26 April 2011

Activity #4: Drama Inmóvil

Fun activity #4 is "Drama Inmóvil," idea courtesy of Paulino Brener.

My students LOVE this. They beg for it- even the ones who will never talk in class. You must try it, and if you're anywhere around a unit building on present progressive, you should do this every day for the first five minutes at least.

I copy/paste my class roster into the fruit machine picker and it chooses a random student. That student stays seated and all the others come to the front (you may have to do this in groups - my largest class is 8 so we can do it as whole-class). The chosen student gives a place and/or situation, e.g. in a park, or at an amusement park, or at the movies. I say 'lights, camera, action' (in Spanish) and all the 'players' adopt a frozen pose of what they are doing in the situation. Then I go around with a pretend microphone and interview them with rapid question/answer style - "Where are you? Why? With whom? Who's winning?" etc. Then the chosen student selects who was the most creative (they just get cheers for it; there's no prize, but they don't care), I remove the chosen student's name from the fruit picker and do it again.

It's a winner. My dramatic students get crazy with it. My shy students do something expected but are eager to talk about what they're doing, especially because the q&a style doesn't involve me standing at the front of the class saying, "Now, remember to answer with a complete sentence" (who says that in real life anyway?).

I made a video of my students doing this and posted it as a private video on YouTube for Paulino. I don't have permission to show my students on my blog or on YouTube publicly, but if you are a teacher and you'd like to see how it worked for us, send me your email and I'll add you as a viewer.


Melanie said...

I like reading your blog. I enjoy seeing the various ideas you use in your class. I read that your largest class is 8. My smallest class is 29 and my largest is 33. Last year my AP Spanish class had 34 students. I try to do my very best, but it is SO DIFFICULT to teach so many students at once, students who are a wide range of skills. I have gifted and special need students along with average students in classes together. I would appreciate any suggestions you (or any of your readers) could give me on how to motivate so many varied learners and maintaining their enthusiasm and interest.

Sra Cottrell said...

I know it is very difficult to teach such a large class. It's been a long time since I had as many as 30 students and I don't miss those days! If only every program realized how much better students learn in smaller numbers. :-/

One key in large classes is small group work. When I had larger classes, they sat at groups of four, and I changed the seating (by randomly placing name tents on the table) every single day, so that there was constant scaffolding going on. It's important to remember that they'll learn at least as much from each other than they will from you in such a large class.

Also, as a practical assessment, do you have flip or other type of video cameras? We have four at the school and I could get all of them if I really needed them on a certain day, so four groups of students could be videoing a speaking activity at one time for me to view later. You can do the same thing with any kind of voice recorder.

@SraSpanglish has larger classes and may have some help for you. I'll ask her to comment here. Hope this helps!

Julie said...

I'd be interested in seeing your video of this activity. I've done a "tableau" activity like this before with dialogues but I like this idea as well. My email is jmeierdirks@northbrook28.net. If possible, please don't publish my email with this comment. ¡Gracias!

Madame Garcia said...

I tried this activity today with my 7th graders who were learning weather expressions, and they loved it! I gave them a weather situation, and they acted out their chosen activities for that weather. Thanks for the suggestion!

Sra. Spanglish said...

My classes are actually not that large, though I have (rather unsuccessfully) taught classes of around 30. I have about 18 kids in my largest Spanish class this year (we've lost a few kids--they were at about 20). When classes were in the 20's, stations were nice, because I could differentiate AND get some face time with smaller groups. You have to be able to trust your class & have accountability, though, and I know that's not always possible.

Tati said...

Love, love this!!

Michelle said...

I would love to see your video, as well. I teach Spanish at a Christian school near Philadelphia, PA and am working on present progressive with my students. My e-mail address is mmoraga@dccs.org.

Sra. De Lima said...

Hola! I would love to see your video- can you send it to me @ katherine_delima@wayland.k12.ma.us? Thanks!

Zach said...

I would love to see the video as well. I teach Spanish 1 and 2 in Sacramento, California. I will be hitting progressive again soon, and this would also be a fun Brain Break. My email is bryantz83@gmail.com
P.S. My smallest class is about 30 and my highest is 35. I have noticed that scaffolding is key. The quick learners will pick up the information sooner, and can help the struggling learners. You can also strategically make partners and/or groups where more advanced students can work with those struggling, or put those struggling in a group where you can focus more on them, and the advanced students get more independant practice. All in all, it's better to move slow and get more repetitions, than to go too fast.
I hope that helps,

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