Universal facial expressions, emotions and different languages

Everyone's face is different , but every face tells a story and can convey emotions. 

We will  be using this clip and the clip below from Marcel Marceau on European Day of Languages this year to celebrate faces, facial expression and how we can convey so many emotions using our faces.

Our theme is " How are you feeling?" and we will explore different languages and how the face is a universal tool to share feelings and emotions but how different languages use differnet sound patterns and words to express the universal message of  "facial expressions" .

I would suggest you only use part of the World Faces clip - partly because it is quite long and also because two of the adult faces appear with a cigarette in hand.

The Marcel Marceau clip below is ideal to explore how you can use your face to change the mood etc.You can discuss with the children how he conveys emotions without speaking and creates lots of different masks with just his face!

We will be creating a pack of resources and a lesson plan guide for network members so we can explore key phrases, their sounds in different languages and how to say and express facially these pharses.This can be accessed on the VLE - should you be a member- in the seasonal specials European Languages folder.

However the simplest approach that everyone can use is shared below.I have based this on  using any the target language that you may be teaching your children.You could teach a new language or combine familiar targte language and a new language or two! 

  1. Select some key emotions
  2. Select key phrases to express these emotions in the target language.
  3. Play a short excerpt of the world Faces clip and ask the children to decide what emotion they think is being converyed by certain faces , when you pause the clip.
  4. Can the children think of a phrase or a way of adding spoken language to the feeling they can see?
  5. Share you selected phrases and facial expressions with the class
  6. Can the children guess what emotion you are trying to convey.
  7. Discuss emotions
  8. Watch a short excerpt of the Marcel Marceau clip and ask the children to watch how his face can change so quickly.
  9. Ask the class to practise facial expressions of emotions with some simple familiar target language phrases (greetings ,farewells, how feeling, birthday greetings, etc)
  10. Observing another child in the class ,listening to their target language phrases and if necessary using a  bilingual dictionary to access the language can they read the facial expressions of another person in the class (e.g sad, happy,excited,tired.....)
  11. If you can - why not teach key phrases in a new language and ask the children to explore the sound of these key phrases and how they can use the same facial expressions  from the familoar target language activity to explain the meaning of the phrases. 

Revisiting language Observation Game - Watching, Reading, Speaking

This activity works well with a video clip linked to culture or festivals – so a party, an event , a festival, a journey through the target language country, a visit to a famous place or town in the target language country.

At the start of the year it is a great activity to use with moving on learners to revisit familiar language and take a tour around the taret language country or set the scene for the academic year's learning with a cultural focus.

So select your video clip stimulus material!

Watch the clip carefully and select the key words (nouns,adjectives, verbs will all work well here!)

It's a game that I have played lots of times with all age groups of learners.Works well with adult learmers too.

You can revisit know language, practise new language or investigate unknown language using a bilingual dictionary first ..... 

Game One

Give each child five word cards. Each word is a noun of an object, place, person or building they will see in the video.

 Ask the children to watch the video clip and pick up a specific word card and wave it when they think they have seen one of the five words they have in front of them.

Ask the children to then share their order of the written words cards with a partner, by saying them in the order they have placed them and as they observed them appear on the video clip

Game Two

Working in pairs give them all the noun cards. The object of the game is to place the nouns face down in a pile when they see that object. Each partner should be holding 9 cards or have 9 cards face upwards on the table so that they can see the words. When they see one of their objects  , they place the correct word card in a growing pile of cards.

After they have watched the whole video clip, they should compare the words in their pile with those of   another pair. They must carefully pick up the pile. Turn it face up and take it in turns to read the noun at the top of the pile. Once read they should put this word at the bottom of the pile. Do both pairs have the cards in the same order?

Report back

Can the pairs now create a tourist information report using the phrase  e.g. “ A Paris il y a + nouns” in their pile , in the order they saw the places and objects etc.

Volunteer pairs to say their “Tourist information report” to the class.

Skittles and speaking activities

I have been busy tweeting with Joe Dale and Erzsi Culshaw this evening as Erzsi has been exploring the use of the Green Screen in her primary language learning classroom.Thanks to the tweets I remembered a photo I took last month - a fantastic backdrop  to engage the learners with culture, participation and performance and this can be with or without a Green Screen!

Last month I was in Basque Spain and was struck by the murals on the walls in some of the villages,depicting the life of the community.
I loved this mural of the villagers watching a game of skittles... and knew that I could create some performance activities based around the mural back here in England!

  • You could import the picture above into your Green Screen APP and use it as a back drop
  • You could post it as an enlarged picture on  your IWB and again have a back drop
  • You could give each table a copy of the photo as a resource to stimulate language activities - brainstorming and adding speech bubbles to different characters.
  • You could ask the class to recreate the scene outside in the playground and play the game and use the target language too!
What language and how can we use the language?
  1. Find and use infinitives of the verbs involved in throwing the ball to the skittles.Put these in the order they are required to actually throw the ball toward the skittles - as commands ( e.g pick up the ball hold the ball,move the arm backwards, throw the ball, hit the skittles!) 
  2. Create a slow motion performance of the throwing action , saying the verbs as commands in time with the slow motion action.
  3. Film children and add the recordings of the commands
  4. Explore the phrases for audience participation- (e.g. Well done! Go on! Throw! Hit the skittle! Fantastic! Great shot! Missed! Bad luck!Try again!)
  5. Take still photos of the children,miming the phrase as a physical action.Import the photos on Chatterpix or Yakit for Kids and add voice overs. 
  6. Using the large picture as a back drop , create the event you can see in the picture and using my 3D Art ideas bring the picture to life and experience the target language,culture and atmosphere of the game!

Languages,writing and performing simple creative songs and yet more joined up thinking

This was our first network competition.The intention was to offer individual schools an opportunity to focus on a common purpose and to link their language learning with a  special festival shared by the three languages our network schools teach - French,German and it had to be a carnival song competition!

Below is the challenge we set our network members:

Join in our Carnival Song Competition
The competition is open to all member of Janet Lloyd Primary Languages Network

 Vouchers for primary language story books to be won!
KS1 or KS2 competition entries 
Can your young learners create a carnival song in French, German or Spanish?
All they have to do is base the song on the language from the Year 3 or beginners stage of language learning in the JLN SOW (numbers, colours, days of week, months, animals, personal information).

  • We based the competition on common language content
  • We made sure the focus was simple language that all the teachers (non-specialist and specialist teachers would be comfortable with)
  • We allowed schools to decide which classes would be best to enter the competition....
And we asked the teachers to follow these basic rules : 

  • The song should be at least four lines long
  • The song should have a carnival rhythm or beat
  • The song should be based on a familiar tune
  • Percussion instruments such as maracas and a drum were allowed but we need to hear the words sung as clearly as possible
    We required a sound file / video together with a word document
Did it work? 
Well we received 40 entries in French and Spanish! 
Each one was different in style and each entry had been worked upon, practised and performed by the teacher and the class.
We received links to You Tube clips ,sound files and video recordings and then we set about judging the songs!
Joane Hornby judged the competition as she is the member of our Associate Teachers Team who provides us with our own songs to familiar refrains and is an expert music teacher too!
What was very clear was the fact that the children enjoyed joining in and some children were inspired to create their additional solo songs too!
Teachers were working within and outside their comfort zones and this was commendable ! 

Joanne chose the winners and wrote in her summing up that:

I was really impressed by the variety of musical melodies chosen -  from Frozen to the Conga - and amazed by the clever use of simple language.

1st Place - Westbrook Old Hall with their 'C'est le Carnaval ' Entry. I could really imagine myself at the carnival, it had fantastic description and adjectives and set the party atmosphere perfectly!

2nd Place - Locking Stumps with their 'C'est Carnaval ' . Brilliant class effort, with different groups singing a verse and a real rousing chorus. Super!

3rd Place - Bradshaw School - Wow! Year 2 with their 'Carnaval  de Paris' sung in Spanish and with fantastic dancing. Yo Yo Yo Yo!!"

Here is how Christine Ballance went about making the winning Westbrook Old Hall song with her class

"We looked first at the Carnaval powerpoint with the aliens and worked out what it meant.  Then we talked about carnivals in France and Germany - we have a pupil who lived in Germany until recently - and why people celebrate carnival, mardi gras, etc. 

I explained about the competition and that we were going to find carnival related nouns with garish colour combinations - like the scenes in the photos.  I told them to choose nouns for things we could 'have' with us at the Carnaval, preferably nouns with 2 syllables, by looking back in their books at previous work and to add 2 colours (or one if it was violet) so the words would fit in with the tune.  They went off and wrote verses then we sang quite a few to try them out and picked the best. "

Here is Bradshaw's Carnaval de Paris "third prize" song in Spanish.....


Celebrating a royal baby with simple fun language learning activities

With the birth of a new royal baby to happen and all the press hype around this in the near future, I decided that it would be something that our children particularly KS1 and Y3 or Y4 would be interested in.

I have popped a couple of ideas down here on ways you might like to celebrate the birth of the baby! (I have focused on a song, a card and a baby layette - so we have listening and joining in, simple copy writing and some DT and writing simple full sentences to describe clothes for a baby).

Celebrating the addition to a family with a silly French song about the family!

Prince George is about to be the big brother.
Here is a song about a "little"  brother and his dummy.
Family nouns are also introduced into the song (maman,papa, cousin,cousine) so you could create a simple family tree too and don't forget to  add the grandma and grandad and perhaps aunts and uncles too!
Could be a great song to practise in class and then sing to the school in a class assembly and guess what ...act it out!

Click on the link above and find the lyrics .

Designing a French layette

Just a bit of fun but what should the clothes for a royal baby look like?
Can the children anticipate the hobbies and interests of the future royal baby and add these to the designs of their clothes?
Will the baby be a footballer, a dancer, a musician etc?
Why not ask the class to design some clothes for the new royal baby .We use the word "layette" too here in England. 
If the children are moving on in their language learning ,can they write simple full sentences about the items they design- noun, verb and adjective?

A card for the baby in French,German and Spanish

And don't forget to write a card to celebrate the birth of the bay.

I love these cards below as I think the balloons are fabulous plus the language is so simple that we can use this in KS1 and Year 3 to make a fabulous display celebrating the birth! 

What about a German lullaby 

Practise , sing and perform!

Clothes for the baby in German

Create a German layette for the baby too just like the French idea above!

A lullaby in Spanish

A Spanish layette

...and for Spanish clothes for your baby layette - 
Take a look at this part of el corte ingles website

ropas del bebe

A taste of chocolate!

Well it's nearly Easter and therefore I can mention " chocolate...!
Here are some ideas that could make for a fun last lesson before Easter or even a celebration lesson later in the year as we break up for Summer.

UKS2 Free Trade Chocolate Video

Brilliant gift to the language learning classroom and also for global citizenship too!The clip is English and French with Spanish subtitles and  Free trade share the daily life of children who live in communities where the cocoa beans are picked for Free trade so chocolate can be made.

Letter Strings and Sounds in Spanish
This is the simplest of videos.....

  • We can practise key letter strings in the word "chocolate" 
  • We can investigate likes and dislikes of chocolates with additional flavours (lemon/ginger/chili/orange/raisin) in a class survey after singing the song
  • We can create our own version of the song using higher numbers and /or adding our addidtional flavoring
  • We can just song a long and enjoy the song  or conceal the screen and listen for numbers and hold up number cards or fans when we hear the numbers.
Chaud chocolat 
A very simple song to listen to and then create our own class version.
I like the clip because it's real and take a moment or two to settle the choir and the audience and then it's a brilliant at performance!

Un bon chocolat chaud
For older children why not ask them to listen to this wonderful song about getting milk from the cow to make a hot chocolate...listen out for "un bon chocolat chaud" add a clicking along with the song and then adding the spoken phrase "un bon chocolat chaud" with an action of drinking hot chocolate and again have fun listening,responding and joining in.

You can also get the words online (just google un bon chocolat chaud lyrics) so you could print them off and use this as a follow with your finger reading text too with more advanced readers).Thanks for the idea Vicky Cooke!  

And as a French grand finale at Easter 

Why not just enjoy listening to this beautiful song performed by les enfantastiques choir.
"La chanson chocolat".

A taste of German "Schokolade"
Here is a German song with the Gummy Bears just for fun and to join in with the chorus "Schoko Schoko Cho KaKao"
Perhaps a chance to hand out cards for each syllable and have cheer leaders with the cards at the front just to add to the fun!

Revisiting food in German but "the children eat chocolate!"
Great way to revisit foods and meals during the day .... practising word recognition of foods first with the screen visible , watching and listening and then with the screen concealed or minimised.
Second time round ask the children to order pictures if food on their tables as they hear them being sung.Can the class join in with the chorus "Die Kinder essen Schokolade"?

Creating a simple playground clapping game speed challenge 

The game below shown in the video clip (thanks to Fatima Duerden for reminding where to find this) works in Spanish and German with the original word "chocolate"
and in French we have tried it with cho-co-lat chaud ( four syllables) too!

and just because we can and it's bouncy fun and lively ....

La tartine au chocolat!

Hunt the Easter egg sounds ! (Beginners)

Nearly time to think about Easter and here is a very simple activity that  encourages children to look for the sound- spelling links in unfamiliar language.
Really simple idea.....

1.In the target language practise a traditional Easter greeting phrase- say the phrase in the style of Easter rabbits, melting chocolate, delicious Easter eggs etc
2.Share with the children the written target language phrase, but blank out a key sound-spelling link in the target language phrase:

In French blank out the "eu" in "joyeuses" and in Spanish blank out the "ce" in "felices".

3.Ask the children to listen to you say the whole key word (i.e "joyeuses" or "felices" ) and anticipate with a talking partner the missing letter string .Encourage the children to use prior target language knowledge of sound spelling links to do this.


(I would expect the children to make the link in French between the sound "eu" they can hear in the word "joyeuses" and their prior knowlegde of "bleu" or "deux" or to make the link in Spanish with the numbers "once" or "doce")

4.Now you can reveal the whole phrase - have the children anticipated the missing sound spelling link correctly?

5.Now divide the phrase into separate letter strings on coloured Easter egg cards and hide these coloured Easter egg cards around the room.For example here is "joyeuses" as letter string coloured Easter eggs ,ready to be hidden.

6.Ask for volunteers to hunt the Easter egg cards around the room and when he/she finds an Easter egg card to bring it to the front and to help you to reconstruct the key Easter phrase piece by piece (or egg card by egg card).

7.Allow the children 60 seconds to remember the colour and the key sound spelling written on the coloured egg shapes.Now turn over the eggs and muddle the order of the egg cards.Can the children say the colours in the target language of the eggs in the order that they think the Easter phrase should be reconstructed? 
Place the eggs letter side down in the order the children have decided .....

8.Turn over each egg one by one and reveal the letter string,say the sound together and anticipate the next sound. Where the children correct and does the order of the turned over cards create the Easter greeting phrase? 

9.And now the children can create their own Easter card chain greeting - using the letter strings in the eggs they have been hunting to put together the key greetings phrase .You can make this a differentiated activity with the same written outcome either with increased challenge from memory or as an activity where the coloured letter string cards have been muddled up but remain on view or as an activity where the eggs are laid out in order but two eggs and the letter strings are missing.

World Book Day and a celebration of languages and literacy!

World Book Day allows us a language teachers to open the window on languages and share with the children how language is a vehicle through which we can tell stories and encourage imaginative  communication.

This year we are focusing on three of the World Book Day 2015 themes: 

Elmer : 

Elmer Explorers

Pirates : 

Pirates ahoy!

Dennis the Menace : 

Dennis the Menace concertina characters

In previous years we have explored fairy tales,listened to and performed familiar texts such as the Hungry Caterpillar in different languages and  encouraged our local schools to invite people from the wider community in to school to read stories in other languages.

Last year,some of us explored this wonderful book :"Vive les livres",which exists in German and Spanish too!

Here is the blog post from last year:

Long Live Books !

Some other ideas to explore books and stories.........

You may want to explore other themes and stories so I thought I would pop here in the blog post links to blog posts I have written about "story telling and writing" and looking at books - both fiction and non fiction! 

We have recently been exploring "describing people in writing" and linking our UKS2 language work with Alice in Wonderland - to great effect!

Alice in Wonderland

We are exploring stretchy word carnival balloons- and this idea was inspired by Mick Inkpen's "Blue Balloon" 

stretchy balloon


Great way to link a story in English with language work in another language 

We love taking KS1 on a "Bear Hunt" and here is the example of the rhyme and game  in Spanish that we adapt and use in French and German too! Everyone loves this one!

Going on a Bear Hunt rhyme and game

Here's an idea to use shadow puppets to retell in a very simple way using familiar stories- in this instance-  Goldilocks and the Three Bears .

Goldilocks and the Three Bears shadow puppet show

"Toujours rien"

is a book I love and a great way to talk about Springtime and growing things .Here's my blog post from last year .

Springtime and growing plants

Maybe you have some target language non-fiction books on your shelves - like I do.The Noune" story above is available in lots of languages.Perhaps you could explore these in language learning.

Here are my thoughts about how we can explore non-fiction with UKS2 more advanced language learners 

non fiction in the target language and making language learning links

Or maybe finally you want to create your own "target language book shop window"....  writing full sentences  demonstrating understanding of basic grammar at the same time! Hope this blog post can help you..... 

Nouns, adjectives and verbs to create our own book covers and book shop window

La chandeleur games to practise familiar language in speaking and writing

Have been looking for ideas for la chandeleur - 2 February (French pancake day) and came across this part of the "momes" site with lots of wonderful coloured and shaped pancakes.
You can access the recipes and the ideas on this part of the momes site blog momes here

This got me thinking about some very simple and easy to make activities for celebrations in schools  for la chandeleur!
I have added the new POS learning objectives that could be practised or reinforced with these activities too !

Pancake spelling collection challenge
A pancake team challenge for beginner language learners who know their numbers, colours and with children who are moving on who also know fruits,vegetables and possibly flavours) 

POS:Explore the patterns of language- link sound and spelling

  • Cut out four sets of five coloured circles( each represents a  crepe).
  • Ask the children to count the pancakes for you and to say the colour of the pancake. 
  • Make four piles of the pancakes - one from each colour in each pile.Each of the piles will ultimately belong to  one of the four teams.The teams have to win the pancakes
  • Divide your class on to four teams/
  • The aim of the game is to win the crepes.Each team nominates a "writing" chef.
  • This chef must come to the front and write what you say.You could say colours, number, fruits, flavours (language linked to the umber and colour of pancakes and fillings).
  • The aim of the game is to win for the team one of each of the five coloured pancakes that you have cut out of paper.The chef must write clearly and correctly the spelling in the target language of the word you say.
  • You could play this as a speed challenge with two team's chefs up at the front at the same time
  • Which team will have their coloured pile of pancakes first?

Spoken flip the pancake 
A challenge for language learners who have practised flavours (of ice creams) and can use the phrase "je voudrais"

POS: Speak in sentences ,using familiar vocabulary
POS: Broaden their vocabulary

  • Remind the children of the flavours of ice creams.For us this will work well with Year 5 as we learn flavours of ice creams in Year 4.
  •  Discuss with the Year 5  children other possible flavours made up of the fruits and vegetables we are practising in our healthy eating module at the moment.
  • Share these as a written record on the board.
  • Give the children chance to try to memorise the phrases you have written on the board.
  • Ask them in pairs now to play flip the pancake (just like verbal table tennis) where they take it in turns to say a flavour "e.g je voudrais une crepe au chocolat"
  • Make this a time challenge 
  • How many flavoured pancakes can they flip in 2 minutes?
  • Make it a "head to head" game and invite volunteers out to the front to  play the "Spoken flip the pancake" challenge!

Dingbat pancake flips! (Say what you can see)
A game for all stages of language learners

POS: Broaden their vocabulary
POS:Speak in full sentences
POS: Describe things in writing

  • Give each child a piece of A4 paper and ask them to  fold the paper into four and to draw four circles on the paper.
  • Each circle should be shaded on one side a different colour buy the children
  • They need to cut out their four circles.
  • The children now need to turn the circles over so the white empty side is facing them.
  • They must think of a flavour association with the colour (e.g red - tomato/ pink- strawberry etc)
  • In pencil on the white blank side they need to draw a symbol ( a Dingbat) to represent the flavour
  • On the coloured side they need to write the flavour in the target language.
  • Can other children guess and say the flavour accurately in the target language by looking at other children's "Dingbat pancake flips"? 
  • Can children ask for each pancake politely using a full  sentence target language request?
  • Once the have guessed they can flip the pancake to the coloured side and see if they were correct.

Ways we developed learning based on the book Au carnaval des animaux Marianne Dubuc

So how did we get the animals to the carnival party......?

As this is all about a party , last year I based some simple Year 3 language learning on party games based upon animals.

Listen,imagine and explore the kingdom of the animals.
Well last year before  looking at some of story- as it's a long story " au carnaval des animaux "or "el carnaval de los animales" , we listened to some special music by Saint Saens "au carnaval des animaux" to see if we could imagine the animals that might be in the music.We then  went on an animal thought walk .

  • Which animals did we already know in the target language?
  • Which animals did we like?
  • Which animals might be in the story?
  • Which animals might we need to look up in a bi-lingual dictionary because we think they may be in the story?
...and then we made our own freeze frame pictures of the animals we had discussed.I called out an animal in the target language and the children took the pose of the animal .They had to stand very still for a count of ten ...or they were out and had to sit down and be a freeze frame statue judge with me.

We took a vote on our top ten invite animals to the animal party and made a tally chart with the written target language noun at the top of each column.
We wrote out the words for the top seven animals we wanted as a class to invite to the party  
We lined our top seven animal words up in alphabetical order - ready for party invitation printing....

....and then as a class we investigated soe of the story.What happened to the animals as they put on their fancy dress?

We took the first five animals and their fancy dress and listened a second time to these pages of the story and drew the animals in the air- as they appeared before the fancy dress and then with the fancy dress.
We looked through the story for the magical fairy tale characters and played Simon says with the names of the animals and the fairy tale characters and actions we agreed upon to represent each character.(I didn't do this but wish i had ... and this was to create posters of the fairy tale characters with their eyes/nose/hair/teeth etc made up by different parts of different animals )

C Our  challenge was to get the animals we had chosen to the party!
I gave out animal name cards and asked the children to remind me of the names they knew of animals and what had happened in the story book.

We listened again to some of the music from Saint Saens.Take a look at my original blog post on this theme 

I asked the children to pass the names of the animals around a seated circle until I paused the music and then they had to mime the animal on their card for the person sat next to them.Could the person guess the animal? We then carried on with the game.

We then played a memory chain game .We looked at our top seven animals for the party and practised with a partner the names and the actions for the volunteers were then lined up at the front and each children had to try to say a different name of an animal .They could phone a friend for help too. Once the children were confident then it became a one against one play off of the game at the front- two children saying animal nouns in turn...who would dry up first?

The sound -spelling of the animals
We played several sound -spelling games:

Animal sounds - walking round the room with a letter string card from the nouns of the animals , quietly saying the sound of the letter string to find other  children with the same sound.Once all the children are gathered in to their correct groups- each group shouts out their sound and the class decides which animal picture displayed at the front of the classroom this sound belongs to.

Build the animal
I divided the nouns for the animals into letter strings- preferably two per animal noun.All the children had a card with a letter string written on it from an animal noun on it.They walked around the room and found someone who had the other letter string so that put together it became a complete animal noun.Once they had found the whole word, they had to draw on a mini whiteboard a quick picture of the animal and sit down with their hand up.Who would be first  or last to do this?   

I used my game "Open and reveal" to anticipate the name of the animals and to link the learning to other familiar language

Making masks and practising the key phrase to explain the disguise
....and then we made our animal masks,ready for our Saint Saens carnival parade.
We practised the key phrase from the book   in the target languages "I am disguising myself as...." and used our "animal" voices (voices that sounded like the animals).
If I make them again I think that we should have two animals on each mask....who the children want to be before the fancy dress and on the reverse the animal they want to disguise themselves as.

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