Extended language tasks from Mosaic


Fight school

Whilst on board the ship the Prince taught his sailors some fighting moves which were later used to kill the monster. See how many of these moves the class can remember and create a few new ones. The Prince used counting in Polish to teach his crew their fight moves and to co-ordinate their movements later in the fight. Find out if children in the class can count in other languages. Get them to teach the other children the numbers and use them in the same way as the Prince to co-ordinate the fight moves. This can be extended into a game where the child teaching the numbers calls out randomly and the rest of the class have to respond with the appropriate move.

Hubble bubble…

In Mosaic, the witch makes a spell to enchant the Prince so she can lock him in a cage. She consults a spell book which contains lots of different ingredients.

Ask the children individually or in small shared language groups what they would like to make a spell for. Then ask them to draw some of the ingredients to go into that spell and using those ingredients ask them to make up a spell in the language of their choosing. Staple all of the pages together to create one big spell book and imagine a big spell pot in the middle of the classroom (or use a real one). Ask the children/groups to come up in turn and speak out their spells. They can add sound effects and could mime the magic actually working. With a less confident class this could also be played out individual tables instead of in front of the whole class.

Other opportunities for making up magic words or using other languages might be:

  • To open the monsters cave full of gold
  • To reveal the giants hiding place for his magic box
  • To activate the magic box
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Tell us a story…

Group children together in shared language groups and ask them to tell a story of their choosing to one another in their home languages. Record the stories using hand held recorders or Dictaphones. Set them the task of translating their stories into English to share with the rest of the class.

Language map

Find out all the languages spoken in your class/school (including staff). Record them onto post it notes. Using a world map (click the image for a bigger version) stick the ‘post its’ on all the places that the children can identify that each language is spoken (based on their own experiences).


As a class work together to find out as many different ways as you can of saying hello and greeting one another in other languages. Teach them to the whole class. Get each child to decide on a greeting they would like to use and ask the children to walk around the room to music. When the music stops they have to find a partner and exchange greetings. They then take on the greeting of their partner as their own and continue to walk around the room until the music stops again. In this way by the end of the game most children will have tried out a number of different greetings.

Home-school talk

Send children home with tasks that will encourage bi-lingual talk, for example asking parents to tell them a story in home languages that they retell to the class in English. Where possible connect the task to a story, theme or learning area that is being explored in the classroom, so that there is a reason for feeding back.

My story, your story

Tell children they will be doing some story telling and that they have a choice of which language they want to tell their story in.

Pair children with someone who wants to tell their story in same language. Get them to tell each other a true story (this could be something funny or scary that happened to them or something that took place in a particular location such as the playground or during a particular time such as over the weekend).

Once stories have been swapped, ask them to change partners, this time with someone who does not speak the same language as them. Ask them to tell the story their original partner told them, but using actions as well as words.

Ask children to change partners once again and ask them to tell the story that has just been told/played out for them, but this time in English.

Find the original storyteller and see if/how the story has changed.


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Using bilingual strategies in drama

Learning and teaching for bilingual children

“Research has established that affording children the opportunity to continue to use their first or home language(s) alongside English in school for as long as possible and to use it in the context of cognitively demanding tasks, will support both the academic achievement of the child and the development of an additional language. There is considerable evidence that bilingualism can benefit overall intellectual progress where both languages continue to develop and when children add English to their language repertoire. The first language has an important role in a child’s sense of personal identity, and whether or not children feel their first language is recognised and valued is enormously significant.”
Primary National Strategy; Excellence and Enjoyment Unit 2

Drama provides the opportunity to both employ and celebrate the bilingualism of the children in a contextualised and meaningful way. There are a variety of strategies that can be used:

Using bilingual strategies in drama

  • Encourage the children to use languages other than English – places and characters can have names that will resonate with the children.
  • Involve bilingual adults in planning, implementation and review
  • Use bilingual storytelling e.g. with bilingual support (a member of staff or a child) a character can speak solely in a different language and necessitate the expert skills of the children in translating what they say
  • Help the children create texts for younger learners using dual languages
  • Use parents and communities as a resource
  • Pairing children (particular where they share a home language)
  • Mapping/sequencing a story
  • Telling a story in home languages
  • Children using home languages to role play
  • Introducing the drama/story/context in both home languages and English.
  • Providing a story ‘logic’ for why children have to use their home languages to communicate within a drama
  • Bilingual performance
  • Using culturally diverse stories
  • Including words from other languages within performances
  • Translation into home languages sections of storytelling


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