“The nature around us”: this is one of my favorite theme to teach, especially during spring or summer ^^. I designed this playful Arabic unit for little children (around 3-6 years old) based on our spring mini-book. I know the title of this resource is “I love spring” but you can still use it in the summer since it’s about natural elements, insects and colors.
I gathered all the Arabic resources you will need for this unit in the FREE “Nature Unit Bundle”. In this blog-post, their name is in red. All of these resources have the English translation integrated and the Arabic text vocalized for non-native speakers.
Now discover my suggested lessons, plan and activities:
1) Organization of the Unit:
- As usual, the teaching approach I use 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 really large, I chose to particularly tackle these topics:
Lesson 1: the rainbow’s colors
Lesson 2: the colorful flowers
Lesson 3: the bees and the honey
Lesson 4 : the 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 and colors’ names after you. The repetition is important to acquire a language. Since it’s through various activities and whole language exposure, it’s fun and keep the children interested.
- I follow the same plan for each lesson (young children like routines) except for the 1st lesson starting by reading aloud the spring mini-book:
- 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: Read aloud
Material: the free spring mini-book printed (and laminated for many uses).
Instruction: read aloud the mini-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 attractive.
Activity 2: 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 mini-book. You can use the A4-sized version of the poem included in the bundle too.
- the spring mini-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.
Recite the poem/rhyme.
While reciting, add gestures and sounds illustrating the key words. Since this is the 1st time, also show the related pictures of the key words (from the spring mini-book or from real photos you printed).
Activity 3: Rainbow’s Mini-experiment
Introduce the lesson by reading the page 2 of the rainbow printable, 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 experience 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 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 printable 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 doesn’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 printable (“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 printable 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 fulfill by matching the right number with the color. Children can color it in or paste small colored stickers. Once completed, keep the printables 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 completes the lesson via an additional way of learning and 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 2” in the lesson 1 above. During this lesson 2, I haven’t used the key words illustrations, but just gestures and sounds. If you feel that children still need them, use them. Or, you can help the children by translating a few Arabic key words in their language as you recite the rhyme.
Activity 2: Colorful Game:
- stickers of different colors (representing natural elements if possible, I found mines at Dollarama in Canada if you know this 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’ printable.
Here is the experiment we did: Science experiment with colour changing flowers**, great and complete explanations on “Laughing Kids Learn”. 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 pasted them on the previous rainbow’s craft (made during lesson 1):
Worksheets of the printable to complete
You can complete the pages 2 and 3 of the flowers’ printable with the children during the lesson, after the lesson or later if it’s too long for the children. 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
See “Activity 2” in the lesson 1 above. Like in the lesson 2, I haven’t used the key words illustrations, but gestures and sounds only. If you feel that children still need them, use them. Or, you can help the children by translating a few Arabic key words in their language as you recite the rhyme.
Activity 2: Colors matching and Memory Game
Introduce the lesson with the first page of the bees’ printable.
Make the children complete the “colors matching” worksheet to review some colors and vocabulary (the page 2 of the bees’ printable)
Play Memory with the cards (page 3 of the bee’s printable, cut them). This is a simple game to reinforce the vocabulary’s learning.
Activity 3 : Bees and hive Craft
- For the bees’ craft: Read the material and instructions on “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 paste 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 writing Arabic more:
Additional physical Game:
After your crafted bees and hive are dry and ready, you can play a game with the kids.
Preferably outside, make them “help the bees to make honey”:
Children take one of their crafted bee from the crafted hive, bring them to flowers (real flowers in your garden or crafted flowers) to gather the nectar, and then come back to the hive to make the honey! It can be a race between the kids or just a circuit to run through.
During the game, use the Arabic vocabulary from the bees’ printable.
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
See “Activity 2” in the lesson 1 above. Like in the lesson 2 and 3, I haven’t used the key words illustrations, but gestures and sounds only. If you feel that children still need them, use them. Or, you can help the children by translating a few Arabic key words in their language as you recite the rhyme.
Activity 2: Introduction: butterflies’ life cycle
Read the 1st page of the butterflies’ printable. 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 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” in the bundle. Laminate them if you want to re-use them later. 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 colors children see on the wings.
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, children can make 2 butterflies in order to paste one on the rainbow’s craft and keep one to play with.
Worksheet of the printable to complete
You can complete the page 2 of the butterflies’ printable (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:
- Write the different key words with dots, so kids can trace on it 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 mini-book one more time (we read it during the 1st lesson). Children will enjoy it more since they learnt many words included in this mini-book through 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 it with the children!
And if your are a parent, practice what you/they learnt in your daily life when you go out!
As usual, you can share it, comment and ask questions below!
_ Emilie, cofounder of Arabic Seeds.
Tag:Arabic, Arabic books, Arabic for children, Arabic for little kids, Arabic game, Arabic lesson, Arabic printables, Arabic resources, basic Arabic sentences, daily Arabic, early language teaching, free, freebies, fun Arabic, language teaching, nature, play-based teaching, printable, teaching Arabic, theme, unit