Spot Goes on Holidays
Spot Goes on Holidays (1985) Eric Hill. Heinemann: UK.

Spot has to pack for his holidays. What will he bring with him? Children can follow the adventures of the puppy on holidays at the beach.

                                ISBN 0-14-151699-3

Language and Thinking Skills Development: Resources Vocabulary
Locations : Seashore, beach, city, country, mountains, island.
Transport: Aeroplanes, hovercraft, car, bus, train, ferry.
Seasons/Months: Summer, July, etc.
People: Parents, cousins, grand-parents, friends.

Activity : Introduction of Topic
Teacher shares with children artefacts/photographs from his/her own holidays.
Use a ‘Show-and-Tell’ procedure. Teacher shows e.g. the photograph of him/her on the beach/in the mountains/visiting a castle.
Children are encouraged to ask questions.
What would you like to know about this photograph?
My holidays?
Did you ever have a holiday like this?

Discussion in Pairs
Children working in pairs tell each other about a holiday they enjoyed.
Children are encouraged to describe and give detail, while their partner is encouraged to question and seek clarification. Some children may report on their conversations, e.g. Ciara, tell us about Mary’s holiday!

Activity: Exploring the Topic through Story
Read Spot goes on Holidays. Children and teacher discuss and examine the items he packs and state why each of these are needed! Here children are encouraged to give logical explanations.

Discussion in pairs
If you were going on holidays and you could pack your bag what would you definitely bring?
Children are encouraged to choose appropriate words to name, describe and elaborate detail.

Activity : Holidays with Family : Role-play
Discussion : Teacher introduces children to the Big Boy Cousins.
The Big Cousins are five brothers who are quite a handful. Their young cousin Katie Morag lives on the island of Struay (Scotland) with her Mam, Dad and two small brothers. Her Grannie, Grannie Island, welcomes the Big Boy Cousins for a fortnight each July. During their holiday one particular July, Katie joins them for some mischief!
The story is read and discussed.
Children can be encouraged and enabled to examine the story from different perspectives, e.g. How did Grannie feel about the boys coming to visit? How did she feel after the chicken game? How did Katie feel when the cousins arrived? How did she feel when Gran found out about the damage?

Children in Pairs
Role play different scenes using appropriate voices, intonations and text, e.g. You are Katie, what will you say to your biggest cousin when he gets off the boat? You are Granny, and you’re rowing boat is gone! What will you say!
During this activity teacher may ‘freeze’ the conversations and ask children to role-play for the big group, then revert back to pair work.
Here children are encouraged to project into the experiences and feelings of others. Teacher may model this work by ‘being’ some of these people him/herself, during the telling of the story.

Follow-up Work and Integration with other Curricular Areas
There is a great deal of scope here for integration with creative areas of the curriculum.

Note : A selection of these activities may be used initially. As the children become more experienced the teacher may find that a number of such activities can be used in one lesson.

Key Words: oral language, holidays, artefacts, role-play, describing.