Around the fourth of July, learners really enjoy making flag crafts during morning outdoor time. They learn that each part of the flag has a different name such as field, canton, flagstaff, or hoist. While the learners may only remember a few of these terms, the goal is not retention. Rather this practice helps learners appreciate the specificity and diversity of language. Learners experience hearing and making different sounds as well as internalizing how language can classify the world in a seemingly infinite number of ways.
Learners use three part cards to work on language, and they have enjoyed exploring the many flags of South America this way. For this work, a learner lays all the flags of South America in a row. The learner will then ask a guide for a label (e.g., Argentina, Chile). Whether the learner can only sound out the first letter or read the entire name, they are practicing reading!
Once they have the country name, it is time to match it to the corresponding flag. If the learner does not know what a given country’s flag looks like, the guide will give them a hint. Using their memory and imagination, they return to their mat and label each flag.
Once they have finished pairing all the flags and labels, they ask the guide for “control cards.” These cards are the answer key, and learners use them to assess and correct their own work. This way, in the context of exploring the flags of South America, learners practice reading, hearing new sounds, and pronouncing new words, all while expanding their visual perception, memory, and concentration skills!