Saturday, October 1, 2011

TPRS, sketches & related actvities

Here is an example of an activity to follow the class created TPRS story on Friday, September 30. (Please excuse the sketches - it's obvious why I'm not teaching art.)

I call new words "focus words". On Friday they were: empieza, termina, necesita, and mochila. As the class helped create the story, we used some cognates and words used in previous PQA sessions such as calculadora, la clase de matemáticas, and la clase de educación física. I also wanted to review telling time and emphasize how to say "at" a certain time instead of "it is" a certain time. The basic storyline is there is a student that needs a calculator for a 1200 point exam in her 3rd period math class. She goes to 2 classes and asks her classmates for a calculator, looks in their bookbags, etc, but doesn't find a calculator. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to finish the story, but since it was a Friday, I didn't want them to go 2 days without reviewing the story. So, I added the following activities to the last minutes of class.

1. First, students folded a 8 1/2 x 11" paper to make 8 sections, reopen. They numbered each section 1-8 and I told them what to sketch in each section. (allowed 15-20 seconds for each sketch)

2. For a verbal review, I said a sentence from the story (in Spanish) and students called out the number of the sketch to which that sentence related.

3. Then I used flashcards numbered 1-8 for more review. Students volunteered or I, or another student, chose someone to say a sentence that relates to the number of the randomly selected flashcard.

4. Finally, I had them list #s 1-8 on lined paper, on every other line. For their homework, they have to write a minimum of one sentence for each of the 8 pictures.

5. On Monday, we'll use the sketches to review and retell the story, and hopefully be able to finish the story.

I know it may be early for students to write sentences in the target language, but they'll get review of the focus words and they will have a mini-outline of the class story. At what time do veteran TPRS teachers recommend having the students write in the target language?

Most importantly, I need to thank my colleague, Amy, for sharing her TPRS story with me because that is where I got the idea for my story.

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