“The nature around us” is one of my favorite themes to teach! I designed this playful Arabic unit for children (around 3-8 years old) based on our free Spring printable book.
Get all the printable Arabic resources you need for this unit on the Shop by ordering the FREE “Nature/Spring Unit Bundle”. In this blog-post, their name is in red. All these resources include the English translation and the Arabic text with harakats for non-native speakers.
Now discover my suggested lessons, plan and activities:
1) Organization of the Unit:
- The teaching approach used is a play-based approach adapted to young children, exposing them to fluent and meaningful Arabic.
- This unit can be used with a small group of children or with one child. If you are a parent teaching your child, just be sure to get involved with him/her during the activities requiring more social interaction (rhyme or game for example).
- I organized this unit in 4 lessons. They last approximately 1 hour each, but it depends on the number of children involved, their age and abilities etc…
The Nature theme is wide, I chose to particularly focus on these lovely topics:
Lesson 1: Rainbow’s colors
Lesson 2: Colorful flowers
Lesson 3: Bees and honey
Lesson 4 : Butterflies (life cycle)
- Throughout the lessons, children will learn the colors and vocabulary related to the nature in Arabic. Don’t hesitate to make them repeat key words or simple sentences after you. Repetition is important to acquire a language. Since it’s done through various activities and whole language exposure, it’s fun and keep the children interested.
- I follow the same plan for each lesson:
- Rhyme and movements.
- Short introduction of what we will speak about during the lesson, and/or storytelling
- Game or mini-experiment
- Craft ; this craft will be completed progressively throughout the lessons.
- I provide printables related to each lesson with a page of introduction (simple sentences/words) and worksheets (colors matching, Arabic letters matching, numbers matching, etc). I recommend to keep these printables in a presentation book or a binder for example.
2) Lesson 1: the rainbow’s colors
Activity 1: Rhyme and Movements
- I use the same rhyme at the beginning of each lesson. This is the Spring poem included at the end of the spring book. You can use the A4-sized version of the poem included in the bundle too.
- the “I love Spring” book or real photos illustrating the key words of the poem (key words are highlighted in the poem). I like to use this website** for free photos for personal use.
Read or sing the poem/rhyme.
While reading or singing, add gestures and sounds illustrating the key words. Since this is the 1st time, you can also show the related pictures of the key words (from the spring book or from real photos you printed).
Activity 2: Read aloud
Material: the printed “I love Spring” book.
Instruction: read aloud the book, imitate some sounds (for example when you are reading the bees’ page) and add some hand gestures (ex: the birds flying, the rain falling) to make it more interactive for the children.
Activity 3: Rainbow’s Mini-experiment
Introduce the lesson by reading the page 2 of the rainbow printable worksheet, explaining when we see a rainbow in the sky.
Then, make a fun mini-experiment to create a rainbow. There are several ways to get a rainbow, please see this wikiHow page** to choose the experiment you prefer.
Describe what you see, name the colors in Arabic clearly so the children listen and watch at the same time. If you need help to tell the colors, the page 3 of the rainbow printable worksheet will help you.
Activity 4: Rainbow’s Craft
- paint brushes
- paint: blue, yellow, red, white
- small containers for the paint
- a large white cardboard per child
- pencil and markers
- the pages 3 and 4 of the rainbow worksheet as a reference for you (to have the name of the rainbow’s colors if you don’t already know them and a “schema” of a rainbow)
- With the pencil, trace 8 lines on the cardboard for the 7 bows of the rainbow. On the top of the cardboard, write a title in Arabic. I wrote for example: “Maryam’s rainbow”
And then, let the children trace on the title with the markers (it’s ok if young children don’t trace perfectly, the objective is that they discover and have fun)
2. Prepare the 7 colors with the children.
Firstly, name the primary colors (blue, yellow, red) and the white in Arabic and make the kids repeat after you.
Mix 2 colors at a time, let the kids mix them.
Name the new colors you get (green, orange, light blue, purple). You can practice the Arabic sentence of the page 4 of the rainbow worksheet (“when I mix the…with the…, I get the…”) or let it for later.
3. Make the children color in the bows with the paint according to the order of the colors in the rainbow (help the youngest children). During the painting, continue to name the colors in Arabic as the children use them.
Worksheets of the printable:
You can complete the pages 3 and 4 of the rainbow’s worksheet with the children during the lesson, after the lesson or later if it’s too long for the children. The page 3 has a rainbow to fill in by matching the right number with the color. Children can color it in or paste small colored stickers. Once completed, keep the worksheets as a reference to review Arabic vocabulary and sentences.
A cartoon for more exposure to fluent Arabic:
Finally, download and watch this fun Arabic cartoon “The rainbow’s colors”** with the children!
It exposes children to more fluent Arabic (it’s ok if they don’t understand everything, their brain is learning ^^).
3) Lesson 2: the colorful flowers
Activity 1: Rhyme and Movements
See “Activity 1” in lesson 1. During this lesson 2, I didn’t use the key words illustrations, but gestures and sounds only. If you feel that your children still need them, use them.
Activity 2: Colorful Game:
- stickers of different colors (representing natural elements if possible. I found mines at a dollar store)
- colorful markers or pencils or crayons
- Display the stickers on the floor.
- Name a color in Arabic and show a marker/pencil/crayon of this color.
- The children have to pick up a sticker with the right color.
- Pursue with all the colors you have, one color at a time.
At the end, the children can keep the stickers they picked up. We will use them for the next activity:
Activity 3 : Mini-experiment with flowers
Firstly introduce the topic of the lesson, using the 1st page of the flowers’ worksheet.
Here is the experiment we did: Science experiment with colour changing flowers**. NOTE: before the experiment, the children decorated the jar we use in the experiment with the previous stickers.
Activity 4 : Craft “Pop Out flowers”
We made flowers using toilet paper rolls and paint. This simple craft is explained here on “No time for flashcards”**. Then, we glued them on the previous rainbow’s craft (made during lesson 1):
Worksheets to complete
You can complete the pages 2 and 3 of the flowers’ worksheet with the children during the lesson, after the lesson or later if it’s too long for them. The color “pink” is introduced, the colors of the rainbow are reviewed and there is a “matching color-Arabic letters” coloring.
4) Lesson 3: the bees and the honey
Activity 1: Rhyme and Movements
Same as in previous lessons.
Activity 2: Colors matching and Memory Game
Introduce the lesson with the first page of the bees’ worksheets.
Make the children complete the “colors matching” worksheet to review some colors and vocabulary (the page 2 of the bees’ worksheets)
Play Memory with the cards (page 3 of the bee’s worksheets). This is a simple game to reinforce the learning.
Activity 3 : Bees and hive Craft
- For the bees’ craft: Read the material and instructions from “Pink stripey socks”**
Children painted the egg carton part (body of the bee) in black and yellow. We introduce here the color “black” in Arabic
NOTE: Make them make at least 2 bees in order to glue one on the rainbow’s craft and keep one for the next game.
Then, we have to wait until they dry. After that, I made very small holes with the craft knife on the back to insert the wings (pipe cleaners) and on the head to insert 2 antennas. Perhaps older children can help you to insert the pipe cleaners. I preferred to insert them myself because the metallic ends of the pipe cleaner can hurt a bit.
- For the hive’s craft:
I also wrote ” the bees’ hive” in Arabic to expose kids to more Arabic writing:
Additional physical Game:
After your bees and hive are dry and ready, you can play a game with the kids.
Make them “help the bees to make honey”:
Children take one of their bees from the hive, bring them to some flowers (real flowers or paper flowers) to gather the nectar, and then they come back to the hive to make the honey! You can do a race if you have enough space or if you play outside.
During the game, use the Arabic vocabulary from the bees’ worksheets.
A relevant cartoon for more exposure to fluent Arabic:
Finally, download and watch this fun Arabic cartoon “The bees’ hive” ** with the children!
5) Lesson 4: the butterflies
Activity 1: Rhyme and Movements
Same as in previous lessons.
Activity 2: Introduction: butterflies’ life cycle
Read the 1st page of the butterflies’ worksheets. Cut and use the cards to show the different stages of the cycle. Don’t forget to make the children repeat the key words. Some words are a little bit complicated for young kids, the goal is that they get used to speak Arabic and discover the language. It’s not a problem if they don’t acquire these words.
Optional Activity: storytelling “The very hungry caterpillar”
I love storytelling, it’s one of the lovely way to expose learners to fluent language. I found the beautiful book of Eric Carles “The very hungry caterpillar” in Arabic-English at my local library.
I made a little caterpillar with a red and a green pipe cleaners.
While telling the story, the kids can take the crafted caterpillar and make it “eat” through the fruits. I also show them the cards of the different stages at the relevant moment in the story.
Activity 3: Matching Game
Preparation: Print and cut the butterflies included in the file “Butterflies – Matching Game” . Cut each butterfly in the middle. You get 2 parts for each butterfly.
Instructions: Display one half of each butterfly on the floor (or on a board/wall with removable adhesive putty).
Ask the children to find the right second half for each butterfly.
While playing, repeat the Arabic names for butterfly/butterflies. Also name some of the colors of the butterflies.
Activity 4: Butterfly craft
I chose the simple “hand-print butterfly craft” from No time for flashcards. Find the material needed and the instructions here.**
We just pasted antennas (pipe cleaners) with some tape.
NOTE: for this craft too, the children can make 2 butterflies in order to paste one on the rainbow’s craft and keep one to play with.
Worksheet to complete
You can complete the page 2 of the butterflies’ worksheets (a matching color/Arabic letters coloring) with the children during the lesson, after the lesson or later if it’s too long for the children. The color “brown” is introduced and other colors are reviewed.
6) Closure of the Unit:
- On the final craft, write the different key words with dots, so kids can trace on them and practice their Arabic writing (again, for the youngest children, the objective is that they discover and enjoy. we don’t look for the perfect writing).
- Point to the different elements and colors on the craft and ask their Arabic name. Or make the children repeat after you.
- You can also read the spring book one more time. Children will enjoy it more since they learned many words included in this book throughout the four lessons.
** NOTE: The links to other websites in this blog-post are provided as resources and do not signify endorsement of the website.
You are now ready to teach about the nature in Arabic! Enjoy!
And if your are a parent, practice what you/they learned in your daily life when you go outside!
As usual, you can share it, comment and ask questions below!
_ Emilie, founder of Arabic Seeds.
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