Creativity with formative assessments

“Human minds yield helplessly to the suction of story.”  We have movies, sitcoms, soap operas, music, novels, news and even social media as evidence of human minds being attracted to stories.  Leveraging stories in the context of learning a language makes perfect sense.

Teaching with stories has been such a powerful experience for my students.  Years later, students come back to visit me and have the ability to use the language they have acquired and retell me some of the stories told stories.

In a language learning classroom the stories are the things that engage the imaginations and foster interest.  The by-product of stories in the target language is the grammar and vocabulary that we want students to learn and acquire.  This happens overtime and there are no short cuts to acquiring a second language.  The story below is a resource I adapted from Bryan Kandel.  I adapted his future tense version to ir+a+ infinitive verb version with my level 1 students.


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Part 1 of formative assessment

After a week or so of using student actors and an embedded reading activity, I asked student to read a “high school essay” that was written by their teacher (me).  It is from the perspective an 18 year old that wants to be a rock star.  Once students internalized the story, they were ask to draw and prepare a typed final draft of the story, then change it from 1st person point of view to 3rd person point of view.

The final part of this project will be for students to reteach this story to their parents.

Mis planes para el futuro

Después de la graduación, yo voy a ir a la universidad.  En la universidad, voy a estudiar la música rock.  Dentro de cuatro años, voy a ser una estrella de rock.  Voy a tocar la guitarra a la perfección y voy a cantar con la voz de un ángel. Voy a tener una banda.  La banda se va a llamar Bucket of Blood.  Mi banda y yo vamos a viajar por todo el mundo.  Vamos a ser muy populares en China y Colombia y Canadá.  

Voy a vivir en una mansión y voy a tener un montón de carros.  También, voy a tener una esposa bonita.  Ella se va a llamar Destiny.  Ella va a entender cómo es la vida de una estrella de rock. Destiny y yo vamos a salir los fines de semana.  Vamos a ir al cine, a la discoteca y a la iglesia. Yo voy a ganar un montón de dinero.  Con el dinero, voy a comprar un delfín mecánico.  Voy a montar al delfín para ir a Puerto Rico.  


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Part 2 of formative assessment

Thanks to Bryan Kandel for such a wonderful story! Click to see the whole story with questions.

Bucket of Blood story with questions

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