I had a nightmare the other night. I was asked to teach a class at the last minute and had no lesson plan. While I scrambled, students became increasingly unruly. Zero student engagement. What a relief to wake up to reality – MY students are usually hands-on and sometimes FEET-on so that scenario rarely happens. (Didn’t say never.)
Wouldn’t you like to have some activities in your teacher bag that guarantee 100% student engagement? In this blog post, I will share SEVEN activities that will keep your students actively learning.
Here are the activities:
Every single student will be tap-tapping away while you walk around and help. Technology is the language of young people and it suits the study of World Language if the activity includes Comprehensible Input.
EVERY SINGLE STUDENT is tap-tapping away, acquiring language.
2. THROW THE BALL:
Place a box at the front of the room. Divide your class into two teams. Have Team A line up at the far end of the room. A designated team member stands by the box and throws the ball back to students who are trying to throw the ball into the box. (There are two balls) When a ball lands in the box, designated student yells, “¡Punto!”.
While Team A is taking turns throwing, Team B is looking at the screen and answering the prompt or writing the correct sentence, conjugation, etc. Students are highly motivated to help each other during this game because the longer it takes for everyone to write the correct answer, the more points the other team accrues. When ALL of the students have correctly written the answer, the teacher yells, “Ya”, and the teams switch places. The team with the most points wins. You will see 100% student engagement with this game and students will beg to play it again.
Vocabulary Grab Game. Students LOVE this and it provides great comprehensible input. They sit across from each other with cards of pictures of whatever vocabulary they are learning spread out on their desks. The teacher says SENTENCES aloud (language in context) using the vocabulary words. The student who grab the picture first gets the point.
It is best to show the visual on a Power Point after students have grabbed so they know they chose the right card.
4. USE OF WHITE BOARDS FOR CHECKING FOR UNDERSTANDING:
Why doesn’t everyone use white boards? I am a white board fan(atic). Besides being hands-on, they are peer-motivated. (Good peer pressure) In order to prevent copying, I do not allow students to raise their boards until I say, “Levanten”. This is not one of those activities in which students help each other. The purpose of CFU is for the teacher to quickly assess if re-teaching is necessary.
If you haven’t tried Kahoot, I highly recommend it for reviewing grammar or vocabulary, especially if you can include CI. It blends learning with what students love most- their cell phones. AND they get to work with a partner. They will be asking you, “When do we get to play Kahoot again?” Click the following link for directions on how to play it: Kahoot
What’s more hands-on than drawing? The teacher uses complete sentences to describe, in the target language, what students are to draw. It’s great CI (Comprehensible Input) and listening practice. Here, a student drew in the body parts (and other adornments) as I talked about them.
(Caveat: I do NOT support having students draw in class while they speak to each other in English. It must be a listening activity in which they are hearing the target language in context. Any other drawing assignments for vocab practice should be done at home. Most class time should be devoted to communication in the language- which students cannot give themselves.)
This game is best played after THOROUGHLY practicing the vocabulary. It will not engage all students if used as a practice activity; it must be used for closure when you are pretty sure all students know most of the words. Students not only learn the vocabulary you are teaching them but prepositions of direction. To see this game, click here: Vocabulary Board Game
Now you have seven activities to add to your repertoire that promote student engagement.