Thomas Sauer (twitter: @tmsaue1) recently shared this tweet about a dice maker. As I was thinking of how I could use this particular dice maker in my class, I was reminded of the time I used a dice (well, really it was a plastic cube) to give comprehension questions while reading a chapter. I tend to do more comprehension questions when beginning a novel; however, I want to mask the comprehension questions in a creative way so that they don’t fully recognize what I am doing. My students appreciate an old fashioned worksheet but not for every chapter!
In order to set this up, you will need to find a cube. I use a hard, plastic cube with sticky notes taped to each side that I inherited from my retired predecessor, but you could also make one of of paper or tape paper over a smaller cardboard box. I then wrote question words (who what, when, where, why, how) in the target language on each side.
In order to use the question dice, you have a lot of options, but I highly recommend you allow the students to throw the dice for each one. Students like taking a little brain break from reading to throw the dice (or watch their friends throw it) and you can get in some commands like “Throw it!” or “Roll it far!” One way you can do it is to have students roll the dice, read the question word, and then you (the teacher) create the question using the word about the last section you have read. I tend to choose this option for Spanish 1 because I prefer they focus on understanding what they have read. However, if it’s later in the year for Spanish 2 or if it’s Spanish 3, I allow the students to throw the dice and create their own questions. I do my best to remember to repeat each students’ questions, so that when I tweak a strangely worded question to correct it that it is not as noticeable.
Another thing you will want to consider is who will answer the questions. What I like to do is allow the student who rolls the dice to choose, because I can get some subjunctive in (¿Quién quieres que conteste esta pregunta?, ¿Quién quieres que responda?, etc.). Other times, I have students answer in order (ex: the student behind the roller, or the first and then second person in the row, etc.) to keep it simple.
I hope you give this a try the next time you read a novel!