Monday, August 30, 2010

Día 8 - Storytelling in Class

It seems a tad premature, but in the book TPR Stories for Paso a Paso, Karen Rowan already has introduced Personalized Mini-Stories (PMS).

Today I thought that my students and I could probably get along without them but it seemed like they needed to spice things up.  This Monday they were dragging more than ever and the year just started.

I decided to do a little TPR to warm them up.  Then we went into the story.

They did a pretty good job with the story.  I did like the story for the most part.  However, the teacher was trying to force too many vocabulary words into the story instead of allowing it to be more natural.  I saw TPRS modeled in such a way that you are constantly fishing from details from your students and circling.  So it seemed strange to tell an entire story basically without the help of the class.  I decided to make the story more bare-bones and try with the class.  This allowed more circling of the important parts of the language and the structures I chose from the mini-story were important ones in storytelling.

I did also tell the story in the past tense instead of the present tense because in the workshop I took this summer, Donna Tatum-Johns taught us that in her classes, she teaches past and present simultaneously.  Since she is focused on meaning instead of grammar, this is highly successful with her students.

This thought intrigues me since for as long as I can remember, students tend to default to the present tense even though you teach other tenses because the present tense is one of the first things they are exposed to in the language.

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