My best lesson - Try your luck by making Spanish fortune tellers

6th March 2015 at 00:00

Remember the fortune tellers we used to make out of paper, when fingers and thumbs were used for something other than texting and video games? My friends and I used to play with them for hours in the hope they would predict that we were destined to marry a pop star.

For the uninitiated, you would cut and fold a sheet of paper so that you had a "flower" you could open in two different directions. The player would pick options - such as numbers and colours - to select a particular "petal" and then read the "fortune" written underneath the flap.

I decided to use the same concept in my Spanish lessons. The children could make their own fortune tellers and in turn practise colours, greetings, numbers and questions about themselves.

The unit began with: Cmo te llamas? (What is your name?), Cuntos aos tienes? (How old are you?) and Qu tal? (How are you?).

I then told the children we were going to make a game to reinforce all the vocabulary we had learned over the past few weeks. I gave them each a piece of A4 paper and a pair of scissors and told them to copy me exactly.

I slowly dictated each instruction in Spanish while making my own fortune teller. The front four sections were assigned colours and the inside eight sections were given numbers. In the very centre, I asked the pupils to write questions and greetings.

Finally, I demonstrated how to use our creations with my teaching assistant and gave the children time to play in pairs. It was a mass of fingers, thumbs and Spanish chatter.

I was on playground duty a few days later and guess what the children were playing with? Their fortune tellers - and they were speaking in Spanish. Who needs gadgets? We might play hopscotch next.

Michelle Dredger is an education consultant.

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