This year has been crazy. I probably haven't been blogging as much as in years prior because I've been finding myself stretched rather thin. Between working on my YouTube channel and trying to maintain consistently new content: Phrase of the Day, Storytelling adventures, & jokes, in addition to teaching full time and having a wife and 9 month old baby, I don't have as much time to blog.
But I'm pretty excited. Last year, there was this great activity idea that I got from Kristy Placido about using a Luis Pescetti chant about a vampire in a castle at night who butters bread with a knife. It was wonderful. What I ended up doing was TPR'ing the different phrases from the chant with my students by acting it, saying it in Spanish, and quickly telling them in English the first time and occasionally checking for comprehension. We did them out of order (so the kids wouldn't guess it was a narrative) and then at the end, they saw Kristy's graphical representation of it (She might have taken it down. I can't seem to find it this year). It had pictures of some things which you could have with the voice of Luis Pescetti that represented the different lines. My kids still remembered the actions from last year. Not to mention, it was great to throw into stories, "And DOES he butter bread?" Always good for a laugh.
This year I found out some traditional songs for Día de muertos. My favorite was called: Los esqueletos. There are various versions of it on YouTube. The lyrics are about how skeletons come out of their graves and do various things, then they sleep again. It's great for the present tense 3rd person plural ending in Spanish (-n). It helps me get some reps of those in class and some good pop-up grammar to get them to notice that "n" on the end of the verb just means "they."
So I did something similar to last year's activity. Since today was song day, I mixed up the different things the skeletons do (10 of them) and then TPR'd them. So we went over 2-3 phrases and played around with them. I mixed them up. I changed a detail sometimes to use the verb structure some more. My students seemed to enjoy the movement today. I think it was needed.
Then after we TPR'd it for 25-30 or so minutes, I went over the PowerPoint that I had made with the song on it and some pictures that went along with it. I taught them the gestures for the first line and for the "graves here" and "graves there." I spoke through it with them first and had them do the gestures with me. Then I sang it and had them follow with gestures. Finally, they stood and "sang" (or pretended) while gesturing with me. And it took up pretty much all of class. It was a different activity for the songs. We usually do a cloze activity. But I wanted them to interact more with the song today. :-)
If you had extra time before singing you could also do a competition with a partner where they race to do the action first. You could do the incorrect action. You could say 2 actions and they would have to do those in order. There are many things you could do as well.
Here's a version of the song that I basically used to sing today (and I changed a few of the things the skeletons do).
If you want to try it, let me know your email address and I can email you the PowerPoint and/or the lyrics I used.