I had a blast at the 2018 MITTEN CI Conference! I could be vlogging all day for months from the bucket of bounty I scammed while in Ann Arbor if it weren’t for my day job and unwavering student loans. #DonorsChoose?

The first item I’d like to share was jacked from an amazing comprehensible input workshop entitled ‘A Picture Prompts a Thousand Words’. Justin Slocum Bailey of IndwellingLanguage.com had so much to offer, as always, and I think I might have walked away with my new favorite Get Your Butts Moving Activity! It’s hard to commit, but sometimes you just gotta follow your heart.

For my best explanation, just watch the game and PictureTalk video. For the technical stuff, which is just my way and can be changed, here ya go:

Before the Activity:

  1. I searched for cultural pictures and art that contained people or other living things. The pictures can be related to your current benchmarks and curriculum, or just go crazy with untargeted input. I selected a variety of pictures from different Spanish speaking countries, time periods, and artistic styles. The first, however, was a screengrab from Fortnite Battle Royale. We’ve gotta meet them where they’re at! Or, as Justin Slocum Bailey would say, “It’s disingenuous for teachers to tell students that we need to get to know other cultures, and then not let them get to know the students right next to them.”
  2. I created a Keynote presentation that alternated between slides with numbers and slides with pictures. If a picture had 5 people in it, the slide before the picture had the number of people needed in each group to prepare the students.
  3. I selected some reggaeton music that shouldn’t ever be translated.
  4. I prepared myself for the PictureTalk after the activity which would use the same images. You could also prepare a MovieTalk while keeping all other variables the same. Just create screengrabs of the movie ahead of time, and students will be recreating poses of the characters they will soon meet. 

During the Activity:

  1. We cleared some space. Deskless classroom teachers be like, “Check!”
  2. I explained the rules of the game. These might change if you’re just using this for a Brain Break, if you don’t feel the need to make it a competition, or if you simply have a better way than everyone else for everything. Whatever. 
    1. Dance or walk in a circle to the music.  
    2. Form groups when a number appears on the screen. It’s okay to have one larger or one smaller group.
    3. Watch for a picture to appear.
    4. Recreate the picture with your bodies.
    5. Freeze when the music stops and stay frozen until you have been evaluated.
    6. Remember how many points you have.  
  3. I danced with them, ran the presentation, counted down, paused the sound, gave points, and repeated.
  4. We ended this activity with a PictureTalk using the same images and presentation, or perhaps I should say that we prepared for a PictureTalk with this activity… You do you.

Reflections:

  • The kids really loved this activity, and entertainment value ranks high on my personal teaching philosophy list.
  • I noticed an increase in participation during the PictureTalk when paired with this community building experience. #SafetyFirst
  • I really need to get a presentation remote to change the slides; preferably one like Carol Gaab’s!
  • We need to dance more.
  • Talking about Fortnite is the key to buy-in. Well, at least this for this semester.
  • I don’t always need to teach an in-depth cultural unit with all 5 Cs to transfer some knowledge and appreciation. Cultural pop-ups are invariably valuable.

Have fun, and stay-tuned. 

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