por Dª Silvia Ramos Esteban, Maestra de Inglés.
(CP Virgen del Carmen, Mohedas de Granadilla )
Stories and pictures take children on a magical journey of imagination and discovery stories convey their messages by paying considerable attention to language which is rich and multilayered.
Using literature in the form of stories, plays and poems, to teach English as a foreign language, give many opportunities for both the teacher and the pupils to explore the language and its meaning.
Learning literature in the classroom is done in a integrated way concentring on all four basic skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
There are many reasons why literature should be used in the nursery education English classroom, because it’s very motivating, it helps students understand another culture, it can be enjoyable and fun and it helps develop feelings and imagination.
The final objective in the teaching of a foreign language is achieving effective communication in the target language. In order to achieve this, pupils should be encouraged and motivated to speak English in class, in situations which are as authentic and natural as possible. Communicating should be a gradual process resembling as far as possible the situation of a child learning his own mother tongue. Thus the task of the teacher is fundamentally to create suitable conditions for learning to take place, in order to help pupils to become more communicative in the target language, while allowing them to actively participate in the learning process.
Improve pupils communicative competence, concentrating in particular on developing our pupils ability to show curiosity and a respectful attitude towards other languages. Develop two on the four basic skills (listening and speaking).
Listen to and comprehension English tale.
Increase pupil’s awareness of the importance of pronunciation and intonation.
Use communicative strategies such as body language.
Recognise and produce action verbs orally and respond with action.
To learn a practise the family vocabulary.
To develop cognitive skills and visual recognition.
In the activities concentrates two on the four basic Skills Listening and Speaking.
Each activity is divided into three parts. Firstly a pre-activity or presentation, which checks pupils previous knowledge and introduce new vocabulary, etc. Secondly the main activity or practice stage and thirdly a post-activity or production stage where pupils put their knowledge to use.
All of the activities are accompanied by extras, some of which are continuation for pupils who finish first and others which act as reinforcement for weaker pupils.
The focus of the unit is always communicative and the pupils are encouraged to participate as much as possible in English. The teacher also communicates as much as possible in English, specially using classroom language, “open your books”, etc.
Next, I’m going to list the activities :
knowing Little Red Riding Hood
Before tell them the Tale, we are going to teach them some important words, so they can understand the Tale easily. The vocabulary will be introduce with different activities.
1. Teacher stick on blackboard some flashcards, for example: Little Red Riding Hood, Grandmother, The Wolf, a woodman, a tree, a basket. And teacher asks pupils, What is it ? , What colour is it ? , by pointing to the flashcards, Through this activity we know the previous knowledge about Little Red Riding Hood and the revision of some words, colours, etc.
2. Then teacher asks pupils which flashcards correspond with the tale and which don’t correspond. We could know how many pupils know the tale.
3. Teacher will introduce the new vocabulary through different activities.
3.1. Teacher will have puppets with the different characters in the tale, and the puppets introduce her or his name. For example: ¡hello! ¡I´m Little Red Riding Hood! . If children don’t understand why is Little Red Riding Hood. Teacher can explain that the reason for Little Red Riding Hood’s name in English, is because she was has a kind of cloak (Riding Hood) which she wears all the time, so people call her after it. ¡Hello! ¡ I´m a Wolf! And so on (Grandmother, a Woodman, …). Then the puppets asks questions to the children: Who am I? And teacher with the puppet must imitate the way of saying it, so that the children can guess who is the puppet, for example:
the puppet says Who am I? (says in a very horrible way a bit of suppressed crazy laughter).
class: ¡the Wolf!.
Or the puppet says, Who am I? (with a sweet voice… )
Class: ¡The Little Red Riding Hood!, and so on Woodman, Grandmother…
3.2. Little Red Riding Hood, a puppet, is going to introduce pupils to her family. Teacher divide the class into pairs group; one pupil is a mummy and another pupil is a daddy, and so on. The puppets tells then story, at first time it mimes the story and then pupils must mime it.
Hello children ! - Hello Little Red Riding Hood
This is my family . Look !
This is my mummy ! – Hello mummy !
This is my daddy ! – Hello daddy !
3.3. Teacher sticks on the blackboard the following cards: Little Red Riding Hood, the mother, the father, the wolf, the grandmother, the brother and the woodman. Teacher says aloud the names and pupils repeat them.
Telling Little Red Riding Hood
1. When telling a story it is important to create a close a intimate atmosphere. The children can sit in a semicircle on the floor, around the teacher’s chair.
At first it is better to tell a story them read it from a book, to create better interaction with the children. Later the teacher can read the tale from books showing the children the pictures is important to stimulate interest in the books themselves. Teacher uses mime, gestures, flashcards, puppets to motivate to our children.
2. Teacher gives pupils a photocopy related to Little Red Riding Hood and they colour it because when they finish, teacher stick up on them on the blackboard and teacher asks pupils about the order.
3. Looking the flashcards, teacher tells pupils again the story and pupils can do gestures or mime, etc.
1. Prepare the cards representing the five members of Little Red Riding Hood’s family. Pupils are sitting in semicircle, teacher holds up one of the cards and asks children Who’s this? and children answer: mummy, daddy, brother, sister, grandmother. (this is…).
2. Do the same as before and this time asks children. Is this mummy ?. And help them to answer yes/no.
3. Ask one child to go out of the class. The teacher gives the child a card with mummy (or any other member), to a child and tell him/her to hide it under the table. Then, the child who was out comes in and he/she will have three opportunities to find the hidden picture by saying hello mummy ! to three of his/her classmates consecutively. If he/she finds the picture, the child who had it must say hello Maria ! and if he/she does not find it their partner close the eyes.
4. Explain the meaning of the words such as father, mother, sister, brother and baby to the children. And then, teach the rhyme Baby’s Shoes.
Hold your index fingers very close together, as though showing the size of something small. With each “pair of shoes”, increase the distance between your fingers until you spread your arms wide open for Giant’s shoes.
Use the names of pupils from your class (e.g. Bruno’s shoes) instead of names of family members, but always begin with Baby’s shoes and finish with Giant’s shoes.
Mr Wolf, the game
1. Put the tables next to the wall and teacher put on them flashcards with a mother, a brother, a father, a sister, a baby. Our pupils are in the centre of the class and we tell the name of a member’s family and pupils run towards the right flashcards. And we can check if our pupils have learnt the names.
Reinforcement’s activities about tale “Little Red Riding Hood”
1. Teacher retell the story to remind children and uses pictures of different parts of the story with different parts of the story, for example:
Mother give Little Red Riding Hood a basket, Little Red Riding Hood knocking to the door… then make enough copies for one per group of four or five children.
Glue the picture strip on the card and cut it up into separate pictures.
Then when the groups have pictures teacher can use as a puzzle where children have to put in order the story through the cards, but teacher must help them and teacher can do it with the different puppets doing different actions of the story.
2. Game of “Magic Box”
Children are laid on their backs on the floor as if they were a imaginary magic box, then teacher walk around in the classroom telling the tale and the teacher stop and open the box and say oh ! who is ! is a Wolf !, and the children stand up and walk run around classroom and mime it, (Wolf), then children return to the imaginary magic box and close the box, and so on…(mother, grandmother, Little Red Riding Hood…).
3. Memory Game
Now children are given a photocopy of different characters of the story and doing different actions (eating, drinking…) and the teacher asks pupils to stick the copy onto card colour the pictures.
Then the children put the cards face down on the table and they turn over two cards and say the character’s name aloud, if they turn over a matching pair they keep the cards, if not, they turn the cards over again. The trick is to remember the position of the cards. The winner is the child with most pairs of cards at the end of the games.
Assessment is one more element in the process of learning and should be a form of help for pupils. It should be take three forms:
Initial: To establish pupils previous knowledge.
Continuous: For the teacher to give constructive feedback.
Final: In order to check that pupils have reached the objectives of the unit.
1. Teacher show flash- card to the children of the different characters of the story and children say the character’s name aloud, and the children can also performance some action of the character in the story.
For example: when teacher show the flash card Little Red Riding Hood, children can performance to Little Red Riding Hood walking in the forest and singing, or children can performance to the Wolf frightening Little Red Riding Hood, and so on.
In this activity the teacher can check the knowledge which our pupils have achieved. The children draw pictures of their families and talk about them. Pupils need a piece of paper , coloured pencils and if it is possible a photo of their family. The first time the teacher draws on board her family and says this is my mother. When pupils are colouring, teacher walks around the class and asks to each other who’s this? And pupils must answer.
3. As the last activity I’d like to know pupils opinion about this didactic unit or activities by giving them a questionnaires with a Face’s Wolf. If pupils like it they will stick all face parts but if pupils do not like it they will stick only one or two face parts