Storyline "Our Shops"

Development of a storyline to learn a foreign language (English and German) in the course of the Comenius Project "Trading Today for Tomorrow"

Conditions in year 1




weekly lessons

skills requested


Year 5/ class 4b & 4d

Comenius Club


English: 4

Club: 2

all skills speaking, reading, writing,


tests and assessments



English / German?





Year 1 - 4 mainly 3/4



mostly spoken language










English/ German?






English/ German?











We will teach mostly speaking in this storyline, although there will be part of listening comprehensions and some reading and writing for the bigger children and classes.

General aims for the language and outcomes
(to be continued):


  • New Identity = name, town, country, address, age, job

  • family = relatives, age, jobs, where they live

  • house = description of street, house (outside and inside) , specialities

  • looks = height, weight, hair, figure, face,

  • likes and dislikes

  • creating a shop (poster or box) = name of the shop, window decoration, opening times, numbers, money, kind of shop, offers, special events, opening of shopping centre/street/marketplace,

  • trade = shopping - language, explaining the bead-project, local money, community impact, visit to shops and businesses,


  • setting up a business = product, ingrediences, materials, costs, currency

  • trade = locally, regional, organic, fair trade (Europe and the world) , special forms of business (i.e. For Nothing Shop)

  • structure of business= working together, share income and profit, work hard, European aspect in trading

  • Information about business = local traders, community, young people's business, necessities,

  • Exchange of products = the making of the product, decisions about price etc,

  • Trade on local markets = i.e. Christmas market , asking for permission to sell, calculation of costs…

  • Communicate the experiences = using the blog on the website, using video conferences for speaking about the project, (Skype, moodle ….) use of foreign language,

  • Meet and exchange and celebrate success of trade


How to do the storyline to learn a foreign language:

Please choose what you might need. The order is tested but you can change it, of course.

Please collect all own ideas, worksheets or projects (written down, if possible) - it will be one outcome, a hand book for teachers for downloading from the Comenius-Website.

  • Introduce a New Identity (worksheets will be provided and are coming soon) = let the children find a new name, a profession, a new town and street they live in, a new age.

  • Make photos with a special item they choose (special agent = sunglasses etc) and produce an ID-Card. The children have to show the ID-Card to enter the classroom during English/German lessons and put on their special item. This is for "entering" the storyline. The teacher also should have a new ID and a special item.

  • Work a bit with the new names and ID's so that everybody knows each other (especially the teacher!) Good methods are: guessing games, interviews, describing the neighbour, making posters and hang them up, making a word bank with important words ….

  • Write an invitation (worksheet will come soon) for all class members to a special event. You could make it a surprise but also could call it a business meeting.

  • The children can take part in a competition to name the new shopping centre. There is a price to win: a trip to Scotland or Berlin (for the Scottish!) Each child is addressed individually. Collect the answers and hand out the winning news a week later.

  • The children have to answer if they accept the invitation. Let them write a postcard. As a "ticket" to enter the event they have to write/ draw or tell about themselves (they will make a little booklet from patterns and suggestions provided by the teacher, worksheets are coming soon!)

  • You choose a different item (like tie or umbrella or posh blazer) to be the announcer of the wonderful possibility to buy a shop or stall in a newly built shopping centre / market place. Reasons could be: investing money, living under cover, trying something new, going with a friend and sharing his work …

  • The children can "buy" their stall in pairs - they decide on the kind of shop, the name, what products they might sell etc. They add the new profession or job to their ID. For example: Mary Miller, age 32, actress , lives in 77 Sunset Street, Hollywood , owner/ partner of the ICECREAM DREAM SHOP - then laminate the ID-Card for further use.

  • Create the stalls/shops. They can be big posters (measures will be sent soon, so that they don't vary too much) or stalls in a (shoe) box. The children are normally very creative to make them - provide paper, all kings of handicraft materials, fabrics (some nice laces, patterns and extraordinary fabrics are loved by the kids), big felt tips and eddings etc. (I will take photos of some examples and send them)

  • The teacher also creates a shop (can be done in advance as an example) - for instance : A WORD SHOP (with all dictionaries, books in the language and word supplies) or a special shop ( Fair Trade, World Shop, something to do with the project)

  • Allow some time for the posters - the children love it and can learn the words while doing it (use art lessons etc for it). Try to speak to them in the foreign language and insist on answers containing the known structures or words.

  • Gather the pupils from time to time (maybe at the end of each lesson), control what they have done and do some games and rehearsals on the words. I will provide the main words - but do collect more words - the children enjoy learning complicated words more than pronouns!)

  • When the children have finished the making of the stalls have a celebration: The opening of our market ! Make it small or big ( up to you) - invite other classes, parents, teachers, press … provide balloons and decoration and maybe something to eat and drink - involve the parents - have an official opening with music and speech …………

  • Let the children introduce their shop/ stall in the foreign language. Rehearse it with them beforehand like: This is our shop. It is called ……………….. We sell ……… It is cheap. Our special offer is ……..
    Das ist unser Laden. Er heißt …............... Wir verkaufen …………………
    Es ist billig. Unser Sonderangebot ist ………

  • After the opening celebration introduce more and more words and patterns to the children about all kinds of stories. Use your English/ German book as well. Here are some suggestions:

    1. Opening times: learn the numbers / times. Make it simple at first : full hours

    2. Colours: teach the colours and let the children describe their posters

    3. Prices : learn the numbers and the currency (pound, euros) make it simple again,

    4. Birthday: one of the owners has birthday and there is a birthday party going on in the shop. Use the range of words for party and celebration

    5. Going shopping; create a dialogue between the shop owner/assistant and the customer (methods: play it yourself with a good pupil, whisper the dialogue to the acting children, let them read and fill in a prepared dialogue, use the real things - children bring items or material from home…)

    6. an incident: shop lifting, an accident, wrong delivery, new shop…..

This is to be continued during year 1 - it might start you off, though!

grafik · realisierung · hosting – Volker Siebert, Berlin 2013 – mediafactum.