Wednesday, June 13, 2012

¡Vamos de compras!

Since my 6th & 7th grade programs are eliminated and I won't even be teaching Spanish anymore, I'm going to try to share a whole bunch of my favorite activities from those programs over the summer.

A favorite activity that I've done with several different topics (food and school supplies, and I can also see it being done easily with clothing, although I never got around to it!) is shopping / the marketplace.  It's just what it sounds like -- our classroom becomes a live marketplace or store where the kids buy and sell plastic realia (and pictures of items when I don't have enough!).  For money, I invested in a lovely set of fake-but-authentic-looking euros and the kids LOVED using them!  In addition to authentic money, there are several opportunities to weave culture into this activity, such as markets / small shops, cultural icon stores like El Corte Inglés, how to say prices, and even exchange rates.
two 7th-graders interacting at a "school supply shop"
Some students volunteer to be "shop owners" -- responsible for setting up their "store", handing items to the "customers" when they ask for them (listening), telling customers the cost of their items (speaking), and making change (life skill!).  To create several stations, I categorized the items into several specialty "shops" (bakery, fresh fruits & vegetables, butcher shop, dessert shop, etc.), giving each "shop" a big bag with their items to sell, signs, and money to make change. (Small shops are a cultural element common in Spanish-speaking countries anyway, but you could make specialized areas of a large store, depending on your situation.) Many of "shop owners" get into their role so enthusiastically that they'll "advertise" for their store, yelling our items and prices in the TL to attract more "customers"!

The other students are "customers", who have to make a shopping list on a budget (writing & life skill!), ask for the items they want (speaking), and pay the correct amount of money when asked (listening).  If they're interested, I try to let the shop owners swap with a customer partway through, so they can experience both roles.

While this activity tends to be SO engaging that some kids will try to slip into English more than usual at first, it's awesome once everyone gets going in the TL (like always, close monitoring is the key!).  The best part is when those super-enthusiastic students dive thoroughly into their role and start telling the "English-sneaking" kids "I don't speak English"!

I love it because it creates a completely authentic way to use language, plus the chance to "experience" some of those cultural elements!  As for the kids, they rush around with sparkling eyes and always list it as one of their favorite activities.

1 comment:

  1. Es una cosa hermosa cuando se puede seguir diciendo que los estudiantes poner esta actividad en la lista de favoritos. Creo que para la final debe crear algo así como un objetivo, más cosas - alimentos, ropa, y así sucesivamente. Usted hace las cosas tan divertido Jennifer,! ¡Gracias!


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