Ending with a Gruff

The older classes in Križ and I managed to finish our Gruffalo project together before the closing of 2012. We watched the entire BBC Animated adventure over a period of several sessions, mixed in with readings from the adorable picture book.

We continued with descriptive worksheets of the forest scenes; Mouse meets Fox; Mouse meets Owl; and Mouse meets Snake. And Mouse’s descriptions of the Gruffalo; his description to Fox; his description to Owl; and his description to Snake.

All of which was interspaced with autumn activities, Gruffalo word games and paper crafts. 🙂

In our final lesson we brought the unit to an end with a dose of reality by looking at which real animals share the Gruffalo’s various features.

We only scratched the surface of what the book has to offer, but thankfully the children are eager to hear all about ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’. 🙂

The Gruffalo Comes to Križ

I was delighted to discover that the kids at the Križ primary school had yet to discover the gleeful tale of The Gruffalo. So, a new children’s literature project was born.the gruffalo

We started the journey by looking at the story’s incredibly intelligent heroic mouse and watching a part of the beautiful animated adventure.

We then went on to examine the meeting of Mouse and Fox by pinpointing some of the scene’s features and by reliving how Mouse had described the gruesome Gruffalo.

I am really looking forward to our next meeting. 🙂

Halloween Story Time at Križ

‘Story time’ is ‘special time’, so before the class began I transformed a corner of the classroom into a ‘Room on the Broom’ story telling zone by laying blankets on the floor and putting out soft toys of cats and dogs, birds and frogs, and a pair of ferocious Welsh dragons.

Welsh dragons resting safely back at home after an overexposure to excited children.

The children really enjoyed the interplay of the toys and the multimedia book, so we will be certainly repeating similar episodes in the future.

Room on the Broom

Earlier this week at the Finžgar primary school in Barcola we began to explore Halloween. We embarked on the topic with a multimedia board enhanced reading of Julia Donaldson‘s Room on the Broom.

I love it when publishers provide different ways of reading and interacting with their literature, and more importantly the children love it too.

So, we read and spoke about the book, its words and images, and then we begun with our first Halloween worksheet entitled ‘Witchy Words‘.  The younger class cut, stuck and coloured this worksheet, while the older class wrote and coloured this one.

Looking into my tea leaves, I predict that this is going to be a great Halloween. 🙂

The Snail and The Whale – Jezikajte 2012 – Fame at Last!

Here is Primorski Dnevnik’s report concerning our English language camp. 🙂

The Snail and The Whale – Jezikajte 2012 – Dancing Under The Sea

To the mermaid’s tune ‘under the sea’ we composed steps and strutted our stuff.

The Snail and The Whale – Jezikajte 2012 – Artful Creations

Outside of the classroom’s wall lots of things were happening. We created snail and whale inspired costumes and scenery and used them to perform a theatrical masterpiece.  🙂

Here we are a few snaps of us creating for the big day:

The Snail and the Whale – Jezikajte 2012 – Final Day

The students were so tired today, they had obviously used their last night together to good effect.  So, we started the day with bingo, and word games. Then we spent a little time finishing up the fire brigade unit by thinking about what characteristics a fire fighter should probably have. We came up with courage, strength, and helpfulness, along with a few others.

The final mini-unit was entitled ‘save the whale’. The class suggested notions of why whales should be protected and then wrote them down in a short text.  I thought that this would be a fitting final assignment that highlighted the plight of some of these creatures. The students produced some insightful reasons as to why we should protect whales, including the memorable question: why must they die?

We closed the lesson by going outside to sit on the grass and talk. It seemed a very fitting way for an English course to end. 🙂

The Snail and the Whale – Jezikajte 2012 – Day 3

This morning’s lesson began with us all wondering what we would take with us on a sailboat journey around the world. I was surprised to discover that we came up with lots of  legitimate answers, including  pillows and blankets, food and water, a first aid kit and a fishing rod.

We then began thinking about snails, which was the topic of our next mini-unit. We labelled a picture’s body parts, and then we interviewed our story sea snail. Firstly, before she had embarked on her journey we asked her exactly why she wanted to go, and then, after she had returned, we asked  her about her travel experiences. Our next task was to create personal mind maps about what we ourselves wanted to see, eat, be and visit in our own lives. We finished up the unit by looking at ‘animal coverings’, we now knew that the snail had a shell, but we broadened the scope to discover which animals were covered in fur, feathers, scales and smooth skin.

The final unit of the day was concerning humpback whales. We began with chalk and tape, and together we measured a humpback’s possible sixteen metre length and five metre flippers, and after with hypothetical scales we weighed one humpback whale against a possible thirty-six one ton elephants. After marvelling at its size, we interviewed our story humpback and discovered why he liked to travel and exactly who his friends were.

The Snail and the Whale – Jezikajte 2012 – Day 2

The snail and the whale is such a great book to base a course upon, and this morning we began just that. After breakfast we met in the classroom for the first time.  We began by establishing ourselves as ‘The Wild Ones’ and we stuck our names and caricatures onto our classroom door.

We then went out to meet the glorious sunshine, sat in the grass and read the book together. Once finished we wandered back inside, sat back down and began our first mini-unit.  Its aim was to allow allow the children to comprehend the story better, so we summarized the story with the aid of ‘story strips’, and made a mind map identifying its characters, settings and its general plot.

After having fixing the story firmly into our minds we moved onto the next mini-unit entitled ‘real and make-believe’.  We looked at the stylistic differences between a light-hearted cartoon drawing of a whale and a more serious penned portrait, and then we set about creating a list giving examples of real and make-believe creatures and objects.

That being done we moved to exploring the story’s first setting: a harbour.  We looked at the book’s illustration of  a harbour and identified various things within it, for example the lighthouse and the cargo ships, with colours and teamwork. Then it was back outside again to with a bucket of water and a tray of things to discover which items floated and which sank.  The kids really enjoyed this and it was a nice high note to finish the lesson on.