Food is one of my students' favorite topics, so it is no surprise that they love this lesson. I introduced tiene sed (he/she is thirsty) after my students know bebe (he/she drinks). Both of these structures are action words, so they naturally lend themselves well to Total Physical Response (TPR). Last year, Jason Fritze gave a workshop in my district and watching him do TPR with bebe and tiene sed was amazing. One of the techniques that he used was to break the class into two different groups (he named each group after a Spanish speaking country) and give each group different TPR commands. This helped the students stay engaged because not only did they have to listen carefully to the commands, but they also had to pay attention to who should be doing them.
After introducing tiene sed through TPR I projected pictures of different pairs of drinks (one normal and one that is not normally considered a drink such as salsa, tabasco, or shampoo). I had the students pretend to be thirsty and asked them to pick one beverage to drink based on the two options I presented. I kept a class tally of their responses and we were able to compare and contrast the results of all of the classes. This activity had everyone laughing together as a class which was great (it was also inspired by Jason Fritze).
Next, I gave my students a survey to find out what their classmates drink. I call these surveys encuestas and I have been using them with my students for years. On Martina Bex's blog she refers to this activity as a "people search". I agree with Martina that encuestas or "people searches" are one of the fastest and lowest-anxiety output activities that you can use in your classroom. I only use these activities when I feel my students have heard a structure enough to truly acquire it (no output beyond the student's level of acquisition) .
Hay un vampiro. El vampiro tiene una cavidad entonces va al dentista. En la oficina hay un chico. El chico tiene sed y bebe Coke. El vampiro está irritado con el chico y grita. El vampiro se levanta y camina despacio a la puerta. La dentista se llama Dr. Helsing. El vampiro abre la puerta y está muy nervioso. Cierra la puerta. Se sienta en la silla. El vampiro está nervioso y grita. Dr. Helsing es muy guapa y el vampiro está feliz. El vampiro abre la boca y Dr. Helsing tiene una medicina especial. ¡Pero hay un problema! El vampiro tiene sed. El vampiro quiere la sangre de Dr. Helsing. ¿El vampiro bebe la sangre de Dr. Helsing? Dr. Helsing se sienta en su silla. El vampiro se levanta y camina despacio a Dr. Helsing. De repente, el chico abre la puerta. El vampiro se cae. ¡El fin!
The rules of the encuesta are simple: Each square can only have one name in it and you can use each name once. I give the students a clipboard and a pencil and they walk around asking their classmates the questions in the various squares. When a classmates answers Sí to one of the questions they have that person sign the box. For my pre-literate learners I include an image in each box along with the words. I usually only spend 5-10 minutes on this activity and then I have the students sit on the rug and share their answers with me. I ask questions such as ¿Quién bebe Coke? and students must look at their paper and tell me the name that they have written down in that square. I will then record the answer on the encuesta that is projected on the Smarboard. Verifying this information with the student and asking for more details provides me with more opportunities for Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA).
Lastly, I show my students the MovieTalk (if you are unfamiliar with this technique you can read more about it here). The video is called "Vampire's Crown" but I call it El vampiro va al dentista.
This MovieTalk focuses on the following structures:
This animated short lends itself well to creating drama. Every time the vampire gets close to the dentist I pause the video and ask the kids if he is going to drink her blood. By the end of the video the students are cringing because I have built up so much anticipation. They love it! Keep in mind that I showed this video to my 1st graders. You could easily add more details to the script to make it appropriate for older students.