Recycled Chi Dollhouse

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I am not sure if you are a fan yourself, but we quite enjoy reading about a little cat character named Chi. The books come in the form of comic books or chapter books and are written and illustrated by Konami Kanata.

The books have been a wonderful distraction during this peculiar time of physical distancing and so it was with pleasure that I accepted my daughter’s offer of working on a small project with her. As it turns out, the birth of this project came from a card (that came with one of the books) of a paper version of Chi, a basket for him to sleep in, two food bowls and a milk carton. Once we put those items together we were hooked and the Chi Dollhouse Project was born.

This project requires a recycled cardboard box (the smaller the cuter), white paper, scissors (a boxcutter would also come in handy), glue, markers and coloured pencils.

I’m including the process in the form of photos below:

The first part consisted of tracing all of the sides of our box onto thick paper. You’ll have to take care to label the sides “up” or “top”  and “inside” or “outside” so as to know the correct way to glue it on the box once you’re done decorating it.

 

Now it’s time to make a staircase!

Use your box to measure out your roof. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make it longer so that you have room to glue it onto the top of your box. We also thought about adding wood panelling on the inside of our roof to make the attic look pretty :)

This next part is fun because you get to see the house coming together. This is where you’ll notice why having an “extra long” roof works out well. It allows for you to safely glue the extra bit under the floorboards.

We used the paper cat bed that came with our book to make another bed. Then we took some old material and folded it to make curtains and bedding to fit our matchbox bed.

Now we had to figure out where to put the stairs and the entryway to our attic. I used the boxcutter to make the small opening and was careful to ask my daughter to step away during that process. I find boxcutters to be so useful and yet they scare the living daylights out of me!

You’ll notice that we glued the stairs in before noticing that they were white and not wood coloured. My daughter quickly fixed that.

After adding a ceiling lamp, we were all done! We think that it’s pretty cute, if we do say so ourselves! :)

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The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Hello Class,

I had a very nice time reading to you over Zoom the other day! I really like “The Watermelon Seed” and I was happy to be able to share this fun book with you.

For today’s lesson you will be asked to watch my video of “The Watermelon Seed” read aloud and to then follow up with a craft and oral language exercise. I hope that you enjoy this little project as much as I enjoyed making it for you!

By the way, Gobo wanted me to tell you that he made you a special little video to go along with this project :)

Have fun!

Danielle

Directions:

A. Go to LearnPlayAnglais’s YouTube channel to watch Danielle read “The Watermelon Seed” to you.

B. Make watermelon slices:

For this craft, you’ll need the following materials:

1 piece of green construction paper

1 piece of red construction paper

1 white piece of A4

Scissors

Glue

Black Sharpie

Please follow the photo instructions below:

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Your green paper remains its original size, but you’ll have to cut a piece off of the other two pieces.

 

C. Practice your oral language and writing skills by reading  and writing a passage from the book. You can use thisThe Watermelon Seed Passage Work to help you.

And now you’re done! Remember to go to ourYouTube Channel to check out the two videos that go along with this project.

Wishing you a great day!

Danielle

 

Listening skills and the Cat in the Hat

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Hello Parents and Kids,

I’ve come up with a new assignment for my students and I have a feeling that you will like it. For this little project you will be practicing your listening skills! But you’ll also get to write and draw too.

I’ve used the help of readlearngrow14 and her video read aloud of the the book, “The Cat in the Hat” as well as the help of Art for Kids Hub  and his video on how to draw the Cat in the Hat. Don’t worry, he is a fantastic artist and he will give you step by step instructions so that your cat will come out looking great.

The last part of our project involves a little writing to accompany your drawing. I can’t wait to see my students’ results and I’m sure that yours will be great too!

Have fun and remember, just speak!

Danielle

Directions:

1. First you will listen to the story, “The Cat in the Hat” which will be read to you by learngrow14.

2. After listening to the story you will listen to it a second time, but this time you will pay close attention to the rhyming words (cat and hat, hit and sit, two and do…) and to the phrases that get repeated. For example, “He should not be…”, “Look at me…”, “I can hold…” etc.

3. Once you are done with the read aloud you get to visit Art for Kids Hub.  This is the part where you will be needing a few material like paper and markers.

Remember, if you are using Sharpies, you should protect your table top or you could end up leaving some marks..

Gobo marker in mouthGobo looking at Cat head

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4. After you are done coloring in your cat, it is time to go back to the audio reading of “The Cat in the Hat”. Now you are going to have to decide if you want to do Part A or Part B:

 

Part A is for kids who are already are a bit more advanced in their reading and writing skills in their 1st language:
2. Stop at this time- 8:45
3. Copy down the entire text next to your drawing of the Cat in the Hat.
4. Practice reading it out loud.
Part B is for kids who are just starting to feel comfortable reading and writing in their 1st language (or if you find Part A a bit intimidating…it’s ok!). Instead of writing a lot of text, I would like you to find some rhyming words and write them next to your drawing of the Cat in the Hat.
You can also use the list that I’ve provided you with below:
play, day
two, do
ball, all
sit, bit
bump, jump
Please feel free to add some more rhyming words! Remember, your main goal is to practice your listening skills and to have fun!
Wishing you a great day!
Danielle and her classroom friend, Gobo

 

 

The Cat in the Hat
This is an example of what Part A could look like.
The Cat in the Hat, rhyming words
This is an example of what Part B could look like.

Paper dolls and a short dialogue

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It’s been a while since I last posted an activity for all of  you to try at home but, now that we are in a lockdown situation here in France, I thought that I’d provide you with a fun activity to help keep your children busy with a fun dialogue and a paper doll activity.

This activity is actually one of the activities that I have given to my own students to do at home next week. I thought about it as I was viewing some easy English dialogue videos online. One of the most interesting ones came from the English Singsing channel on Youtube. I found it so appropriate for the times. Why not practice calling a loved one during a time when most of us are forced to stay inside? This would be a great way for a child to practice and then show off their English skills to a grandparent, for example.

Below, you’ll find the directions. Enjoy!

  1. Go to this link from English Singsingand watch their cute telephone video.
  2. After having watched it a few times ,and after having practiced the different parts, draw the two characters below:

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3. Now you are ready to cut out your paper dolls and look around the house for a stick, paper straw or a strong piece of card stock to tape to the back of your dolls.

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4. With a partner, decide which part of the dialogue you’d like to write out. My daughter decided that she wanted to write out both parts but you can just pick one if you’d like.

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5. Now that your paper dolls are ready to “talk” you can stick the speech bubbles up on the wall (alternatively, you can also place them flat on table in front of you). Now you are ready to act out the parts and even make a little video of yourself, why not? I always find that children love finding out what they sound like and experimenting with different voices.

Wishing all of you a lovely day!

Just speak!

Danielle

p.s. I almost forgot, I’m going to upload a video to my YouTube channel of when I used the puppets with my own children :)

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My book!

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I started a book project with Danica from Dadoclem a while ago and I finally  have the finished product in my hands! I was so excited to read it and to share it with my kids. My daughter gave me the best compliment by telling me that she wanted to read the whole series – well, of course there is no series but, just the fact that she wants it to exist is enough to make me happy.

What’s so great about this book is that while it is bilingual (French and English)  it is written in a simple way that allows young readers to experience a book in two languages without having to have someone guide them through it. As  a teacher and a parent this really excites me as teachers and parents often have to multitask and knowing that a child can also enjoy this book on their own means that they’ll be more likely to pick it up in the first place.

The illustrations were done by Fabienne Brunner and I find them to be delightful. I love illustrations that are relatable to children,  not overdone. I like the idea of a child reading this book and saying, “I would like to have a go at drawing that character too!”

I was told that the book will be available for purchasing in February and I will definitely be updating everyone so that they can get the book for themselves. In the meantime, I’ve decided to do a project that uses this book with my class of Year 2 and Year 3 students (grades 1 and 2).  My thought is that I’d like to introduce them to the concept of books that could be made especially for bilingual kids. Because I teach in a bilingual school myself, I’ll be able to write the English version of my book with my students and then ask my teaching partner to have his class translate them into French (and vice versa of course).

I can’t wait to get started and I can’t wait to show my little students that anyone can write a book. If I can inspire them even a little bit then I’ll have done my job.

Just speak (and write!),

Danielle

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Time for a little shopping…

  

  
I love to use student-made teaching materials in my ESL class. The items that we made this time were drawings of objects that my students were going to sell to each other. I understand that some parents find the use of     art in a ESL classroom as irrelevant or just a waste of time. I beg to differ. My students and I use that time to actually talk and sing. You’d be amazed at how much more relaxed children can be when they are in the middle of creating something. Singing becomes more fun and I get the time to question them about everyday occurrences. More than that, they are actually made to use the actual language (and phrases) that they would benefit from the most. 

Here’s how my lesson went-

After we learned some typical phrases like:

“How much does this cost?”

“It costs # euros and # cents.”

and:

“That’s expensive!”

“That’s a good price.”

“That’s a bargain!”

I then had them practice naming all of the individual coins:

“Twenty cents, ten cents, one euro, two euros…”etc. 

We then quickly moved on to adding up different sums and they really enjoyed showing off their ever growing math skills. I then asked them to pick out a particular item to sell and to then choose a price to sell it at. Working in pairs they took turns asking, “How much does this cost.” ” It’s costs # euros and # cents. ” Whereby their partner would answer,       “That’s expensive!” or one of the other phrases. 

How did my students like this activity! Let’s put it this way, it was hard to get them to end the lesson. They were hooked. 

Until next time!

“Just speak!”

Danielle