Right now we’re near the end of our unit on families. I could have ended the unit already and moved us onto new material because we’ve “covered” and even reviewed pretty much everything.
At this point though, they’re most immediately familiar with the language of the unit and most able to use it. So we’re at a fantastic place for really interactive, “authentic” (I hate that word, but you know what I mean) communication practice.
Today I showed the students a sketch of my family. We’re talking stick figures. I labeled each stick figure with the person’s first name. We then used it in a two-step process: 1) “Who’s this?” and 2) writing a report.
First I had the class ask me, “Who is Amy?” and such. I answered, “She’s my sister.” Then I divided the class into Group A and Group B; A asked the question and B answered, “She’s Emily’s ___.”
Next, we used the information to write a report on the board using have and has. “Emily has one sister. She has two parents….” and so on.
Then, we basically repeated this process, but in pairs and with students’ sketches of their own families.
It went great. They learned about each other’s families and they even helped each other with the grammar. They were using the material we’d been working on and they were really communicating with each other. I couldn’t have been happier.