Goosechase: a scavenger hunt for today’s world

goosechase freeze frame2This image is a “freeze frame” mission from Bianca Nieves y los Siete Toritos by Carrie Toth, using the app Goosechase. The team pictured was recreating the scene in which El Julí  gets gored by the vicious bull, Sábado, complete with reaction from the crowd.  Does it appear that these boys were “into it?”  I think so!!!

I first read about the app Goosechase in Maris Hawkins’ blog and Arianne Dowd’s blog last May. Last week, at the iFLT 2017 conference in Denver (which I vicariously attended through Twitter), Arianne mentioned Goosechase again in conjunction with a session by Darcy Pippins and referenced my use of the app. tweet

Since I had posted quite a few of my students’ completed missions from the last few weeks of the school year on Twitter and Facebook, they suggested I might blog about the experience.  Additionally, I participated in a small part of a 10 day cultural exchange program with 49 middle school students from China last week.  I used Goosechase with them successfully….after overcoming some language and tech hurdles!

When Maris blogged about Goosechase she was studying directions and city vocabulary; Arianne used it with the novel La Hija del Sastre.  The first time that I used it was with the novel that I wrote called Amigos, Abrazos, Aventura: Argentina. It was the end of May, our weather had been uncharacteristically cool and rainy for weeks, the kids were “blah”, just waiting for school to be over….I needed something new and instantly engaging. Goosechase was an immediate hit with my juniors and they requested to do it again. But, as Carol Gaab frequently says, “The brain craves novelty.” so, while Goosechase is a great activity, it is ONE strategy to go into the basket with all of the other strategies! I would recommend using Goosechase perhaps once a semester, certainly no more frequently than once a marking term.  The second time I used it as one of the final activities with the novel Bianca Nieves y los Siete Toritos. Again, it proved to be an instantaneous success with my sophomores who also requested to do it again. The third time that I used it (last week) was to review all of the activities that the Chinese students had participated in over the week:  visiting Assateague, the Ward Wild Fowl Museum, the Salisbury Zoo, a K9 presentation, etc. For most of those students it was a positive, enjoyable experience, but for several, the language was not comprehensible for them.

The free app is easy to use.  Students divide into teams (or you can designate teams). One team member has the app on his/her device (phone, tablet), logs in and searches for the name of your game. Once he/she finds it, a password is entered (optional, but I used one to make sure that only my students were progressing through the Goosechase), the students determine a team name (and can upload an image if desired….some do), and the missions become visible to them.  The students can work through the missions in order or, as I did, they could randomly choose which to do first.  The teacher assigns the point values for the missions, therefore if random is an option, some students might opt to work on the higher valued missions first. Goosechase bills itself as “a scavenger hunt for the masses.” I can see how it would be an excellent tool on a field trip to a museum, neighborhood, restaurant, etc.  For me, I used it as review and reinforcement of material that we have covered….providing yet another repetition of comprehensible Spanish. I love that using the device, the students click “submit” and a video or photo is submitted in real time and I can view it as they are submitted. I can determine whether it meets the requirements and let the points remain (instantly added by the app) as stated, or delete the submission because it doesn’t meet the requirements OR add extra points if the submission is above or beyond what I expected. I love that there is a leaderboard that is being projected on my device (and that students checked frequently). There is also an activity feed, which shows the submissions in chronological order as well as a submissions page, where all submissions are gathered to be viewed in their entirety by points or by team.

goosechasegoosechase2

goosechase3

The free edition of this app allows for just 5 teams, which worked fine for me. I had students make teams of 4-6 students and that covered the class.  Since I have multiple sections of each class, I just created the game two – three times, depending on how many classes.  It sounds like a lot of work, but it really took less than 3 minutes to recreate the game once it was made.  All of the mission that you create are stored in a “mission bank”, so it is merely a matter of going to the bank and clicking the missions you wish to include. There also is a master list of missions from the site itself and other users, but they aren’t really useful for me right now. Below are the missions that I used for my Argentina novel and then for Bianca Nieves.

goosechase4goosechase5

As I’ve already stated, my students really enjoyed the activity.  They loved the novelty of it, the “escape” from the classroom, working with partners of their choosing, recreating what they had learned, and the competing to finish as much as possible in the time limit imposed upon them.  The time limit is something that you set (and can adjust as needed during the game). Once time is ended, students are no longer able to submit missions and return to class.  A colleague of mine used the Bianca Nieves Goosechase with her students and had similar success with one exception.  She had a team of boys who decided to merely goof off during the Goosechase.  This team accomplished one mission! She therefore had to “grade” the Goosechase, reflecting the fact that all other teams completed many missions to the one mission of these boys.

I would suggest that you notify staff and administration well in advance of the Goosechase activity.  Since students may be all over the school grounds during a regular class period, it helps that others understand what is happening.  It might also be advisable to have each group carry a hall pass from you, the teacher.

When I use this strategy again, I will probably try incorporating more of a “breakout” type environment, where students will need to finish missions in order and solve puzzles or riddles (upload the evidence) in order to advance in the “game.”

Below are some images from the two games.  Unfortunately, I can not upload videos to this “free” version of wordpress anymore. I wish that I could upload the speaking missions, because I was really impressed with what my students could express “off the cuff.” And I REALLY wish I could upload the videos where they sang, danced or acted out (freeze frame or actions) scenes from the novels.

I hope this helps give you a visual for this app.  I would love to know what you might do or create with it!

Bodymapping Argentina (first two), Spain

goosechas body mapping A goosechase body Arg

goosechase body mapping

Drawing Missions: food from Argentina, clothing from Bianca Nieves, ranch in Bianca Nieves, the letter A in the Argentina novel. Below those, imitating and honoring from Bianca Nieves

Creating “breaks” from the novel in novel ways….

I love teaching my Spanish III and IV classes with novels, and I have done several posts about the novels that I use. Currently, I am using Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha with my Spanish IV classes for the second time. Sometimes my students need a break from the seriousness of the topic.  Below are links to some things that I have created to complement the comprehensible input or to work on vocabulary in a game format.  (We are currently getting ready to move into Chapter 6, so I hope to add more.)

  1.  Quizlet and resources I created to extend the Quizlet practice/games

2.  Super Teacher Tools (this is a quick way to use the questions for the chapter in a game format)  Chapter 5 Repaso This example is using the questions that have been provided as a resource in the teachers guide.

3.  Class Tools.net   PacMan Chapter 5

4.  Kahoot  Chapters 3- 4

5.  Triventy    Vocabulary 1 – 4

 

 

 

Jai-Alai

Every year, after I finish the big music/social awareness unit with Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Baute, my students fear that the most compelling part of the curriculum has been covered.  Fortunately, we go right into a unit about Spain that has several really interesting components.  Yes, it contains grammar (preterite/imperfect yet again and the present perfect), but it also has a great deal about sports and culture of Spain.  I get to introduce them to David Bisbal and his ever popular Bulería, Macaco, Jarabe de Palo, and Pablo Alborán, among others.  We get to discover El País Vasco, Andalucia, Galicia, Cataluña, Castilla La Mancha, Madrid, etc.  AND, we also get to talk about jai-alai and la corrida de toros.

They are always interested in jai-alai, so I’ve tried to expand that part of the unit over the past several years. We will start by taking a look at
El País Vasco with this video:

and probably a bit from the Aventuras Vascas series:

For background information on jai-alai, I use these videos:

The Fastest Game in the World

For sheer silliness, I will include the infamous Steve O and Johnny Knoxville adventure into jai-alai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwZLlwHp2zI   and also a brief Simpsons clip:

I created a powerpoint on jai-alai Jai- Alai-1-2 and I can share my own personal stories and pictures from games that I have attended. Somewhere along the years, I also was given an actual cesta, pelota and sash.  We leave the classroom, and I always let several students in each class attempt to throw  a ball (a koosh ball, not the actual pelota), with the cesta.  It’s usually something that they enjoy trying.

If you have other jai-alai resources, I would love to know about them.  Or, if you have other favorite activities from teaching about culture in Spain, please share.

Conversation and Tic Tac Toe

I’m always looking for ways to keep my students talking.  Monday’s are particularly difficult days to get them going.  Therefore, I sometimes have to use some bribery!  Tomorrow we are going to be working in groups of four, reviewing everything we’ve been studying in this “Music unit” for the past three weeks.  That means that I’m going to ask them to talk about everything that they can remember about Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes, La República Dominicana, Colombia, the song “Somos el mundo“, the geography of the Americas, problems, conflicts, geographical features, sports, food, types of music, etc.  I will time them (probably 3 minutes).  The rules are simple:  talk and don’t stop.  They can say anything in their group related to the stated directions.  They can respond to what someone has said, they can give information in the form of a question for the group to answer, or they can just add a fact.  Their conversations may sound like this:

  • Juan Luis Guerra es un cantante de la República Dominicana. 
  • Cantó Ojalá que llueva café en el campo. 
  • ¿Qué son unas comidas en la canción?
  • Recuerdo batata, mapuey and yuca.
  • Hay muchas playas en la República Dominicana pero también hay montañas
  • Hay niños que tienen hambre.
  • También cantó El Costo de la Vida.
  • ¿Sabes la capital de la República Dominicana?
  • La capital es Santo Domingo.
  • La bandera es roja, azul y blanca.
  • ¿Quién escribió las letras de Somos el Mundo?
  • Juanes es de Colombia.
  • Hay montañas grandes, se llaman Los Andes.
  • Colombia está en el norte.
  • La República Dominicana está en el Caribe.
  • Está al lado de Haití.
  • Las personas indígenas se llamaban taínos.
  • Juanes canto La Historia de Juan y A Dios le Pido.
  • La Historia de Juan tiene un niño que vive en la calle.
  • Hay muchos niños que viven en la calle.
  • Hay problemas con el abuso, el abandono y el secuestro.
  • La capital de Colombia es Bogotá.

While they are finished, the group of 4 will split to become two groups of two. There will be two dry erase boards, markers and erasers.  One group will become the “X” group, and the other group will become the “O” group.  On one board, they draw a large Tic Tac Toe board.  I will then ask a question for the “X” group and give them 10 seconds to write their answer on the other dry erase board.  If their answer is correct, they get to place an “X” on the Tic Tac Toe board; if it is incorrect, they do not get to write the letter on the board.  The next question is for the “O” group.  Same process.  tictactoeWhen one team wins, they erase the Tic Tac Toe board, and begin again.  Sometimes I have them play one person against the other instead of groups of two against groups of two.  My questions will be like this:

  1. Dos tipos de música de la República Dominicana son……
  2. Juan Luis Guerra escribió una canción llamada Bachata en Fukoaka.  ¿Dónde esta Fukoaka?
  3. ¿Cómo empieza el coro de Somos el mundo en español?
  4. ¿Qué significa “la luz que alumbra con ardor”?
  5. En La Historia de Juan, ¿Qué significa “su luz se apagó”?
  6. ¿Cuál canción tiene las letras “que caiga un aguacero de yuca y té?
  7. La capital de Colombia
  8. La capital de R.D.
  9.  ¿Quién es el niño que nadie amó?
  10. ¿Cuál canción tiene las letras, “Aquí no hablamos inglés “ y “Aquí no hablamos francés”?
  11. Dos industrias de R.D.
  12. ¿Cómo se llaman las montañas de Colombia?

After about 10 minutes of my questions, I ask which group has won the most games.  They are then the winners and get a piece of candy!  A happy way to start a Monday!