A true friend always listens

Here’s an idea that’s just quirky enough to work.  I wanted to do a quick retell/speaking practice, and  I wanted all students to speak.  I passed out little paper cutouts of the outline of a man and told students he was their new best friend.  He would never laugh at their attempts to speak Spanish.  He would never judge or interrupt.  He would be a great listener.  I set a timer for two minutes and allowed students to decorate their new friends.  Some were changed to women, pirates, Hunger Games characters, and some ended up shirtless.  I was glad I set a timer because several students could have spent hours on decorating.

I then instructed them to retell a recent story to their friend.  Again, I set the timer for two minutes. I walked around and listened as students spoke.  The result was very little class time used for every student to retell the story.  Several times, I had to remind students that speaking to a paper cutout man is typical behavior for a Spanish class – not at all weird.  Despite some giggles and eye rolls at first, I do believe that students were far less inhibited and able to speak more than if we would have done the activity in partners.  I could have had them complete the activity without the paper friend, but it added enough intrigue to get them rolling.  I find myself often using tangible objects to increase focus in class.

We will speak with our friends in the future, especially when there are only a few minutes left in class, and I  want a quick speaking practice.  I could hang them all over the classroom and have students get up and spread out in order to speak with their new best friends.

 

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This entry was posted in Classroom activities, Speaking, Story activities. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A true friend always listens

  1. Jane says:

    Love it – thanks for sharing!

  2. Ramon Leiva says:

    I will try with my Spanish 1 class.
    muchas gracias

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