Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fortune Cookie Conversation

 This is a fun way that I have been practicing conversation skills.  I found a google image of fortune cookies, printed them, and glued 2 together (front to back) leaving a space in the middle and top with no glue.  I generated questions for my groups in several ways:  I picked topics, I generated questions, and I had the groups brainstorm questions. Each student or group has different goals, so I color code the questions (for my sanity).  I simply print, fold, and slip the questions into my fortune cookies.  So if you can picture it, the fortune cookies make a little pocket that I can place strips of paper in and reuse from session to session and year to year.  I have paper plates that the students can use too...just something to add something 'funny' that the kids like.  The students take turns picking fortune cookies and either asking their peer the question or reading the topic to the group.  Again, each group is different, so while some students need specific questions printed on the paper strips....other students might just have key words or topics and it is their job to formulate questions with correct word order, provide additional questions, etc. Note: Of course I used my iPad camera to take a snapshot of these fortune cookies!

How do I use the iPad for this activity?
  • Video: we often record our conversation and review it to ensure that everyone has stayed on topic and used appropriate eye contact/whole body listening.
  • More Buffet! (itunes link): After a successful round of conversation, we use More Buffet! The students need to pick as a group what country they would like to choose from (great opportunity for vocabulary development with country and food names).  Then we take turns picking or making items.  Of course they can NOT just pick an item by tapping it!  I have them either describe the item they want and the peer taps it...or one peer uses nonverbal communication to indicate what they want (Peer 1 points to items, Peer 2 shakes their head yes/no).  We put all of our items on one plate (yeah, I know that could be icky), but we compare/contrast the items.  We also recall who ordered what and why they like that food.  Here are some screen shots of plates that my groups built. This is another way to practice...after you create the plate, take a screen shot to save them...nice for comparing/contrasting or writing a describing paragraph later!  Have the student construct sentences with their target, for example: conjunctions.  They must tell sentences using but/because/so/etc.  "I ordered a beef taco, but the shell broke!"  "I ordered a triple cheeseburger because I am very hungry!"

This activity is a great example of how the iPad is just part of the equation and even when we use the iPad, there are always several other 'hidden' goals that the students often do not realize I am targeting!!!!

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