Here’s an activity that I do in class once or twice a trimester and it’s usually is a favorite. I heard about it at a conference session and have loved it ever since. It works like this. Put a list of any 5 words or phrases that relate to what you are learning on the overhead. Get students into groups of 4-5. Their job is to create a skit using ONLY these words you put up in front of the room and they have to be used in the SAME order. Here’s an example of one I use in the first few weeks of level one.
Here’s the kicker. Give them a supply of random props and only 5 minutes to prepare. You’ll have to remind them that they can’t add anything or change the order because they always try to make it more complicated. Here are some of the crazy things I have in my prop box.
What would you do? How could you make these 5 random pieces of language come together in a real situation? Take a second and get creative!
I always show an example with a student so they can get some inspiration. Here’s how I did it. I picked the craziest girl in class as my partner. She stormed through the door as I’m working on my computer. I say “¿Cómo estás? and she rolls her eyes like a diva. I help her set up a pose as if she is a model and fix her hair a little. She says “Gracias”. I step back get out my camera (phone) and say “Uno, dos, tres…” and she sneezes as I take the picture. I yell “¿Por qué?” as if I’m so frustrated that she ruined the shot and she comes over and looks at the pic and say “Me gusta mucho.”
This activity is so great to use when the phrases are new and they need a context to help remember them. Plus, most novice level students could never create a whole on their own. This setup helps them learn to link these phrases to an situation that makes it real for them. Truly, any phrases/words will work and in the 5 skits you will watch in class it’s hilarious how different each group can make it. If you read Kara’s “phrase of the week” post, I would say this is a great place to use that new phrase as well.
All in all, this “5 phrase skit” takes about 10-12 minutes but gets students working together, using the language, and having a lot of fun at the same time. Hope your students like it!