Setting the Scene for TPRS Stories, Reader’s Theatre & More!


Setting the Scene for TPRS Stories, Reader’s Theatre & More! | Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at

Last spring I was fortunate to attend my second TPRS workshop – and boy did I learn a lot!  I highly recommend if you’ve attended a TPRS workshop in the past that you consider attending another.  Especially if it’s another trainer!  Not only will you be reminded of the solid basics, but you will learn new tricks, too.  I was fortunate enough to learn how to get in more repetitions of and yo verb forms… and today’s idea, too!

I was lucky to get to share my lunch with fellow Spanish teacher and Iowan Sam Finneseth (twitter: @SraFinneseth; blog:  We talked about many things – from school specific issues to our families to TPRS based strategies.  I don’t remember exactly how this idea came up, but I remember us talking about how we could “set the scene” better for when our students were acting in front of the class.  We both concluded it would be fantastic to have a Powerpoint or Google Slide with images of common locations (schools, parks, restaurants, etc.).  You then throw the presentation up on your projector, place your actors in front of it, and voila!  Your scene is set!  I recently did this with my Spanish 2 students as we did our first story to review the super 7 verbs and it was a big hit!

Some things to consider when selecting images:

  • Image quality – you will want a large sized image so you can make it big enough to cover the entire screen.
  • Consider how having people in the background will change the story.  For example, a restaurant full of people indicates the story is taking place during a popular meal time, but an empty restaurant could indicate the opposite.  Also, one option may distract your audience from the story being told while the other may simply help set the scene.
  • If possible, add the location in the target language so (1) you don’t have to write it out, (2) it won’t take up precious space on your board; (3) students still get to see it!
  • Once students know the settings well, I would recommend adding additional images.  Instead of just a restaurant, have a fast food restaurant and a fancy/elegant restaurant for students to choose between.  Then make sure to correctly label them so students see the terms.
  • One avenue I haven’t personally explored yet – how cool would it be if we could find GIFs of different locations so there was movement going on!

Sam was kind enough to put some images together and share them with me.  They give you a good idea of where to start with this.  Thanks, Sam!

One thought on “Setting the Scene for TPRS Stories, Reader’s Theatre & More!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s