My Spanish 1 students are working on time. They’ve got some great groundwork on this matter from Martina Bex’s units, and they’ve gotten a lot of exposure to numbers through the Mi Vida Loca video series. However, I felt like I needed to give them a little more explicit instruction on telling time.
That being said, I felt bad as my students took notes on telling time. A lot of students said, “This is hard!” and made statements like, “My head hurts!“ So today I decided I wanted a fun way to show them that they already understand this concept.
Enter an #iwla14 presentation by Señora Stephanie Prine called Tricks, Tips and Tasty Tidbits Presentation. I remember I had tried one of her activities called Cerdos (or, Pigs in English) last year and it worked really well. So I pulled it out again today and students loved the game! They wanted to play the entire sheet, students surprised themselves with how well they knew their times, and the winners had the biggest smiles ever as they proudly took their ¡Qué bien! and 1a clase stickers and placed them on their clothing.
Here’s how it works:
- Print out the Cerdos sheet. Here’s the Cerdos Word doc and here’s a Cerdos PDF file that I recreated (I couldn’t find her digital version on her website).
- Write the vocabulary terms you want to work with inside each pig. You can write the vocabulary in the TL and test their reading skills, or you can write the English word so you can assess how well they recognize what they’re listening to your language. I did the latter, as they were listening to the time and identifying the number (ie., 1:15, 2:30, etc.)
- Student pick one person to play against. Each person will need a color and the two students will share a Cerdos sheet between them.
- Teachers read out loud the vocabulary term and the first student to get their finger on the pig wins that pig.
- The student that “wins” the pig colors it in.
- I check periodically throughout the game to get extra reps in of the additional vocabulary with questions like the following:
- ¿Cuántos cerdos tienes? (How many pigs do you have?)
- ¿Ganas o pierdes ahora? (Are you winning or losing now?)
- ¿Quién gana? (Who is winning?)
- ¿Quién tiene más cerdos? (Who has more pigs?)
I added an extra step to today’s game. After each round finished, I made students yell out ¿Qué hora es? (What time is it?) before I would say the next time. It helped focus them and prepare them to listen to the next time. You could substitute this question with something more generic – like ¿Cómo se dice…? (How do you say…?). I’m not really sure that this game is really Comprehensible Input (CI) friendly, but it would definitely be a hit in a textbook-based classroom!
Give it a try today!