Monday, August 29, 2011

Fairy tales in the Yl Classroom.

Through the ages in history, we can find concrete proof of how stories have influenced human cognitive and cultural development. Stories are also part of children’s imaginary world and play an important role in their learning since they refer back to a great number of social situations which will be later lived by children.
Fairy Tales are a great example of this since they help children deal with their feelings, problems and fear. The connection which is created between the child`s imaginary world and  the real world should also be highlighted here.
I have had the chance of presenting a workshop on how blending Fairy Tales with some ideas on CLIL could provide YL with a memorable and meaningful learning experience.
If you are not familiar with the CLIL approach , please pay a visit to :What is CLIL ? via @AtriptoCLIL

The first Fairy Tale I will be presenting here is 
 If you don't remember the story by heart , check  Jack and the Beanstalk.
Lesson plan:
-Story telling part
1- Students match  a few Fairy tales pictures and their titles. ( 
2- T tells students the story by using pictures she created . ( I used the walls in my classroom to make the scenery. The castle was displayed at the top of the wall and the house at its bottom.
3- Ss retells  the story  in groups by using pictures.Ask Ss to walk around and check their friends` work.
4- In order to work with vocabulary from the story, choose the pieces which are more relevant for you and create a domino or even a memory game activity and then you decide which focus you want to give to meaning, form and pronunciation. Drills are welcome at this stage.
5-To check comprehension you can ask Ss to draw their favourite part of the story on a leave ( Get a sheet of paper and cut in a leave format) you  will provide them with.
Stick a tree trunk you will create with brown paper and ask SS, one by one , to stand up and stick their leaves on the tree. Students can compare their work and retell the story by explaining their drawings.

Language Focus:

You can work with opposite adjectives  always referring back to the story

Big- small ( Jack`s house and the giant`s castle)
Tall- short ( Jack and the Giant )
Near- far ( Jack`s house and the giant`s Castle)
Right- wrong ( Jack`s attitude)
Good - Bad ( Jack and the Giant)

Clil based activities:

 My size in the beanstalk  : Maths
When telling the story I created a beanstalk with paper ( use the one you think is the most appropriate to highlight the stalk growth)
- Ask Ss ,one by one, to stand up next to the bean stalk and mark their sizes - Later you can revise numbers and ask students to compare their height. You can also ask Ss to line up from the shortest to the tallest.
You can also work with the notion of small and big with the younger ones.

 Plants  growth – Sciences
- Get cotton , small plastic cups and water .Have Ss  plant beanstalks!!! ( Get the cotton wet and place it inside the cup - fill just half of the cup- and then put the seeds inside ( only one is enough).
At this stage ,you can work with the most common types of plants in your city or country and what is necessary to make a plant to grow healthily .
After having Ss "plant the beans" , label cups with Ss names and display in a corner in your classroom , so that Ss can check on them everyday. Don`t forget to tell Ss to water the beans.
After some time you will have to find a place outside the class to plant them.

If you try this activity in your class , please let me know.
And do not forget:

-Choose the story carefully

-Don’t make you lesson too girly.
-Go through tips to become a good story  teller.
-Vary the material and the activities
- Make it interactive and memorable.

 Hope you find it sweet, pleasant and memorable.


Teacher Eduardo said...

Great post Leandra!

Loved the idea of adding the CLIL approach to fairy tales. And since there's a great number of fairy tales available, I'm sure there's also a huge amount of possibilities: it's just about being creative and letting your imagination go beyond the classroom walls =]

Well done! Look forward to reading your next posts on fairy tales and ELT.

Eduardo @eltbakery

Marijana said...

Hi Leandra,
I am glad to have found your blog. I must say this is my sons' favourite fairytale, beside reading it to them, I take my sons to the Fairytale Festival that is held in our hometown Ogulin, Croatia, every year. There was a professional storyteller and they'd really enjoyed this story told by her. I love the idea of CLIL too. I teach higschool students so I can't use fairytales too much maybe more ghost stories, but the lesson approach can be used in my classes too. BTW, I agree that fairytales create children's imagination and play an important role in learning. I see that everyday looking at my two boys, but even as an adult I still love fairytales too.! :) Great post, greeting from Croatia, Marijana

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