Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tengo, tienes, tiene: Mission Impossible with Greg Horton

In April I went to  Greg Horton's  ALL Active Learning session, where he showed us fantastic activities for the languages classroom. I have already blogged about  his tense dance  before, now I will tell you about how I adapted the Mission Impossible conjugation for my primary pupils!

The new Languages Programmes of Study states that children should understand and apply high frequency verbs by the end of KS2. In Year 6 all my pupils know three singular forms of the verb "tener" (tengo, tienes, tiene), this week we added the plural forms. I made a PP with the following sentences:

Tenemos un canal. ( In Burscough there is one!)
¿Tenéis calor? ( We are in a very warm classroom in Year 6:-)
Tienen una playa. (Our penpals have one in Spain).

We have added some actions for the verbs :
Tengo:we point to ourselves with one hand
Tienes:we point to the one sitting next to us with one hand
Tiene:we point to somebody who is sitting in the other end of the classroom with one hand

Tenemos:we point to ourselves with two hands
Tenéis: we point to the ones sitting next to us with two hands
Tienen: we point far away, to the other end of the classroom with two hands and think of our penpals who have a beach in Spain.

I played the "Mission Impossible" theme song and they had to walk around, do the actions and say the words. The first word (tengo) comes in the 23rd second of the video, then the rest follows with the same tune. You will understand me once you listen to the song! After the first minute I stopped the music because it changed and it was no use, and also, there was a bit of overexcitement in the classroom, and we needed to calm down. The pupils were allowed to shoot with their hands while pointing, they loved it, even in first person singular! It would work better with 4 verbs in each singular and plural, but I just let them do an extra shooting after tiene and tienen.

More Greg Horton on my friend Barbara's blog: Back to Back, a very entertaining way of "testing" the pupils.
Thank you Greg Horton, and also, thank you ALL (Association for Language Learning) for organising high quality CPD events! If you are not a member of the ALL yet, join now on their website: , £36 only. Because I am an ALL member, Greg Horton's training session cost me £10 (a whole morning), and I learnt so much! What are you waiting for?:-)


  1. Una idea la guardo para mas adelante porque seguro la ponder en practica ;-). Mil Gracias wapa ;-)

  2. Fantatsic, idea stolen :0)

  3. You are welcome, it is Greg Horton's idea, if you ever get the chance, go and see his presentation, he is such an inspiration!