Thursday, November 8, 2012

Impromptu Stories: Making the Most of Every Minute

In my Spanish 4 class today, we finished one activity with 8 minutes remaining in class.  I didn't want to start the next activity in my plans because 8 minutes was nowhere enough time for what I wanted to do.  Not wanting to waste a single minute of class time, I decided to do an impromptu story.

I asked the students to stand up.  We were already in a circle because unless the students are working in groups, our chairs are always in a circle (no desks - I'll post about that later).  The directions for the activity: one person starts the story with 1 sentence; the person to their right adds the next sentence; followed by a sentence from the person to their right, etc.

Things off the top of my head tend to be, ah.....unpredictable.  That explains why when I started, "Había un chico que se llamaba...."  the first thing that popped in my head was "LowlowdoedoeBoy" for his name.  The first student added that "LowlowdoedoeBoy" had 2 dogs and 3 cats. The next student wanted to say he lived in a boat in the sea, but instead of saying "vivía en un bote en el mar" she said "vivía en una bota (boot) en el mar".  No problem - we made it work - AFTER laughing together about it. (LAUGHTER - good for your health and good way to lower the affective filter)  Living in a boot on the sea made for a much more interesting story than someone that lived in a boat on the sea. 

Those last eight minutes flew by, thanks to "LowlowdoedoeBoy" and his adventures on the sea in his boot.  Yes, this is output, but it is output with a level 4 class.  I just can't afford to lose minutes at the end of class so creating an impromptu story is a great fit and an enjoyable way to end the class. 

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