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Enlarge a map of the area and draw it on a plain shower curtain. Place on the floor and call out areas. Students then try to place a foot there. For example, if you are learning about South America, include countries, capitals, mountain ranges, and rivers. Then ask students to place their left foot on a river. Next ask them to place their right hand on a capital. If the player falls or moves off their chosen spots they are out of the game. For a large class, have teams elect a player to be on the mat while teammates help strategize from the sidelines. The players can then switch in the next round.
Create a sudoku puzzle using current vocabulary (see sample below). Each row, column and block of nine needs to include all nine colors.
Have students work in pairs to write 5 questions using current vocabulary. Then groups exchange questions and interview each other with the other group's questions.
Silent sentence (Word removal)Edit
Each student (or pair) is given the same story or paragraph. They need to remove as many words as they can while still maintaining the grammatical structure and meaning. Rules: They can remove up to three words per sentence but removed words need to be next to each other. Have a competition to see who can remove the most words. Extension: Then they can build it back up and compare results.
The Hot SeatEdit
The student in the hot seat impersonates either a character from the most recent story, someone famous or someone in the community. Other students prepare questions to ask which the student in the hot seat must answer in character.
Prepositional Phrase TangramsEdit
Working in pairs, each group is given two identical sets of objects (tangrams, legos, etc.) A notebook is placed between them so they cannot see each other’s pieces. One student makes a sculpture and describes it to the other who tries to replicate it. Then they remove the shield and see if the sculptures match. If not they discuss why not.
Hey, what are you doing? (Improvisational Game)Edit
Students line up. The first person mimes some action (eg running in place). Next student asks “Hey, what are you doing?” (or (?Hola, que haces?”). The first person answers with something different (eg chopping onions) so the second student moves to the front and mimes chopping onions. And the game continues. It is fun to play with intonation, to think on your feet, and to embarrass your friends.
Cut up a paragraph so that each sentence is on a separate piece of paper. Each student then rearranges then and discusses their choices.
Read Chapter 4 in Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street about names as a springboard to discussing the history, mood and metaphors that are behind your name. Students write or discuss what they think about their name, what new name would you choose and why and share about themselves. It is a good introductory exercise.
This is a good activity to do at the beginning of the year in a multi-level class since words are forbidden. The class identifies things that you usually ask people when interviewing. Then pairs conduct an interview without using words! There is no mouthing or props or writing allowed (like charades). Each pair tries to figure out the answers to the interview questions. It usually helps to demonstrate first. For example you might ask someone what their favorite food is by miming eating an ice cream cone and smiling broadly.
Students are asked to pick a favorite song to perform for the class. They can speak the words rather than singing but must follow the pacing and intonation of the song. Have the video playing on youtube with the audio down low during the performance.
Places Around TownEdit
Put up labels around the room (eg. Post Office, Bank, School, etc.). Tell a story and have students reenact it. Then they take turns telling stories for each other to reenact.
Comparative & Superlative Bragging GameEdit
Teacher starts by saying “I am the best teacher in the world”. Going around the room, each student tries to top the last using good, better & best. You can bring them back to reality by practicing bad, worse, and worst too.
Creative Ending Story WritingEdit
Have students write alternate endings to well-known fairy tales to share with the class.
Students compose and present verbal Valentines in flowery language.
Make a few sets of dominos using PowerPoint. Using a current vocabulary set, put a picture on one side of the domino and a French word on the other side (could also do a word and translation). Partners each draw 7 dominos and put the rest in a draw pile. Play dominoes as usual. Click here for directions.
Give students a list of activities/preferences/etc. (e.g. play piano, like to eat Brie, feel tired today, etc.) Have them go around the class and ask other students if they do these activities (e.g. Do you play piano?) When they get an affirmative answer, they write that student's name next to the activity. First person to have a completed sheet "wins".
When making vocabulary flash cards, have students use pink index cards for feminine nouns and blue for masculine nouns. Really helps visual learners!
Main Character in a MovieEdit
When reading or watching a movie, ask students to compare their lives to that of the main character. I found that by giving them a grid that listed specific categories (e.g. home, family, friends, school, etc.) I'd get better responses. Good for intrapersonal activity.
Use musical instruments (rhythm sticks, tambourines, maracas, etc.) to develop an understanding of the cadence of the language.
When studying physical characteristics, make a poster or PowerPoint slide that contains a wide variety of pictures in the category you're studying (e.g. people, landscapes, etc.).. Number each picture. If you know the game "Guess Who", that's how this activity works. One student selects one of the photos but does not tell the others which one he/she has picked. Students then ask questions about the characteristics being studied (e.g. Does he have long hair, is he wearing glasses, etc). Each answer helps them narrow the field. The person who guesses the correct picture selects the next photo.
Run a murder mystery. Recruit other adults on campus who speak the target language to participate. Have these adults play a character in the mystery for your students to interview. Once all suspects are interviewed, students conduct a round table discussion to share information. Each student then writes a paper on who he/she thinks committed the murder and why.
For naturalist learners, I was always sure to include vocabulary sets that dealt with the natural realm. For example, I might choose "the sea" and we'd learn the words for sand, beach, shark, whale, fish, etc. I'd find songs that used this vocabulary (e.g. Petit Poisson by Charlotte Diamond). I'd also look for non-fiction children's books written in French (Ebay is a great resource) about the topic that I'd scan and we'd read them aloud in class using the LCD projector.
Song Lyrics VocabularyEdit
Use the lyrics from a popular song to teach vocabulary. Find the music video on YouTube to play for the class. Develop a cloze activity for use with the song.A cloze activity is basically a fill-in-=the-blank activity with or without a word bank. Click here for examples. In the song activity, it helps develop aural comprehension so that kids can recognize vocabulary that we'd been working on when used in context. I'd preteach vocabulary that appeared in the song lyrics, and then use a cloze activity sheet which consisted of the song lyrics with those pretaught vocab words deleted.
Bulletin Board that depicts the topic for the week
Play vocabulary Charades.
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