So today I just couldn't figure out what I was going to do with my classes. Last semester Friday was kind of a toss-up day and sometimes we would have games or other activities. But I didn't have anything planned for today.
I thought about starting a new story and then we'll do our weekend activity Monday, the written version of our story on Tuesday, a spoken story on Tuesday, etc. But for whatever reason, as I familiarized myself with the structures moments before class, I could not get them ingrained into my head.
So I winged it. I asked the class what there was. In one class we talked about how one of the students was sick in her whole body while another student was only sick in his head. She wanted to see a specialist in Minnesota while he wanted to go to the insane asylum in an island of one of the students. Her specialist in Minnesota cost $500 and a small cow. She had 900 small cows but not $500. Oh, and she was in a steak house when the story started. The boy who was crazy thought he was a beautiful bipolar girl. That was a fun idea in-and-of itself. I need to use that in other stories. Just the structure: 'pensaba que' (he thought that) would get some good practice right there and you can just throw it in casually without focusing on it. So some of the students will acquire it.
I was amazed that a student remembered "se suicidaron" (they committed suicide) from a previous story about all the deer in an island of one of the students when I only had said it a few times. They're so clever.
In another class, which is my harder class to sell the stories on, the class did a wonderful job. Their storyline consisted of a bear that was really big and he was in a locker of a student that was too small. He was hungry too. That's how it started. I asked about another student who had a small gray cat in her big locker to compare and contrast. One day, the student went to his small locker and opened it. The bear said: "ROAR!" The boy jumped and ran to Canada like Roadrunner. But in Canada he fell. The big bear ran like a bear after the boy yelling like a bear. The bear found the boy and ate him.
In another class (which is high energy), we came up with a story about a fish who had a beard like ZZtop, lots of muscles like a student teacher. He was as big as Donkey Kong. He was violent because he didn't have a father. He lived in the Bermuda Triangle. (We also had a lot of tangents about my cat and his romantic life in Spanish).
Somehow, my students basically planned the class for me. It was a really fun day for them and it just involved me asking them: "¿Qué había?" and negotiating the meaning from there. I might offer an idea or two in the language. But they were doing a wonderful job of helping me. I should have no-plan days more often. The best part is that my students don't know the difference from any other day when I do this. But we're practicing the target language and throwing in some extra vocabulary while reviewing structures that are basic to the stories.