One of the ways that I like to develop the writing skills of my students is by creating circular stories. Circular stories are ones where the plot becomes interlinked so that the endings leads back to the beginning. These are pretty simple to set up and seem to be a perfect fit when you are teaching “si” clauses in the upper language levels.
I like to use the idea of circular stories because it gives my students an opportunity to put on their creative hats and it really lets my students practice the conditional tense in a different way, asking them to create meaning in their own way. Students add some creative design and color to the story. The stories make a great bulletin board display and really let you showcase the great things that are happening in the classroom!
To get this lesson rolling, start out by reading the Spanish version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. You can use the Elmo projector or if you have a small class, sit down and have a little reading session in a cozy corner or quiet area of your school.
image found at: http://rif.scholastic.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/300x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/1/3/13160.jpg
After reading the story with your students, have some conversation with your students about the literary technique of a circular story, and what makes this a circular story. Do students know any other circular stories? (This sort of conversation leads to valuable cross curricular connections!) Chances are the students are very familiar with this little book, and will be able to tell you about the story and will be very excited when you tell them they will be constructing their own.
I model the expectations of the assignment with the students with an example of my own that I share with you below:
Si tocas una trompeta con un tigre por la Sra. Leidolf
Si tocas una trompeta con un tigre, escucharás más música.
Si el tigre escucha más música, querrá aprender del artista.
Si aprende más del artista, le gustará viajar al extranjero.
Si viaja al extranjero, visitará las ciudades del artista.
Si el tigre visita las ciudades del artista, aprenderá el español.
Si el tigre aprende el español, le interesará la música mariachi.
Si le interesa la música mariachi, querrá tocar la trompeta otra vez.
Feel free to take your kids to a multimedia lab or grab some laptops where the students can do their creating online! You can use any word processing program and students can even create their own drawings using a Paint program or Web 2.0 tools. Some students may want to draw their own, or take pictures and import their own works.
To assess this activity, you can use one of your Presentational Speaking rubric that already use. Students really enjoy creating and sharing these short circular stories with you and their classmates!