In year 3 we are learning about the weather, these are some of the activities we really like:
These are my toys I use while practising the vocabulary. I blindfold the children, they have to pick one from the feely bag and guess the weather. They are good for "Heads down, thumbs up", and hiding games. A hiding game we like is when 2 detectives go out, and while they are out, I hand out some toys or props. Then I ask everybody to put their hands under the tables, regardless of whether they have a toy or not. The two detectives come in and they have 3 guesses each to find the toys. They have to ask "¿Qué tiempo hace hoy?" from pupils who look suspicious. The pupil who has been asked puts his/her hands up and says: "Hace frío/calor", etc. When the detectives run out of guesses we count how many toys they have found. And I forgot to say, the detectives have to wear those plastic rain hats:-) The boys love them!
This idea is not mine, I read it in an email by Alison McLucas, she was advising on how to teach PMLD children in the primary languages forum. This is how I used her idea: I took a water spray (Está lloviendo.), a fan (Hace viento.), cotton wools (Está nevando.) and a hair dryer (Hace calor/frío/viento) in the classroom, I blindfolded volunteers and made them a sensation challenge: they had to touch the cotton wools, feel the hair dryer blowing out hot/cold air, feel the fan near their faces and they even got a bit wet when I sprayed water on them! It is such a funny activity!
I am a big playdough fan, they are not messy (as long as they stay on the tables) and pupils love being creative with them. The children work in pairs, each make a weather statue/picture, and the partner has to say the sentence in Spanish. Here are some photos I took last year:
I don't call it a weather forecast, because we don't use the future tense yet, but it looks exactly the same. Years ago, on a CPD event, I was given a pen that I can pull out to make a long stick, the children love holding it while standing and speaking in front of the class. I have a big South America map I found on the TES website ages ago (sorry, don't know whose it is, if you recognize it, let me know) and I put it on the IWB. The pupils come out in pairs, with 30 children it takes a while, we usually do the reports in two lessons. We video the reports, and we have lots of fun watching ourselves later! A typical weather report looks like this:
Buenos días!Me llamo Amy.
Buenos días! Me llamo Joe.
Hoy hace frío en Argentina. Hace calor en Perú.
Está lloviendo en Ecuador, y está nevando en Chile.
As an extension activity, they can say the temperatures: Hace 20 grados en Ecuador.
I came up with this idea when I found a long forgotten mini book templates folder I had printed out from Clare Seccombe's blog. The template had the umbrella in it already, but I wanted to add more pop up pictures, and looked for instruction on the internet here. Scroll down a bit to see how to make the middle of page, where you will glue the images.
I didn't find the template online any more, but here is a photo of it, that is where you will have to draw/cut the umbrella in your mini book. The small papers will be the pop up pictures.
We could add the months and the seasons, as well.
Sol, solecito.... A very good song to sing in the cloudy England, we always want more sunshine! We do the actions while singing the song, the lyrics are here.
Another good song is ¿Qué tiempo hace? on the Español, Español
CD by Carole Nicoll. We sing the first 8 lines and do the actions at the beginning of the lessons, as a warm up activity.
Muical intstruments from Spanish speaking countries:
The windpipe is from Peru, and it imitates the sound of the wind. We look at the Andes on the map and listen to some panpipe music from YouTube. The rainstick is from the Atacama desert in Chile, it is made of cactus. I ask the pupils to make one at home (plastic bottle with rice in for example) for a small reward, but also tell them not to shake them too much as it rains enough in England!
Behind the scenes:
This is how mini books are really made in my house:-)