Activities That Work /
E. Special Activities

Synopsis prepared by Lee Risley

Back to Table of Contents:
E. Special Activities.
1. Animals in the FL class.
2. Class warm-ups / Bell ringers.
3. Fashion shows.
4. Native games.
5. Puppetry and dolls.
6. Scavenger (and other hunts).
7. Sports.

1. Animals in the FL class.

97/09 From-> Courtney Stewart <>
Subject: Re: integrating "ratoncito" from Science

What fun! Have kids write and illustrate their own mouse book for
children--in target language, of course. Have kids cut out pictures of
mice and label the parts--make up a menu for a mouse--the possibilities
are endless--be wacko!

>I have been offered the option of having a visiting white mouse named Sara
>from the Science Dept. It would be a good opportunity for interdepartmental
>co-operation, but other than either describing her and her activities or writing
>a fictional story based on her travels from department to department--I am at a
>loss as to how I can "integrate" her into my Spanish II classes.


97/09 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <>
Subject: Re: integrating "ratoncito" from Science

Remember the old joke about the mother mouse who goes "Bow! Wow!" to a
cat, scaring it away, with the punchline "You see, children, it pays to
learn a foreign language!"? Couldn't you tie that in with Courtney's
idea -- the mouse who came to learn a foreign language???



97/09 From-> Cherice Montgomery <>
Subject: Ratoncito

I'm not sure how novel these will be, and they were generated without
much thought as I am headed out the door in a few minutes, but here you

Read children's books about mice. Have students talk about how Sara
might fit into the stories, what Sara would have done (conditional) in
those situations, rewrite the stories from Sara's perspective, have
"Sara" write letters of advice to characters from the stories, etc.

Why not a science unit on mice, lifecycles, animals in general? Lots of
things are available on the web in Spanish from Paso Partners (I think
it is which will take you there eventually) with
regard to science.

Try to relate everything that you are working on for the next month to
mice. If you have flashcards--put them in the shape (or inside the
outline) of a mouse. If you have a gameboard, make it a mouse trying to
get to cheese, if you are teaching Food, read The Very Hungry
Caterpillar in Spanish, then have students re-write the story with Sara
as the main character. If you think your kids could handle it, I'll bet
you could find a copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle in Spanish (a
short novel for 2nd or 3rd graders in English that is adorable). Simply
show the movie of this book to students with no sound and have them
"tell" the story as it happens.

Have students tell what Sara would do if she visited them over the

If you are studying Household words or circumlocution, have students
design a house for Sara or describe the objects she would use to make
herself a house (empty spool of thread for a table, thimble for a water
glass, matchbox for a bed (depending on her size), cotton ball for a
pillow, etc.).

For commands/subjunctive--have students make lists of things that Sara
might want to happen: I wish that students wouldn't tap on my cage. I
recommend that you all give me plenty of water. I doubt that the
students will feed me three times a day. I love that students pet me. I
am sad that students fight so much. Do you know anyone who has free mice
treats? What would a day in school be like if Sarah were the teacher?

My best advice is--talk to elementary teachers nearby. I would almost
bet that at least one of them has materials on mice which could be
adapted to your level, or ideas for turning mice into a thematic
unit--which is what they do on a regular basis.

There are two books out in Spanish--one called Pinta Ratones and one
called Cuenta Ratones which teach colors and numbers through the
mischief that mice get into--both are available in the children's FL
section at Borders Bookstore. Kids could write a similar story for use
at the elementary school with bilingual students, or could review using
those stories.

For family--have them create Sara's family tree (we know how prolific
mice can be . . :)!

For descriptions, have them create mice pictures using thumbprints and
then describe them.

For preterite v. imperfect, have them create Sara's life story (like the
timeline idea that was posted recently), or have them tell:

what she looked like in the past, where she lived in the past, what she
ate in the past, who her enemies were in the past, what her daily
routine was in the past, what happened ONE day when she came to your
classroom, etc.

For cultural study, let each group pick a country, have them convey
Sara's imaginary travel adventures in that country in an imaginative
way--slides, photo album, cartoon, puppet show, etc.

Have students make (decorate) their own Saras either on construction
paper cut-outs or using plastic mice, or styrofoam ovals. Let them
describe "themselves (their Sara)," give it a personality, etc. Students
must guess which description goes with which Sarah. Or, to extend it,
have them keep their mice creations secret while participating in a
pen-pal exchange. At the end of a nine weeks, see if they can guess with
which Sara they were corresponding.

Have Sara do secret things. Students must read the paragraph and try to
figure out where her secret adventure took place or what her secret
adventure was (which vocab. word, etc.)--they could write these clues as
a review for a quiz. OR--every time you see a student who is improving,
or who helps another student in some way, or who achieves in some way
outside of your subject area, have Sara secretly put a note, or "prize"
or some other such thing in a designated place with that students name
on it--under that student's desk, etc.

For festivals/holidays--let each group pick one and present it from the
"mouse-eye" view. What would Sara see? What would she hear? What would
she smell, taste, what might almost happen to her at such a
festival--she might almost get stepped on in a parade, she might be
allergic to the flowers at Dia de los Muertos, she might almost get her
tail burned by a candle, she might almost get conked on the head by
falling candy from a pinata.

Hope this helps! Keep in mind this is just very ROUGH brainstorming. If
I think of anything else, I'll post it.

Cherice Montgomery


97/09 From-> Kathy McGregor <>
Subject: integrating "ratoncito" from Science

In regards to this joke (see below), has anyone seen the film (_Carmela_
- Is that the name?), about the little girl who attends a new school and
struggles, frustrated, until she is put in a great bilingual classroom
and she soars... In this excellent film, her wise grandpa tells the
joke, and he does a superb job of it!! I've been trying to remember the
movie's name.

Kathy McGregor

[97/09a From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <>

Remember the old joke about the mother mouse who goes "Bow! Wow!" to a
cat, scaring it away, with the punchline "You see, children, it pays to
learn a foreign language!"? Couldn't you tie that in with Courtney's
idea -- the mouse who came to learn a foreign language???


97/09 From->
Subject: Re: integrating "ratoncito" from Science

You could --

1. Have them draw the mouse and label the parts -- patas, cabeza,
orejas, etc.

2. Make up a story about Sara having visited a certain city (Buenos
Aires, Lima, Mexico City...). They would need to include details about
the city in the story - tourist sites, historic references, etc. This
reinforces preterite tense usage.

3. Learn a Spanish song about a mouse.

4. Read a Spanish story about a mouse.

5. Study vocabulary and describe mouse habitats in Spanish. 6. Using
comparatives and superlatives, compare Sara to Minnie or Mickey Mouse.

Deby Doloff


97/09 From-> Melita Sperling <>
Subject: Re: Ratoncito

I didn't follow this whole discussion.

However, have you tried some drama/role play activities?

What about using one of Aesop's Fables (?!-Who is Aesop, anyway?), Quien
le pone el cascabel al gato? / Who will bell the cat? enacted in class
with a cast of children players as ratoncitos, including Chillo, el
ratoncito que chilla mucho <SQUEAK!!> cada vez que el gato le acerca.

Tenga un buen diya!


97/09 From-> Irene Moon <>
Subject: Animalitos Activity

Recently someone posted about having purchased the Beanie Babies from
McD's and doing some activities with them.

Saturday I happened to be in Fashion Bug, a low end clothing store, and
They had all their animalitos on sale...really cute and I couldn't resist.
They were 3 for $10 and i got a bunch, a zebra, a fish, a dinosaur, a lion, a
penguin, a pelican etc. etc. And boy do I plan to get mileage out of them!
Hope we can use them throughout the year for some of the activities
suggested below.

I think I have enough for paired work and so plan these activities:

1. Describing the animal
2. Telling about a day in his life (when we get to daily routines)
3. Writing a story about an adventure the animal had (using past tenses)
4. Writing questions you'd like to ask this or someone else's animal...
5. Describing the animal's habitat
6. Naming the countries/area of the world where animal can be found
7. Why this animal should/should not be adopted as a pet 8. Selecting a
sports team for which this animal should be chosen as the mascot and why
9. Comparing this animal to a popular figure and explaining why/how the
two are alike or different
10. Create theme greeting cards using the animalitos 11. Make a booklet
of 5-7 proverbs that "fit" the animalito

Irene Moon

2. Class warm-ups / Bell ringers.

96/08 From-> Paul Conley <>
Subject: Re: Warm-up activities: A request

Hi Kathy,

For a warmup activity, I make a 6-7 minute tape from the
Spanish-speaking radio station. The tape includes dj banter, a song and
one or two commercials. After making the tape, I type a transcription of
the tape. I also type the lyrics of the song and give it to the students
on Monday. For the next two weeks, my students hear this tape at the
beginning of the period, receiving a different sheet each day.
First-year students get 10 items on their sheets, where they have to
fill in a missing word. Second & third-year students answer 10 questions
dealing with the tape. Each day, they get different questions/fill-ins.
During the second week of the tape, students are graded on their singing
of the song. They're also graded on their musicianship (I have an
arsenal of Latino music instruments that I distribute at random). At the
end of the second week, they get a 10-point test on the tape. By the end
of the year, they've learned 18 songs and a good bit of culture.



96/08 From-> vaughn williams <>
Subject: Re: Warm-up activities: A request

I use M&M's in one activity. I bring in bowl's of different kinds of
M&M's and let students take what they want. Then I start asking them
questions the first being how many do you have? They tell me and I
record. Then I ask about colors, sometimes have them graph them, etc.
Then I go to the real activity. "For each M&M that you have you have to
tell me something about yourself. If for some reason you don't finish on
that day, you have recorded the number and can continue on another day.
Sometimes a student might give some statements and have to break, let
someone else go, and return to it later. Like my Juan, who took 73 M&M's
:-). After they have said their sentences, they may eat the M&M's. Since
you have reported the number's you can either let the other students eat
theirs or put them in baggies until they say their sentences.

I have also used this for AP Spanish where the students had to say as
many sentences about Lorca, Marquez, Matute, Unamuno, or
Borges-depending on who we were studying. I have used it with various
tenses, vocabulary, etc.

Jean Carolyn Willima


96/08 From-> Bill Mann <>
Subject: Re: Warm-up activities: A request


Try a book called "Snappy starters for Spanish Class" available from
Teacher's Discovery 1-800-TEACHER. It has a lot of riddles, figure out
word puzzles, etc, all in the target language. I think it is also
available for other languages as well.



96/08 From-> Beverly Maass <>
Subject: Warm-up activities

Sometimes I use definitions of current or old vocabulary for a warm-up.
I'll give a definition of a word several times in Spanish, and the
students try to guess which word in Spanish is the answer. It can be
done in a competitive manner also for points or candy.



96/08 From-> "Helga Hilson (EWH)" <>
Subject: Re: Warm-up activities

Another idea is to do this as a Bingo game. I have students put any word
from the list before a Unit test on a Bingo sheet (they can choose) and
then I either act out the word or give a definition in TL. If they get
it and have it they mark it off. We always play for Gummibears!! Helga

Helga Hilson
(206)670-7311 63# (classroom)
Edmonds-Woodway High


96/08 From-> Janel Brennan <>
Subject: Re: Warm-up activities

Greetings from Maryland!

On the topic of warm ups, one thing that I did was to cut out pictures
of famous people and put them on colored paper to laminate and used them
for an oral activity. I made sure that I used movie stars, cartoon
characters, singers, etc that they all knew more or less and asked them
description questions ie) Show the singer from TLC... and ask "Quien es?
Es fea? Es rubia? Que hace? etc etc." I got most of the pictures from
People Magazines  most beautiful people. They usually have big pictures
of the stars. These photos got their attention right away, got them
smiling and talking about their favorite actresses and actors,
musicians, etc.

Janel Brennan


97/09 From->
Subject: Re: "Bell Ringer Activitiesl"

It can be as easy as picking a quick fill-in or matching activity from
the text that students can do at their seats. Write the page and
exercise on the board. It can also be to put up a picture and have
students identify as many objects as possible. (They can work in pairs
to see who makes the longest list). On a day of cultural importance, you
can put up a word like "Reyes Magos" and see how many Spanish words can
be made using those letters. You can also make up trivia questions that
are answered in the captions of the chapter illustrations. Something
quick, yet finite seems to work best for me.

Bill Heller


97/09 From-> Linda Roberts <>
Subject: Re: "Bell Ringer Activitiesl"

I usually have something on the overhead for them to do -- a vocab list
to copy, some sentences to translate English to Spanish that are
relevant to the vocab and grammar we're working on, a page number and
exercise to do in the textbook or workbook, etc. It keeps them busy for
about 5 - 10 minutes so that I can take attendance and pass back papers.
It works wonderfully!



97/09 From-> Beverly Larson <>
Subject: Re: "Bell Ringer Activitiesl"

Although I don't call them "bell ringers," I do a number of types of
activities while I'm doing attendance and/or checking homework. I try to
vary the routine. I sometimes have students review verb conjugations
(boring!) or describe scenes in cartoon-type drawings. Sometimes I show
a transparency of a scene and have students make up dialogues. Sometimes
I will have them do a communicative activity from the book, if it's
something they can start on without too much help from me. They also
enjoy doing crossword puzzles and word searches.

Bev Larson


97/09 From-> Irene Moon <>
Subject: Bellringers

It has only been in the past few years that I've hear the term
"bellringers" used.

In fact, our text series by Glencoe, has a specific set of activities for level 1 & 2
and they are intended to be used as transparency activities at the beginning
of the period.

In most cases I think they were intended to serve as a "warm up" to
the day's lesson, something like a "psychological set." They "ring a bell"
helping the student recall material previously taught; they are the link
between a previous lesson and the present lesson, or they ask the student
to take what he/she has learned and extend it.

It is *purposeful* linking, not just a fun (although that can also be true) time
filler for the teacher who needs to take attendance etc. And like anything else,
shouldn't be overworked.

I like our bellringers, but, thanks to this list and all the stuff I have
acquired in the years, I can find some really neat connection BR's.
Un Paso al Dia has 180 brainteasers, for example. They're all neat,
but not all appropriate if you are teaching to an objective. Here are
some examples:

#90 Find an example of a Spanish calendar (text, on wall). What is
the first day of the week? appropriate especially when working on days,

# 72 This Sp. architect is renown for his unique style, blending Gothic Art and
art nouveau to produce wavy, flowing forms. Who is this arquitecto and in
what city do you find most of his works? (a good review if students have
recently completed a mini survey of Sp Archt.) Of course, it could be
expanded to show an example and ask students to describe in Sp distinctive
features etc.

Other BR resources might include ( and I believe that several have
already been mentioned)

1. a text activity
2. a cartoon to be translated, explained (make it  appropriate to topic
3. teacher created materials (I did a transparency with  sentence starters for today
  that had to do w/ Princess Diana. We had read articles from El Pais & ABC)
4. a journal activity..write a few sentences on a topic,  which has been under
  discussion and which later can be extended and refined.
5. paired review of proverbs (we're learning 3 every  week in level 2)
6. TPR story telling practice with a partner
7. a quickie quiz...not necessarily for a grade, but as  a spring board to day's
  activity. For example:  Write 5 things you did last night, using preterite tense.
8. Transparency containing pix and kids identify as many objects as possible

Today we did this to review classrroom vocab. Kids had to stretch
their memories. Beside each letter of alpha. there were blanks (for the
number of objects beginning with that letter).V for ventana; B for bandera,
boligrafo, M for mochilla, Mapa, Mexico; etc.

Irene Moon

97/09 From-> Bernardi <>
Subject: Re: "Bell Ringer Activitiesl"

I also do these bellringer activities, but I call them PRACTICAS. They
keep a section in their binders for them and every once in awhile they
will turn them in. They are worth 5 points a day, so well worth the



97/09 From-> Cherice Montgomery <>
Subject: Re: Ratoncito

>Why not a fable? do a retelling in Spanish and a short, brief language
>summary in English quite possibly la fa'bula "Quien le pone el cascabel
>al gato?" will fit. Along with a Song sung in Spanish to the tune of
>"Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?"

I think I have copies of two other "mouse-related" fables--I believe
that one is called "El leon y el raton"--about the mouse who crosses a
lion's claws and wakes him, talks his way out of being eaten, and
eventually returns the favor when the lion is caught in a net by gnawing
through the net for him. Mail me a self-addressed stamped envelope and
I'll send it to you (along with the other one if I can find it).

Also, how about using "La ratoncita presumida"?

Cherice Montgomery


97/09 From-> Janel Brennan <>
Subject: Re: "Bell Ringer Activitiesl"

My students will NOT do anything just for the pure enjoyment of it. If I
want them to do an exercise at the beginning of class, it has to be for
a grade. I have to collect everything or else they won't do it. How do
others deal with this?


3. Fashion shows.

95/10 From -> Laura <>
Subject: Activity that Works: Making a Video...

Christian mentioned briefly that he might have his high school students
make a video. That reminded me of a video project that my students and I
did twice here at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Granted, at the
university level, I have free access to video equipment, editing
equipment, special effects, and the technical personnel to help me with
this endeavor. (I was surprised to hear about how 'unused' these
resources were, though)

The project we undertook was..... a fashion show! Students were in their
first year of instruction and were learning verbs of wearing (there are
many in Japanese). I combined this lesson with colors, materials, and
clothing. Students could speak at the low to mid-intermediate range,
talking about themselves, speaking in discrete simple sentences. I
thought that if students were to write a narration that described
themselves it would be practice into 'connected discourse.'

Here's what we did: after a carefully planned, sequenced lesson, I
introduced the idea of doing a video-taped fashion show. Students then
brainstormed on any outfit (of their own) that they would like to model.
They also had to come up with an appropriate occasion for the outfit and
try to tie it in with some aspect of themselves (either their interest,
hobbies, work, or career goals). Students eventually came up with a
narration that introduced themselves and their outfits. (something like
'The first model is John Doe. He is a student of XX school. He spends
his free time surfing. Today, he is modeling an outfit suited to surfing
at Hawaii's beautiful beaches. He is wearing.....)

Now comes the modeling. I arranged to use the studio on campus for 2
hours. In place of one class meeting, I had students come to the studio
to model. Luckily, I've had students who either were models or had
modeling experience. They could help out the others with how to walk,
where to stand, etc. Filming could be done out of order since it would
be edited later on. There was one technical person there to handle all
cameras (from one place). We also thought of some finale in which I
would appear.

After that, most of the work was for me. I selected segments that I
wanted to include in the final video, then came in to do editing (or
gave the in and out times of those segments to our editor). Since I knew
the length of each segment, I could tell students to practice reading
their narrations to fit that time limit. Usually I found that students
wrote more than they could say in the time they were modeling. Anyway,
in the past I've come in to do the narrations (speaking *very* fast),
but once I had a student who didn't want to do the modeling, so she did
the narrations for me. After that, we'd just choose some good music and
mix that in with the narrations.

The first year I did this, narrations weren't really up to par since we
didn't have a good model, but the second year, I could introduce the
'clothing' lesson with the video (using activities that fostered
interactive viewing and listening) and we could come up with some really
great narrations.

In the first video, I appeared as a cleaning lady after the 'big fashion
show.' In the second one, I came out with the other 'models' as their
fashion designer. Then some second-year students volunteered to appear
as gangsters and..... well I hate to tell you what happened.

Students and teacher a like really enjoyed these projects.

Laura Kimoto


95/10 From -> Jo Benn <>
Subject: Re: Activity that Works: Making a Video...

Making a fashion video has been discussed at the high school and college
levels. I just wanted to add that I have done this at the middle school
level with great success as well. Our method was not nearly as polished
as Laura's. Each student wrote a narration to fit his outfit and a
partner read it while he was modeling. There was no editing. The kids
loved it and I used it as an assessment tool in place of a test or quiz.
Just shows that many ideas can be used with all ages of students.

Jo Benn

4. Native games.

96/11 From-> Timothy Mason <>
Subject: Re: Query about French board games

John Duclos says he would appreciate any information about the kind of
board games or other games (other than petanque) that French children or
adults play.

Two popular card games are Belotte - which figures largely in Marcel
Pagnol's films - and Tarot Both are variants on the whist/bridge kind of
game, although Tarot is played with a special pack, with one more court
card - the 'cavalier' or knight - and an extra suit - trumps - which is
derived from the Tarot pack used for divining the future. I believe that
the rules for both these games can be found in Hoyle's.

As for board games, an old favourite is le Jeu de L'oie, which is, I
think, rather like snakes and ladders. Many American board games, such
as that old favourite, Monopoly, are also played. Yams, or yahtzee, dice
games with complex scoring systems, are also quite popular.

Instead of playing petanque, you could, in the South-West, play Pelotte
Basque, which is a vigourous version of fives played with a kind of
scoop attached to the hand. And, of course, there are the three forms of
football - le jeu de treize, le jeu de quinze and le football
(English-rules, I'm glad to say, and not that dreadful travesty of a
game that passes under that name in the USA)

Best wishes
Timothy Mason

5. Puppetry and dolls.

Subject: Re: Directions for Paper Puppets

Another type of material for puppets is an old tennis ball. Once the
mouth is cut the danger is over. Use yarn, paste/glue on funny faces or
magic markers for eyes, nose , hair. The neat thing about the tennis
ball puppets is that the kids can actually make the mouth move fairly
true to form. This idea comes from Kris Wells( who,
along with her French cohort is a fountain of L2 ideas.
I've also made puppets from small paper lunch sacks using the above
ancillary materials for faces, hair, etc. My only objection to the paper
sack puppets is the noise they make as they are being used.

Bob Hall


95/11 From-> Deborah Lynn Smith <>
Subject: Re: Request for Elem/French ideas

I think I might have an idea that might work for your students. This
method utilizes puppets! My French professor at the university which I
attend used two puppets, named Mi-Mi and Mo-Mo, as instructional and
visual aids for our French 101 class with very enthusiastic results!
They were created by his wife, a true French citizen, for use with young
American children in their first year of learning the language. They
appeared like something out of Sesame Street, complete with fake fur,
long skinny arms and an accessory pack to boot; filled with hats, shoes,
clothes, etc... He used the puppets to illustrate the usage of gender,
vocabulary, French culture, and all sorts of grammar! His ideas were
endless and we were totally captivated - we, adults - so you can see the
potential with younger children. Of course, it is helpful if you are a
bit of a ham and it isn't even a requirement to know any ventriloquism.
All that you have to do is create a lesson plan and go with it!

Good luck, and I hope this will be helpful for you. Please let me know
if you have any success with this idea! Thanx.

Lynn Smith


95/12 From-> April Woods <>
Re: paper dolls

Where does one get the pattern for paper dolls? Do you make it
ourselves? Or, do we have the students do their own from scratch?

>References: <
> Re: Clothes
>I have been teaching Spanish in middle school for that last 21 years. Each
>year we, or shall I say, "they" make PAPER DOLLS to learn the different
>names for the clothing items. YES, even the boys!!!!! At first they seem quite
>reluctant having to make a "paper doll"; however, once they work on the
>project, the students really seem to enjoy it. We, too, have a style show....we
>use our "dolls" as our models. Each student must make at least ten different
>clothing items for his/her doll. I look forward to see

April Woods


97/07 From-> Jean & Will Bodle <>
Subject: Re: "hands-on" projects

A few ideas off the top of my head:

1. I am looking forward to starting the school year by having the kids
decorate book covers with designs from some of the native peoples of
central and south America in my Spanish classes. This was suggested
earlier this summer by someone (sorry, I don't remember who--on this

2. A project I like to do is to have kids make folded paper puppets and
then to use the puppets to "talk" to each other. It seems to help some
of the shy kids. (I got the idea at one of our district in-services a
few years ago. The puppets look a bit like the Muppets, and are cheap
and easy to make--but the kids do such creative things with them that I
really enjoy it. My directions MAY be here at home--I don't know if I
can describe it well enough to send to you via email, but let me know if
you're interested.0

3. There's always God's eyes and pinatas . . .

Jean Bodle


97/07 From-> Debby Eli <>
Subject: Re: "hands-on projects"

Jean's idea of paper puppets is great for the first couple weeks of
school (I'm thinking of those suddenly timid 9th graders saying "Who ME
speak Spanish in front of the class???) I have seen at a conference but
have never tried puppets made out of brown lunch bags. The kids use the
bottom of the bag as the head and decorate as they wish. Thanks Jean for
the idea!!

Debby Eli


97/07 From-> Diana Turner <umturne5@cc.UManitoba.CA>
Subject: Re: puppets and "hands on projects"

I too have had good success using puppets, in this case with reluctant
ESL speakers (late teens, early twenties). I did this late in the
semester after they had developed some trust in the classroom
atmosphere. We used some large "Muppet" style figures and they wrote and
role-played giving advice (using modals). All did well, and a couple of
students who were very self-conscious of their pronunciation loosened up
amazingly. We improvised a screen for them to work behind, and that gave
me an excuse to insist on projection. It's one of my best memories in
the classroom.

Diana Turner


97/07 From-> Janice Miyata <>
Subject: puppet shows

I read Diana Turner's comments about puppet shows with interest. My
grade 11 (3rd year of high school in Canada) students wrote and
performed their own shows. They brought in their treasured stuffed
animals or puppets and we had a lot of fun with this. I found that even
the normally shy students loved it... they had so much more expression
in their voices and I'm sure it's because their faces were hidden.
We used the doorway for performances and the puppet "theatre" that I had
made when my own children were little. It consists of 2 tension curtain
rods and 2 cotton curtains. This can be rolled up and stored with my
posters in a very small space. Some groups designed their own
backdrops... sketches that could be pinned to the curtain. This whole
activity was a wonderful break to the normal classroom routine for so
many reasons. (My only regret is that I didn't videotape their shows!)

Janice Miyata

6. Scavenger (and other hunts).

95/10 From -> Connie Vargas <>
Subject: A Holiday Activity

Here is an activity which I got from a friend. I suggest that you use it
as a type of scavenger hunt. Have the students do it around school

1) Find someone of the target language or another language class to
identify the greeting. This could start some real positive interaction
between language groups. 2) Then ask family and (neighborhood) friends
for help. 3) Try other sources: library, Internet, different references.
Students report back to class their findings and compare and help each
other with the rest of the answers that remained unfound.

Sorry - no answer key, but you'll have to put your students to work!

Have fun,
Connie Vargas
Apple Valley High School

Christmas Matching
by Mary Young

Father Christmas is confused. The bags of gifts are mixed up and he
can't remember which countries to take them to. His only clue is the way
"Merry Christmas" is written on the packages. Can you help him sort
things out?


_____Sweden..................................1. Rettige Kerstdagen
_____Spain...................................2. Joyeux Noel
_____Wales...................................3. Nadolig Llawen
_____Italy...................................4. Buon Natale
_____France..................................5. Natal Mubarak
_____Germany.................................6. God Jul
_____Hawaii..................................7. Feliz Navidad
_____Denmark.................................8. Mele Kalikimaka
_____Portugal................................9. Frohliche Weihnachten
_____Japan..................................10. Kung Hei Shing Toan
_____China..................................11. Muzuri Noel
_____Flemish Belgium........................12. Boas Festas
_____Netherlands............................13. Kurisumasu Omedata
_____W. Pakistan............................14. Glaedelig Jul
_____Swahili-speaking children..............15. Zalig Kerstfeest
_____Korea..................................16. Noeliniz sen olsun
_____Philippines............................17. Srozhdestrom Kristovym.
_____Turkey.................................18. Chuk sung Tan
_____Ukraine................................19. Eku odum Ekun lyedun Oluwa ase odun
_____Nigeria................................20. Maligayang Bagong Taon


97/02 From-> "Diane M. Colozzi" <DCOLOZZI@WEBSECURE.NET>
Subject: My French Scavenger Hunt

Hi all,

I did a quick French Scavenger Hunt for those who are interested. You
can alter the beginning because I set it up from our school's web page.

1. va à
2. clique Academics puis Foreign Lang.
3. clique le drapeau français
4. clique Tenn Bob links
5. clique Art, Music, Film & General Culture
6. clique Centre Georges Pompidou
7. clique 20e anniversaire & écris le 3 dates des portes ouvertes
8. clique BACK à Tenn Bob
9. clique French Across the Curriculum
10. clique French Cuisine List Archives
11. clique Péiode du 31/01/97 au 05/02/97
12. clique Creme Au Beurre - how many eggs whites are needed in the recipe?
13. clique BACK à Tenn Bob
14. clique Virtual Francophone Tourism
15. clique A Paris of Two Lands
16. clique Paris USA - write down 6 US states that have Paris as a city
17. clique BACK à Tenn Bob
18. clique The French Language
19. clique French Grammar Topice Breakdown (86 links)
20. clique De Touristes Naifs! - do the exercise, check your answers, and
write them down.
21. clique BACK à Tenn Bob
22. clique Finding New Francophone Sites
23. clique Nouveantes - La Toile du Québec
24. clique Média et e-zines
25. clique e-zines
26. clique Acadie Ville Sans Frontières
27. clique Poèmes et Chansons
28. Write down the (bis) of the song "Des Champs et des Vallées"



97/04 From-> Elma Chapman <>
Subject: Re: Museum activity

If you are personally familiar with the museum's collection or can get
information from the museum in advance, you could plan a scavenger
hunt-type activity: ex.: What artwork is displayed to the right of
(Artwork X)? When was (Artwork X) completed? Which artwork is the
earlier piece, (Artwork X or Y)? Do you prefer (Artwork X or Y) and why?

Just some ideas. Can't say that I've tried them myself, but it might be

Elma Chapman


97/04 From-> anne lutkus <>
Subject: Re: Museum activity

I think museum scavenger hunts are great fun. I usually make up
questions that require the students to look closely at the artwork--what
color is Charlotte of France's headdress? what does Louis XIV have in
his right hand? you don't have to go to the Louvre to do French
art--most any local museum of some size will have a few things from many
periods. I've also done this sort of thing in the classroom--I put up a
lot of those postcards I buy in French museums (yes, IRS I use them for
teaching)and have the students look at them and answer questions about
them. it seems to interest them. Anne Lutkus


97/04 From-> Mary Young <>
Subject: Re: Museum activity

>Hola listeros:
>I am taking a small class (11) to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a field trip.
>Does anyone have any ideas of activities they can do at the museum that would
>involve viewing the art of El Greco, Goya, Velazquez, Zubaran, Murillo, Pablo
>Picasso and Juan Gris.

(1) a scavenger hunt: They are to identify by name (and painter) the
painting that includes:
- a small white dog in the background
- a girl with a black ribbon in her hair - a window looking onto a courtyard

(2) Write a short dialog that would be appropriate for the picture (one
of their choice, or 3, or a number of your choice.) Later (maybe while
waiting for the bus) they enact the dialog and have others guess which
picture it is. If it was a portrait, they could write an interior monolog:
Gee, this is so uncomfortable. I wonder when he's going to take a break
so I can put my face back together!

(3) Look for themes that show up through various artists.

(4) Imagine how the picture would be different if the artist and
subjects had lived in a different climate or time period.

(5) Write questions they could ask the painter or the people in the
picture. They don't have to know the answers.

(6) Buy a postcard of a picture they especially like and write about why
they like it.

(7) Choose one and research its historical significance, or significance
in the art world.

(8) Choose 3 (or more) and imagine that together they tell a story.
Write or enact that story.

(9) Write a description of the picture for a friend who can't see it.
Include the feelings it evokes, the sounds that might be present in the
actual scene, the aromas, etc. Later these can be read to the class for
them to guess the picture, or if you have reproduction of the pictures,
the students' writing could be printed and presented on a poster board
surrounding the repro. Nice Open House item, especially if you got
parental help to pay for the field trip.

(10) Imagine a conversation between yourself and any person in any of
the pictures. Write the dialog, including comments and questions to each

Hope this sparks some ideas.


7. Sports.

95/09 From -> "Donald E. Houghton Jr." <>
Subject: An 'Activity That Works'

>From Don Houghton/Tongues Untied

The following is from The Parker School, a new-this-year school in
Massachusetts affiliated with the Coalition of Essential Schools. The
teachers there are working hard to integrate the language program into
the life of the school; here's one way they're proposing to do it:

La Copa Parker (The Parker Cup): Soccer en Espanol

by Dave Berkley
Soccer (fútbol) is central to the cultural life of Spanish speaking
people across the world. When I asked my friend from Colombia what his
favorite sport was, he asked half-jokingly, "¿Hay otros deportes?" (Are
there other sports?). He told me that "el fútbol no es simplemente un
deporte; es una religión" (fútbol is not just a sport; it's a religion).
Last week during the 2:15 block around 20 Parker students and I began an
intramural fútbol league of teams representing Spanish-speaking
countries. Here's what it looks like so far.

Legua Centroamericana y Caribe (A-team advisories select one of these
Central American or Caribbean teams): Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras,
Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guatemala, México, Panamá, República

Legua Suramericana y Europea (B-team advisories select one of these
South American or European teams): Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia,
Ecuador, España, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Groups of 6-10 students will field a team representing the country of
their choice. If teams are small or when weather prohibits outdoor play,
we could play "fublito," a popular derivative of soccer played indoors
with smaller teams. Each team plays a number of regular season league
matches to determine the rankings for la Copa Parker tournament.

All communication on the field, and much communication off the field, is
in Spanish.

Besides playing soccer, a range of other duties will be required of each
group, for example:

* Teams will choose a mascot appropriate for the country that they
represent. This mascot must symbolize some aspect of the country's
distinctive identity or culture. For example, Los Gauchos de Argentina
or Los Quijotes de España. Students will also work on other branches of
this project that incorporate the history, culture, politics, geography,
economics, etc. of their country (any ideas?).

* Students will be reporters for the bilingual newspaper reporting on
matches and current events relevant to countries represented in the

* Student statisticians will assist reporters with player and team
statistics (averages, predictions, etc.).

* Students will serve as members of the league's governing body either
as representatives of their teams or as administrators for the league

I look forward to involving every Parker student with the league before
long, and thank the players who have given it a good start this week!

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