Phase 1A: Session 5

Session 5 

Grammar: Expressing Concrete Meaning

Various aspects of grammar have come into play in activities so far, though they haven't been focused on. For example, when the Nurturer describes what "he", "we", "you" etc. are doing at the moment, that is dealing with an area that is traditionally treated as grammar. In fact, much of grammar need not be thought of as "grammar", since it is simple a matter of how to express concrete meanings. The emphasis on possessive forms in today's session is another case in point.

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Learning Activity: body parts (dirty dozen)

Description

Starting with a single doll, rapidly learn to understand the names of as many body parts as can be learned in an hour, along with the word for “body”. Normally, it is not recommended to take an hour on a single activity at this point, but it has been found that this activity gives a solid leap in very basic vocabulary. Be aware that different languages divide the human body up differently. Also, some parts that we might expect to have names may not in another language. Begin with two words. Add one new one at a time. (The form may have to be possessive, I.e., "Where is her nose? Where are her fingers?, etc.")

Materials Needed: A doll (or picture of a human body)

Vocabulary:


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Learning Activity 2: going to places in the room (TPR)    

Description

This is a repeat of an earlier activity (Session 3, Activity 2). It has two purposes. One is to strengthen the basic nouns and actions. An easy mistake to make is to assume that once GPs can do the activity, learning of those commands is complete. In fact, the vocabulary needs to become extremely familiar, a goal that is not always easy to achieve in sessions. The other important purpose is to break up the long stretch of Activity1. Thus Activity 2 can be done in the middle of Activity 1 if the activity is getting tedious.

Materials Needed: A doll (or picture of a human body)

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Learning Activity 3: body parts of human possessors (TPR)

Description

"Where is the man's nose? Where are the baby's legs?"

Materials Needed

dolls (or action figures, drawings, photos) of man, woman, boy, girl, baby, etc.

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Learning Activity 4: body parts of animal possessors (TPR)

Description

It is important to be recombining earlier vocabulary with new material. Instead of human figures, now use all of the animals and insects that have been introduced so far. Besides that, the "grammatical" forms related to possession should stand out clearly in the context of these now familiar words. Be aware that somebody part names may change in the case of animals. Hopefully, there will not be too many new words arising. But some important ones can be learned in this activity, such as tail, wing, snout, feathers, fur, paw, horn, claw. The recording will help to reinforce new words that don't get as much repetition as "head" or "ear". "Where is the horse's head? Where is the frog's forehead? Where are the cow's legs?"

Materials Needed

All of the animal figures or pictures that have been used in previous sections.

Vocabulary:


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Learning Activity:  5: basic kinship terms with possessors

Description

This continues the "possessive" theme since it will involve phrases like "the girl's father". It also adds another group of some of the most basic vocabulary in any language. You may find that these terms are not learned as easily as body part terms since they deal with abstract relationships, rather than concrete objects. Arrange the human figures so that one, let's say a school-aged girl, is at bottom center *. Then place near her an older brother and younger brother, and older sister and younger sister, a mother, and a father. Learn to understand terms for all of these relationships. Change the central figure to a baby. Then place a female figure in the bottom center, and learn the terms for her son, daughter, and husband. Place an adult male figure at the center, and add the word for wife. Depict grandfather, grandmother, grandchild, etc. Learn words for family, siblings, parents. This activity is a time of discovery. Terms may differ for brother or sister depending on the gender of the person who’s brother and sister we are talking about. Maternal and paternal grandparents may be called by different terms. Terms for brothers and sisters may differ based on whether they are younger or older, etc., etc. At this point do not attempt more than the three generations involved in a single nuclear family. Don’t try to add in-laws, uncles, and aunts, cousins. Be warned that some cultures may have amazingly complex kinship systems. For now, deal with these basic words which will enable the GP to later describe any relationship (so that you can later ask questions such as “What do I call my wife’s brother’s son’s son?”) Note: in order to make clear to the nurturer who is at the "center" during the activity, leave all the other dolls lying down, but make the doll you are focusing on sit up.  For example, put the school-aged girl sitting up and lay her siblings next to her with her older brother to the left and the younger siblings to the right.

Materials Needed

a set of dolls depicting various ages works nicely. Otherwise, drawings or photos can be used.

Vocabulary:


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Learning Activity: 6 Lexicary

Description

Possibly finish page 1 of the Lexicarry (for the first pass through the book) this session. See instructions for earlier sessions.


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Next: Session 6