Tag Archives: culture

** I’m a little Snowman **

11 Dec

I LOVE snowmen!!! I find them very sweet 🙂 Maybe, my interest towards snowy things is increased because I live in Barcelona, where we hardly ever get some snow. I am 31 years old and as far as I remember, I have only experienced snow in my city 4 or 5 times!!!

Due to my interest towards snowmen, I planned a Christmas unit for my 2nd Primary students focused on them. I have to say, snowmen are also very popular amongst my students 😉 So we all enjoyed this unit!

To start with, we present our snowman:

snowman

We comment on the accessories that he wears, and we focus on 3 of them:

Right after, I present this Snowman song by “Super simple songs”which I adore. The song is simply perfect because it focuses on describing the snowman and what he wears.

When singing the song, I add some body movements to help the students understand better what the lyrics are about. This way, we sing the song but also dance it 😀

Another day, we play a game called “Do you want to build a snowman?”. Each group of 3 or 4 students recieves the sheet with the game, a dice and a white sheet of paper.

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The goal of the game is to build a snowman all together. The first roll chooses the body shape, the second roll the face style, the third roll the type of arms, the forth roll the hat or hair and finally what the scarf looks like. Once they are all built, they have to be coloured and we display them on the walls.

The following day, we watch the lovely Frosty’s winter wonderland film. It is not very long, which makes it ideal for one session 🙂

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On the last two days, we focus on making a snowman themed Christmas card.The idea is to make a collage snowman using coloured papers and making sure each snowman wears a hat, buttons and a scarf. This is the example I showed my students:

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Instead of writing the message on the front as it is done here, I suggested my students to write the Christmas wishes on the back of the coloured construction paper. This way, the snowman is not covered 🙂

 

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Where did English come from?

2 Nov

Ted Talks are fantastic! Besides, I love learning history facts about the languages I can speak. It makes them even more interesting 😀

So here there is this great 5 minutes video where we can learn many things about the origin of the English language. As well as the origin of some other languages that maybe we never thought would be connected to English.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

PUMPKIN… PUMPKIN!!

30 Oct

Pumpkins are a very common Autumny fruit. Besides, they are one of the main Halloween symbols!

There are many activities that could be done related to Pumpkins and that would keep children motived and eager to learn.

Next, there is a collection of resources that I have gathered together to work on Pumpkins with the little ones in Primary level:

To start with, I have selected a book of Splat the Cat, who I adore! (click on the image to hear the read aloud).

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Once the pumpkins have been intoduced through the story, there are many different activities to learn some facts about them. A possible one is to learn its Lifr Cycle and its parts:

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I have made a video tutorial for a a song about a pumpkin named “I’m a little pumpkin” 

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To have some extra fun, there are some pumpkin crafts that could be done, as well. My favourite one is this one, a cute and simple paper pumpkin:

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(click on the image for instructions)

To finish with the pumpkin lesson ideas, I would like to share this cartoon video I found which has got a moral story behind. It is called “Spookley the square Pumpkin”.

History of the Union Jack Flag

13 May

Learning historical and cultural facts about the English Speaking countries is also very important when learning the language in order to understand better their speakers/citizens.

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You SOUND like you’re from LONDON!

15 Apr

Christmas FUN for the little ones!

29 Nov

Christmas is one of my favourite festivals. I guess that, as it happens to many other teachers, it is funnier and easier to plan Christmas lessons and create Christmas resources than it happens with other celebrations that are normally used in the ESL class.

There are so many materials that can be used when planning Christmas based lessons that we could get lost in them! I have had that feeling before, so I understand that feeling of finding cool stuff and thinking “I could use this, I could use that” and after downloading lots of resources not knowing how to organise them or how to use them with our pupils.

I would like to share what I am using at the moment in my preschool lessons. Feel free to use anything you like!

I tend to start the Christmas lessons watching a cartoons episode the ones I am using at the moment for the different preschool levels are:

– Peppa Pig “Santa’s visit”

– Mickey mouse clubhouse “Mickey saves Santa”

– The baby triplets “Christmas” 

You can find them all in youtube 🙂

 

As usual, I like them learning some vocabulary with the help of flashcards. The eight words I chose are these ones:

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You can ask them to help you colouring them and once they are coloured you can laminate them to be able to use them for some TPR games.

There is this poem that my pupils really like saying, it is called Santa will pop!. Next, there is the video tutorial I made for my pupils so they can rehearse it at home.

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Here there is the Santa image that they have to colour and cut out. Once it is done, you can glue it onto a transparent plastic stick so it isn’t visible.

 

A Christmas Carol I really like singing with the little ones is Jingle Bells, the catchy rhythm is great! We don’t singing it all, we usually focus on the chorus. The version I like is this one because it is slow enough for the children to get the lyrics:

 

There are a couple of worksheets that could be done. In the first one, the children have to cut out the snowman and decide how they dress it up and in the second one they have to draw inside the stocking the presents they would like to get.

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Different languages = Different ways of seeing life

1 Nov

New cognitive research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world; a different sense of blame in Japanese and Spanish.

Do the languages we speak shape the way we think? Do they merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages (without our knowledge or consent) shape the very thoughts we wish to express?

Take “Humpty Dumpty sat on a…” Even this snippet of a nursery rhyme reveals how much languages can differ from one another. In English, we have to mark the verb for tense; in this case, we say “sat” rather than “sit.” In Indonesian you need not (in fact, you can’t) change the verb to mark tense.

In Russian, you would have to mark tense and also gender, changing the verb if Mrs. Dumpty did the sitting. You would also have to decide if the sitting event was completed or not. If our ovoid hero sat on the wall for the entire time he was meant to, it would be a different form of the verb than if, say, he had a great fall.

In Turkish, you would have to include in the verb how you acquired this information. For example, if you saw the chubby fellow on the wall with your own eyes, you’d use one form of the verb, but if you had simply read or heard about it, you’d use a different form.

Do English, Indonesian, Russian and Turkish speakers end up attendingto, understanding, and remembering their experiences differently simply because they speak different languages?

These questions touch on all the major controversies in the study of mind,with important implications for politics, law and religion. Yet very little empirical work had been done on these questions until recently. The idea that language might shape thought was for a long time considered untestable at best and more often simply crazy and wrong. Now, a flurry of new cognitive science research is showing that in fact, language does profoundly influence how we see the world.

The question of whether languages shape the way we think goes back centuries; Charlemagne proclaimed that “to have a second language is to have a second soul.” But the idea went out of favor with scientists when Noam Chomsky’s theories of language gained popularity in the 1960s and ’70s. Dr. Chomsky proposed that there is a universal grammar for all human languages—essentially, that languages don’t really differ from one another in significant ways. And because languages didn’t differ from one another, the theory went, it made no sense to ask whether linguistic differences led to differences in thinking.

The search for linguistic universals yielded interesting data on languages, but after decades of work, not a single proposed universal has withstood scrutiny. Instead, as linguists probed deeper into the world’s languages (7,000 or so, only a fraction of them analyzed), innumerable unpredictable differences emerged.

Of course, just because people talk differently doesn’t necessarily mean they think differently. In the past decade, cognitive scientists have begun to measure not just how people talk, but also how they think, asking whether our understanding of even such fundamental domains of experience as space, time and causality could be constructed by language.

 

To read all the article: http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868?tesla=y

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