Keeping our Hands and Hearts Busy

The three weeks leading up to the winter break are tough. Everyone is tired, right now everyone is SICK, and no one wants to give me 48 minutes of solid oomph… so, it’s time to bring out some follow ups that make being together more fun!

We are reading Bianca Nieves from Wayside Publishing in Spanish 2 and we have done a couple of fun follow ups this week.

After chapter 2, we reviewed some of the vocabulary with Play-Doh.

There was a teachers guide script for another favorite activity, Picasso of Plates (the baby shower game where you draw something while holding a plate on top of your head), but I chose to use the same script with my Play-Doh. You can EASILY adapt this activity for any reading. We had set the scene of the ranch where Bianca reads and I simply described it to them in the target language. They built it out of Play-Doh one instruction at a time. In the picture, you can see the square for the house (some kids made a whole house), the circle for the corral behind the house, one of the bulls in the corral (the other is in front, not yet in place). I used location words to tell them which things went in front of, behind, and beside each other. They LOVED it. Playing with Play-Doh never gets old. The activity took us about 18-20 minutes and I had 8 different parts to describe on the ranch.

Another day, we played a game whose origin I am still seeking out. Cindy Hitz plays a game called The Copier (seen in this blog post) that shares some characteristics, but I realize I may have heard about it from Michele Whaley and Donna Tatum-Johns at ACTFL too… Or from AnneMarie Chase, the queen of games… or from SOME genius teacher out there, whoever you are… Anyway, I did NOT write down my directions, the name of the game, or any information about it and now I have no idea who to credit or if I even played it right! But what we played was REALLY fun.

I called my version Copy Cats. I wrote a list of words on the board and divided my class into teams by row. I had 4 rows of 5, so I had 4 teams. I gave each student a white board and marker plus an eraser. The teams had 2 minutes to look at the words from the book that I had written on the board and write one sentence (using as many of the words as they liked). The catch is that they all have to have exactly the same sentence… so they have to work as a group!

When the time was up, they stopped writing and I rolled a die. I had four groups, so rolling 1-4 meant that the group with that number would go first. Rolling a 5 or 6 meant roll again. In round 1, I rolled a 2. Group two held up their boards and all sentences were identical. They were able to use 3 of the words from the board. They earned 3 points. I erased their 3 words from the board. They would no longer count for points. Team 3 was next, their boards also matched. They had used two different words from the board so they earned 2 points. I erased these words as well. Team 4 had used 2 of the same words as team 2, but had one unique word. They earned 1 point. I erased their word. Team 1 got no points because all of their words had already been used!! (But they weren’t last in the next round!)

For round 2, I filled in the gaps with different words from the text (both words we are learning as we read and words that are familiar that I want to review).

We played 3 total rounds (about 15 minutes) and the high score at the end was the winning team. It was a lot of fun to see them working together to see how many of the words they could work into one sentence!

Finally, I wanted to share something I am planning on doing as we approach the break. We always have those weird “one day” things where a bunch of students are gone… I’m doing this clip chat the day we have a disrupted schedule for the holiday concert.

It is a FREE clip chat! It’s written for upper levels with more open ended questions, but you could easily lower the level with your own custom yes/no questions. It’s based on this Kroger commercial… (get a tissue). If you did not see the pop-up to grab it when you opened the post, you can download it here.


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