I just started the family unit in my 1B class and day one called for a little TPRS action. I don’t do this a lot but it always works great when I do. Kara told me about Blaine Ray when I first started teaching. I love the idea but sometimes need to see it in action before I use it in class. I call this story “La familia feliz” and it is played out by the most unlikely characters! This is how my story goes, in the target language of course…
This is a story about a boy. He is a smart boy and very special, but he has NO friends. His name is Julio (he comes down in front of the class). It’s sad. Isn’t he a great boy? Well, one day Julio meets a new friend. Her name is Rosita. She is also very smart and very sweet, but she doesn’t really have any friends either. Well, now Rosita and Julio are friends. Julio is starting to notice his friend is very pretty. They go to college together and after college he decides that she would make a great wife. He buys a ring, gets down on one knee, and asks “Do you want to be my wife?” and she says… “Si”. How romantic! An applause!
After they become husband and wife, Rosita tells her husband some very good news. She is going to have a baby. She is going to be a mom and he will be a dad! 9 months later she goes to the hospital and has a little baby! It’s a boy! His name is…
The family grows with a few more kids and they grow up and have their own kids. The original couple becomes grandparents. Throughout the whole story I ask questions like… Is Rosita the wife or the girlfriend? Who is Juan’s aunt? Who is the grandpa in the family? How many sisters does Felipe have?
I have to be honest. I use props and they make the story really funny. I use…
- a few cheapy rings from the dollar store for proposals
- baby bibs that say funny things like “I love mommy”
- fake moustaches for when the babies grow up
- a tie for the sons as they start their job
- a hat and sunglasses for the daughter who lives in Florida
- an apron, tacky sweater, and walker for the grandparents
- a tennis ball and squeaky toy for the family pet
My goal for the day was that my students could list 10 members of the family in Spanish. After the story, almost all of them could do 10 and most could do more. We take a lot of pictures at the end and use them a few days later as continue talking about families. The big happy family from our Spanish class!