Tuesday, April 26, 2016

¿Qué es esto?

Elementary kids LOVE to talk about animals and with Calico Spanish each chapter focuses on one animal. Recently we did a review of all the animals we had learned so far - fish, monkey, frog, bear, dog, butterfly, and elephant. We also added the question ¿Qué es esto?

First, we started by playing charades. I modeled and we played in a large group a few times and then they broke into pairs to play. They had to say ¿Qué es esto? before acting out anything or they lost their turn.

Next, we started giving oral clues and our partners had to guess what we were talking about. They already knew the song Vengan Ya so we sang it and again practiced in a large group using the conjugated verbs on the board. Some of the students never quite internalized the difference and still used the infinitive but as long as I could get their meaning I didn't push it too much.  Once they were comfortable I let them break off into pairs and again they guessed what animal their partner was describing.

Then we wrote out our clues and drew a picture. They covered their pictures with construction paper that said ¿Qué es esto?  After collecting their writing pieces I put them out on the tables around the room. Students did a gallery walk, reading and guessing. They wrote their guess down and then put a check if they got it right and an X if the missed it.

We finished up with me selecting a few of the best and using it as a more formal formative assessment (My summative assessments include all 3 modes of communication and I only do 1 a year per grade level because they take forever.) Just like in the gallery walk they read them and made their guess.

At the end they got to take home their writing pieces to show off to their families. Assignments like these are great for sending home and go a long way for advocating for your program since parents can see what their kids are doing in Spanish class.

My third graders are doing something similar except we are focusing on pets - dogs, cats, and fish. They are making Lost Pet posters. What do you do with animals? What are your students' favorite animals to talk about? Share in the comments below!

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