Bunches of Hunches

This is the second activity write-up for Wooly Week 2019, go read that post to find out what other amazing activities we tried in our class over the past two weeks.

In this activity, we were provided with 20 images from the early storyboard, and 18 reflective or predictive statements. One example: This person is important to the story. All of the statements were written in Spanish using lots of cognates. The instructions were simple: post the pictures around the room, and provide students a way of matching the sentences with them. I did this in two different was with my two classes:

Method 1: post-its and group work

I have 40 minutes with my second year (not to be confused with Spanish 2 – technically we are still considered 1a in the second year) students. I had them break into as many groups as I had different colors of small post-it notes. They had to copy each statement off the board and then stick it to the picture they felt best matched it. This worked well enough. Their Spanish is good enough that among each group they were able to discern the meaning of every statement and choose a picture to go along with it. They had a lot of fun with it, and the images and predictions stuck in their head and reappeared in all of the other predictive activities we did. As I had no idea about the video I couldn’t modify this activity in any way because I couldn’t discern importance. When I do this activity with a known video I will aim for 10-12 pictures and 8-10 sentences. I don’t feel it was necessary to have a sentence for every picture, but 18 was way too many for my elementary kiddos to keep track of.

Method 2: posting-it alone

I had no desire to overwhelm my first year students with 18 sentences. But, I did want them to do this as close to the above method as possible. So, instead of breaking them into groups and telling them to do them all, I gave them each one post-it, and told them to write one sentence and put it on a picture. I figured this way I’d be able to see who was figuring out the more complicated sentences, which is useful to me. I had hoped to have them repeat this with new sentences at least once, BUT two things got in the way. 1: they showed up five minutes late, which is just part of teaching elementary sometimes, and is completely out of my control. 2: I did not fully consider how slowly some of them would work. There was so much movement (which I am not accustomed to) that I just didn’t notice that one kid was literally walking circles around the room instead of working. So, before I choose this method again I will have to devise a better way. Ultimately, every kid who wrote a post-it recalled some of the predictions they made while looking at the pictures, so that’s a win in my book.

Conclusions:

This activity was a great way to get their minds going. I did intend to have a follow-up activity where (after seeing the real video) they reviewed everything they had said about the stills and identify if they were correct or incorrect. However, we had a delay that day, and I don’t go to their school at all on delay days so we skipped that. I will include a review of predictions in my plans for videos because I do think we missed a valuable opportunity to review all of the high quality language. I wasn’t worried about skipping it this time because I really felt like the quantity of pictures and sentences were totally overwhelming but I won’t have that problem when I make the activity myself. I will be using sentences straight from the file provided, because they were awesome, and in such generic terms that they would be effective for just about any video at all. It also prepped them well for the sequencing activities that we did which used the same pictures. Finally, I loved how being familiar with the music and the pictures opened up the student’s brains to focusing solely on the words from the song. I had not experienced students singing along to the chorus during the first viewing of a video before, but that happened this time in both classes. My only guess is that it was this prior exposure which freed them up to enjoy and participate freely when the time finally arrived.

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