World Language Classroom: End of Year Fun
I love teaching languages. There are so many things we can do in the world language classroom to bring our lessons to life. With that said, the end of the year can be hard for students to stay focused. Below are some fun activities for your world language classroom to try during this end of the year period.
A Tour of My House
Inspired by @irishpolyglot @bennylewis and his apartment tours- a fun project for the end of the year.
The student gave us a video tour of their house, a dream house or a celebrity’s house.
OR The student gave us a photo or drawing of a house and described it in the target language without notes.
At least five rooms were described and shown. Your presentation should answer the following questions:
What does your house look like?
What things are in your house?
What do you do in the different parts of your house?
What do you like most about your house?
Use your phone, or put your photos on a Google Slide and narrate it with the app Fishbole.
Students select a certain number of songs (you decide) that represent them. They might select their own anthem, their favorite song, their outer self, their early childhood, their future- you pick the categories.
For each song, they write an explanation of why they chose the song they did in the target language. These are great for exploring culture in the world language classroom.
Rose, Thorn and Bud
I love roses, and find so much inspiration in them.
For this activity, every student shares a rose (something great), a thorn (something difficult) and a bud (something to look forward to) in the target language.
This works best as an icebreaker in the world language classroom. However, if you teach the novice level, this activity will be something to work up to later in the year. It also serves as a nice review of vocabulary and structures before the end of the year.
I love to take students for a walk outside for a change of pace and some movement. They must speak the target language the entire time. When we return we discuss and journal about what we saw.
Myself, Inside and Outside
Students can take or use a selfie to start. They must also select three images that represent them on the inside. They must then present these photos and describe why they selected these photos in the target language.
I allow them to do their presentations from their phones. They can also create a presentation and upload it to Fishbole.
Students can also do their own drawings- a good option for our artists.
I learned this activity my first year teaching from an excellent world language teacher. Essentially, you blow bubbles and give students a task. They might count the bubbles in the target language, or conjugate verbs before the bubbles are gone.
The more bubbles you have, the better. Students can pair up, taking turns blowing bubbles and completing the task you give.
Popular Sayings and Idiomatic Expressions
One of the hardest, yet most relevant things we can learn in the world language classroom are popular sayings and idiomatic expressions.
I love writing out 10-15 proverbs, idiomatic expressions and/or popular sayings in one column, and then their equivalents in English, or in other words in the target language, for more advanced students. They’ll do a lot of thinking, discussing and making connections.
It is great fun to go over the answers. I love to include lots of relevant, real-life expressions (i.e. text abbreviations).
Writing cards is a great way to practice authentic communication in a new language, as well as develop a positive mindset.
I like to have students select a person (real, famous or fictional), creation (i.e. film, gadget, song, etc.) or something from nature. Write a detailed thank you card. We display them on a board for all to read.
I love to give change of pace activities at the end of the year. One of my very favorites is Nature Scenes.
So many students are so good at drawing, and really enjoy doing it. After introducing or reviewing basic vocabulary words to talk about nature, students create a scene. They can draw, photograph or make something 3-D to represent the words.
This is especially fun to do outside when the weather permits.- a nice change in the world language classroom.
As a language teacher, I draw lots of my inspiration from places you’d expect, like the research and successful polyglots, but I love being inspired in less obvious places.
I live near London, where the cab drivers are super knowledgeable about the city and can be chatty. In Taxi Cab, divide your class into teams. Students take turns being drivers and passengers. and must speak the target language (they can talk about anything) until they reach their destination. When everyone gets to the destination, debrief about the things said.
I love to give change of pace activities for the end of the year. Some ideas:
Group Graffiti: Students work in groups to illustrate or paint a scene described in the target language.
Storyboard: Illustrate a story read in the target language and present/narrate it.
Draw What Your Partner Describes: Exactly what it sounds like- students describe scenes to one another in the target language while one draws, and then they check for accuracy.
What We Love Graffiti
I am always looking for ways to make the end of the school year a little more fun for me and the kids. To that end, we will do What We Love Graffiti.
Using butcher paper (or a digital version that can be written on), cut out a giant heart. In the target language, everyone contributes something to the heart by writing a sentence about something that they love in the target language (i.e J’adore les raisins. or Me encanta ir a la playa.). This is a fun presentational writing activity that can be used at many levels. It is also fun to learn about what other people love.
While coffee is generally not served in classes, sitting around for a visit with something to drink and snack on is one of the best ways to practice language skills. Advanced classes can make the conversation flow, but less-skilled speakers can also practice, too. I love to host guest speakers from the Spanish-speaking world.
Don’t have a special guest? Let students bullet point topics out. Join a table and speak. Switch to a new group when you hear a signal from the teacher.
Does your school allow devices? I recently discovered Quizlet Live. Quizlet has vocabulary sets from many themes and textbooks. Quizlet Live can make it a live competition and students can use their own devices to log in with a QR code. They are automatically divided into teams to play the vocabulary matching games. Engaging and fun!
Students can’t use their own devices? They can also use any laptop and use a number code from Quizlet to join the game.
Make comic strips for some EOY fun learning in class. Check out https://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Comix/ to get started.
What do you do in your world language classroom for a change of pace at the end of the year?
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