A Tongue Twister Mystery
Related query: Why would a word meaning "tongue,' after hundreds of years of passing from one language to another, end up meaning "language?"
Related investigations: Find the two meanings for the Spanish word "lengua." Find out how French and Spanish are related. What are their parent languages? What languages do students in your class, their parents, grandparents, etc. speak? Find out how to say father, mother, sister and brother in each. Make a chart and see if students can make hypotheses about which languages are most closely related.
A Swahili Tongue Twister
Related discussion: Considering the wisdom of the proverb, brainstorm about things that take/took patience and perseverance to complete/accomplish - from a historical perspective and from a personal perspective.
Ken Ya Find El Ecuador?
Geography/Social Studies Connection: Time to get the globe out! What other countries are intersected by the "ecuador?" Consider climate and cultural differences between North America and these places. Theorize why, despite the fact that they both straddle the equator, Ecuador and Kenya have snowcapped peaks. Find these peaks on a map - or make maps, indicating the geographical and cultural things you have learned in your investigations of these countries. Observe the often overlooked fact that Ecuador, on the West coast of South America and bordering the Pacific Ocean, is due south of Maryland and Washington, D.C., on the East coast of North America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
Foreign Language Connection: Challenge students to figure out the meanings (if they don't already know them) of the Spanish sentences in this section. [Translations: It's not difficult, is it? They're the same (literally: similar) and different at the same time. Non-Spanish speaking students should be able to make guesses somewhere in the ballpark due to all the cognates: diferente/different, similar/similar, tiempo/time (close to "tempo"), no/no, dificil/difficult.
Master of Many Tongues: Of course, the six different "languages" your students now "know" are the six different words for "language" in the various languages. Reinforce their multilingualism with a simple matching exercise or, for fun, an oral flash quiz exercise. Can your class add to the list?