Activity: Write a story without using pronouns.
The cognitive tool of play is when while having fun, you are learning without limitations or expectations.
I am trying to help students conjugate Spanish verbs in the present tense. In order to do this, students must understand subject/verb agreement. While this may be easy when the subjects are named, it is hard for students to use subject pronouns in Spanish for reasons I’ve already discussed in this class. When I introduce subject pronouns in Spanish class, I usually give an example of speaking without using pronouns and how silly I sound. I tell them, “Mrs. White’s class doesn’t talk like Elmo (from Sesame Street) because Mrs. White’s class would sound pretty silly if Mrs. White’s class didn’t use any pronouns.”
As I thought about this introduction, I wondered how I could incorporate play into it. It wasn’t difficult to come up with the idea of having the students write a story without using pronouns. It’s an activity that I think would be super fun and my students would get a kick out of it. There would be no expectations, they won’t be graded on it, but they get to share a part of their creativity they usually don’t get to express in my class. At the same time, it opens a dialogue about subject pronouns and what they are.
Students will have the opportunity to share their stories with a small group or with the class. I think this will get the students laughing and enjoying the absurdity of language through play.