Thursday, 30 May 2013

ours brun, dis-moi...

This week as a change from a new song, I decided that we would once again have a story with a related craft.  I have recently purchased Eric Carle's "Ours brun dis-moi" (Brown bear, Brown bear) and it has already become a firm favourite with Little Imp.  It is such a good story to read in a foreign language to your little one not only because it is a story that they are probably very familiar with in English, but because the French is fairly simple and very repetitive and as with all Eric Carle books the pictures are colourful and engaging. If you do not have a copy of the story lots of libraries have foreign language children's book now so that may be worth a look.  I bought my copy from little linguist but it is also available from amazon and waterstones - and I have often picked up good condition French books second hand on ebay for a fraction of the new price!  Alternatively, here is a link to a slideshare of the story online:

To accompany the story I had lots of ideas for craft activities - in fact if you check out my "ours brun" pinterest board you will see just how many I have come across that I think are worth a try at some point!  In the end, however, I decided to exploit the obvious opportunities which the book offers to introduce colours and animals.

We haven't had the paints out in our craft time for a while and I have a whole load of animal sponges and stencils, so this too seemed like a good starting point.

Each of our toddlers chose to paint whichever animals they wanted from the selection available and using whichever colours they wanted from the available paints.  We then annotated these for them to describe what animals they could see in their picture, along the lines of the book.

So, for example, on the top of Little Imp's picture I wrote out:
"Little Imp, dis-moi ce que tu vois?" (Little Imp tell me what do you see?) followed by "Je vois..."  (I see...) and then I labelled each of her animal pictures accordingly e.g. un chat rouge (a red cat) etc.  Her painting is now proudly displayed on the playroom wall not only providing lovely decoration but also giving us the opportunity to practice some French when we are playing in there and look at it.  I tend to do this with all her artwork as it provides lots of different vocabulary opportunities during the week :o)

Of course, you do not necessarily need to use paints and stencils/sponges to create such a picture.  Your little one could draw their own animals or you could print out some animals to colour in and then stick them onto a backing sheet to label them.  You could also make a little mini book - in fact this is something that I think I will do with Little Imp when she is a little older.

Here are our fabulous paintings to give you some inspiration for your own brown bear style pictures:

Happy story telling and crafting! :o)

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