My fourth graders are currently working with the structures huele bien/huele mal (smells good/smells bad). Although these are not high frequency structures they are compelling and talking about how things smell can provide great context for reviewing other high frequency words.
Intro: I started out my lesson by having students pull items from my Caja mágica, or magic box, and then telling them to smell them. The box contained items such as pizza, noses, eyes, rats, donuts, and anything else that would get their imaginations working. They got to decide if the item smelled good or bad and I was able to do a lot of great circling and Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA) with their responses. This is an important step because it allows the students to hear and contextualize the new vocabulary word in a simple context. Having the students pull items from the magic box is great because it provides excitement and suspense...nobody knows what is coming next!
The basic premise of the story below is that one of the students in class is having a party and is inviting all of his interesting friends.
Structures in this story:
I raided my prop closet and found 5 outfits for characters that could come to the party, so feel free to substitute any of the characters that I used for your own. I introduced the actors one at a time to help build suspense. Once a character was introduced I dressed them up and instructed them on how to open the door to the party. This was a fun and novel way to review abre/cierra. The doctor opens the door and enters like a zombie, but the monster opens the door slowly and enters like a ballerina. The more details you can add the more interesting it becomes to the students. Plus they love to see their classmates galavanting around the classroom like ballerinas (note that I didn't include the repetitions of abre/cierra in the reading). Once everyone is at the party the host notices that it smells bad. He then goes around the party smelling the guests and trying to figure out who the culprit is. In the end it is the princess that stinks because she is carrying a cat around in her purse. The host runs to the cabinet and grabs Febreze and sprays the cat with Febreze. After the cat smells good everyone dances and has a great time at the party.
Reading: The next class period I had my students read the story. I told them to draw a picture next to each paragraph that shows that they understand the meaning of the text. I included footnotes for words that they didn't know and wouldn't be able to figure out using context clues. After they were done drawing the pictures I had them turn the paper over and write a new ending to the story. I gave them the staring sentence of Carlos está furioso, and then they had to come up with the rest. I have a word wall in my classroom that lists lots of great action and connecting words and the students used these words to write their endings. I told the students that I wasn't going to tell them how to say anything, they just had to focus on what they already knew. After they were done writing their endings (around 5 min) they traded papers with a partner and drew their partners ending.
The next class period I had typed all of their endings to fix any grammar or spelling mistakes and I put them on the SmartBoard and read them aloud to the class. The students had a sense of accomplishment to see their name attached to something that they wrote in Spanish on the board. Plus a lot of their endings were way more creative and funny than mine!