Me: Do you know what they mean?
Me: This is Spanish A! How do you know what they mean?!
Students: There are pictures and they look similar to English!
Me: Wow! That's great! Ok, so now I am going to prove to you that you
can understand more Spanish than you realize!
I asked for a volunteer with a character card to read his/her word. Then I used their words and the bulletin board to tell a very short story. (Hay un tigre. Al tigre le gusta el chocolate. No le gusta la fruta. Le gusta el chocolate. El tigre tiene una bicicleta. Va en bicicleta a Target porque quiere el choclate. ¡El chocolate es delicioso!) Then I ask students to discuss what I said with their table and survey how much they understood. We talk about the strategies they used to understand my story (cognates, pictures, words around the room, acting things out for them) and I tell them this is how we will learn this year! Then we tell another story using other cards. This takes about 15-20 minutes and then I show them this video to teach ¿Cómo te llamas? and we go around and learn names for the rest of class.
On day two, I tell them I have a challenge for them. Yesterday I told a story, but today, they are going to tell one with their table. They can use any of the cards at their table and the magic verbs bulletin board to create a 1-2 sentence "story" to share with the class. To my amazement, there were hardly any "How do you say...?" questions at all! Every group was able to do it and they were so proud of themselves! They communicated in full sentences on the 2nd day of class!
With my Spanish B students, who I taught last year, I also passed out the cards for seating, but this time, I asked them to describe their cards in Spanish to their partners using as much detail as possible and then try to use as many of the cards as possible to create a complex sentence. It's a great way for them to review after the summer, and it allows me to hold off making seating charts until schedule changes subside.
What are you favorite first day activities? Comment below!