Last week I found out that I was going to be sent to a tech conference…..the day before the conference! I scrambled for something meaningful to leave for my students, something that wouldn’t just be busy work. We are almost at the end of a chapter that combines food with a thorough review of the preterite. I decided to have my students draw the words that we have been working with. They have never seen a “vocabulary list”, so this was the first time that they saw the words “listed” all together. I gave them Draw and label 40 foods, with 75 words in alphabetical order. The directions were to place selected words in 4 different categories: frutas y verduras, carnes y mariscos, las cosas de la mesa y condimentos, y las comidas que empiezan o completan la cena. The task was to choose 10 words for each category, draw the word, and then label it. Surely that would keep them busy for the substitute!
Over the weekend I struggled with what I had left for them. I did not want it to simply end with the drawing of those vocabulary words. So, I decided to turn their drawings into a speaking activity, and it worked well. Before I explain what I did, I should make clear that my room is arranged in two “U” formations, one inside the other. That makes working with different partners easy. For this activity, I decided that the outer “U” would be moving while the inner “U” would remain in their seats, but turned around to face the outer “U”. It is somewhat like the concept of speed dating. I decided that I wanted them to be able to work with about 7 different partners for about 2 – 3 minutes each. At the end of each 2-3 minute interval, the students in the outer “U” moved one seat to the right, creating new partner arrangements.
Here are the activities that I used:
- Partner A said a word that he had drawn and Partner B said what category he thought the word belonged in. Then Partner B said a word and Partner A gave the category. In this fashion I hoped that some words would be incorporated that each had not drawn on his own paper. I did two rounds of this, meaning that they did this activity with two different partners.
- Partner A said a word that he had drawn and Partner B said a food that would pair nicely with that word (not necessarily a word that he had drawn). Example: langosta: mantequilla or carne asada: papas fritas or fresas: crema or tenedor: cuchara. We did two rounds of this, also, with two different partners.
- Create a meal: using their pictures, they orally put together different meals, talking about what they liked (sabrosa, riquísima, deliciosa) or what they didn’t like (asquerosa, sin sabor, quemada, etc.). We did two rounds of this.
- Partner A said a word that had been drawn, if Partner B had also drawn the word, it did not count, and they both crossed it out. If Partner A said a word that Partner B did not have, it was worth a point. At the end of 2 – 3 minutes, the students with the most points were declared the winners of that activity (translation: they got a piece of candy).
I was pleased with the amount of Spanish that was being spoken as well as the opportunity each student had to have multiple partners. I probably will use a similar activity when we reach the end of our clothing chapter, or nature chapter.