Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


We Did a Video- Now What? 5 Follow Up Activities for FLES World Language Classes

I LOVE DOING VIDEO WALKS WITH MY ELEMENTARY SPANISH STUDENTS... they are a great way to bring in authentic resources, they are appealing to my students, and they provide an effective medium to practice and reinforce vocabulary. I choose videos which are connected to the mini book and theme I am teaching, and sometimes spend WAY too much time on Youtube searching out just the right video. You can find my post here on how to do a Video Walk, by the way! Of course, once the video is over, it's over, right? Well, maybe not! Here are FIVE (NOW SIX) FOLLOW UP activities you can do to extend the learning and connections from the video you've just used in class:

Follow Up Activities after showing a video in Foreign language class

1) DO A VENN DIAGRAM: You may already know that I LOVE Venn Diagrams; they are so simple and easily accessible for novice speakers, and have the additional benefit of a math concept (compare & contrast). Since I frequently connect my mini books with videos, it is a natural extension to compare the two. You can do a whole class Venn diagram using hula hoops (I borrow from our Phys Ed teacher) and story props from the theme along with cut outs from the video (I usually do a search on Pinterest for images related to the video) or you can have kids complete individual Venn diagrams on paper. Here is a video of a Venn I did with my Kinders using our mini book 'Julieta y Mateo hacen un picnic' and a Peppa Pig video:

Link to our Theme Pack 'Julieta y Mateo hacen un picnic'

Here is a Venn I did with my multiage class after reading our mini book 'Arriba' and viewing another Peppa Pig video, el Viaje en globo-since these classes are made up of Kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders, I instructed them to illustrate, rather than write, what each character sees during her trip; as they are illustrating, I circulate and ask what they are drawing, either with yes/no questions, either/or or open ended depending on their level.

Use a Venn diagram to compare a video and a minibook in Spanish class
Click here to grab our Theme Pack 'Arriba'
2) TALKING BUBBLES: This is a fun way to get kids practicing the first person singular by utilizing talking bubble post its and a screen shot or drawing of a scene from a video. Once a video has been seen, choose a scene which ties in well with vocabulary your students are familiar with- I particularly like ones that connect to greetings and emotions, preferences, etc which we practice on a regular basis but where I find some kids can get stuck on certain phrases and never practice others. This type of activity challenges them to go beyond those "old standards" of theirs. In the example below, my 2nd graders watched a Musti video related to our 'Helado' theme; I then drew Mamá and Musti, gave each student a talking bubble post it and instructed them to choose one of the characters and write something they might say. Responses ranged from 'Tengo hambre' to 'No me gusta' to '¡Hola! to 'delicioso' and so on. My kids LOVE this activity-you can also do it with a mini book or story book character after reading!

Talking Bubbles Activity for Foreign Language Class

3) FOUR CORNERS with screen shots... this is an easy prep activity that involves taking screen shots of various scenes from the video, then using them as the images in FOUR CORNERS (click here for my post on how to play if unfamiliar). I like this a lot as it allows me to use longer chunks and/or full sentences as the listening prompt, rather than just a single word. The images in the photo below are from Cantoalegre's Lolalá episode 10 which I use during my 'Olivia en la granja' theme ..I love that the images from this particular video allow me to reinforce listening comprehension for 'sees', 'looks for', and 'finds', all verbs we use again and again.

Four Corners Screenshot Activity for Spanish class

4) SEQUENCE THE SCENES with screen shots...again, a simple activity to prep. Take a series of screen shots from the video, mix them up, and following viewing the video, have kids put the scenes back in order according to the video. Here is one of my First grade classes ordering scenes from a video on how to make chocolate -note how simple I keep the activity to make it accessible to my Novice Low students, including the use of number cards to further convey the task:

5) WAS THERE A ___ IN THE VIDEO? For a simple follow up to a video, compile a set of cards with vocabulary words on them, some of which are things that were in the video and some that were not. I like to do this as a contest-I go around the room, one kid at a time, pull a card and ask him or her if what the card says was in the video, yes or no. (For ex, Was there a house in the video, yes or no?). If they get it right, the class gets a point; if they get it wrong, I get a point. Since they usually get most right, I get very few points, to the immense delight of my students!!

6) WORD-IMAGE MATCH: There are a variety of ways you can do this, adjusting for proficiency level of your students-from a one word or word chunk match to a screen shot, to a longer sentences matched to a screen shot. Provide a set of screen shots that reinforce the key vocabulary you are focusing on, along with word or word chunk cards or sentence strips which students then read and match to the correct screen shot, such as in the photo below, featuring an authentic video from Colombia and word cards from our Granja Theme Pack, which you can find here

Granja Theme Pack Video & Vocabulary Activity

What follow up activities do you do with a video? Please share in the comments below!

We did a video in class, now what? Follow up activities for world language

Resources to Teach Le Temps des Sucres in French Class

LIVING HERE IN MAINE I AM KEENLY AWARE OF MAPLE SUGAR SEASON, always excited to see the buckets go up on maple trees in March, a sign spring is on it's way! As much as it is a cultural part of the northeast US, it is also a deep part of spring traditions in Canada, most especially Quebec, which is the world's largest producer of maple syrup, as in almost 80%! This lends itself perfectly to French class, with so many tastes, sights, and experiences related to sugaring season.

Resources to Teach Le Temps des Sucres in French Class

*Mouk- Le sirop d'erable: This episode features Mouk traveling to Quebec to learn more about maple sugaring season-perfect for a Video Walk!

*This video from a sugar shack in Quebec has some great shots of the equipment used to process the sap:

*Making tire à l'érable in Montreal:

*Here's a simple infographic of foods that go well with maple syrup! Click here to access the page where you can enlarge the infographic.

*PRODUCTION OF MAPLE SYRUP IN CANADA: here is a link to an infographic pertaining to statistics of maple syrup production in Canada; you will need to scroll down a bit, but it's there! :)

*POSTERS OF MAKING MAPLE SYRUP IN FRENCH: Don't miss our set of 10 posters featuring maple syrup collection, sugar shack production and more! You can find them in our shop by clicking here!

Le Temps des sucres 10 Posters Labeled in French
click here
*PEPPA PIG LES CRêPES: a cute, related episode from Peppa Pig in French

Creating Visual Rubrics to Establish Expectations for Students

SUPPORTING STUDENTS IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE is an important component throughout class, and across all activities-we all know this. But are we clearly communicating what our expectations are to our students? Do they know what constitutes 'meets' (in a 4 point rubric) for example? Do they know what 'Novice Mid' looks like/sounds like in a given activity? Providing a visual breakdown (or even audio breakdown in a video!) can be that powerful link that gives kids a strong understanding of the expectations and provides an opportunity for them to engage in their own reflection on their learning (aka student self assessment).

Expectations presented visually for students to support their self reflection

ESPECIALLY WITH MY ELEMENTARY STUDENTS, but certainly with ALL students, their understanding of expectations is frequently unclear if I don't provide an example, which, in my opinion, becomes quite unfair in an assessment situation. If you don't know what to shoot for, how do you really know what to do in the first place? One way to do this is to break down a rubric into it's elements and provide a visual representation of each so that kids know what constitutes a 1, 2, 3 or 4 (in a 4 point rubric where a 4 is 'exceeds').

Visual Representation of a Rubric's Levels

THIS IS A RUBRIC I CREATED FOR MY FIRST GRADERS of our Salto Ángel collage activity, part of our theme on Venezuela. As you can see, I created an example of each level of the rubric so they could see EXACTLY what needed to be completed to get to '¡Muy bien!'. This representation also aids in keeping the class in the target language because if a student comes to me with 'I'm done' we can compare theirs to the visual rubric, and it becomes readily apparent whether they need to do more or not: I put the question back on them and THEY self assess by looking at the examples. We can then very simply process: Is yours like this? like this? like this? (see how simple the language is! #novice) I can then point to elements in the level beyond where they identify their work to indicate what they still need to do. Interestingly, when an example of a 4 is provided, I find more kids will shoot for that as opposed to if you only show up to a 3. Again, it's that idea of clearing up the mystery of what's expected and what can be achieved. Here's the link to a super simple video example of processing with a student-click here.

Rubrics provide an incentive to shoot higher

ONE WAY I REALLY LIKE TO TALK ABOUT movement along a rubric, and/or even where one is on the rubric continuum, is the hamburger rubric, which I morphed into a 'Taco rubric'. It is very kid friendly and envisions the rubric as progress from just getting started to achieving, without a 'gotcha' stance, and uses ordering in a restaurant as it's metaphor-I just LOVE it! You can read about it in my blog post here.

What types of rubrics do you use? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!