We like to talk about our weekends or breaks when we get back to class, but sometimes my students get bored with the same ol routine. (Ok, to be honest, I get bored.) Our brains crave novelty. Who said that? Was it Susie Gross? Here are a few ways we change up our “What did you do over the weekend?” routine.
Muévete si…. Move if…
It’s easy and requires no prep at all. (Score!) I use this activity often to ask about other things (not just weekend) but it works really well on a Monday morning when they’re exhausted and would rather be in bed. The teacher says Move if you went shopping this weekend <pause to give everyone a chance to comprehend the statement> five…four…three…two…one! Students listen to the statement, and move to an empty chair if it applies to them during the count down. Remember to speak slowly and use words they know or use the whiteboard to define new words. . I count down from five to one pretty quickly just to add to the general sense of panic and pandemonium. It’s more fun that way. Ba ha ha ha! Here’s a video of this activity with my Spanish 2s.
This one takes a bit more work but they get a lot of input out of it and it’s a game as well. Make a list of things people may have done over the weekend or during Christmas vacation (or Spring Break or whatever!) Students work with a partner to translate all the options, then guess which student did each option. They write 1 name in each space. Then afterwards, students trade and grade papers. The teacher facilitates the discussion by asking the questions Who played in the snow during February Break? Students who did raise their hand while everyone “corrects” the paper in front of them. At the end, the student(s) with the most correct guesses wins!
Thumbs up/ thumbs down-
The teacher just asks questions about their weekend: Who went to the movies this weekend? A student raises their hand to indicated that they did, in fact, go to the movies this weekend. The teacher asks some follow up questions: Oh really…what movie did you see? Then gives the student a thumbs up–indicating the student to tell the truth OR a thumbs down– to indicate the student should lie. It’s pretty hilarious. (This is also really funny to do when you’re reviewing a novel or when we’re reviewing the deliciously dramatic Gran Hotel)
¡Yo también! ¡Mentiroso!
Sometimes I’m feeling a bit obnoxious (or my kids are asleep on a Monday morning and I owe it to them to wake them up so they can acquire all kids of Spanish) So I’ll write a phrase on the board like ¡Yo también! (Me too!) and explain that the students should listen carefully because if the student speaking says something that you also did during the weekend, you should stand up, yell ¡Yo también!, run to him, give him a high five and exclaim ¡Chócola! (High five!) The first person that high fives the speaker gets a point. (It’s easiest to hand the winner something like a poker chip, paper clip, post-it, whatever as a record of their points). Other times I’ll encourage them to holler ¡Mentiroso! if they suspect their classmate is lying to us. (Of course that becomes the game, much like 2 truths and a lie but without any lying limits!) Or, especially in my Ones, I’ll tell them all about my weekend and encourage them to detect my lies by exclaiming, ¡Lo dudo!
I haven’t done this one after a vacation, but today both Eve and Rita Barrett told me that they used this activity after a week off and reported that it worked well! This one is another game that gives them a ton of input although it requires a bit more prep work. The teacher basically lists out things s/he did over break and students have to guess if it’s true or false. Here are more detailed instructions for Cierto/Falso
*Bonus idea* Google Forms-
I just thought of another fun way to chat about their weekends, having them take a survey on Google Forms, then projecting the results for all to see. Here’s the blog post about it!