Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

MFL - Creature Features: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

MFL - Creature Features: Resources

Article excerpt

Use sock puppets to find out how our furry friends are feeling.

Every one of your students can have their very own "talking" pet in this lesson. All they need is a sock, some basic vocabulary and lots of imagination.

Teach them the vocabulary and expressions of basic needs before you allow socks into the classroom. You do not want to compete with those for attention. Build the target language first. Tell students in a serious voice that it is going to be their sole responsibility to keep their sock alive and happy by meeting its needs. Start with simple nouns - ask the class for these and put them on the board. "Water", "food" and "sleep" are obvious examples. "Exercise", "shelter", "warmth" and "medicine" will make them think further about how to keep an animal alive and well.

Next, teach some expressions for describing and enquiring after basic needs. English does this differently from some other languages. In English, we say "I am cold", but in French, for example, we say "J'ai froid" - literally, "I have cold".

Now let each child have a sock and put it on one hand to form a simple puppet. In pairs, children ask each other's sock puppets how they are feeling. Keep the key terms and expressions on the board so that students can practise them. They can also act out the different states.

Get them to start using these expressions in different conjugations. If this involves a lot of new language for them, let them have it on a worksheet for reference. One sock could feel another's forehead and exclaim: "You are hot! …

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