  • Let's bring the pictures to life by importing the pictures in to APPs such as Tiny Tap  and adding a recording of the children's voices as sound patches over the  the speech bubbles in character.Can they say the words in character too?

Let's explore the characters!

Show them the film trailers in the target language! (Alice et les pays des Merveilles is French version and Alice en el pais de Maravillas is the Spanish version and the German version is Alice im Wunderland)

Show them the stamps and the images

A simple description:

Ask the children who are moving on learners (Year 4 /Year 5) to use bi-lingual dictionaries to write two simple sentences using the verb to be and two simple sentences using the verb to have about a character.We could record our spoken language on

Yakit for kids

. Here is an example......

Alice est jolie

Alice est petite

Alice a les cheveux blondes

Alice a les yeux bleus

Adding challenge to the description

Let's see if the more advanced young learners (Year 5/6) can complete some present tense sentence descriptions about the characters and add at least one independently written sentence of their own.Here is an example :

le lapin blanc est..............

le lapin blanc porte..........

Le lapin blanc n'aime pas .........


Now let's bring the characters to life with animation using 

Funny Movie Maker

 where you import your picture of the character and add spoken words (so the children's description).There is an android version of this too.


nd let's keep a written  record of the descriptions 

  • as posters in a class book of Alice in Wonderland or 
  • as our own commemorative A4 stamps with a picture of the character and the words and sentences around the character that the children have written in the target language.
  • as PicCollage posters with imported additional pictures of the book in the target language from the web!

Getting ready for carnival,being creative and exploring a story based upon le carnaval des animaux

Every year we love carnival! Last year we celebrated with a theme based upon:

"carnaval des animaux-camille st saens"

The theme linked so well with our Y3 focus on animals and teachers found ways to create masks, perform dances linked to the music and to investigate Art and DT - all based on this theme.Truthfully this was a theme and a focus that whole schools took as an opportunity to use as creative shared learning across Music,Dance.Art,DT and Language Learning

We were able too to look at nouns in the singular and plural , to investigate unfamiliar animal nouns using bi-lingual dictionaries and to generate simple question and answer role-plays about animals and descriptions of animals: "What is it? What colour is it? how many can you see? Do you like.....? "
(Teachers decided upon the most appropriate questions and answers for their learners and the prior knowledge of the learners).

i knew about this book "Au carnaval des animaux" by Marianne Dubuc based upon the music by Saint saens and so as a carnival activity, mask making and fancy dress followed quite easily.The book is available in several languages.
We used the book in French and Spanish:

The blog link here gives you a flavour of the book in French Litterature de jeunesse .Simple repetitive story which allows the children to invent their own animal characters. We used  simple cut out cards such as these below, to create our own fantastical fancy dress animal costumes and the cards where ideal for simple "Guess who I am ?" games- where one child holds a card and the other children /or another child has to guess which animals are on the card the first child is holding.

Leads to the children being able to make up the most amazing animal names - combining all the names of the animals they have know in one fancy dress mixed up animal written or spoken description.

And hot off the press just found this brilliant primary unit of work guide for a whole unit of work based around la danse des animaux- useful if you are a French speaker! 
Brilliant ideas

And don't forget the possibilities of a wonderful dance to this famous song! Le livre de la jungle!

Here are some ways that we have in the past developed very simple beginners language learning based on carnival celebrations and the story of au carnaval des animaux  

Colourful French creativity

Just found this rhyme 

here on nounoud56.centerblog

You can listen to and sing along with the song


 on this page too! 

Thought this would be a great way to develop reading and dictionary skills with our LKS2 Y4 French learners during Spring term. It will enable is to extend their knowledge of colours and reinforce our knowledge of nouns ....and maybe look for verbs in the text.

I love the idea that the crayons play whilst the children are outside on their playtime break and I love the fact the poem starts with a question....just what do the crayons do when there are no children in the classroom?

Step One

Highlight or underline each sentence of the poem in the correct colour.

Spot the two sentences that contain no colours.

Step Two

Make the poem a picture in a picture frame .

  • Children should use the words in the question of the first sentence as the header of the frame and the words in the final statement at the end of the poem as the footer of the frame.
  • The sides of the frame are pencil calligrams:the colouring pencils mentioned written as word calligrams of the different colours.For example I might put red ,yellow and blue on one side and the black and grey on the other side.
  • Now ask the children to investigate the sentences in the poem that explain what the different coloured pencils have drawn.Ask the children to circle the nouns in the sentences and check or find the meaning of the nouns in a bi-lingual dictionary.
  • Have they spotted the unusual colours for the objects- let them share with you what they have found out! (e.g the mouse is red....or is it?)
  • Can the look at the picture evidence around the outside the written text and spot the anomalies? For example the "green" crayon has drawn a yellow sunshine etc 
  • Now all they have to do is create the drawing as described in the text!

Step Three

Make sense of the poem...

  • Ask the children to explain the meaning of the word "dessine" - you may encourage them to think of English words that are similar (e.g design)
  • Can they explain the role this word plays in the sentences in the text?
  • Ask the children to create a more sensible set of sentences for the poem completing the sentences below: 

le rouge dessine .............

le vert dessine ...............

le bleu dessine ...............

le gris dessine ................

le noir dessine................

  • Now they can become artists themselves and draw the objects they have decided are more sensible and match the colours and describe what is happening in French to a partner using the key sentences above.

And finally here is the You tube clip of the text above!

Flights of imagination with language learning

I really love to think out of the box and hope that some of the activities I create allow children tom explore the world of their imagination in another language and learning arena. It works for me because it helps me to allow learners to make the link that language is language and is a vehicle to explore the World! 

Over the last year I have posted the following blog posts  which demand that language learners explore their own imaginations through target language learning with a practical language learning purpose. Hope that the list below helps somebody out there to do something similar with their learners! 

Starry night and counting stars

Getting ready for CPD and thinking of ways to practise simple language with beginner target language learners  with a possible wintry or  Christmas focus which also encourage the development of listening, speaking and reading skills I have put together these two simple ideas........

The first idea is based upon the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to practise numbers 0-12. This is an idea that can be used in KS1 and also in KS2 .
In KS1 there is a very obvious and simple Maths link too as I have made and laminated some simple domino counting star cards.

My domino stars are in three colours (as you may also like to link numbers and colours and ask the colour of the stars too).The stars are dominoes( 0-12) on one side and on the reverse have the number written as a figure.All my domino stars will be popped in to a starry night sky bag to be pulled out by volunteers one by one  because Ii am ljnking this simple language work to Van Gogh and ......

I am using the Van Gogh painting "starry night" too: 

Practise the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in your target language. We will be using the French,spanish,German or Italian versions of the song.

  • Ask the children to hum the tune of the song
  • Ask the children to make stars in the imaginary night sky with their hands that twinkle as you him the tune
  • Ask the children to now sing with you the numbers 0-12 in the target language to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and to make their fingers twinkle like stars in the night sky
  • Show the children the famous Van Gogh painting and ask them to look for the stars which he painted in the night sky.Can the class help you to count them?
  • Explain that you are going to add coloured and numbered stars to this sky.
  • Now invite volunteers to pick a domino star from your "starry bag" and to count the domino side of the star.What number do they think that they have and can they say this  in the target language?Turn the card over - were they correct? Does their counting match the number they can see? 
  • Ask the children ,who volunteer, to stick (with blu-tac) the star to the picture wherever they would like to and to make sure it is domino star side up. 

  • Now sing your number version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but at the end of a verse , invite two children up to locate two stars.You say the number they must identify the star by looking at the domino stars
  • The children select the star and then take it in turn to say the number and turn over the star and look at the number on the reverse.Does the class agree that they have picked the correct star?
  • Time to create your own starry night display ....and add stars in the night sky of your own,but this time each child creates a star out of the written target language number in the shape of a star! You could ask the children to come and place their star on the starry night picture and make a silent wish too!
My second idea is based on Christmas greetings and Christmas bells

Heute bin ich ......

Well the German book fest continues.We have the good fortune within our network to have two or three schools that deliver German as their primary foreign languages. so often we can neglect this and concentrate on French and Spanish. Over the last couple of days I have been able to browse German bookshops here in Germany and I have come up with some real finds!

Around about this time in the term with our  in Year 5,we begin to develop the children's ability to say more about how they are feeling and to extend their ability to say why they feel happy sad etc.

Here is a book that probably all primary (not just language) teachers - no matter what language would love to explore.It really engages the imagination and has the most wonderful chalk drawings.

It's called "Heute bin ich ..." by Mies van Hout

and it explores our feelings and links these feelings to drawings of lots of exotic fish.
Take a look here!

 You really need to buy the book and have the book as a turn the page adventure to appreciate how creative you can be with this text and its  visual element .

So how would I like our schools that teach German to use this book to enhance the SOW that they follow and to allow the children to be creative with the language and the pictures?

Remember the ideas below explore how we can link language learning to Art and physical performance but we also need to create opportunities for the children to use the new more exciting adjectives in extended sentences and responses too

  • Each fish is a different shape, colour and has a different expression. Explore the adjectives physically or as shapes and colours on individual whiteboards - as a listening,identifying the key adjectives and responding with a facial expression or a quick drawing
  • Create calligrams as fish shapes of the adjectives ,that the children feel portray the emotion.
  • Create a class fish-tank display of the adjectives based on chalk drawing and German writing
  • Change the animal and the adjectives and create your own  chalk picture display of the new words in the style of the new animal(s).


Autumn celebrations and a touch of creativity

Over the next couple of weeks in primary school you will be busy getting ready with children to celebrate harvest time and Autumn. We celebrate Autumn in our SOW and it's a great way to practise simple familiar and useful language.

Here is my second blog on ways to in corporate Autumn in to your language teaching this half term.My first blog are simple word games and activities that all staff and language learners can take part in from beginners to learners who are moving on.Take a look here.Autumn celebrations blog one

The incredible harvest of fruits and vegetables! 
This is a an activity to get the children practising using adjectives with nouns and also to start thinking out of the box with primary languages.
A few days ago I saw this! White strawberries!

The idea is simple.
Ask the children to design a bush with magical powers that can create fruits in fantastical/ unusual colours. Ask the children to draw and label their fruits and then to share their ideas in a spoken dialogue activity with other children .The children need to practise the question: "What is that?" or "What type of fruit is that? and the children can then share their incredible harvest of fruits or vegetables. the activity will allow you to reinforce with more advanced learners adjectival agreement and position too!..... and of course now I am thinking Art - still life with a twist! Papier mache DT! Fantastical fruit poems if we can also add flavours ( maybe our ice cream flavours from Year 4?) The list could go on!!!

Woodland creatures 
Thanks to le francais et vous I was reacquainted with one of these glorious posters in French.This one is all about woodland animals.Take a look!

A great way to look at masculine and feminine nouns with our Y3 and Y4 classes ,particularly this in stage two (Y4 ) of learning . We can look for cognates and semi cognates.
We can add colours and we can create our own art work and drawings using a French stimulus.
With Stage 3 and 4 learners (probably Y5 and 6 who have been learning a language already for at least two years) so more advanced learners. let them go on a woodland creature hunt, giving each table a poster and descriptions of different animals in the poster.Can they read and understand the descriptions (make sure there are words in the descriptions that they need to look up on a bi-lingual dictionary  to add challenge) and can they add descriptive labels to the creatures?
Add a touch of Yakit for kids (using and APP where the photo talks ) and the children can make this an animated poster with spoken labels or woodland creature descriptions!

Twit twoo!

Looking for woodland creatures I found these two target language pages with instructions on how to make an owl that would be a useful way to develop reading comprehension activities with our more advanced learners:

In German Eulen basteln ( with a very simple template labelled in German that the children will need to read/puzzle out and then construct their own owls! 

and in French Julie Prince @princelanguages alerted me to this page for marionettes de automne from this blog

Autumn poems
I think we can all source Autumn poems but yesterday I found this brilliant Spanish poem/list of all the things that are associated with Autumn .You can see it here below!

Maybe it's a text to read and unpack learners or to use as stimulus to write with more advanced UKS2 learners our own lists of things we associate with autumn using nouns, verbs and adjectives. with younger learners we can make our own written and visual class autumn list perhaps using bilingual dictionaries of the colours, fruits, vegetables, weather, animals etc etc we associate  with Autumn.

What does Autumn and  harvest time mean to you?
Finally this morning I found these making activities on  the French website
It's a time when we can look at culture and the lives of children in different countries and the crops and harvest time activities that they will be involved in for example la vendange in France is a time of grape picking and village festivals......Here's une boite aux raisins to make ...

in Spain the children will hear and possibly celebrate


If a picture paints a thousand words ...

Thinking of ways to explore descriptions of people, their hair, eyes, faces, emotions?
Well why not use this video clip that I was alerted to via Twitter @i100 this morning!
Watch how the portrait of a woman's face has changed over 800 years of painting

How do I think this could be used? Here are just a few simple ways ....

Name the portrait!
  • Give children target language name cards- 3 per child. Practise and use the target language names of course and then  play the video and ask the children to raise the name cards when they see a face that they think suits the target language name. 
  • Now ask the children to work in groups of four and create 12 faces -using facial expressions for the 12 name cards they hold between them. They must introduce themselves using a full target language sentence.
  • Ask the children to find portraits of characters through the ages that they can label with their target language name phrases and then create their own short videos with portraits and names
Look closely and what do you see!
  • Practising describing eye and and hair colour?Well then ask the children to write as many eye and hair colours phrases as they can  on a piece of paper. The children cut the phrases into phrase strips and one child goes first on the table or in the group to share their phrases with their classmates. 
  • Ask the children to read out the phrase they hold (it could be an eye colour or a hair colour) and tell the group what they think the phrase is in English . Does the person who wrote the phrase agree?
  • Now play the video and ask the children to watch for a portrait ,where they can see or identify the eye colour or hair colour phrase strip they are holding.They must raise the strip in the air to acknowledge this . Pause the video every so often and see what phrases the children are holding up. Are they all correct ? Do they match the  portrait?
  • Increase the challenge by giving the children pre-prepared phrases which have an eye and a hair colour  - the portrait must match both descriptions for them to hold up their phrase strips.
Anticipation Emotions 
  • The clip had the most evocative music and if you watch closely many of the portraits and the music are interlinked, sharing the facial expression and the emotion suggested in the music.
  • Ask the children to watch  some of the video with you and when you pause the clip to suggest an emotion that the portrait is relating to its audience.Either asking children to recall key emotions language or using bi-lingual dictionaries create and English /target language checklist of emotions on the flip chart.
  • The children can use this checklist as a point of reference for the second part of the activity. This time play part of the clip and conceal the screen from the children and ask them to listen to the music- can they anticipate the possible emotions on the screen when you pause the clip and reveal the portrait , just by listening to the music.What emotion does the music convey? They must tell you this in the target language!
Portrait gallery selfies!
  • Using photos of themselves and music that they enjoy , can the children generate a portrait gallery of "selfies" with written and read aloud facial descriptions that can be share with the whole class on the IWB? 

Art and language learning , my blogs so far ....

This blog post is my own mental note and list of  the Art and language learning blogs I have written so far- to help the associates, colleagues within the network and me  plan purposeful and language rich learning opportunities:

3D Art and verbs using Renoir the Boating Party - Drama and Art /spoken activities (personal information , feelings, 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular questions and responses)
3D Art and verbs stage one
3D Art and verbs stage two
3D Art and verbs stage three

KS2 Matisse Cut Outs Art and colour - dance,drama, spoken language , reading and writing
Matisse Cut Outs

Conveying emotions through Art - using the target language
conveying emotions

Rousseau and shape jungle animal sentences for jungle display  (noun verb adjective and animal descriptions) 
shape sentence jungles

Poster Power Poems (revisiting familiar language : weather,people, reactions,emotions, activities etc) - using the visual evidence in a poster to create spoken activities and performances (based on the Tour de France but activities can be used with lots of different posters etc)
Poster power poems

Preposition Picnic: creating our own sculptures using foods and cutlery/crockery and prepositions-using all 4 skills
Preposition picnic

Sentence calligrams- creating our own suitcases of Summer clothes - full sentence descriptions of items for a class display
Sentences ,objects and calligrams

Abstract Art - how we can use art to revisit and practise basic core vocabulary- colours, numbers 
Abstract art and beginners language

3D Clay and conversations - using clay sculptures to generate dialogue and conversations
3D clay scene questions and answers

If a picture paints a 1000 words. Portraits of women's faces through the ages used to practise eye, hair colour, target language names and emotions. Linking Art , Drama , music and language learning,
If a picture paints a 1000 words