Sometimes I let the kids go wild and I let them create their own stories. But I also use pre-written stories scripts for my classes. I want to explain how I use pre-written stories scripts and or/ pictures from Cuentame mucho®, Cuentos Fantasticos and Anne Matava scripts.
Yes, I agree some of these stories are very weird. I tell my students from day one that everything is possible in Spanish class. So every time they read something weird or random, I say “todo es possible en la clase de español” I can’t remember who I need to give credit for this phrase but It helps students get over the “that’s too weird” quickly.
I how students one picture at the time. I ask lots of different types of questions before I move on to the next picture. If a new word comes up I write it on the board. If it’s a high-frequency word or a word I know it will show up later in one of the novels, I use the circling method increase the number of times students hear that word. Before I move to the next picture I may have the students predict what may happen in the next picture.
I always ask personal questions and I use all different types of pronouns in these questions. Just like a regular conversation. For instance, when using Cuentos Fantásticos story el estudiante loco I may ask the students:
Teacher: ¿Qué ocurre si entras tarde a la clase de matemáticas? Tu maestra se enoja, tú te enojas,
Student: la profesora
Teacher: ah, la profesora de matemáticas de enoja. Yo no me enojo. Mis estudiantes nunca entran tarde porque son fantásticos, todos somos fantásticos.
Connecting with student’s interest is the most important part of CI. No story will work if you miss this step. Personalize, Personalize and Personalize!
Here is an example from my Spanish 2 class. The story is from Carol Gaab’s reader Cuentame mucho. This story is weird, but we already established that everything is possible in my class. This mini-cuento has a lot of opportunities for personalization. My main goal is to connect with them and to find something to talk about.
We read the story silently and I asked them comprehension questions. Then, I started asking them personal questions such as:
¿Tu dormitorio está limpio o sucio?
¿Tu mamá se enoja si tu dormitorio está sucio?
¿Podrías vivir en una mansión/playa/ Hawaii/ Alaska/ un barco/ en la calle?
¿Dónde no podrías vivir? ¿Y si te dan un millón de dólares?
Prefieres padres enojado o padres desilusionados? This question really got them excited. We talked about how parents act when they are angry. And the word castigos emerged. I wrote it on the board. And we talked about castigos doe the rest of the period.
Lastly, I do grammar pop-ups only if the students seem confused. If they understood right away, then there’s no need to stop a reading discussion. Example: es mi casa o su casa? Es su casa no mi casa, mi casa está en Long Beach.
If and when students are not responding to my questions (circling, P.Q.A ), I either a Brain Break or I wrap up the story.
Other ideas :
HAVE THE STUDENTS THINK ABOUT THE ACTIONS OF THE CHARACTERS, THEIR MOTIVATIONS ETC.
I HAVE THEM THINK ABOUT DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE CHARACTERS
WHEN WE’RE DONE WITH THE STORY WE GO BACK AND RE-TELL THE STORY. THEN WE CAN DO A READING ACTIVITY, VOCAB GAME, ACTING THE STORY, GESTURE READING À LA Alina Filippescu ETC.