It was a brilliant idea to produce versions of the primary school series Animated Tales of the World for modern languages students. To start the year, Channel 4 is showing five of the tales with Spanish dialogue, from countries as far apart in geography and culture as Australia and Israel.
This week it is Sergei Olifirenko's enchanting Persephone, a film made using a mixture of puppet and computer animation. The Spanish is easy for learners to follow, with several repetitions and plenty of useful language; and the story makes a pleasant change from standard role-plays.
Middle English: Writing for Kicks C4 Wednesdays, January 29-February 12, 10.30-10.50am
Football is the main inspiration for C4's English work at the moment. It provided a metaphor for war in the two-parter Henry V: England's Captain (where Agincourt was seen as a difficult away match, with one Will Shakespeare in the commentary box). Writing for Kicks uses a more direct approach, in an effort to convince us that an interest in football is not necessarily incompatible with literacy. An experienced journalist gives hints on how to write a match report, Ian McMillan tells us what it means to be Barnsley's poet-in-residence and fiction writers talk about the beautiful game - if that's how you see it.
Eureka: A Victorian Diary C4 Tuesdays, January 28, February 4 and 11, 9.30-9.45am.
Our fictional Victorian diarist, Maggie Johnson, decides to seek her fortune in London where work is supposedly easy to find. After unsuccessfully trying to get a position in a shop, she ends up at Bryant and May's match factory where, this week and next, she will be involved in the famous match girls' strike. Using period materials (photographs and newspaper clippings), an interesting storyline and information about social conditions in the late 19th century, this history series invites seven to eleven-year olds to compare everyday life today with that of our Victorian ancestors. The full set of five 15-minute films is now available on video (pound;14.99 from 4Learning and there is a teachers' guide, an activity book and a Victorian Diary website.
www.channel4.comVictoriandiary Drama Workshop BBC Radio 3 Fridays, to March 7, 4.05-4.20am
New units for this term invite nine to 12-year olds to develop dramas around key areas of the curriculum, including history, literacy and citizenship. They start with "The Aztecs", which links both to a World History study unit and to the exhibition at the Royal Academy in London.
There are two further units for PSHE and literacy, followed by a three-part unit on The Tempest.
Full schedules: www.channel4.co.uklearningmain programmesspring2003.cfm