A guided writing activity to follow up short readings in class

Over the summer I have enjoyed teaching a Spanish class for beginners. We met for an hour each day online and our goal was to thoroughly acquire the Sweet Sixteen verbs. At this point, we are able to have conversations about the characters from the clips of films that we see in class. Today in class I read a story from the CI Master Class Library, and I would like to share the video so that you can see the no-prep, guided writing activity that we did at the end. As I rewatched the video I was happy to hear a student correctly using the imperfect tense because she has been exposed to rich input for the past six weeks. Use the link above to see the video or read the written description of the lesson below.

Master Class subscribers and their students have full access to our expanding CI Master Class library online, which includes comics, short stories, novels and non-fiction texts. The new student passwords for the 2023-24 school year are now posted (click here). Use the library in class, like I do, and let your students use it outside of class too.

Here is the outline of our class session in case you want to skip ahead. The lesson is designed to give five distinct activities that use and recycle language from the story:

0:00 – 7:00 I read the story with few interruptions. With adolescents I would often go back and ask questions paragraph by paragraph to make sure they understood, but with this class I was pretty confident they would understand almost everything.

7:00 – 8:40 Answer student questions about the text

8:40 – 11:45 Answer comprehension questions in large group format. With teens I would have them write their answers first to give everyone time to process the questions.

11:45 – 15:25 Use the Word Wall to guide more conversation about the story. I often ask more open-ended questions with the word wall projected against the screen as a scaffold and we start to use our imaginations to go ‘a step further’. To do this, ask questions that have no explicit answer in the text and then point at your head and say “Imagination!”

15:25 – 24:50 Guided Writing Activity using all of the Sweet 16 verbs. Once again, this does not have to be a summary. At 24 minutes, listen as my student so naturally says “tenía miedo, pero se pone feliz…” . There was no pause as she tried to conjugate verbs in her head, it just flowed out naturally the way it should after a lot of rich but comprehensible input.