Creative way to change seats in the WL class by using cultural realia

Creative way to change class seats by using cultural realia

I'll admit, I really suck at changing seats. I really get so used to where students are sitting that usually don't change seats. However, they always complain because they'd like to move around. Point taken! Last year, I'd have them move seats and ask questions that were similar to that of a personal interview. If you want to learn more about Personal Interviews, check out
So year, I am adding to this protocol. In addition to the run-of-the-mill meet and greet, I found a new fun way to move seats, keep students in the TL and add a bit of culture to the mix. 

Postcards from Spain (or any culture)
 I am using these postcards that I purchased in Spain for organizing seats. If you've traveled and have a few, great. If not, you can download pictures from the internet to match the theme that you are teaching (see some online printouts below). 

How to use them? 

I bought 6 of each type of post card. Most of them have food or is a picture of a monument. I will write a description on the back of the card, have it laminated (or you could just tape laminate, I did this last year). 

Check out the example below: 

Postcard frontal view                                      
                                                               Backside view with text
Click for printable postcards online

I will post several more examples in the next few weeks. Here is how I am planning on using this activity: 

* I would do this activity the second time you have to change seats so that students have some vocabulary under their belt for the activity. 

1. You'll have to have a set of about 30 cards. My classes are usually around 32 students. 

2. Make sure you have at least 6 different cards in the stack. 

3. Pass them out to students as they come into the class. I like to have the instructions projected or written on the board. This activity may be best for Spanish 2+, but you can do Spanish 1 and just have students look at the picture and make comments in addition to introducing themselves. 

4. If you keep the same cards all year long, you can have students share out the first time. However, if you change with the unit like I do, I have them share out all the time. 

Activity 1: Bringing it all together 

Personal questions first (depending on level)
Seat moving questions for Spanish 1 (after the first unit). 

¿Cómo te llamas?
¿Cuántos años tienes? 
¿De dónde eres? (I have them choose a country in the beginning of the year)
¿Cuál es tu color favorito?
¿Tienes máscota?
¿Cuál es tu clase favorita?

The questions get progressively more challenging as they go up the proficiency ladder. 

Modifications for the busy teacher

If you don't have time to write a blurb, have students do a general "describing" activity. For example, you can print out pictures of a famous Spanish-speaking soccer team and have students write descriptions. Remember, you can personalize this to whatever vocabulary you are teaching, the unit or even a review.  

Thank you for reading!

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