Visitors to our classroom have probably seen some snippets of information being added to our big world map!
Lucas has been having fun picking random places in the world and finding out a little more about them 🙂 As he does it he writes some things he found interesting in English and some things in Mandarin. This way he can write what he feels comfy in Mandarin, and the other things in English. It makes for a nice colourful knowledge of the world journey around our big world map 🙂
We have used Randall Munroe’s 万物解释者 (Mandarin version of his book ‘Thing Explainer’) to springboard these little journeys of knowledge. It is great, as Munroe has only used vocab from the most common 1000 words, making reading about things in a second language (for an intermediate reader) less tedious! Another thing that has been great about it, is that the little bit of writing to each place is really nothing more than a curious tidbit…inviting you to find out a little more about that particular part of the world!
So Lucas chooses a place, reads what Munroe has written about it in Mandarin, then tries to find more information about the place in English. He has learned all about Victoria Falls today in Zambia/Zimbabwe, and now wants to visit the Devil’s Pool 🙂 Up to now we have learned about New Zealand being much bigger than it looks above the sea! How Iceland is fire! How Alaska had the biggest ever recorded wave! And how they dug a tunnel through Panama so that ships didn’t have to go all the way around South America 🙂
I highly recommend Munroe’s book translated into your target language for LOTE learners!!! It has been really cool to be reading about countries on a world map in Chinese! Then delving into more research to find out what Munroe is talking about! A different way to find out about a different place each week 🙂
For more info about Munroe’s book read on about the other things kids can ‘springboard’ off 🙂
Randall Munroe’s ‘Thing Explainer’) in your target language is perfect for the LOTE learner! The author who works for NASA, claims to be able to explain complicated stuff in simple words, using a vocab of no more than 1000 words. Things like how the Mars Buggy lands and works.
How bathroom pipes work.
Lots of other random stuff, how washing machines work, how car engines work, how a biro works, how a cell in the body works…to the control panel of a space rocket….
What I really liked about it, is the appeal to an older student (diagrams look like they would contain pretty scientifically difficult captions to explain)…but the language is quite simple, so if you are reading in a second language the content is interesting but not too out of reach for an intermediate learner 🙂 Readers can find out about stuff in a second language, and if it rocks their boat, then delve deeper into the science, technology, or maths.
The book has been published in many languages…so just search for the language you are learning and learn the language and a little science at the same time 🙂