Looking for a comprehensible and worthwhile way to practice numbers with younger children? Look no further. Since becoming a T/CI teacher I have been ditching all of the thematic materials that I had been using in my classroom for years. The other day I came across a stack of bingo cards for #1-10. I thought of the hours I had put into creating and laminating these materials and I couldn't bring myself to pitch them so I decided to repurpose them.
Activity: I told simple mini-situations using tiene, quiere, come, tiene hambre, va a, and #1-10. I picked students in my class to tell stories about.
Example: Alfonso tiene hambre. Alfonso quiere 9 pizzas. Alfonso va a Dominos. Dominos tiene 10 pizzas. Alfonso come 7 pizzas. Alfonso está enfermo y vomita. Alfonso quiere medicina y va a Walgreens. En Walgreens Alfonso come 3 medicinas. Ahora Alfonso está bien.
While I am telling this story the kids are marking every number they hear me say on their Bingo sheets. For the younger grades (1st and 2nd) I repeated each sentence several times and then also posted the number up on the board so they could check themselves, but with the upper grades I would let the students be accountable for hearing the correct number. It was a successful activity because it gave my squirmy young learners something to do while they were listening. They loved hearing silly stories about their classmates and were invested in listening because they wanted to get a Bingo.
What my students didn't know was that the numbers were not the main focus of the activity. Sure it is great to know numbers in the target language, but what I really want my students to acquire are high frequency vocabulary structures in the target language. Using the numbers was just a way to provide a novel context to get more repetitions of the high frequency structures that we are working on.
Extension: I did this activity with per-literate learners (1st grade) but you could change out the structures for what your students are working on and then add a drawing component to show comprehension. Just tell the students to flip their papers over and re-tell some of the stories and have them draw a quick sketch to show they understood the story. You could then put their pictures under the document camera and re-tell the story again (my students love to see their classmate's drawings, so this is another novel way to provide them with comprehensible input).
1/13/2015 12:07:44 am
Thank you for sharing! I will use the number idea as I too am dedicated to providing my students with CI and using activities that will allow them to really acquire the language! You are much appreciated! Mucha suerte!
1/13/2015 08:12:28 am
I'm so glad that you found this activity useful!
1/13/2015 03:05:53 am
I like the Idea of having they younger grades retell the story through drawings. I have done this before with single phrases or sentences, but never short stories. Thanks for the idea.
1/13/2015 08:20:50 am
Yes, my students love it! When students are retelling the story to their partner I tell them to focus only on the parts of the story that they can tell using only Spanish. Some students can retell the entire story in great detail, while others can only retell specific parts. This is important because during this activity there is no forced output on the part of the students. They are only using language that they have truly acquired to retell the story.
1/13/2015 06:17:10 am
I just found your blog and I love it! I am teaching younger students this year than I ever have before (gr. 5 and 6) and having to adapt TPRS to work better with them. How long does one of your stories usually last?
1/13/2015 08:31:10 am
Great question Kristin! It really depends on the story itself. If I am telling a story that my students love it could take me 3 class periods to tell it (I see my students 3 times a week for 30 min classes). Of course during that class time I am breaking the story up with other techniques such as Total Physical Response (TPR) and Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA). I say that if your students are enjoying a story milk it for all it's worth! Sometimes I tell stories that are complete duds, and when that is the case I don't try and force the story on my students. I'll usually spend around 1 class period on the story and move on. There is no clear and cut rule to this, it really depends on the story itself and your class. When you respond to your student's energy and interests you will know when to milk a story and when to move on. Hope that helps!
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