Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snowmen and CI

This winter is not fooling around. When it snows, it usually is enough to delay or cancel school. We've missed more school days this winter due to snow and ice than we have for the last 3-5 years combined, AND it's only February 4th.  

What do you do when students return from a day off of school due to snow to get them back in the swing of listening to and speaking in Spanish?  You talk about what they're already talking about - SNOW - in the Target Language. 

Below is the collage I had waiting for my students this morning.

There is a lot of Comprehensible Input to generate when talking about the snowmen in the collage.  Use CI to talk about:
what the snowmen are wearing;  the size of the snowmen; boca abajo (position - upside down); decorations used for eyes and nose;ask who in the class made a snowman; other activities in the snow; winter; best activities for snow days; which students made which snowmen, etc.

We spent 10 minutes  talking about the snowman.   It was a short, CI-based activity to ease students back into Spanish class.  

You can search online to find photos of snowmen OR take the more enjoyable option...snap a photo of one or two that you've made and ask your students to send photos of snowmen that they've made.  I made two of the snowmen in the collage above , and then sent tweets to a few students currently in my class, students from last semester, and to students from previous years that have  graduated. Making the snowmen was fun, and watching the photos roll of snowmen that my students made was also enjoyable.

Work with what you have - if it's lots of snow, talk about it.  That discussion will naturally bring up words in Spanish that your students will need for future discussions on what they did on their days off.

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