Something I was trying to do with my Spanish 1's to help them read Agentes Secretos y el mural de Picasso was an activity I got from a presentation at FLAM a few weeks ago.
The presenter mentioned "speed-dating". And instead of talking about themselves, the characters talk about the topic for 1-2 minutes and then switch. This way they can get another pass of the information from a chapter or a concept and when we change to another person, we can change the information we ask of them.
It also brings movement and interaction into the classroom, which are so necessary in a block class or for a rainy day (or chilly cloudy day in October).
I numbered my students off (1-15 twice), told them to form two lines in order. I explained they were going to talk about Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Paula, Luis, Los agentes secretos, etc and they had two minutes.
I didn't want to hear English. I only wanted to hear Spanish. Their pronunciation wasn't the most important part (gasp) because they were interacting with the text, and I think for some this made them aware of their shortcomings in pronunciation of a word so maybe they will listen more for that word later.
They were allowed to have their books as a security blanket. Some kids read the information from the chapter (but they had to find the important information about the characters or plot).
Not a bad activity! I might have to bring it in every once in awhile. Definitely not bad for a 10 minute chunk in the middle of class or for another pass of the chapter in a completely different way.
For some 2:00 was an eternity. But for others, it was about right. They usually opted after the first round to do 1:30.
My mind is thinking about the other possibilities for this type of activity...