Teacher's Notes: My Family

This is a great story for someone just starting out in the language, and a good review for those who have had a little exposure to the language already. Even if students have never studied the language before, having this story read to them and gone over with them will give the feeling “I can learn this language!” Of course they won’t learn all the words immediately or be able to repeat them, but they will start to see patterns, remember phrases and comprehend the words as they reread the simple story.

The main focus of this story is to use some easy family words to start teaching adjectives. The story passively teaches the phrase “this is” and how to use “to be.” The worksheets that go with this story are only single words (adjectives) that must be matched with the pictures.

Since students reading this story probably have a very limited vocabulary, teach the adjectives through pictures or words they already know. For example, say, “An elephant is big,” and draw or show a picture of an elephant and use body language to show “big” with your hands. Then say, “An ant is small,” doing the same with pictures and body language. Do more examples and then ask questions, such as, “Is a dinosaur big? Is a button big? (show it) Is a Tokyo a small city?” The students will answer and you will see right away whether they understand. Make sure you repeat the target words in your answers: “Yes, a dinosaur is big! It is very big! A button is small. Tokyo is NOT a small city. Tokyo is big!” Use popular items, things in the class, movie stars, name brands – anything that the students are familiar with – to make the new adjectives stick. Make your students laugh. It is thrilling for your students when they understand something. When they laugh, you will know they comprehend.

Teach the target vocabulary first, before giving out the story. Review the words with games (Pictionary, photos, acting, guessing shout-outs, etc). After the students are familiar with the new words, read the story out loud to them. Read it more than once. When you read it, also point out the pictures, talk about them, and ask questions. Tell the students to take it home, color it, show their parents, and bring it back. Read it again the next day or a few days later. Don't worry about making the students themselves read it out loud. It's more important for them to hear the language now, and as their teacher, you can read it more clearly and loudly than they can, and with a better accent, to give them the input they need. You can use the worksheets to review adjectives - either before or after you read the story.

New Words:

Key Phrases:

This is …
My name is …
I have …

First Nouns:


First Verbs:

to be
to have
to live
to love

First Adjectives, in antonym pairs:

big – small
short – tall
fat – thin
kind – mean
strong – weak
old – young
slow – fast
happy – sad
beautiful – ugly
serious – funny
smart – stupid
old - new
wonderful – terrible

Other Words:


Worksheet Answers:

(left-hand picture first, by pairs) big, small; tall, short; young, old; sad, happy; fat, thin; weak, strong; funny, serious; smart, stupid; ugly, beautiful; slow, fast; new, old; kind, mean

Go to the story.

Go to the worksheet.

Facebook Twitter email

Starting Off

Fun Extras

More Info

Teachers' Lounge

"You live a new life for every new language you speak."

- Czech Proverb

Do you want to help translate these stories into other languages? Visit our Story Translation Project