Whenever possible, I pack as much reading into my daily lessons as possible. This requires me to find different ways to present the readings, ways that entice the students to read a text and to understand what they are reading and not simply seeing the words on a document without attaching meaning.
Would you believe that students actually LIKE reading, in a second language, when you offer them different ways to read or different tasks that can only be completed successfully if they read the text? It's true, although you may drain your brain thinking of authentic, varied ways of doing this.
I use the Storybuilders from the Comprehensible Classroom in various ways with my students. I like adding the Storybuilders to my lessons because, first of all, the stories are interesting, unrealistically fun, and totally unpredictable. That alone creates interest for the students. Secondly, the students ARE READING!!!
Last school year I tried a new game with the students that was linked to the Storybuilder the Comprehensible Classroom from SOMOS 1 Unit 7, Canela y su abuela. The object is for students to read the story, following the story path that I have chosen, and then work together to answer questions about the story.
These are the steps:
1. Give your students access to the storybuilder. I link it to the class Schoology page so they can read it, but not make any changes to the google slide presentation.
2. Give students the Story Path that they need to follow. (If you're unfamiliar with Storybuilders, they are similar to choose your own adventure books. The students read the story and after a few slides they are presented with a choice. They continue to read and make choices to which direction the story goes until it comes to a logical, or illogical, end. Then the slide returns them to the beginning of the story and they create a new story by making different choices throughout the story.)
3. Put students in groups of 3 or 4 and have them read the story following the story path that you have designated.
4. After reading, students close their computer. Each student needs a mini-whiteboard, a marker, and an eraser.
5. Project the first question on the board that relates to the story and story path they just read. The students quietly discuss the answer in their groups and then EACH STUDENT has to write the answer on their mini-whiteboard. It is NOT a race, but rather you want the students to take the time to write their answer and check the answers of the other members of their group.
6. Students hold up their mini-whiteboards. Project the slide with the answer. The group earns 1 point if each member of their group answered the question correctly.
I mix up the questions so there are cierto/falso questions, short answer questions, translations, and fill in the blanks.
These are a few of the benefits of this activity:
Please note: I have expressed written consent from Martina Bex at the Comprehensible Classroom to share this activity with information related to the story from the Storybuilder.
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