Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Giving Instructions Visually as Well as Verbally in the Target Language

I am a big fan of posting what I say to kids visually, not just providing oral input in the target language. Not only does this provide great support for kids who learn differently, but it also creates an ongoing reference source for that input. One of my favorite "posts" are instructions for activities we are doing in class. I've created simple instructions on the back of which I've placed magnets so I can easily change them out when transitioning from one class to another. Additionally, I break down the activity into its steps and stick those next to each instruction so my kiddos can see the correlation between instruction and step in the activity. As I introduce the activity, I go over the steps one by one ensuring my students comprehend what it is I am asking them to do. What I love about this (apart from using the target language, of course!) is that as we are doing the activity, I can refer my students to the instructions when they ask me "So, what do I do next?" or "I'm done with this". "Okis, ahorita tienes que hacer el paso número 3" I might answer and point to the step mentioned. This gives them responsibility for their own learning as well, something I strongly support!

So, as an illustration, you can see in the above picture students need to first put their name on the activity (La oruga muy hambrienta) using a pencil. Then, they must cut out the pictures, thirdly glue them to the appropriate pages, and lastly, color. I've provided an example of each step for additional visual support.
The more you use this system, the better students get at it. Keeping the instructions simple enables them to more easily access the vocab, and over time they begin to know what the expectations are for our instructions in class and use them independently.
If you would like to save yourself some time, you can purchase our own set of Illustrated Instruction Cards in our TpT shop! Click here to get yours now!

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