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Hello's Heard Around the World

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - Kindergarten
Standard 1 Objective 1

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Kindergarten
Speaking and Listening Standard 6


Utah LessonPlans


Students will learn how to say hello in five different languages.


Additional Resources


  • Hello World, by Fran Manushkin;
    ISBN 1-56282-059-1
  • Hello, by Betsey Chessen and Samantha Berger;
    ISBN 0-439-04560-6
  • Children Just Like Me, by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley;
    ISBN 7894-0201-7
  • What is Your Language?, by Debra Leventhal;
    ISBN 0-525-45133-1

Additional Media:

Background for Teachers

This activity focuses on the different cultural languages spoken throughout the world. Students will learn how to say, "Hello" in five different languages--Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swahili, and Japanese. (Adjust this to the diversity of the students in your class or area you wish to study.) Just as there are differences in the way we look around the world, there are also differences in the way we speak. All over the world children speak many different languages.

Mexico: Spanish is Mexico's official language, but Mexicans have their own way of using and pronouncing common Spanish words. They often use the special endings, such as ito or ita. These endings show that something is special or loved. Like abuelo (grandfather) would be abuelito (dear grandfather). There are at least one hundred native languages spoken throughout Mexico.

Tanzania Africa: Swahili is the official language spoken by most people in Tanzania. But for many, it isn't their first language (the language they speak at home). Each ethnic group has its own language, so Tanzania has more than one hundred languages. English is also an official language of Tanzania. It is used in business, government, and education.

France: Everyone in France speaks French, even though many people come from other countries and ethnic backgrounds. The French are very proud of their language. They even have an organization, Académie Française, whose main purpose is to protect the French language. French is spoken in more than 20 other countries. It is an international language.

Brazil: Brazil's national language is Portuguese. Portuguese is a romance language, which means it evolved from Latin. Brazilian Portuguese is pronounced a little differently than Portugal's Portuguese and uses some different words, many of which are African. Immigrant groups speak their own languages, too, as do the native peoples.

Japan: Japanese is the language spoken by people from Japan. English is taught in all secondary schools and is often used in business. The first page of a Japanese book is what Americans consider the last page. In other words, Japanese books are read from "back" to "front." Japanese is written in a line from right to left and from the top of the page to the bottom. The Japanese also use several alphabets. Japanese people place great worth on nonverbal language or communication--much can be said with a bow.

Intended Learning Outcomes

2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn

  • As students walk into the room, greet them in a language other than their own.
  • Display flags and pictures of children from the countries you are learning about.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Show students pictures of children from the different parts of the world.
  2. Point out on a map or globe where each country is located as you introduce the pictures.
  3. As you look at the children from other parts of the world, discuss some of the visual differences (e.g., clothes, hair color or styles, skin color, etc.).
  4. Invite the students to discuss the differences that may be present in their own classroom. Lead the discussion back to the pictures and the different parts of the world.
  5. Explain that the children in the pictures not only have differences that we can see, but that they also have differences in the languages that they speak.
  6. Ask the students these questions:
    • What language do we speak in our classroom?
    • What language do you speak at home with your family?
    • What language do you think students in Japan speak?
  7. Show the students the Word Strips with "Hello" written in different languages.
  8. Read each word strip and have students repeat after you.
  9. Ask the students to help you place the corresponding word strip of each language above the pictures of the children from around the world by asking, "Which child do you think say's 'Hello' like this…..?"
  10. Place each Word Strip under the correct picture of each child.
  11. Have students practice saying, "Hello" in each language.
  12. Using the second set of Word Strips and the chart, teach the song This Is The Way We Say Hello (tune Here We Go 'round the Mulberry Bush).
  13. Change the Word Strips for each country and sing the song again using the new language.


  • Copy "Hello" in the various languages in your writer's notebook.
  • Draw illustrations of what you think children from other cultures would look like singing this song in their language.
  • Learn to say a phrase in another language (e.g., Hello how are you today?).
  • Learn a new song in another language.
  • Graph the different languages spoken in your classroom, school, and family. Draw a picture of the national flag of each country represented.
  • Listen to music pieces from each country and use instruments to follow the beat.
  • Learn a traditional dance from another culture.
  • Listen to music from other cultures and create your own dance moves according to how the music makes you feel.
  • Make instruments or dance props from other cultures (e.g., drums, ribbon sticks, grass skirts, shakers, etc.).
Family Connections
  • Send home words to the song so that students can share/teach it to family members.
  • Ask families to share or write down how to say hello in other languages they may know to share with the class.
  • Graph how many languages members of your family know.
  • Listen to music from other cultures.

Assessment Plan

  • Have students predict where each child in the pictures might live.
  • Have students verbally repeat "hello" in each language as you say it.
  • Students participate in singing the song.
  • Have students share the countries of origin of their ancestors.
  • Students walk around the classroom and greet someone with a handshake and say "hello" in a language they just learned.


Research Basis

Dubin, F; (1975) An Overlooked Resource for English Language Teaching: Pop, Rock, and Folk Music. CATESOL Occasional Papers, NO.2 (ERIC Education Resource Information Center) ED 126673

This research discusses the use of pop, rock, and folk music in foreign language teaching. Songs can be used as presentation contexts, as reinforcement material, and for cultural education. Songs can teach phonological patterns, grammar, and even repetition.

Soy, R. H.; (1975) Bilingual Education through Music (ERIC Education Resource Information Center) ED 141473

The purpose of this study is to design a bilingual/bicultural kindergarten course of study based on the concepts of Richards Education Through Music Method. This method is rooted in the Hungarian composer-educator Zoltan Kodaly’s educational philosophy and was developed in the U.S. by Mary Helen Richards. This is a method of teaching all areas of the curriculum through musical activities.

Created: 08/17/2005
Updated: 02/05/2018