Nature faces

Here are my faces made from a few things I picked up in the garden or saw on my table. It was fun to see how spacing the eyes differently changed the face a lot.

Vocabulary about the faces: naming the parts of the face which are less well known (e.g. eyebrow, forehead, chin). Talk about how the ‘person’ looks: happy, cross, friendly, nice, angry, old, scary, surprised… Maybe talk about what made the person feel that.

This resource has some good pictures of verbs that go with emotions. Or print out some emoticons really large to talk about.

The items you found for your faces – refer to Lynn’s list and say whether she used the same things or had things you couldn’t find. Comparing (what’s similar) and contrasting (what’s different) are good tasks at even a simple level for pushing attention skills and describing.

Homonyms – words that have two distinct meanings – we have lots and children are very confused by them but may only indicate this confusion by a strange response to your instruction/comment: face (we are making faces, but children may often be instructed not to make/pull faces!; children may have to face a partner and this refers to the way you have to stand); rock (US English seems to include quite small stones in the rocks category – we usually save rocks for very big stones, but children know rock as a body movement too).

If you watched the video together, talk about what Lynn did: what did she get out ready, how did she begin, what came next, and so on. Before you start on yours, list the actions again as you point at your fingers in turn:

  1. we get everything ready etc. etc.

When you’ve made yours, ask the child to report on how the job was done – praise any attempt at a sequenced list of actions in the correct order.  You can point at one of the faces you took a photo of and ask specifically how the child made that one. Or make a game of Spot the Difference. Look at the top row of pictures in my grid; if you printed them out and chose two at a time the child could be challenged to report on the differences – this is usually a popular activity and provides a real challenge to good describing language. You could easily make a set away from the child just by moving the individual items a little, changing the mouth, removing the eyebrows etc. etc., take a photo at each change, print them and make cards for the game. Start with easy ones depending on the child’s language level such as 1  eye/2 eyes; happy/sad; big/small/no nose; green/blue eyes…

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