The students in my Spanish 1 class are reading the book Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto. Since I want the students to understand everything that is happening in each chapter, I am making it a point to include activities that will give additional repetitions of grammar structures and vocabulary.
Here are 4 activities that we did after reading chapter 3, in addition to the yes/no, either/or, and open-ended questions that I usually ask.
1. The students worked in groups of 4. They had to choose something that happened in the chapter and make 5 sketches about it. There was a lot of action in this chapter so they didn't have to include all the events, just choose something that they could draw 5 sketches. Then they had to think of 2 sentences in Spanish to describe their sketches. I told them that short sentences were fine. As a group they shared their sketches with the class and, without notes, individually talked about their sketch in Spanish. (The reason there were 4 people in the group, but 5 sketches, is to provide extra opportunities for some of the star students to say more. In other words, differentiation.)
2. After listening to some of presentations the first day, it was obvious to me that they needed to have more input of one person doing something compared to two or more people doing something. So after a verbal review of the chapter again the next day, I listed things from the chapter but this time they had to raise their hand if I needed to change something in my sentence. For example, if I send "los piratas entra en el mercado", they raised their hand and said I needed to add an "n" to "entra" because more than one person did the action. That may not be the best way to solve the problem, but it seemed to work for the time being, because several groups still had to present due to running out of time the previous day and I heard a difference in their sentences.
3. I still felt like we needed to practice singular vs plural more, but NOT with worksheets. So, on the spot, which is how I come up with many of my ideas, I counted them off to put them in groups of 3 or 4. Each group needed 3 mini-whiteboards and markers. There were 6 groups in my first class. As a group, they had to write a sentence about what happened in chapter 3. The trick was that 3 of the 4 people in the group had to write the exact same sentence. I told them that if one person doesn't have the exact same sentence, same spellings, etc., that they couldn't receive a point. In this way, they helped each other write the sentences correctly because now it was a real team effort.
I started with group 1 and they held up their 3 boards with the sentences. If the subject and verb agreed and were spelled correctly, I gave them a point and wrote their sentence on the board. If they made small mistakes like la mapa instead of el mapa, they still got the point, but I wrote it correctly on the board. Then I went to group 2 and did the same thing. If group 4 had a sentence but saw that group 2 already said it, they had to erase their boards and write another one. It was not a race, but if I came around to their group and they didn't have a new sentence yet, they had 1 minute to write something or I moved on the the next group and they didn't get a point.
Do you see how much repetition this gave them? Not only were they reviewing by writing their sentences, but they had to read the sentences from the other groups that I wrote on the board in order not to duplicate them. I was expecting short sentences but I underestimated them because they started writing compound sentences, which were correct!
We did 6 or 7 rounds of writing sentences, which meant there were at least 30 sentences on the board about chapter 3 of Piratas.
4. I then created another on-the-spot activity. I told the students to stand up and in order to sit down they had to translate one of the Spanish sentences on the board to English, erase it, and then call on another student to translate the sentences. This last activity went quickly and smoothly because by that time the students knew most of the sentences without much effort on their part.
I'll definitely do #3 again as a follow-up reading activity one more time this semester and add it to my list of activities for other classes.