Candy sushi for her birthday

LearnPlayAnglais: A birthday celebration that included candy sushi!

À tous nos amis français, faites défiler vers le bas pour lire cet article en français. Merci!

Hello Everyone,

I hope that this blog post finds you well and in good spirits. Today I have a little activity that could be used in your homes or in the classroom (although I can understand if some of you do not allow sugar in your classrooms…) as a fun craft to liven up a birthday party or class discussion on food, food groups and what one should eat in moderation :)

Sushi just happens to be my daughter’s favorite food and so, since we cannot go to sushi restaurants at the moment here in France, we decided to bring the sushi to her. The idea comes from a book that we picked up at our local library, entitled “DIY comme au Japon” by Hélène Jourdain. The steps are relatively simple and although we couldn’t find candy in the shape of fish, we were able to cut up fish shapes out of the flat strips of candy that we got instead.

The great part about this activity is how creative the kids get. They were wrapping and poking in many different way and having a great time while doing so. The downside is that they’ll want to eat it… but, I was able to make sure that they understood that 1 piece of candy sushi was more than enough as it includes an average of about 4 pieces of regular candy. That’s the rule in my house and it seems to go over easily :)

Wishing you all a sweet day!

Just speak,


LearnPlayAnglais: A candy making activity for a birthday party – candy sushi.
LearnPlayAnglais: A candy making activity for a birthday party – candy sushi.
LearnPlayAnglais: A candy making activity for a birthday party – candy sushi.

Bonjour à tous,

J’espère que ce “post” de blog vous trouve bien et de bonne humeur. Aujourd’hui, j’ai une petite activité qui pourrait être utilisée chez vous ou en classe (même si je peux comprendre si certains d’entre vous n’autorisent pas le sucre dans vos salles de classe …) comme une activité amusant pour animer une fête d’anniversaire ou une discussion en classe sur la nourriture, les groupes alimentaires et ce qu’il faut manger avec modération :)

Le sushi se trouve être la nourriture préférée de ma fille et donc, comme nous ne pouvons pas aller dans les restaurants de sushi pour le moment ici en France, nous avons décidé de lui apporter les sushis. L’idée vient d’un livre que nous avons récupéré à notre bibliothèque locale, intitulé “DIY comme au Japon” par Hélène Jourdain. Les étapes sont relativement simples et bien que nous n’ayons pas pu trouver de bonbons en forme de poisson, nous avons pu découper des formes de poisson dans les bandes plates de bonbons que nous avons obtenues à la place.

La grande partie de cette activité est la créativité des enfants. Ils enveloppaient et poussaient de différentes manières et passaient un bon moment en le faisant. L’inconvénient est qu’ils voudront le manger … mais j’ai pu m’assurer qu’ils comprenaient qu’un morceau de bonbon sushi était plus que suffisant car il comprend en moyenne environ 4 morceaux de bonbon ordinaire. C’est la règle dans ma maison et ça semble aller facilement :)

Je vous souhaite à tous une douce journée!

Just speak,


“I am Special” – An ESL writing activity

Today I am going to share a little project with you that I like to do from time to time at the start of the school year. It’s called the “I am Special” project and I use it to expand my students’ ability to talk about themselves and to add in some positive vibes right at the start of the term.

The photos that I am including in this post come from last year’s project and what’s great is that I got a lot of help from Twinkl. If you have not heard of Twinkl (you can thank me later!) it’s an online platform that provides worksheets for teachers, students and homeschoolers at a yearly price. You can get it for free, but in my experience as a teacher, it’s not enough and I had to move up to a yearly subscription.

What I found really useful about Twinkl is that most of their worksheets are differentiated! And if you are a teacher, I am SURE that you’ve had that word drilled into your head for the last few years. ALL schools are looking for teachers that are willing to differentiate in the classroom and yet no one can seem to tell you how to do that without working nonstop night and day...Right! Well, that’s where Twinkl comes in – You pick a subject (and I mean ANY subject) and hone in on a specific area. Once you find what you’re looking for you’ll more than likely have at least 3 options (easy, intermediate and difficult) to choose from. Simple! AND, your students will all be working on a worksheet that looks similar – so no more – “Oh, yours is so easy!” or “Hey, why is mine so much harder than so and so’s?”

Here’s a simple rundown of how I run this class:

Introduction: Gobo (my puppet) comes out and starts talking about the fact that he is not sure if he is special or not. I reassure him that he is and talk about how everyone is special, even when we are not so nice or when we do things that we’re not supposed to, etc….

I will then get into a conversation with my students about what makes them different from one another. What do they look like? Does everyone look the same? This is where we’ll talk about our facial features, hair color, etc. and the things that make us special visually.

Next, I’ll introduce the “I am Special” poem from Twinkl. We will help Gobo fill one out his poetry worksheet whole group (that means that the whole class helps in this) and then I’ll have the class break into partners to fill in their own worksheets and I’ll also ask them to make a self portrait (a rough draft) on the back of their worksheets when they are done. I like the partners to consist of at least one person that can manage the activity on their own. Or, two students that will at least give it their best shot. Remember, since the activity is differentiated, some students will have a word bank to work from, which helps a lot. Also, I will have left our Whole Group poem (Gobo’s poem) on the interactive white board.

As the students are working I will walk around the room helping the partners who need assistance. As soon as I see students working on their portraits I’ll know that I can check their work too.

During out next lesson I will ask the students what it means to be special, who is special and how they themselves are special. All of this will have already been discussed in our first lesson and so it will be a good starting point for our second class.

This is also a time where I’ll pass out their work and ask if anyone would be willing to share their poems so far. I usually have a lot of volunteers, so this can take a few minutes.

Next, I will show the students an example of a finished poem (which will be handwritten on another piece of paper) and a completed self portrait. At this point I will have several piles of construction paper that is of different size and color that will be used for the writing and drawing part of this project. My students (if they’re ready) will receive their materials and get right to work either reviewing and editing their poems or starting their first or final drafts of their self portraits.

What I like to do is give a check mark to the poetry rough drafts. Once a student receives that, they’ll know that they can take a specific piece of construction paper and get to work writing out their final drafts. I use the same method for the art work too. If a child has a check mark on the rough draft of their self portrait, they’ll know that they can take a specific piece of construction paper to begin the final draft of their portraits.

I like working this way because it help the students to know that work is all about PROGRESS and that a rough draft is meant to be worked on before finally moving on to the finished project.

In addition to the activities that I already mentioned, I usually always add a picture book to read from that connects to our project and we, of course, always start and end our lessons by singing songs. At the very end of our project Gobo is usually invited back to see our work.

They just love impressing him :)

Please let us know if you try this project out or what you think of Twinkl.

Wishing you a nice day,


ESL writing activity

“1,2,3,4,5, once I caught a fish alive!”

Gobo is fishing!
Gobo is fishing!

Élèves de CP, voici une superbe vidéo qui va avec la nouvelle chanson que nous avons récemment appris . Vous y trouverez un petit garçon assis dans un bateau, vous pouvez chanter avec lui? J’espère que vous allez tous attraper quelques poissons ! ☺️

À bientôt!

Just speak,
Mme Browne et Gobo

CP students, here’s a great new video that goes along with the new song that we recently learned. In it you’ll find a little boy sitting in a boat, will you sing along with him?  I hope that you all catch some fish! ☺️

See you soon!

Just speak,
Mrs. Browne and Gobo

Gobo stars!

Gobo's busy making cards for his friends.
Gobo’s busy making cards for his friends.




Gobo's work.
Gobo’s work.

Hello everyone!
I’ve got a lot of students to teach on a daily basis and some of them are as young as five years old. I actually teach my youngest group at the very end of the day, the time that they can be at their most rowdy, so I needed to come up with a system to reward the students that showed positive classroom behavior.

I eventually came up with what we now call, “Gobo Stars.” At the end of class I hand out (or draw directly in their notebooks) a Gobo Star to the students that actively participated in class by singing, dancing, etc. When they’ve accumulated 10 stars they are then given a card that was made by our favorite puppet, Gobo.

So far so good :) The kids are happy to receive their stars and cards and Gobo is happy to make them.

Wishing you a happy Wednesday afternoon!
Just Speak,

How are you?

how are you worksheet by Learn and Play en Anglais
how are you worksheet by Learn and Play en Anglais

Pretty soon I will be guiding my students towards learning how to describe their emotions, or current physical state, in English. Although I’ve found a lot of nice resources and visuals online, it’s also nice to be able to make my own worksheets from time to time.

Have a nice Wednesday!




One of my students invited Gobo to stay at his house this past Tuesday :) Gobo had to decline the offer because he’s too young to leave his family behind but he did write his friend a thank you note. Could this situation get any cuter? :)

Have a nice evening,

p.s. For those of you that are new to this blog, Gobo is our classroom puppet.