As you may know, we are a multicultural, multilingual family with quite a few different languages being spoken in our surroundings. As the children's father is from Turkey, Turkish is the main language we are teaching the children. It can be very difficult to teach the children a non-native language, and even more difficult to maintain it. Therefore, I am always on the look out for new ideas or thinking up creative ways to make language learning fun.
The weather has been glorious lately so we have been spending a lot of time outdoors. I try to encourage my children to participate in outdoor play activities as much as possible and prompt them to observe the environment around them. When we go out and about, I point out the flowers and wildlife that we encounter and encourage them to talk about their own observations. I thought it would be a good idea to start learning some more wildlife vocabulary in Turkish so we can use it on our outings, or even just in the garden.
I set up the activity outside on the patio. I placed a tuff tray on the ground with some A3 sheets of white paper on top. Then I squirted some poster paints on paper plates.
I told the children our aim was to make some wild animals using finger painting techniques. I told them to use the paints to do the shapes of the animals and we could draw the details in once the paint had dried.
The children were very excited about this activity and soon got stuck in. Here is D's picture after she had finished finger painting.
Here is R's attempt. I love to see the different ways they interpret the task.
K had a lot of fun swirling the paint around with his fingers.
Once the paint had dried, the children began to draw in the animals' features with black pen.
While they were doing this we spoke about all the different features each animal has. You can use vocabulary from the language you are learning to do this. We talked about what colours the animals were in Turkish. We also used Turkish body part vocabulary.
Finally, we wrote down the names of the animals. The Turkish names are in red and the English names are in blue. It is not necessary to write the names in English as well, you could just write them in the language you are learning. However, as it can be quite difficult to tell from some of the drawings what the animals are, I thought it best to write down the names in both languages.
I will now display the posters on the wall for a while so the children can get familiar with the new vocabulary. They make such a bright and colourful display!