click here IMG_2562[1]This activity is painstaking to prepare so I tend to save it for special evenings like the last lesson of a program but it’s always a success so the preparation time is well worth it.  It also brings together verb tenses and vocabulary covered in a given course with a focus on the time of day. The idea came to me from a game we used to play when we were very young, a game in which one child would draw the head and neck of a funny creature then fold the page down just enough to cover the image. The next child would draw the torso, folding down the paper again before passing it onto the third child who would add the legs and feet.  The paper would then be unfolded and, to roars of five-year-old laughter, the crazy creature would be revealed. Here’s how my Spanish class adaptation goes.IMG_2565[1]

here First, type out a page with the heading ‘Un día en la vida de’, leaving space for the students to write their names.  Add another line with ‘la fecha’, leaving another space for a specific date (either chosen by you or drawn out of a envelope by the students).  On the left hand side of the page, type ‘a las siete de la mañana’, ‘desde las nueve hasta las once de la mañana’, ‘al mediodía’, ‘desde la una hasta las cuatro de la tarde’, ‘a las seis de la tarde’ and ‘desde las siete hasta las once de la noche’, making sure to leave room enough for two or three sentences between each time slot.  Make as many copies of this page as you need. Then place a blank sheet of paper on top of the printed page. You should be able to see through the paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a horizontal line on the blank page between the headings and where the list of times begin, cutting along that line so only the headings are visible. IMG_2572[1]On the remaining portion of the blank page, draw a vertical line down the left hand margin. Next, using the printed page underneath as a guide, draw a series of horizontal lines to accommodate each time slot and stopping at the margin. Then cut along those lines, forming strips which can open up as flaps.  Staple the blank page of strips to the printed page.  Each strip of paper should open up just to reveal that block of time.

follow url When it comes time to do the activity, pass out the pages, getting the students to write their names and their dates into the headings.  Then have them pass their page to the student to the left. It’s time to begin. Each student lifts that first flap of paper and describes what their classmate does at seven in the morning, using whatever verb tenses and vocabulary she likes. The idea is to be humorous and a little bit crazy. Remember I teach adults so I have had students drinking champagne in bed at seven in the morning or waking up in a nightclub, partying with celebrities at midday and telling their bosses what they really think.  The date at the top of the page will dictate weather, clothing and certain foods. Once everyone has filled in the first section for the student whose name heads the page, the flap gets folded down and the pages passed along to the next person.  No one knows what has been written before. Eventually when the pages have made it around the table, all the flaps get opened up and the crazy ‘day in the life’ of each student is revealed and read aloud to the class, usually to lots of laughter. Students can be as silly as they like with their descriptions.  My only rule is that they are respectful to their peers and don’t get too personal. And beware, this is fiddly to prepare.  For the first time in 20 years, I have a high school student preparing these sheets for me!  If you teach in a school setting, you could get the students themselves to take five minutes to cut and staple the top page to the printed handout before beginning the activity.

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