Using your child’s love of horses for language learning can be a great motivation. When children are interested in something then they usually stay engaged for a longer period of time.
This first blog post of this series of 12 for 2024 will be focussing on Basic Horse Anatomy. Resources that you can use and how to use them. There will also be basic pronunciation videos on our Instagram pages (Outdoor Bilingual Learner and Emilys Pony Adventures) over the next couple of weeks based on this topic.
So let’s get started! Here is a FREEBIE for you all about Basic Horse Anatomy. I have kept it simple and focussed on basic external parts and this can of course be expanded on, but we can start using this freebie with children as early as four years old if not earlier.
We will be using a Charlotte Mason inspired learning approach and therefore for the younger children and new language learners there will be no writing included just some colouring in, and some recommendations for living books, a nature journaling prompt, music, games, story telling, handicrafts and poetry.
This blog post contains affiliate links from Amazon . If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Please note that I only recommend items that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.
Living Books on Horses and Anatomy
In line with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy, introduce children to “living books” that breathe life into the subject matter.
“Horse Anatomy Colouring Book” by John Green
This book contains very detailed illustrations that can be coloured in directly in the book or copied and stuck in, or drawn in your language learning journals, that we will also be setting up shortly.
“A Field Full of Horses” by Peter Hansard
This book combines rich storytelling with accurate anatomical details, allowing children to absorb information in a captivating way.
“The eighteen stories in this volume have been chosen with a thought to their educative value as well as for the intrinsic charm of the original narratives, which in various forms have delighted many generations of readers.”
Here is also a book that is in german to help all those learning german. it is a little bit more technical than the other books that I have listed.
Take children on nature walks to observe horses in their natural habit or to a riding school in your area and ask if you can observe the horses whilst out in the field or in their stable. Equip them with nature journals to sketch and document their observations of horses.
You can ask them to focus on a specific part of the horses and note differences between the different horses. For example their heads and which markings they have on them.
We will be starting our langauge learning notebook shortly and will be combining the nature journaling elements within and we will share these on a new blog post and on Instagram.
After a nature walk or reading a living book on horse anatomy, encourage children to narrate their understanding of different horse body parts. This process reinforces comprehension and expression.
Also you can use the freebie in order to talk about various body parts and ask questions in both languages.
If you have schleich or playmobil horses at home you can also do some role-playing with the horses and maybe act out a scenario with a vet or just a couple horse owners talking about their horses in general. Or just ask your child to point out various parts of the horse and ask them to name them in both their native and target languages.
Crafts; Creating Equine Models
Incorporate handicrafts into the language learning journey. Provide children with materials to create models of horses, emphasising the various anatomical features. This hands-on approach aligns with Charlotte Mason’s emphasis on meaningful, purposeful work as part of the educational process.
An example of this could be trying out needle felting a horses head or just a basic horse. Or you can use play-dough to make models of various parts.
Poetry and Rhymes Celebrating Horses
Enhance the language arts component of the Charlotte Mason method by introducing poetry and rhymes centered around horses.
Here is also a poem that you could maybe learn. Author unknown
In fields of green where the wind does play,
Horses dance, their manes in a grand display.
With hooves that gallop, a rhythmic beat,
In nature’s symphony, their joy is sweet.
Eyes that sparkle, wild and free,
Graceful creatures, a sight to see.
Majestic beauty beneath the sky,
Whispers of the wind as they pass by.
Noble companions, loyal and strong,
Galloping melodies, a timeless song.
In meadows wide and rivers deep,
The spirit of the horse, forever to keep.
There are a number of classics to be heard for example one that is really famous is Rossini’s Overture to ‘William Tell’ or also one that is played on numerous occasions in the horse world by the awards ceremony Johann Strauss Radetzsky March
Japanese Composer Töru Takemitsu wrote Wind Horse
Copland The Red Pony Suite
Take a listen and see if you have heard these compositions previously. Have them on in the background whilst doing your horsey craft, or setting up your new language learning notebook.
There are some fabulous videos of horses and people which have been drawn on showing both the skeleton and muscles and how these work together in movement.
Here is also a blog post from a german site that explains all about the Horses Anatomy – Pferde Anatomie.
By embracing living books, nature journaling, handicrafts, and the arts, children develop a holistic understanding of equine anatomy while nurturing their love for learning. Also you are making language learning fun by incorporating vocabulary learning and other activities which make it easier for children to remember.
We will expand on this blog post and add additional resources all the time. In February we will be talking about grooming.