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"

Listening,responding and comprehending UKS2: une fourmi rouge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Janet Lloyd Network SOW

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

Alice in Wonderland and describing people in speaking and writing


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

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

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

Create for yourself a large card tea pot! 

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

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

2.Laying out the food for our Tea Party

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

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

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

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

3.Creating our Mad Hatter's Tea Party Menu

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

For example in French:

un croissant bleu

une tarte multicolore au choufleur

une grande glace rouge et piquante 

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

4.Creating the table conversation

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

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

Six Characters in Search of an Author

At University I was a member of Theatre Group and one of my most memorable productions was Six Characters in Search of an author by Pirandello.
(Six characters arrive at a theatre - each in turn melodramatic but with a story to tell , which in turn is part of a whole story......It is theatre within theatre. They are looking for a producer to tell their story.)

In its simplest from this can allow us to explore all 4 skills of language learning, to encourage accurate use of grammar and punctuation and to develop pronunciation, intonation and emotion in spoken language.
The activities below can be used with UKS2,KS3, KS4 and KS5 language learners.the task set by the teacher can challenge the language learners at the level they can operate in the target language.

(You will need an equal number of groups - so that one group can swap work with a second group and then the two groups can come back together and share their work with each other)

  1. Share the idea of mystery characters with the class. Explain how these mystery characters want to tell their story and need a producer to help them put together their story.Can the class help you to write and perform the introductory utterances for the characters? 
  2. Share with the class a picture stimulus. This could be with a mystery picture as above or allow the class to think of characters for themselves.With younger learners maybe we could look at characters we have been  exploring in story ,history etc (pirates.Romans, Kings and Queens, a family from a different time period etc).with older learners maybe we want to link the characters to our investigations of characters we meet in target language poetry and literature. 
  3. Working in groups of six , ask each member of the group to focus on one particular character and to imagine how they might think, look and act (brave, bold, timid, angry, happy, young , old, role in the group).
  4. Depending on the language level and skills of your pupils decide what types of sentences you want the pupils to create as utterances spoken by the characters - so for example with UKS2 and Y7 learners we would want them to write spoken utterances based on : name, age,preferences and personality.With more advanced learners you may want opinions and  personal past history or future hopes.
  5. The pupils must write out their spoken utterances on a strip of paper or card. Each card from the group is gathered together and passed over to a second group.These two groups are now partner groups for the rest of the activities.
  6. The second group of six children must now read the utterances as a team and decide which character might say the utterances. 
  7. Now this second team must create a spoken dramatic performance as an introduction to the characters as if they were on set and speaking with the producer.They have to bring the utterances they have read to life.
  8. The second group should then act out their introduction performances and vice versa. What do the original authors of the characters' utterances think about the characters as they have been brought to life by the second group? 
  9. Finally can the original group that wrote the utterances , take back the characters and create a story board about each of the characters reflecting how the personality was brought to life by the second group? 

Adding Drama to Language Learning

Drama and Language Learning and reasons to explore language through performance

The aims of the new DFE POS for languages encourages us in both KS2 and KS3 to develop learners who can :

  • Understand and respond to spoken and written languages from a variety of authentic sources
  • Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity,finding ways to communicate what...want to say
  • Write at varying length for different purposes and audiences,using the variety of grammatical structures they have learnt
  • Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
During this session at Ililc 2015 I intend to look at how we can develop communication skills in language learners from KS1,KS2 and KS3 and provide learners with a vehicle of self expression and creativity adding drama to language learning.I hope also to suggest APPS and use of IT to enhance the drama/language learning process and outcomes along the way too.

Drama and dramatic devices used in language learning promote:
  • Better and more confident communication skills
  • Inclusive participation
  • Team work and appreciation of each others' creativity and performance
  • An understanding of why intonation and pronunciation matter and how these can enhance character and covey meaning and emotion.
  • Importance of the links between dialogue and actions to convey meaning
  • Platforms upon which to develop independent creative writing
  • Understanding of the importance of punctuation and accuracy in the choice and use of written language.
  • Deeper and more creative understanding of text
  • A purposeful reason to explore the skills of memorisation and  tools to support the recall of language

Early language learning
  1. Voice Machines - sounds of the language and our voice machines (Audio Boom to capture those sounds!)
  2. Sunflower song active learning of simple language- numbers 1-10 linked to Springtime and growing plants. (Story Creator to capture the sunflowers growing taller and taller)
  3. Colour mimes and word association .Practising new language and finding ways to remember the sound and feel of new language. (Yakiyt for Kids)
  4. Stretchy sound and letter string balloons  (Audio Boom balloons) 

Exploring instructions and simple language. 

  1. Parts of the body and puppeteers - listening, responding.
  2. Using Educreations APP to generate physical performance
  3. Mirror mirror on the wall (Step Five )
  4. Creative spoken language
  5. Flowing mime machines with rhythm and beat accompaniment and spoken word.

Asking and answering questions,speaking in full sentences and engaging in conversation

  1. Paper Puppets
  2. Superstar sketches.
  3. Puppet Pals APP to bring our conversations to life
  4. "Fancy dress" Quiz Quiz Swap (I-FunFace APP)
  5. Stage set triaramas  with cultural speaking and writing attitude .Use of I-nigma APP to create spoken speech bubbles for the characters.

Now let's get dramatic!

  1. If a picture paints a 1000 words Anticipation Emotions displays (FotoBooth1 to generate our own emotions and feelings)
  2. Silent Movies , back stories and a taste of great literature (Capture the performance on Camcorders and IPads)'
  3. Going on an Autumn walk with poetry
  4. "Six characters in search of an author performance  and  a PicCollage to create Story Boards written outcome.
  5. 3D Art (Tiny Tap APP) (stage one, stage two, stage three.)

The aliens have definitely landed! Year 4 Spring term observations.

We have an alien family in our JLN SOW.We introduce Year 4 to the family in Spring and then the children meet the aliens  to practise language across all four skills and grammar  at points later in Year 4,5 and 6. We love our aliens and they never fail to disappoint! Here is part of the family at carnival later in the school year! I say part of the family as our young learners keep on making us new members of the family.I have met the family several times in the last couple of weeks and what is remarkable is that each teacher adds their own style to the introduction and practise of the language around the aliens! 

Have a look at the difference in approaches between Ana's Spanish Year 4 lesson on the family.Janet W's Year 5 beginners French lesson on our alien family ,Emilie's Bonjour Madame blog post on her alien family lesson and the use of a Voice recording APP and now here below Joanne's Year 4 lesson in Spanish on the "familia alien" - full of drama and performance!


As you may know if you have been reading my blog posts on observations, I am currently undertaking a routine series of observations of the language assistants and teachers who work alongside me in our primary schools.They deliver primary language learning on a weekly basis.It is such a rewarding and pleasurable opportunity to see what is really taking place in schools.

This series of blogs is an additional support mechanism for these colleagues,as they can't be in each others classroom and as a team  we meet once per half term for a twilight CPD,So you can hopefully see that these blogs (with a cup of tea and a biscuit back at home) offer them an insight in to each others classrooms and schools. 

Joanne's "Familia alien" lesson

  • A warm up greetings song packed with actions and  whole class singing , as they gathered on the carpet for the Spanish 
  • Personal information questions and answers - using "the guest" (that was me) as a person to get to know.Praise for children - particularly those who don't always  speak Spanish confidently to new people in the classroom.
  • Incidental language all in Spanish and reminders to " sentaos" to a couple of children not quite sat down or "escuchad" and "miradme" and then an instruction to discuss with their talking partners the language they had met for the first time last week "la familia alien" .....
  • Looking for links (e.g papa/ mama or hermano and hermana) and praise for correct use of definite articles with reward " a star-cash" for someone who really thought hard before sharing a correct article! 
  • Now the whole class was moving around and being the characters with the actions the children had chosen for the characters last week .As many actions as there are syllables in the nouns reminded Joanne. A wagging finger for mama, hands behind the head and a yawn for papa, football kick for hermano and disco dancing for hermana  and  tiny moving fists and feet for bebe! Stereo -typical (as Joanne pointed out) but chosen ,owned  and liked by the children and acted out with gusto!
  • Now we started to use the question " Quien es?" and full sentence responses were expected " hola soy el bebe alien" etcetra...always in character , always with actions,accurate pronunciatrion expected and reinforced  and always performed well.
  • The children were so engaged that they just listened ,joined in and responded to incidental instructions without even noticing that these were in the target language.
  • Today  "abuelo" and "abuela" joined the family! This was a big moment  in this particular school,because when Year 6 were in Year 4 they designed the grandma and grandad to complete the alien family for us.It was their idea! They are precious to the school!
  • Joanne introduced "abuelo" and asked the children to look at the slide from the familia alien ppt and work out how to say "abuelo" before she shared correct pronunciation ... and what we heard was excellent!
  • Then she asked the children to be language detectives think about what they thought grandma might be in Spanish .... and with their talking partners we could hear them say "Well it's hermano  and hermana so perhaps the word ends in "a" (etc).Back came the response "abuela" and now Joanne could introduce Grandma.
  • Of course the class needed actions for the characters and decided on an action that conveyed what one of the children described "Ooh me back" for abuelo and for grandma the class decided on a knitting action.
  • "Can we play a dramatic Pedro dice?" asked one child. What a good idea was Joanne's response.Off they went to their standing spaces and how did the children own the game! Performance filled,volunteers as Pedro dice who had to say whole sentences for the rest of the class.One volunteer won a "starcash" reward for excellent pronunciation,intonation,speed of recall, use of complete phrases and correct use of "o" and "a" for our new characters - abuelo and abuela. How proud was that person!
  • Time for performance in groups.On their home tables,the children had to create a performance introduction to the familia alien for the rest of the class.Each child had to be a character from the family , keep and enhance the actions and add their own alien voice.Joanne clarified that what she was looking for, was clear confident introductions to the  familia alien.
  • As support she offered children the familia alien photo sacks (small card pictures of each character to help with recall of the nouns) but only if the children felt that they needed to use them .
  • As additional challenge  the children were encouraged to add their own sentences - names, ages, feelings etc....maybe even questions for other family members.
  • And off they went to spend 10 minutes creating their  entertaining Spanish familia alien performances for the rest of the class! 
  • Thank you Joanne and Year 4.The aliens have definitely landed!

Carnival conversations in speaking and writing with triaramas used as stage sets

I am getting ready for the first of several local network meetings where we will look at some of the new POS learning objectives and put these in to real language teaching and learning contexts.

Our theme is "Celebrating Carnival" and our learning objectives look at how a young learners develops the skills of communication in the target language.We are considering how we move from 

asking and answering questions
engaging in conversations
 describing people places and things orally and in writing

The activities described below will allow children who are moving on in their language learning - so in their late second,third or fourth year of learning to practise their use of questions and answers and to move on  to possibly develop conversations accurately.

We are basing these activities on our "Aliens at Carnival"  power point where we will investigated the language required to share some simple facts about a target language carnival -(the sounds , the sights,  the fun , the fancy dress etc).

We are going to create stage sets and put our "aliens on the stage" as puppets/ actors, which the teacher and the children can decide to make "live" ( spoken) performances between alien characters or "freeze frames" (written speech bubble) frozen conversations between two characters.

Here is a step by step guide top how I made my "stage set"

I printed off the stage set ,using a slide from our alien ppt.I think you just need to find a similar background colourful picture if you can't access the ppt

I cut the picture down to a square shape,folded the picture  to make the Triarama and inserted a cut from the bottom right hand corner to the centre of the square

With blu -tac(or with glue ) I crossed over the bottom left and right triangle to create the stage in my triarama.

I now printed off the ppt slide a second time, but this time on card and cut out two alien characters that I wanted to talk to each other on my stage set.I made sure that there was a small strip of empty card below their feet , so that I could fold this over and stand the characters upright on set and secure  the characters to the set with blu-tac.Blu-tac  so that I can change the characters and therefore move from questions and answers to a conversation and maybe introduce other characters too and asides and and additional opinions!

And now I thought of the text I wanted to write on two card speech bubbles.These are secured with blu-tac to the characters om the reverse of their heads so that I can change the questions and answers and again create a sequence of questions and answers that would in turn create a dialogue which could lead to a conversation .

Why do I like this and how might I take this further in KS2 learning?
  • Well this strikes me a s a learning device that can be used with children in KS2 who know basic questions and answers based around likes and dislikes.
  • It's a physical way of developing role plays that can be dynamic and can be changed and questions and answers altered,adapted  or given to other characters   
  • It can also be an opportunity to offer more independent speaking and writing opportunities to children to describe people,places and thing and to add opinions  
  • There is the opportunity here to set the scene, so one pair writes the speech bubbles and gives these to a second pair.The second pair reconstructs the dialogue using the  characters they have and creates the dynamic conversation using their characters and their triarama  stage set.

And in to KS3?
This could be an opportunity in Y7 to revisit the carnival and look again at the alien story of the carnival , but this time to write a past tense dialogues, asking what was seen, heard, eaten , likes, dislikes etc or a near future dialogue about what the characters are looking forward to seeing etc! 

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  

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! 

A triarama with speaking and writing attitude!

Tomorrow I will be working with teachers on linking drama and language learning and I will be considering the new DfE POS learning objectives for KS2 and also how we can lay the foundations in our learning for KS3 languages.
We will look at all sorts of activities from beginners to advanced KS2 language learning.The following activities are targeted at learners who are either moving on or are advanced learners.
My activities hopefully will allow teachers to offer children opportunities to progress and work with the following objectives from the new DfE POS:

  • speak in sentences using familiar vocabulary
  • broaden their vocabulary
  • read carefully and show understanding of words,phrases and simple writing
  • write phrases from memory

I was introduced to Triaramas by Clare Seccombe here  and have decided that triaramas are a way to  link all four skill (L.S.R.W) and drama! 

  • First you need to create a sketch for the children. (We will base ours on Christmas and family- maybe presents or a meal).There needs to be a dramatic or funny ending to the sketch.Use familiar language with some new language that they will need to understand and offer the children tools such as bilingual dictionaries to find meanings etc
  • Then you need to write out the sketch without stage directions for the class.
  • Give each child a script and organise the class into differentiated ability groups with the right number of children in the group for the roles in the sketch. 
  • Can the children read the sketch out in the target language around the table?
  • Can the children tell each other what has happened in the sketch? Have they understood the ending of the sketch?
  • Ask the children to read the sketch a second time and allocate roles and decide upon actions and voices of the characters
  • What props will they need?
  • Now can the children decide what the stage directions should be?
It's time to be a set designer and sketch director!
Each child must decide which moment in the sketch they want to depict in a snap shot set.

It's blank set time.
Give each child a piece of paper and ask them to create a triarama following instructions.

This is there opportunity to create the set for the sketch and to record how they perceive the sketch that their group has been working on.

Now they need to add information to their triarama so that they create a dynamic record of the reading of the sketch.Each character in the foreground needs their name/role  and an adjective that help other people understand what the character is like e.g.  tired /excited/ friendly/ angry /surprised/ confused etc .First the children need to make cut outs and write in the target language on them - the role/ the adjective:

The children can now place the characters as they want them on set?

....And the children can add key phrases from the sketch and additional objects and other characters.Can they write the phrases from memory.

Do they want to add any other characters too? What are these characters saying or thinking at that exact moment?

I have blu-tacked my characters to the set so that they can be moved and have blu-tacked their phrases too to the characters so the dialogue can be changed.

Now it's time to share their set with the sets of the other children - firstly in their group and then in the class.
Have they chosen the same moment in the sketch?
How do they imagine their characters sound when they speak.Can they bring their snap- shot set to life?

Fireworks performance poem

Below are the core phrases to the Firework Performance Poem that we have been using in schools in Warrington with our  "moving on" learners (so stage two) to explore a simple poem for grammar, to use reading comprehension skills and to develop a spoken performance and our own written poems.We can use it with beginners but then we explore less of the grammar and focus more on the performance. 

We use colours, three key present tense verbs, and the phrase "there is" or "there are" with the noun for stars.the poem has two verses and repeats the three verbs and the phrase "there are a lot of stars". 

Here is the French version of the poem.:





Zoum, zoum!

Ils glissent

Ils montent

Ils descendent .

Il y a beaucoup d' étoiles!





Zoum, zoum!

Ils glissent

Ils montent

Ils descendent .

Il y a beaucoup d' étoiles!

So as you can see it's a very simple poem, but it leads to some interesting discussion:

  • use of colours as adjectives,but written alone and not next to a noun - however you can ask the children to see what happens when they place them with a noun in the target language - especially of you introduce both a masculine and a feminine noun to describe with a colour.

  • colours that look like the english word but sound slightly different

  • colours we may already have met as nouns to (orange/argent/or)

  • silent letters

  • and final silent letter combinations on the verbs

  • meaning of the verbs because they look like an english word e.g montent- mountain/ glissent ( they often think means glisten but then they can see glide when it's explained too!)

  • using picture and colour context to determine meaning of words we aren't sure of - as this is part of a powerpoint where the stars fly in at the end , the colours are written on the correct colour etcetra

We rearrange the colours into alphabetical order or add new colours using the bilingual dictionary

We use the verb examples to look for own verbs with children who have begin to think about verbs and how to change endings and the pattern here is regular with "er" verbs so it's an achievable task for all the class! 

We change the ending and think of /look for new plural nouns for the final word- as a surprise for own listeners and readers  

And then we prepare our performance - with younger learners it's a class performance with actions and sounds and with older learners then it's a performance with a twist -an added verse of their own.It needs actions and sound of course too!

These activities lead very well in to our physical sentence prompts activities which you can read about here : 

Physical sentence prompts

And the Spanish version  .....? Well here it is :





¡fantástico! ¡ fantástico!



hay muchas estrellas





¡fantástico! ¡ fantástico! 



hay muchas estrellas


Using drama and grammar to go on an Autumn walk through a French poem

L’automne au coin du bois,
Joue de l’harmonica.
Quelle joie chez les feuilles !
Elles valsent au bras
Du vent qui les emporte.
On dit qu’elles sont mortes,
Mais personne n’y croit.
L’automne au coin du bois,
Joue de l’harmonica.

Maurice Carême

This beautiful poem I find is lyrical and there is a hidden thread within the words of the music of Autumn.It's a piece of poetry that we can use in target language learning to explore nouns and the imagery of dance and music to create a magical picture of  Autumn.  

Walk through the nouns
  1. Share with the children the fact that you are on an Autumn walk and the wind is blowing and the leaves are blowing around.
  2. Ask the children to read through the poem and find the nouns in the poem and write them down on a rough piece of paper (just like they were collecting Autumn leaves)
  3. Which nouns in the target language have the children found? How did they do this? What helped them to find the nouns (e.g definite articles or words that looked very similar to english nouns)?
  4. Are there any hidden nouns that we need to look ? Use the clues of "du" and "au" to find the hidden nouns.(With more advanced learners explain the use of "du" and "au" and how it has been formed and how it conceals the definite article).
  5. Engage the children in an imaginary Autumn walk.Explain that you are going to say each of the nouns they have found in the target language and you want the children to close their eyes and listen to the sound of the words and see a visual image of the word and the object or item or scene it describes
  6. Now ask them to create a visual image of their own of each noun- they need to stand up find a space and create a movement and a facial expression to portray the nouns as you say them. Ask the children to repeat this and say the nouns with you and give the nouns "life" like the poet does in the poem.

Step into the Poet's World
Read the poem with the children and ask the children to listen for the key nouns and  “step” into the poem through their physical reactions to the nouns.

  • Talk with the children about the types of weather they expect in Autumn. Ask them to help you find the sounds in the text where they can hear the  wind as it blows through the wood?
  • Focus now on the use of the noun “l’harmonica”. Discuss with the children the sort of the sound a harmonica makes. If possible access the sound of the harmonica. Can they hear the squeal and sound of the wind as it plays? What type of wind do you think is chasing the leaves in the poem? 
  • Look at this key sentence in the poem: “Quelle joie chez les feuilles, elles valsent au bras du vent!”  Explore the magic of the image in this line..........

  1. Ask the children in pairs or on their tables to investigate the language they can see in the sentence when they read the sentence. 
  2. First they must locate the cognates, the nouns and verb.
  3. Then they must look up the key language they are not certain about. 
  4. Finally can they create a visual translation of the sentence- a picture, a cartoon or a physical performance? Give the children a time limit of 15 minutes to unpack the sentence, understand the sentence and to create their visual translation. Watch or view some of the visual translations and practise the spoken form of the sentence with the children each time volunteers share their work.

Adding music, dance and movement to the poet's world 

Read in French and then explain to the class the meaning of the sentence : On dit qu’elles sont mortes, Mais personne n’y croit”.Ask the children to help you find the magic that brings the leaves to life in the poem. Allow the children time to realise that the wind is music to the leaves.

Can the children explore the rhythm and the beat of the sentence “Quelle joie chez les feuilles, elles valsent au bras du vent!”  and create the "drum beat of the dancing leaves"?

  Share the world of the poet with others!
I selected this poem because of the magic of the wind and the music and dance themes that run through the poem. The poet wants us to understand that the wind is bringing what appear to be dead leaves to life. Can the children help you to create these visual images and bring the music and the dance to the poem? 

  • As a class read the poem and look for repeated lines and words
  • Read the poem and stress the repeated lines and words
  • Look and listen for the rhyme
  • Give all the children the music magic and suggest that they all have imaginary musical instruments. They must help you now to read the poem with stress and intonation that brings the music of the poem to life and add the drum beat of the sentence where the leaves come to life and dance “Quelle joie chez les feuilles, elles valsent au bras du vent!” .
  • As a class now re-read and stress the repeated lines ,words and rhythm
  • Ask for volunteers to perform the poem as a mime whilst the rest of the class create the music of the poem by reading it aloud with the stress, intonation and rhythm you have already explore.