Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snowmen and Commands

Do you teach in one of the states that has been pounded with snow and ice storms this winter?  As I've said in an earlier post, use that to your advantage.  If the students are talking about snow, bring that element into your lessons.

There is an online book on A-Z Reading, entitled, "Cómo hacer un muñeco de nieve". I have been reading several short books at the beginning of class to give students more exposure to vocabulary in context. As a last minute add on,  I decided to add something to increase student engagement with this book which required a trip to the grocery store after work, but it was worth it!  

After reading the book with the students, we read my powerpoint on "Cómo hacer un muñeco de nieve dulces".  I wrote the verbs in the Ustedes form of commands as a preview to commands and asked them why they thought verbs like "pongan" were written in that way.

Then I showed them the Muñeco de dulces that I had made and also lined up the ingredients on paper plates to make it easy for them to gather what they needed to make their snowman. This is a good time for additional repetition of the names of the ingredients, the 3 parts of the snowman's body, and commands in the Ustedes form. 

With the ingredients already on the plates, the students could quickly gather their supplies and it took only 10 minutes from start to finish.  Of course, taking photos afterwards added a few more minutes to the activity. :-)

The powerpoint can be downloaded HERE.

The online book showed photos of children making a real snowman and photos of how to make a snowman with crumpled paper.  Originally, I was going to use that, but fortunately I thought of marshmallows for snowman.  After that thought, I googled "marshmallow snowmen" which resulted in numerous images of different snowmen made with marshmallows.  If you do the same, you'll find others from which to choose.

This snowwoman is happy about the weather forecast.
There is a forecast of heavy snowfall overnight, and I've already received the phone call to say we do not have school tomorrow because of the snow, I'm hoping some of my students take advantage of the extra day off and build a real snowman since they 'practiced' in class. I told them if they did make a snowman, I would like them to send a photo of it and send it to me.  Hopefully some of the vocabulary from the story and activity will creep back into their thoughts while making the snowman.

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  I'm going to assume that it applies to others things such as, "When life gives you snow, make snowmen".

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