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Educational Technology



Brief Description

Use online translators to explore nouns and foreign languages.


Students will

  • use an online tool to translate the meanings of foreign language nouns.


bulletin board, noun, foreign language, Spanish, French, German

Materials Needed

  • computer/Internet access
  • digital camera (optional)

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, pairs or small groups of students will team up to use a digital camera to take pictures of common people, places, and things [nouns] found in the school setting.

If digital cameras are not readily available, students can use Google Search: Images to locate nice, large, clear images of each noun to print out.
The twist in this lesson is that the list of nouns will be in a foreign language that students do not understand. Students must use one of many online language translation tools (see Online Translators below) to translate their lists before they can start to gather the pictures.

Below is a list of common people, places, and things that can be found in most schools. (Click here for a printable version of the list.) For this lesson you will use this list, draw from it, or add to it. If you use the list, you can simply print it out and use scissors to cut the list into strips (by language) that you can then hand out to students.

If your school has a large population of students from another country, you might ask a parent or someone else who has command of language to help you add to the chart a column representing that language.

office la officina le bureau Bro
entrance la entrada entre Eingang
librarian bibliotecario/a le/la bibliothcaire Bibliothekar
nurse enfermera l'infirmier / l'infirmire Krankenpfleger
secretary secretaria secrtaire Sekretr
book el libro livre das Buch
computer la computadora ordinateur der Komputer
desk la mesita bureau Schreibtisch
dictionary el diccionrio dictionnaire Wrterbuch
pen la pluma stylo der Kuli
test/quiz/exam el examen essai / jeu die Prfung
cup la taza la tasse Schale
fork tenedor la fourchette die Gabel
juice el jugo le jus der Saft
kitchen la cocina la cuisine die Kche
stairs escaleras l'escalier die Treppe
bathroom el bao la salle de bains das Badezimmer
sink el lavabo, lavamanos l'vier das Waschbecken
closet armario la penderie (Kleider)schrank
table la mesa la table der Tisch
chair la silla la chaise das Sofa
desk escritorio le bureau der Schreibtisch
window la ventana la fentre das Fenster
door la puerta la porte die Tr
light la luz lumire Licht

Once students have translated their lists and taken their pictures, you might want to create a bulletin board to display their work.

  • You might create a grid that looks similar to the chart above, but each box in the ENGLISH column on the grid will include one of the students pictures.
  • You might post a world map on a bulletin board and group together around that map your students pictures of pens, librarians, etc. Each picture should have printed on it the foreign-language word that identifies what it is. You might string yarn from each picture/word to the countrys location on the map; the yarn could be color coded so all Spanish words are connected by green yarn, German words are connected by red yarn, and so on.

    Online Translators
    Following are a handful of online translators that students can use to complete this activity:

  • WorldLingo Translator
  • Translator
  • Yahoo! Babel Fish Translator
  • Google Translate
  • SDL

    Additional Notes About the Lesson

  • When establishing student teams/small groups to work together, you might match most students with a language you are sure they do not understand. You might assign some of brightest students to the most difficult language (German).
  • If you have mainstreamed ESL/EFL students who are recent arrivals to your classroom, you might assign the English list to them.


    Assess students based on their proficiency in using the technology tools, including possibly online translator(s), an image search engine (for example, Google Image Search), and/or a digital camera.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: Foreign Language
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-FL.K-12.3 Connections
    NL-FL.K-12.4 Comparisons

    GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
    NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools
    NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

    More Lesson Ideas

    Find additional Foreign Language lesson ideas in our Foreign Languages Subject Center.
    Find additional Technology lessons on our Technology Channel.

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