Spoken and Written Galleries

My Spanish 1 students and I are currently on Martina Bex‘s “cierra la puerta” unit.  Martina’s units are saving me a lot of free time this year, and they really make Spanish comprehensible for my students.  It is taking a little more time for me to complete the units as I plan some Ennio Emmanuel activities for the concert each day. My school also has one day each week when the classes are shorter than the rest.

This week I wanted an activity that would allow students more autonomy for some of their lessons, and that would also generate something publishable in our school newspaper.  So here’s what we did:

  1. {Storyboard}  Students drew a four-square storyboard.  They were instructed to create a story that would use vocabulary we had learned.  I allowed them to decide if they wanted to write a description with each box or not.  Some students wanted to so they knew what they were drawing, and others were fine not writing it down.
  2. {Speaking Gallery}  The next day, the pictures were taped up around the room.  My bigger class used the hallway.  Students then got into pairs.  I let students choose if they retold it together, sentence-by-sentence, or if they wanted to take turns telling it by themselves.  Students then went around the circle telling stories.
  3. {Writing Gallery}  Next, a plain white sheet of paper was taped next to the images.  Students split up, went in front one picture on their own, and they were instructed to write the first sentence of the story.  Students then rotated, writing the next sentence of the second story, and so-forth.
  4. {Publishing}  Last, I asked students to select their favorite story to be published in the school newsletter.  Students were given a heart or star sticky note to cast their vote, which was placed on the story they wanted.

Here are some tips I have after completing this activity:

1.  If students wrote part of their story, black it out so students don’t simply read it.

2.  Monitor the stories you put up.  In an ideal world, every story would be used but I had one student simply draw Yugio characters and another that used too much vocabulary students wouldn’t be able to use/learn without me stationed at the story the entire class time.  However, the student who drew the Yugio cards seemed offended.  Be cautious with what you monitor.

3. If I do this activity again, I will tell students to tell the story together sentence-by-sentence first and then instruct them when they should tell the story on their own to their partner.  I should have predicted everyone would choose sentence-by-sentence because it’s less work.

4.  Train your students to give more than just one sentence per picture.  My students are more than capable, but very few choice to give more than is necessary.

5. Have students put their initials next to the sentence they write for accountability.

6.  All of these activities were not done in the same day, but I would guess they could be without completing the song activities.

Overall, students seemed to really like this activity and the school seemed interested in what was happening in Spanish class that day.

One thought on “Spoken and Written Galleries

  1. I’m also following Martina’s unit map, though we’re a little behind you because we’re not starting “Cierra la puerta” until this week. I love the ideas you gave here–I may have to steal them 🙂

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