Friday, 15 April 2016

Fictional Animals and Determiners (A or An)

A couple of years ago, I went to see the comedian John Richardson in a tour called 'Nidiot'. He named his tour this as, when he called someone 'an idiot', he said it sounded like he'd said 'a nidiot'. Similarly, 'an onion' and 'a nonion'.
At the start of this year, I shared with my class the 'Alot' - it's been on my wall since. Whenever a child writes 'alot', we refer to it and we're all now writing 'a lot' (most of the time).
In this lesson, we had a go at creating our own fictional animals. Take an animal that begins with a vowel sound, separate and a and n in an and create a new animal starting with an n. Here's how the lesson went...
We started by looking at some alots. 'Alot of money', 'I like Christmas alot' and others. We found them amusing and talked about what they reminded us of. Next, we listed some determiners. From that list, we wrote out the three types of article (a/an/the). I then displayed a picture of an orange and an onion. I got the children to repeatedly say what they could see. Then, I wrote up 'a nonion' and 'a norange'. This time, I got the class to say these two phrases. Much amusement from the Year Fives about how much 'an orange' sound the same as 'a norange'. The children then created their own new fictional animals to remind us about the rules around articles.

Some of these are now on our Woking Wall, along with the Alot, as a reminder about articles. As part of the lesson, we also covered why it's 'an hour' as opposed to 'a hour' and listed some words that begin with a consonant letter, but a vowel sound. If any other classes create their own animals, we'd love to see them.

Update (30/01/2017): It's a real thing! Rebracketing.

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