Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Children's Books to review the Subjunctive and Future Tenses

If you can find the well-known children's book "If you give a moose a muffin" by Laura Numeroff in your target language, then you are set for an engaging and fun activity that is perfect for upper level language classes.  The storyline makes it easy to practice more advanced grammar structures such as the subjunctive and the future tenses in context.  

I started the class by reading the book to my students, using the document camera to project the book onto the whiteboard. I asked questions about vocabulary that I knew they didn't know beforehand but they were able to guess what it meant by the storyline and illustrations (such as "titeres"-puppets; "cuernos"-horns, "arbustos"-bushes, etc.). From time to time I would ask in Spanish, "What does ____ mean?" to help draw their attention to new vocabulary.

After reading, I told my students it was their turn to write a story using the same format.  I gave them a chance to work in small groups or together as a large group, and they chose the large group - what a surprise, right?

Below is the story that the class made together, with the use of the present subjunctive and future tenses mixed in the sentences.  This worked as a nice review for those students that didn't have the previous level of Spanish last semester without having to pull out worksheets.

Si le das panqueques a un pingüino, el querrá jarabe de Canadá.
Cuando le des jarabe de Canadá, él querrá ir a Canadá.
Una vez que llegue el pingüino a Canadá, nadará en el Río Niagara.
Tan pronto como el pingüino vea a una pingüina atractiva, ellos se besarán.
Cuando él no preste atención, el novio de la pingüina se acercará y lo pegará en la cabeza.
Cuando el pingüino llore, las elefantes que se llaman Shirley y Rosa, lo llevarán al hospital.
El pingüino se mejorará y les pedirá a las elefantes que salgan con él a un restaurante.
Ellos irán a un restaurante de panqueques y  cuando el pingüino lea el menú en el restaurante, le pedirá panqueques a la mesera y, en ese momento, él pensará de ti.


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