Wednesday, March 4, 2015

{Foreign Language} :: Clothing Study

We have been going through basic clothing for awhile now, learning the vocabulary and how to say what they are wearing along with what they put on/take off.

We began on this page by watching the video, then incorporated the free flashcards and followed the suggested activities. Spanish Playground is such a great resource for me. Although it is a Spanish-focused site, many of the wonderful activities can be adapted to fit other languages.

For a different language, you would just have to white-out (or cut off) the Spanish word on the flashcards. (As an aside, I actually wish there were no words on the cards anyway because Royal is reading more now and figuring out the word). I end up just covering it with my finger as I go through them. There are even blank cards to add more vocabulary. I use these and have the kids draw additional words for us to use.

So we have done various activities to practice learning the vocabulary and phrases useful for talking about clothes. These are a few of our favorites for any new words though:
  • Memory
  • Bingo
  • What's missing? (set out a group, have the kids look at it for a minute, then remove one and ask which is missing)
  • Organize pictures in the order I say
  • Rock, paper, scissors (lay flashcards face-down. Play rock, paper, scissors. Whoever wins may choose a card. If they say the right word, they keep it. If not, it goes face-down again.)
  • Karuta (a Japanese-style game) I found out about this game from this site. And I have the kids keep their hands on their heads to avoid any "sneaking" of the hands. It also helps them focus more on the pictures.
The object of the karuta game is to be the first player to determine which card out of an array of cards is being called and then to grab the card before it is grabbed by an opponent.
 It is really fun, easy and great for competitions :-)

Now for more specific clothing-related tasks:
  • Stick figures - I got the idea here and just made my own because I didn't want descriptions underneath since we aren't reading in the foreign language yet. So after studying the vocabulary for a few days, I give the kids each their own stick figure sheet. I say a short sentence like Lleva el pañuelo azul. (He's wearing a blue bandana)... 

Then they draw the clothes on the person. I also have started incorporating colors of items as well as feelings (like happy, sad, angry) so they can draw the appropriate facial expression.

  • In addition, I got this great Melissa & Doug Wooden Bear Family Dress-up Puzzle. It has been fantastic for talking about various articles of clothing, as well as an assortment of emotions (good for masculine/feminine endings of adjectives), as well as talking about the verb phrases for "take off" and "put on".

The stick figure and bear puzzle activities both lend themselves to good listening as well as narrating exercises.

And, of course, it is always good practice talking about what they are wearing every day. It's interesting for them to see the wide range of clothes they wear and that they know how to say those things in a foreign language!

I hope your foreign language studies are moving right along. It is a s.l.o.w. process it seems, doesn't it? But I constantly have to remind myself that they will get it ... just like the rest of their education. Slow and steady, remembering that connections are being made. And their lives will be much richer for having made consistent efforts.

I would love to see how and what you are doing in your foreign language studies!

And maybe, within the next year or two, I will begin to incorporate a foreign language notebook for Keeping... maybe something like this?


  1. Thank you for sharing these ideas! We are doing Italian, but I'm grabbing a few of the activities and games you mentioned to add to my arsenal because they're great for any language. We did clothing last year, but we still review at least once a week, so I'm always looking for new ideas. ;)

    1. Glad to help out, Celeste! I am always looking for more easy and effective games to include in our foreign language study.

  2. Oh I love the stick figure idea! I am going to use it with dd younger this week as she has been reading a Spanish language book about clothing. And thanks for the link to those videos, I had never seen that site before, lots of great ideas. Seriously you glue that cute stick figure page into a sketch book and you have a notebook all started! ;)

    1. Hmmm. Never thought of putting something like the stick figure page into a notebook for Keeping. Thanks for helping me think outside the box! :-)