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Teaching Español — Year 4

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By Spanish Years 3 & 4: A Comprehensive Scheme of Work written by Rachel Redfearn (La Jolie Ronde)

Introduce Spanish language to Year 4 with the help of a fun and comprehensive multi-resource

Girl in classroom

Teach children some core vocabulary

Part 2: 15 mins

Teaching sequence (refer to relating child activities below)

  • Introduce children to the text: ‘El Monstruo’. (See PowerPoint® El monstruo on resource CD). Begin by slowly reading through the text, demonstrating meaning through gesture. Try to avoid giving translations in English during the first reading to encourage the children to decipher meaning through the pictures on the PowerPoint® and through your actions.
  • Read the text for a second time and check understanding. Ask children which words they recognise.
  • Distribute props/flashcards to individual children. Read the text again. This time, the children holding props must listen to hear when their prop is mentioned and then come to the front to form a line.

Child activity

  • Children listen to the short story and study the pictures.
  • Children listen again to the story. They focus on specific words and attempt to understand the text.
  • Children hear the story again and listen for key words and phrases. They respond accordingly.

Part 3: 15 mins

Teaching sequence (refer to relating child activities below)

  • Ask children if they can recall the names in Spanish of any colours mentioned in the text: ‘El monstruo’. Then see if any children can recall any body parts mentioned in Spanish or in English.
  • Distribute parts of the text on card to children and read the text once again. The children must listen attentively and wave their card in the air as they hear the phrase.
  • Teach the body parts mentioned in the text. Include choral repetition and actions. Encourage children to stand and touch the part of the body as they learn and chorus the Spanish word.
  • Play ‘Simon says’ (;Simón dice’) with the new vocabulary.
  • Lead the children in chanting or singing the new words: _Cabeza, pelo, nariz Boca, dientes, ojos_ You could encourage them to swap the words around to make up their own rhythm and then present it to the class.
  • Play Canta en español 1, Track 22: ‘El monstruo’. If time, use the instrumental which follows to encourage the children to fit in their own words.

Child activity

  • Children recall the story. They recap colours in Spanish and try to recall the names of parts of the body.
  • The children look carefully at the speaker, and listen for specific words and phrases. Children chorus new vocabulary and participate actively in learning the new words.
  • Children hear the new words and respond with a physical action. The vocabulary is reinforced through playing the game.
  • Children consolidate their learning of the new words by playing with the sounds of the words and fitting them to a rhythm or tune.
  • The children listen to the song. They repeat on their own during the instrumental.

Part 4: 15 mins

Teaching sequence (refer to relating child activities below)

  • Attach the names of the body parts on cards face down on the board with numbers on the back. Then state a part of the body in Spanish. One child will come to the front of the class and other children suggest a number that they think matches the body part stated by the teacher. The child near the board turns the cards as the numbers are suggested and the child who gives the correct number wins the card. As each card is won, focus the children’s attention on the spelling of the word and the letter string highlighted in the list under core vocab. Encourage children to give any other Spanish words they have met with the same letter string.
  • Introduce the new adjectives using flashcards provided. Children will be able to guess the meaning of una nariz pequeña, una boca grande and so on. by the drawing on the flashcard. More able children may note that there is a subtle difference in pronunciation for example Una boca pequeña, un ojo pequeño. You will need to decide how much emphasis you want to place on this, but at this stage you may simply choose to acknowledge the difference and explain that adjectives in Spanish change their spelling and pronunciation slightly according to the noun. (A teacher reference sheet on adjectives is included on the resource file to give additional support to teachers.)
  • Play a game of pictionary. As you state a phrase, the children try to draw it on mini whiteboards and hold up for example Una nariz larga, una nariz puntiaguda, una boca pequeña, una cabeza grande, una nariz pequeña, el pelo largo. You may choose to do this activity as pair work so that the children can discuss the words after hearing them and support each other.

Child activity

  • Children play a game suggesting numbers in Spanish to try to find the correct part of the body. As they do so, their attention is drawn to letter strings. They focus on the written word and the spelling of new items of vocabulary.
  • Children study the flashcards, listen to the Spanish and guess the meaning of the phrase. Very able children may recognise that the adjectives they meet change spelling and pronunciation according to the noun – for example pequeño/pequeña.
  • Children listen carefully to the Spanish and draw a picture to represent the phrase they hear.

Lesson one

Year 4 (four x 15 minutes)

The body

Learning outcomes: Listen to and follow a short story; recite a nursery rhyme from memory; understand and give the names of five parts of the body; understand the meaning of five adjectives, and recognise that adjectives can change spelling.

Framework objectives:

Literacy: L4.2 – Read some familiar words and phrases aloud and pronounce them accurately.

You will need:

Song: ‘El monstruo’

Rhyme: ‘La naranja ya está seca’.

Core vocabulary

(Revision of colours from Y3: rojo – red, amarillo – yellow, azul – blue, verde – green, morado – purple, blanco – white, negro – black, marrón – brown, rosa – pink, gris – grey.)

una cabeza – a head

una nariz – a nose

unos dientes – teeth

el pelo – the hair

unos ojos – eyes

una boca – a mouth

unas orejas – ears

grande – big

pequeño – small

gordo – fat

largo – long

puntiagudo – pointed

Rhyme: ‘La naranja ya está seca’.

Knowledge about language

  • Apply phonic knowledge of the language to support reading and writing.
  • Reinforce and extend recognition of word classes and understand their function.

Language and learning strategies

  • Use context and previous knowledge to determine meaning and pronunciation.
  • Read and memorise words
  • Practise new language with a friend and outside the classroom.

Part 1: 15 minutes

Teaching sequence

  • Revision of colours.
  • Give children two minutes in pairs to recall the names of colours in Spanish.
  • Challenge them to give the names of seven colours.
  • Hold up flashcards with a coloured circle on each to revise the names of colours in Spanish. Introduce three at a time and then recap. Use choral repetition to help children revise the names.
  • Introduce a short nursery rhyme: ‘La naranja ya está seca’

La naranja ya está seca,

Amarillo está el limón.

La sandía está llorando,

Está riendo el melón.

The rhyme makes little sense, but a translation is as follows:

The orange is already dry,

The lemon is yellow.

The watermelon is crying,

The melon is laughing.

  • Say the nursery rhyme aloud (or use the Canta en español 1 CD, Track 21). Then ask the children to listen carefully for the names of one or two colours as they hear the rhyme for a second time.
  • Then show the children the rhyme on OHT and explain the meaning. Think up some actions together to put to the words and then practise saying the rhyme with actions. As the children practise the rhyme, you could also draw attention to the sound of ll in amarillo and llorando.

Child activity

  • Children work in pairs to recall colour vocabulary. Some children will present their list orally to the rest of the class.
  • Children echo the words.
  • Children enjoy listening to the nursery rhyme. They listen out for key words.
  • As the rhyme is short, children practise the rhyme using actions and some children may be able to recite it from memory.
  • Their attention is drawn to the sound of the letters ll as they occur in words in the rhyme.