A Year in F7 – Week 30

Monday, March 25th, Day 133

StoryListening/Narrate and Draw/Storytelling: “Tres Porcelli” (The Three Little Pigs)

1.) Storytelling/Narrate and Draw:

So, not every day can be a success, right? I tried very hard to tell the story of the Three Little Pigs, drawing the pictures along with the story, and ask the students questions about what would happen next.

It flopped big time.  Low student engagement, heavy student side conversations, blurting, boredom.  It was like one of those nightmares you have where you the teacher try to talk and no one listens. Maybe it wasn’t a smart more to tell a familiar story?

Every communicative/CI-based teacher has activities and strategies that they find difficult to execute well in the classroom.  This one is mine.  I have never successfully done a “Story-listening” type activity.  I ended up just turning it into a listening activity, where the students drew along with the story on write board, which they found more engaging.  I marvel at teachers that can pull off a “Story-telling” type activity.  Perhaps I need more practice, or a better story.  I’ve watch teachers do it well, and I wonder why it doesn’t work for me.

Also, because this flopped so badly, I was in a terrible mood today.  It happens.  I know that I shouldn’t beat myself up for one failed experiment, but just knowing the truth didn’t make it less hard to take.

But it’s a good lesson.  Providing comprehensible input can look different in different situation.  What’s important is the communication, interaction, and negotiation of meaning in context, not doing a certain activity on a certain day.  I will regroup tomorrow, and everything will be fine.

Revised Lesson Plan:  

1.) Listen and Draw (The Story of the Three Little Pigs)

Prep Time: 0 minutes

2.) Write and Discuss

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 0 minutes


Tuesday, March 26th, Day 134

1.) Card Talk/Holiday Talk: Spring Break

Student listed three things that they were going to do on Spring break on an index card, and one thing that they wouldn’t do.  I provided the following sentence starters/vocabulary to help them say what they wanted to saw in Latin (and to make the cards more readable):

feriis vernalibus - future tense

Prep Time: 15 minutes

2.) Game: Two Truths and a Lie/Guess Who

I was able to get two different games out of the students’ cards.

a.) quis scripsit? (who wrote it?).  I read the three true items and students guess who wrote the card.

b.) quae sententia est falsa? (Which sentence is false?) I read the student’s name and then two truths and one lie.  The students try to guess the lie.

As a teacher reading and interpreting these cards on the fly, I liked the flexibility that this format provided, as I could change the game format depend one what made the most sense with the cards provided.

Caveats: To make the game interesting, make sure that students are very specific (even if they have to provide English on the card).  Where are you going? with whom? how long? what are you doing there? etc.  Students really like this game generally and listen closely to the sentences, so the details provide richer material for discussion.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

3.) Student Micro-Interviews

I just improvised this activity on the spot when attention began to wane during my class right before lunch. I sprinkled these throughout the game in order to break things up a bit.  When I found a particularly interesting card, or a surprising sentence, I called up students to the front for an impromptu and very short interview (2-3 minutes).  I asked further questions about their responses on their cards.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

4.) Quiz: Comprehension: based on the guessing games and the student micro-interviews.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 15 minutes

Wednesday, March 27th, Day 135

1.) Card Talk: Topic: “What are you doing over Spring Break?”

Game: Pictura vera/falsa: students draw a true picture and a false picture of their Spring Break plans, and after projecting a few pictures via the document camera as a class the students vote on which is the true and which is the false picture.

This was similar to yesterday’s game and Card Talk topic, but the topic was enough of a hit that it warranted a repeat.  In one class the Picture Talk lasted nearly the entire period, so we skipped the Write and Discuss and Quick Quiz.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

2.) MovieTalk: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Black Knight Scene” (first part)

This scene is always a hit with Latin students.  I used this (slightly edited) clip which I made just for this activity. I wrote this script for myself to help guide the discussion.  The best discussion was about what type of movie the clip was: “comoedia an tragoedia?” (comedy or tragedy?) and why.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

3.) Write and Discuss: summary of “The Black Knight”

Prep Time: 0 minutes

4.) Quick Quiz (time permitting): verum an falsum?

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 20 minutes


Thursday, March 28th, Day 136

1.) Picture Talk/Movie Recap (using screen caps from the movie and the movie script)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

2.) Watch and Discuss: “Monty Python: The Black Knight” (part 2)

Prep Time: 0 minutes

3.) Write and Discuss: summary the second part of “The Black Knight”

Prep Time: 0 minutes

4.) Quick Quiz: “Monty Python: The Black Knight”

Prep Time: 0 minutes

5.) Timed Write (5 minutes)

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 10 minutes


Friday, March 29th, Day 137

dies ludendi! (game day) It was the day before break, and generally half or more of my student were gone (class trips, etc.).  So it was game day.

1.) Game: Magici Numeri: my more school appropriate version of the “VI” Game.

I used the movie script (version 1) from “The Black Knight” for material.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

2.) Game: “Alea Iacta Est/Word Chunk Game” (time permitting)

Using Version II of the “Black Knight Story”

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 20 minutes


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