As a former control freak in the classroom, I’m finding that if I let them talk to each other, then they have already talked more than if I controlled the questioning and answering. So here’s an activity to let go of control…
I call it “Agree/Disagree.” This quick twist can be used with ANY topic where they have an opinion (which is everything, right??). The students are paired up or put in small groups. I give them something to give their opinion about like a picture, a comment, a video, a song, etc. After each person shares their opinion and defends it, they have to decide if they agree or disagree with each other. They have a sign like the one above that they turn to represent their conclusion. Then I can ask a few follow up questions like “What did you agree about?” before I show another one to discuss. Sometimes an activity just needs a little “accountability” piece to keep students more engaged and this gives them a purpose to listen to each other.
Here are 2 examples of how I have used it with different topics:
I can give my opinion about a song.
While teaching about a music award show, I played songs by the nominated artists. They discussed and defended their opinion about if the song is good or bad. They got pretty into this one! Since it’s winter time now, I could play traditional winter and Christmas songs from the TL.
I can give my opinions about Christmas traditions around the world.
To tie to the winter theme, you could focus on winter traditions that families do together in the target cultures. I found this one that has some unique traditions. I would first give them the article to do an interpretive activity (maybe even find a picture for each one for them to match to the descriptions). There are websites that are about activities with children which would be adorable with younger students!
Then I would do the agree/disagree activity by showing one description at a time for them to discuss. I may even have them discuss their opinion with more than one partner before we move on to the next tradition.
Same goal, different authres… I love it when I find a website that has a slideshow with pictures and descriptions. I went slide by slide with the one below. First they figured out what the activity was, and then they gave their opinion about whether they would like to do this activity with their family or not.
I’ve found that using “generic” activities like this saves me a ton of time lesson planning. This is how I can dedicate more time to refreshing resources. Copy the image below, paste it on your preferred document, print it on card stock to make your own that you can use for ANY topic.
Enjoy the final stretch to Winter Break! We have updated the homepage to include posts about topics that we usually use in December. I hope this post gives you a quick to prepare activity that will get them talking, and you letting them. ~Kara, former control freak
As always, fabulous idea! Can’t wait to implement it!!
Thanks Tanya. Just a simple twist. Let me know how it works for ya!
Excelente, Kara! Me encanta! Thank you once again! I am definitely doing this!
Thanks Joanny! I think this will work really well with your students!