Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Jacques a dit

This is the kit that I had with me for my Y3 French lessons this afternoon.  My Twitter followers may remember my mentioning Jack the Puppet, purchased from John Lewis in Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.  I simply could not resist his French colours!  He is now, of course, called Jacques.  I also had my four finger puppets from the same range that I have had for some time, who are now "Jacques's babies".  We were working on Olympic sports and simple opinions (c'est super, c'est pas mal and c'est nul).  Jacques said a sentence such as "La boxe, c'est nul", and the children had to use the Recorder Pen to make the cards say the same sentence.  Then they took it in turns to look after one of Jacques's babies and help the baby to say a sentence for one of the others to solve.

All very lower KS2, I know, but hopefully it will give you some ideas.  It's possible to create a smartboard activity with embedded sounds that you can use to build up sentences and which would work along similar lines.  Students get to demonstrate their understanding and they and the others hear plenty of the target language, building their confidence to use the language themselves. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Strip for the Olympics

No, not that sort of strip!  It's sporting strips that I'm going to talk about!  (Are you one of those people who was disappointed with their first game of strip bingo?!)

My scheme of work with my 3rd-year-of-Spanish pupils for the last term and a half has been sports and weather.  I've put an Olympic slant on it all to increase pupil interest, and the resources are all here if you would like to use them.  For this new term my topic is clothing, and I knew that I wanted to look at the clothes that the Olympic athletes are going to wear.

First of all I chose two Spanish athletes who have qualified for the Olympics and who we could use as an example.  I chose Carolina Rodríguez, a rhythmic gymnast, and David Cal, a canoeist.  The children found out more about them by reading in pairs some short texts:

The children weren't familiar with rhythmic gymnastics, and weren't aware of the kind of canoeing that David Cal does.  So we watched some short video clips of them in action - this one of Carolina's routine with the hoop, and this one of David's race in Hungary.  They were amazed by Carolina's skill with the hoop and cheered David on in his race!

After that we talked about the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and how one of its main features will be the 203 participating national teams marching into the stadium behind their national flag.  We also talked about how the team members will wear a special uniform, and I showed them a third short text which describes what the Spanish team will be wearing:
They used the dictionaries and their prior knowledge to find out what the athletes will be wearing.  

Once we had discussed the answers, we remembered the extravaganza that was the launch of the Stella McCartney designed Team GB strip.  On Monday it took me several hours of searching to find this, the only photo of the Spanish strip, designed by Russian company Bosco Sport, which was launched in November 2011:
Y6 in particular were unimpressed, and thought that the outfits looked old-fashioned (¡lo siento mucho, España!)  They immediately started to call out improvements and changes that they would make.

The final step to our lesson was for them to use the dictionaries to make a list of items of clothing that Carolina and David will need for their two sports, other than those which are pictured here.  Watching the video had helped them to see, for example, that David will need a wetsuit and Carolina will need footless tights.

And next week?  They get to design and describe in Spanish their own version of the Spanish Olympic strip.

UPDATE 05/06/12: The Spanish team's reaction to the strip, which surfaced in the Spanish press at the beginning of May, is described in this article in the Guardian.  It gives some useful background information.