Leading up to the edcampCIVa, we will be sharing some of our favorite ways to provide comprehensible input to students. One of my favorite ways of incorporating comprehensible input is to describe a picture for students to draw. The act of drawing helps engage students as I am providing the input. In addition, I try to cycle back to old vocabulary while using the new vocabulary that we are working on. Students have out their words to review as I am describing the picture. The picture you describe can be as elaborate or detailed as you like. This will help you take as much or as little time as you need. You can start with any vocabulary that you are focusing. Then, here are some ideas to add to your description:
- You can either say that there is a man or woman or you could recycle the descriptions! What do they look like?
- To continue to cycle back to clothes, what are they wearing?
- You can describe the furniture in the room to work on the house words.
- If they are outside, what is the weather?
- You can feature a family completing all of the tasks using new words in which you are focusing.
- You could add animals to the drawing since many animal names are cognates.
- You could always throw in a random object in the room for fun!
After students complete this drawing, I have them label everything in Spanish for a minute or two. Again, this gives them more exposure to the words that I have been highlighting.
At the end, we play the “papelitos” game. I got this idea from Bryan Kandel’s blog. I pair students up and ask them true or false questions about the picture that they have just drawn. They can use the picture for reference as well. They have a sticky note between them. If the answer is true, they race to grab it. If they grab it before their partner, they earn one point. If the answer is false, they have to leave the sticky note alone. If they touch it when it is false, their partner earns two points. Looking for a fun variation? Try Allison’s version of this game with the whole class and markers.
The goal for comprehensible input is to get more repetitions of the same words for the students. This game accomplishes a few things: the students are able to demonstrate their understanding via drawing. Students are also able to stay in the target language when they are correcting any false statements aloud. Also, students hear the words numerous times as you are describing the drawing and playing the game.