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Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices

Arabic: Vegetables We Like

Arabic Grade 2: Rita Lahoud’s Art and Arabic students draw pictures of vegetables they like and don’t like. Students discuss in pairs what they drew and then present their drawings to the full class.



Rita Lahoud






Public School 261 Philip Livingston, Brooklyn, New York

Lesson Date

May 23

Class Size



50 minutes once a week

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Video Summary

In this lesson, Miss Lahoud’s second-grade Art and Arabic students develop vocabulary through art, drawing pictures of vegetables they like and don’t like, and presenting these to their classmates. Class begins with a “hello” song and a brief review of the weather and days of the week. After introducing the lesson goals, Miss Lahoud shows students pictures of vegetables and leads the class in naming them aloud. Next, she explains the day’s activity, in which students will draw and color the vegetables they like in one bowl and the vegetables they don’t like in another. After students finish their work, they discuss what they drew in their bowls in pairs, and then present their drawings to the rest of the class.


Standards Addressed

Communication: Interpersonal, Presentational

Connections: Making Connections



Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES)
This elementary school model organizes instruction around a scope and sequence taught by a qualified foreign language teacher. Its goals include developing language proficiency with an emphasis on oral skills, as well as providing a gradual introduction to literacy, building cultural knowledge, and tying language learning to the content of the early grades’ curriculum. FLES programs vary, especially in the number of meetings per week or minutes per session. See also Foreign Language Exploratory Program (FLEX).

thematic units
Thematic units are designed using content as the organizing principle. Vocabulary, structures, and cultural information are included as they relate to the themes in each unit. For an excellent example of theme-based units, see the Nebraska Foreign Language Education Web site in General Resources.

Connecting to Your Teaching

Reflect on Your Practice

As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.

  • How do you engage your students with products (art, visuals, realia) from other cultures? How do these elements support use of the target language and build learners’ language performance?
  • Do you have stations in your classroom? What are some possible activities that are well suited to autonomous learning in small groups of learners? What should be in place in order to make such stations successful—and not a challenge to classroom management?
  • How might you alter the activities shown in the video to suit older learners?

Watch Other Videos

Watch other videos in the Teaching Foreign Languages K–12 library for more examples of teaching methodologies like those you’ve just seen. Note: All videos in this series are subtitled in English.

  • Fruits of the Americas (Spanish) illustrates how students learn the names of different fruits and then practice the vocabulary words with partners and with the class.
  • Mapping Planet Earth (French) features activities that enable students to connect content from different other subject areas.
  • Interpreting Picasso’s Guernica (Spanish) provides an example of connecting language with art for more advanced learners.

Put It Into Practice

Try these ideas in your classroom. Where it’s not already evident, reflect on how to adapt an idea that targets one performance range for application to other performance ranges.

  • When planning your lessons, think about ways to involve different sensory experiences in your activities. Sight and sound are easy to incorporate into a world-language curriculum; there may be fewer opportunities to employ touch, taste, and smell. When they are included, these other senses can be crucial in helping students retain vocabulary because the students connect the new words to their lived experiences. If your school’s policy allows it, bring in realia whenever possible. If you’re teaching a unit on cooking, bring in the actual foods to share and eat with your students. If you’re doing a unit on shopping, bring in real coins from your target culture for them to feel or use in a role-playing activity.
  • Incorporate art into your curriculum at all levels.
    • Have students identify what they see in a landscape painting or photograph, for example. Ask what they would smell and how they would feel. Have students identify all they can to place the scene in a context (e.g., the season, historical time period, geographical location, and more).
    • When teaching languages that have a script unfamiliar to your students, lessons on calligraphy can be a great way to connect art to learning a new alphabet.
    • Cartoons can also be an excellent means to spark conversation. Give uncaptioned cartoons to your students and have them imagine what the characters are saying. Additionally, students of all levels can draw and caption their own cartoons using language accessible to their level.
    • For students with stronger language skills, expose them to important pieces of art from your target culture and have them interpret the pieces.


World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages
The World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages create a roadmap to guide learners to develop competence to communicate effectively and interact with cultural understanding. This lesson correlates to the following Standards:

Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes

Interpersonal Communication

Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed, or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.

Presentational Communication

Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.

Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career-related situations

Making Connections

Learners build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines while using the language to develop critical thinking and to solve problems creatively.


Lesson Materials

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Opening Lesson Routine (PDF)
A description of the 10–15-minute routine that Miss Lahoud uses to begin each class

Song Lyrics (PDF)
Lyrics to the three songs that Miss Lahoud uses in her opening routine

Vegetable Bowl Student Worksheet (PDF)
A worksheet used to accompany the art activity in which students draw vegetables they like and don’t like in side-by-side bowls

Curriculum References
For language goals:
ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners

For art planning:
New York State Learning Standards for the Arts

Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Art of the Islamic World: A Resource for Educators

Rita Lahoud’s Additional Resources
Print Resources:

Erfani, Mohammad Imran. Arabic for Beginners. Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India: Goodword Books, 2013.

Series Directory

Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices


Teaching Foreign Languages K–12: Teaching Arabic © 2016 Annenberg Learner and Qatar Foundation International. All rights reserved.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-731-2