reading listening

"Mon ,ma ,mes" and a little poem about chocolate!

So when do you use mon,ma,mes in French? So often we are asked this question
With Year 4 and 5 we will be buying Christmas presents in French  using the JLN SOW for our family and friends - so this poem could be a great way to reinforce when you use the three little words mon,ma, mes ........

I love this poem by Maurice Carême. It's all about who this child loves and how chocolate is the mood changer in his/her life! It's also a great way to practise ",mes"

J’aime mon père
J’aime ma mère
J’aime mes soeurs
J’aime mes frères
De tout mon coeur
Et tante et oncle
Oui tout le monde
Oui tous sauf moi
Quand je n’ai pas

Mon chocolat!

How should we use the poem?!
  • Let's read the poem with the children and spot the members of the family!
  • Can the children help you to understand the punchline- how important is chocolate to the child in the poem and can they spot it's not just anybody's chocolate - it's "mon chocolat!" This will help you to talk to the children about the three little possessive pronouns in the poem "mon,ma,mes".
  • Let's go on a " mon,ma mes hunt" , maybe using our magical magnifying glass.
  • Let's colour code our " mon ,ma, mes finds"! for example blue for mon. green for ma and yellow for mes
  • Let's be dictionary detectives !Ask the class to help you find clues as to the use of mon,ma ,mes by looking up the key nouns and seeing if they are masculine, feminine singular or plural nouns.Can we make up our rules for the mon,ma,mes mixture and when to use each of the words? 
  • Let's try it ourselves! Can the children identify two more nouns ij the poem( oncle and tante) and try the mon/ma/mes mixture that we have decided upon.Ask the children in pairs to write on mini whiteboards what they think the word should be?share and compare
  • Read the poem again with the children and ask them to add the feelings and the emotions that are conveyed in the poem by the use of the three possessive pronouns "mon,ma mes" 
Now we can create our own new poems using the familiar content of personal possessions ( e.g dolls/toys/ toy cars/ ipads/clothes etc) as we learn about Christmas presents or perhaps we could use another focus such as  animals.

Use  the poem as a scaffold and encourage the children to replace the highlighted words with the new content making sure that the content matches the mon ma mes - by checking in those all important bilingual dictionaries!  

J’aime mon père
J’aime ma mère
J’aime mes soeurs
J’aime mes frères
De tout mon coeur
Et tante et oncle
Oui tout le monde
Oui tous sauf moi
Quand je n’ai pas

Mon chocolat!

The mysterious world of grammar and magnifying glass magic!

Yesterday I introduced a group of colleagues to my magical magnifying glass.It's the simplest of language learning tools but it works so well.It's so easy to make - just a magnifying glass template printed out,with the middle cut out so that you can see through as if the middle was glass, laminated  and cut out into the magnifying glass shape.

Here it is!

Why is it so magical?

Well like so many of us I have always encouraged children to be language detectives ...just like Sherlock  Holmes and what does he carry? Yes a magnifying glass to uhelp your class begin to solve the  great mysteries of grammar and step with excitement in to the world of grammar.

magnifying glass.jpg

This magnifying glass can allow the children and you as well to step into text and to drill down and find out more magical knowledge about the text you have in front of you!

  • You can ask a child to come to the whiteboard and with the magnifying glass identify and hover overnouns in the text,or hover over adjectives in the text or hover over verbs in the text.Can they identify these structures in the text?
  • A child can challenge a child- so one child has the magnifying glass and finds one adjective , can another child be challenged to find a second adjective etcetra.
  • As a class you can hover over one specific noun and find out more... step deeper in to the magical world of grammar! What might the noun mean? Is it a noun the class already know? Can the children decide from context or similarity to English? Can the class step even deeper in to the noun- what is to the left and right of the noun? Can the children tell you if it is a masculine or feminine noun and what proof can they see to left and right of the noun with the magical magnifying glass to prove this (definite or indefinite article clues/adjectival agreement clues)? Is it singular or plural and what does the evidence to left and right show us? Can the class use bi-lingual dictionaries to explore the noun further and verify their magnifying glass findings?
  • Can you capture the verbs in the text with the magical magnifying glass and again dig deeper over each individual verb used,looking for personal pronouns to the left and the spelling at the end of the verb to the right? Can the children use the evidence they find with their magical magnifying glass to change the meaning of the text and  generate the same person and tense with new regular verbs that replace the verbs in the text? I think that you could make some amazing magical and sometimes nonsense but fun texts this way! 
  • Can the children use the magnifying glass to hunt the footprints of a specific common verb in the text e.g select a text using several present forms of the verb to have  or to be and then ask the children to create their own verb footprints diagram (literally footprints with the verb written inside the footprints that put the verb in to the correct order in a footprint path)

And there you have it...... the beginnings of a magical language learning and investigating tool to help children step in to the exciting World of grammar in a target language! 

Celebrating international literacy day

It’s “International Literacy Day” on Monday 8 September- so what better way to put a marker in the sand and make those cross curricular first steps between target language learning and literacy."Literacy and sustainable development" is the strap line and when you reflect on what we hope to achieve for our young learners it's that they will become competent young linguists who can communicate for work and business in another language sometime in their futures. who knows what communication and language challenges in their work and personal lives they may have to face.

Languages and Literacy belong together so this is an ideal opportunity to investigate and celebrate links between languages  and the structure of languages. Here are a few ideas we can easily incorporate in to our language teaching and learning next week – even if it’s a day or two after the official international literacy day!!

Possibility One :Exploring the World family of languages 

Who has the book below on their shelves.....somewhere?
Take the children on an exploration of another language  - maybe one that is spoken by children in school or maybe one that is unfamiliar to all your learners.
I love the fact that the subtitle says "talk your way around the world"!
The  book has short histories of each language , simple and useful phrases, pronunciation guides and a structure focus e.g in Turkish it’s explained that there are two words for “you” … how easy is that to link to French , German…..??

Possibility Two: a international story read by the author is his/her original language

Does it matter is the children don’t understand each word? In this instance it’s about the children seeing that stories exist in other languages. We love using this Eric Carle clip of the Hungry Caterpillar read in German by the author himself.

 Possibility Three: Taking a thought for a walk in two languages!

Why not explore some simple writing in the target language you teach in school. I love this cartoon and the blog I wrote last academic year is all about how we can encourage young language learners to take a thought for a walk in any language!

Possibility four  :Links between Literacy,target language grammar and drama

World Cup Warm Ups

World Cup Warm Ups

To get the children up, moving and participating!

The 3 World Cup power point stories in French, Spanish and German can be accessed here.

The World Cup Warm up lesson or lessons are easy to deliver and link language learning with physical activity and even measuring pulse rates.There is even the opportunity to create a musical performance of the World Cup Warm Up song.

  • Revisit numbers
  • Practise simple commands 
  • Play simon says with the commands 
  • Share the ppt story with the class .
  • Give out the picture with out the captions
  • Can the class match the written caption to the correct picture 
  • Can the class perform the warm up .Check your pulse rates before and after the activity! 
  • Set up challenges where one group challenges another table to do an activity ten times
  • Now the children are ready in groups of four or six to create their own world cup warm ups- reordering the activities and changing the amount of times each activity should be done .
  • They could record themselves performing the routines and train a second group to carry out their routine.
  • Create a World Cup Warm Up class song to familiar sporting themes tune such as Match of the Day as your PE warm up for the Summer last half term using this language!