Saturday, February 25, 2012

TPRS year 2 - using PowerPoint to tell stories

A few weeks ago, I found a song on Martina Bex's website that she had created activities for: El chico del apartamento 512.  It's a song back from the 90's by Selena.  The interesting thing is that it tells a story about how she keeps getting hit on by guys in her apartment building.  But there is this one guy that she wishes she could talk to.  Finally she does, but a girl answers the door. To her surprise she asks, "Were you looking for my brother?"

Martina actually made a TPRS story-line that was parallel to the song.  So I decided to do the story-line.  But I wasn't going to be able to do the written story before going over the song since my students had made oral stories that didn't even resemble the song's story-line.  So I decided to teach the story-line via a PowerPoint.  See: el chico del apartamento 512 powerpoint.

My students really enjoyed as I spoke the language and told them a story to what is basically an animated storybook.  It was a great activity for the brain.  The funny thing is I did something similar back before I even knew about TPRS to help teach some vocabulary about clothing.  See: Pablito compro ropa nueva.

After the PowerPoint, we listened to the song and it was much more comprehensible.

So this week, I was going over the written story 4.1 from the Look I can Talk series by Blaine Ray.  The story is about a tiger that wants to buy tiger clothes, but he only finds plastic elephants.

The spoken story structures were:
quería comprar (s/he wanted to buy)
el dependiente sólo tenía (the store clerk only had)

I decided to make a PowerPoint for the written story and tell it to my students.  I adapted Blaine's story to accommodate other vocabulary and structures my students knew.  So it ended up a little more complicated.
See: Tiger looks for clothing powerpoint.

Then I printed out the story and cut it up into pieces so after telling my students the story, I had them get into groups of two and put the story into order.  I thought it would help them read without realizing they were reading.  They would have to remember what went first in the story and use critical thinking.  I also gave them five minutes or so (most needed a little more).  They did awesome though and I think they felt smart because they were able to do it.

Definitely something I would like to do every once in awhile to spice up the monotony in class.

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