Friday, August 27, 2010

Día 7 - Three-Ring Circus

Today in class I wanted to spice things up a little bit.

In the book TPR Stories for Paso a Paso by Karen Rowan, she mentions an activity called: Three Ring Circus.

The idea is that you have three students doing completely different things while you try to talk to the class about it.

So in my classes today for the last 10 minutes, we tried this.  I had three volunteers.  I told the volunteers the following directions and made sure they continued performing them until we finished talking about them.

Volunteer 1: Walk to the wall. Hit the wall with your foot.  Walk to the desk.  Hug the desk.  (don't stop!)
Volunteer 2: Dance to the board.  Kiss the board.  Dance to the table.  Eat the table. (don't stop!)
Volunteer 3: Sit on the book.  Stand up.  Play guitar.  Yell. (don't stop!)

Then you ask the rest of the class questions about the students performing the actions.  You can start out with yes/no questions about them like:
  • Does V1 walk?  (yes)
  • Does V2 yell? (no)
  • Does V1 play guitar (no)
  • Does V3 yell? (yes)
Then you can ask different questions with one-word answers like:
  • Who yells?
  • Who plays the guitar?
  • Who kisses the board?
  • Does V1 hit the wall with his/her hand or his/her foot?
  • Does V2 hug or kiss?
  • What does V2 hug?
My class really enjoyed the fact that three people were constantly performing these things simultaneously.  It spiced up class and helped to narrate a little.


  1. I had completely forgotten about this activity, though I remember reading about it in the book as well. Might have to give that a try this school year.

    I notice this post is from 2010. Have you used this activity often since then?

    I just started a new blog, but since school has not started for me yet, there's not much lesson content there. I do use TPR and TPRS in my classroom too, though!

    1. I do usually do this a few times while TPR'ing. I like to do TPR a little bit every year. I admit that I don't plan this activity out as well as a friend of mine. He makes these complex little narratives almost and has different kids act them out and then talks about them. I might just have a kid act out (over and over again) 3 different simple actions and then describe them.

      I'll probably do this sometime soon to break up the monotony, as we've been doing TPR for three days now and I imagine by the 5th or 6th day, I might need to throw this in there.

      I don't use it too often because I didn't consider the amazingness of it. I might try to use it more often since I have block scheduling this year and even 5-10 minutes of it every once in awhile could break up the monotony more!