Over their heads…

Who isn’t looking for another vehicle for loading up your little darlings with Comprehensible Input? And one that’s Zero Prep? And fun to boot? I love this one because it makes us laugh and that’s exactly what we all need: more laughter in public education.

over their heads 2

This is an adaption of Cynthia Hitz’s Christmas game.  The teacher describes a scene or story and students illustrate it on a mini whiteboard, while they are holding it above their head. They can’t see what they’re drawing and that’s what makes it ridiculously hilarious! True to CI form the teacher describes slowly and comprehensibly repeating each section several times as students listen intently and demonstrate their comprehension by drawing. Eventually the teacher gives the sign, they look at their masterpieces and dissolve into giggles. Then the teacher retells it while the students point out that part in their illustration. And of course the teacher showcases some particularly funny drawings to show the rest of the class, pointing and narrating in slow and comprehensible language. Then they erase their boards and start over.

I love this one when my students are sleepy or not very cooperative. You know when you’re asking a story and they’re just dead!? Just switch gears and you make up the story and they demonstrate their comprehension by illustrating.

This one is also great when you need to change the classroom mood. Once I had a little darling who had the tendency to get easily frustrated and had a hard time self-regulating which sometimes sent him into a self-destructive spiral… leaving his classmates on edge and his teacher wondering: what should we do next while he’s sobbing  in his seat and everyone else is trying to politely ignore it? This! After a few minutes he couldn’t help but join in the fun… and 5 minutes later was giggling and drawing away. (After class I checked in with his mom and she asked him about Spanish class. He didn’t mention the paper ripped to shreds, the tears or the pencil he jabbed in his eye, he told her “it was really fun. We drew on our heads”) So moral of the story, when nothing is going right, give this one a shot!

We might be doing it too much in my classes lately: you’ll notice the collective groan in video 1 when I told them we’re drawing on our heads again today! But just wait, their giggles are golden!

Want to watch? Over their heads.png(This is just to catch your attention, you can’t really click on it to play because I’m cheap and didn’t upgrade to the Fancy Shmancy Blog Platform…but you can click the links below to watch!)

Here are my little darlings in Spanish 2.

And here are my precious Spanish 1s.


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