Thursday, April 26, 2012

Turistas (communicative activity)

Wow, it has taken me forever to finish writing about the activities from the numbers/Spain unit that I wanted to share!  This one is my favorite by far, and also a student favorite, which is always exciting.  Half of the students are "tourists" visiting Toledo, Spain and the other half are "tour guides" with information about famous sights in the city.  Each "tour guide" stands in a certain spot in the classroom and the "tourists" work their way around the room "visiting" different sights.  Halfway through, we switch roles so everybody gets to be a "tourist" and everybody gets to be a "tour guide".

My students get really excited when it's their turn to be "tour guides". The "tour guides" each have a card with a color picture of their designated sight on the front and a copy of a real tourist information sheet that I got when I visited Toledo.  Many of them get really into their role and do a great job of "marketing" to the tourists by calling out the name of their place, holding up the picture, etc.

front of a "tour guide" card
Information sheet on the back of each "tour guide" card
When the "tour guides" talk to a tourist, they hold up the card so the tourist can see the front of the card and they can see the information on the back.  Information about their place is highlighted so they can find it easily.  They have to use this information to answer questions from the tourists in Spanish.  Since all numbers are written numerically on the information sheet, the tour guides have to really use their numbers vocabulary (plus all the extra cultural concepts we've learned, such as how to say phone numbers, how to read 24-hour times, and how to say prices) as they give the information.

Here's the original information sheet with no highlighting, in case you want to use it!
The "tourists" have a table with all the questions to ask at the top and rows to fill in information as they visit each place.  They get to record the numbers numerically, which means they have to understand everything their tour guide tells them.  Since these are all useful questions that they might have to ask while traveling or planning a trip, it's really authentic listening and speaking practice.

In addition to being a fun activity because it gets the students out of their seats and interacting authentically, this activity is usually one of the most-repeated answers to "Which activities helped you LEARN the most?" on our end-of-unit survey.

I've created a similar activity for my 6th graders with places around Quito, Ecuador.  (It's a little simpler because they don't learn how to tell time, but it works the same way.)  It takes a little research to create for a place you haven't visited personally, but many cities now have tourist resources posted on their websites that could be used as the basis for activities like this.

1 comment:

  1. It's such a terrific activity, Jennifer, & as authentic as you can make it without actually being there. What a lot of work you put into it. As they tell you, it must be a lot of fun for the students. I think this could be adapted in many ways. Thanks for all the details you shared.


Comments make me happy and I'd love to hear from YOU! :-)