Sunshine Sparklers !

This is my "sunshine sparkler" and here is a simple idea to use toward the end of the term with LKS2 emergent/ beginner target language writers!

The idea was inspired by this wonderful picture below of Versaille and its the illuminated fountains. I spotted it on Twitter

You can find out more about the fountains here on the le monde website

Firstly let's play simple games with "Summertime" words.
The following words immediately come to mind and you will probably be able to think of more!


  • Play familiar games like "Simon says " with an action for the words or charades and guessing the word as class mate has mimed or hunt thw word around the classroom or match the parts of words so that we can complete the word.Games that are class favourites fit here.
  • Then let's encourage children to look accurately at the words and write individual words high up in the air with their "sunshine sparkler" stick. Invisible but ,magical and everyone is taking part! and don't forget flicks and twists and wiggles for all those wonderful accents etc!
  • Each child could add their three top favouirte summertime words from the list to the sunshine symbol or start at the top of the sunshine sparkler sticks to take home too!
  • Can the children create their own "sparkling Versaille fountain style painted word art"" to add to a class display of "sunshine sparkling words.They could pick their favourite word from the list you have been playing games with and which they have written in the sky with the sunshine sparkler sticks. You could focus on the cursive writing of ther target language and ask the children to try to write the word in their word art in that cursive style !

Blotting paper memory challenge!

I love working with teachers! They often challenge me to think of new ideas and approaches!
This morning I  was working with a group of new teachers and we were trying to think of ways to encourage children to explore the world of grammar and also to look at strategies that will help children when learning a language!
This idea came out of very simple discussion and I think would make a great activity to encourage memory,

  1. Give each child five minutes to locate between three familiar words in the bi-lingual dictionary specific words in the target language - think nouns or adjectives or verbs....
  2. Ask the children to write one of the word out carefully in felt tip on a piece of blotting paper.
  3. Can they now commit the word to memory - before it disappears from the blotting paper? (Add water droplets to the blotting paper - so it becomes "Now you see it! now you don't !)
  4. Ask the children to try this with the other two words
  5. Take feedback from the children on how they approached this challenge and what memorisation strategies they employed to complete the blotting paper memory challenge!

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.

e.g joy..ses 

(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.