Number one for English language teachers

Keith's Corner: Entry 12: Dogs at Anglia School

In his twelfth diary entry, Keith’s young learners explore the theme of dogs. And, they round off the week with a visit from someone special!

This month, we focus on an exciting theme we explored recently at Anglia School – dogs, part of a two-week theme, cats and dogs. We did many dog-related language activities and other dog-related skills work throughout the week.

Reading

The book we chose for the kids this week was Alexandra Day’s lovely homage to man’s best friend, Good Dog, Carl. One of the book’s features is that it is wordless, and so, by the end of the week, all the kids were very keen on taking turns retelling it to the group. (Another is that it features a rottweiler, but more on that a little later …) The teachers let whoever was doing the retelling use their own way of describing what the babysitting dog, Carl, and the unnamed toddler were up to – while Mother was away, of course! This was a great way for the kids to use any activity words they knew, as well as words for items around the house, in context.

Songs

One of the songs we introduced the kids to this week was this version of B-I-N-G-O. It was especially enjoyed by our toddlers (in part because they could spot and call out the names of the other farm animals in the video). We also sang a wonderful song, My Dog Ben, about a girl and her dog. We’ve found that having the music playing quietly in the background while pupils are doing other activities is a great way for them to pick up new words and phrases. This is one way we try to create an ideal learning environment.  

Dog breeds

We learnt the names of several different breeds of dog, as well as their characteristic traits. After talking about the Dalmatian and its spots, we watched the classic animated film 101 Dalmatians. This was a magical experience for our kids! In the scene where the Colonel and Sergeant Tibbs get word that the Dalmatians have been stolen, the Colonel uses the phrase “On the double!” After watching the film, whenever we’d go out to the park, the kids would always march along saying:

“On the double, man! On the double!”

Origami

The craft activity at the end of the week was particularly well received. We made some simple but fantastic origami dogs! You can see how to make them here. Our children decorated the faces to make many different breeds.      

Grand finale

One of the most important lessons we learnt is that dogs really can be man’s best friend. If you love your dog, it will love you back – unconditionally. For the week’s grand finale, we were lucky enough to have the assistance of Anglia School’s official photographer, Irena, who brought in her lovely rottweiler, Ares, whom the kids immediately recognized as Carl from the story! A huge amount of fun was had with Ares in Anglia School’s garden, under a bright shining sun, with Irena showing us how he likes to be petted. Even the kids who were initially scared eventually joined in.

We all had a wonderful time. Woof-woof!

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