Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Doodle Pages Activity to Foster Language Use in Student Centered Learning

STUDENT CENTERED LEARNING is certainly very much talked about in education circles today, and no less so in world language classrooms. There are so many ways we can incorporate activities that promote students' perspectives, creativity and "showing what they know". And, we know that kids respond really well to choice driven activities, which not only is great for them but can also have a positive impact on classroom community and management. At the same time, we language teachers want to foster authentic communication in our classrooms, embedded in relevant activities.

Doodle Pages Activity for World Language Class Spanish French

A FUN ACTIVITY TO FOSTER MEANINGFUL LANGUAGE USE is a twist on the writing prompt idea-using a visual prompt instead that inspires our students to complete a drawing and then share that with someone else-you, a classmate, a small group, or even the whole class (or, if you have Seesaw or another similar app, they can share with their families!).

PERHAPS YOU HAVE SEEN DOODLE BOOKS- as someone who loves to draw myself, these books are so much fun! And, they have the added benefit that they can be completed in an infinite number of ways, making each page up to the interpretation of the student artist.

SO, HOW TO USE A DOODLE PAGE IN CLASS? Choose a page that connects in some way to a theme or content set that your students know-perhaps the page has a cloud and raindrops on it if you are interested in kids practicing weather related vocabulary, or a shirt if you are talking in the midst of talking about clothes-or any page just for fun! Instruct your students to finish the drawing started by the doodle, filling in the background and/or setting a scene. With novice students in particular, I find it's a good idea to guide their ideas towards vocabulary sets they are familiar with, giving them choice within structure so that they are able to share what they've drawn at the end. As students are drawing, you can walk around asking them questions about what they have in their pictures and encouraging them to share in the target language. Depending on your students, you could use yes/no or either/or questions to elicit a response, or a more open ended one if they are ready to do so. The great part about this is that each kiddo can share based on what they are ABLE TO DO, rather than getting stuck in what THEY CAN'T DO; your differentiation in the interaction allows this to occur naturally :)

ONCE FINISHED, students can share their drawing elements as I mentioned above. Even a simple listing of each thing is awesome for kids as they are telling about something THEY created-super motivating! You can see a cute example from one of my first grade classes here:

I'VE CREATED A SET OF 20 DOODLE PAGES for anyone who wants to try these out! They can be used at any grade or proficiency level, and with ANY LANGUAGE! Click here to grab them :)

Draw and Share Doodle Activity Pages for Spanish French class


  1. I did something similar. We learned weather sentences, then watched "Trotro and the Rain" in German, our TL. I made a Trotro colouring sheet to match the story and asked students to add to the picture: a rainbow, a sun, an umbrella, their pet etc. When the students were near the end of adding and colouring, I asked them to point at parts of their pictures and speak about them in German, e.g. 'If you have an umbrella in your picture, point at it and say "der Regenschirm" ', so we could use more/recycle language!