- Pick 8-10 new vocabulary words which you wish to introduce. A mix of nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs is good.
- Write one vocabuary word and its English meaning on an index card. Repeat until all words are done.
- Organize class into groups of 3-4 students.
- Each group needs to have a sheet of paper, a writing utensil, and a student who will serve as recorder.
- Give each group a card.
- Inform students that they will be writing a short story in Latin as a group.
- As a group, the students are to create a sentence in Latin which uses the word on the card. They are to underline their word in the story when they use it.
- When the group is done, they call you the teacher over to check the "grammar" of the sentence. If something needs correcting, then tell them.
- When the group is done with the word, they are now to switch with another group who is done. Sometimes, I have more words than groups, so I put the extra cards on a desk so students can go up to the desk and exchange words there.
- The group then writes a new sentence as part of a story which now incorporates the new word. The group calls you over to check the grammar and to make any corrections. Once that is done, the group finds a new word and repeats the process.
- Once most groups have used 3/4 of the words (if not all of them), tell the groups that they have a few more minutes to come up with an ending to their story. For this part, they will not call you over.
- Collect the cards and stories
- You as the teacher type up their stories (they may require grammar editing), and read them as a class on the next day.
- This is a fun activity, because since students do not know which new words they will be getting, the stories suddenly become very random, which makes them all the more fun to read.
- Students really want their group's stories to be read.
- This is a great way to do pop-up grammar when students ask you to look over their sentences.
- Because each story has specific targeted vocabulary in it, students enjoy seeing how different groups use those words, so there is a degree of anticipation and of vested interest.
- Because each story has specific targeted vocabulary which students had to use, and because you review each story with them as a group, students acquire those 8-10 words VERY quickly.
Here are some other writeups about OWAT
Example of OWAT w/ Latin 1
Ariel est nympha marina (mermaid). Yoda Arielem conspicit. Yoda est parvus. Ariel fratrem emere vult. Yoda est sollicitus et perterritus, quod Ariel Yodam emit. Ariel est tristis, quod Yoda non est bonus frater. Ariel fortem fratrem vult. Ariel fortem fratrem videt sed eheu! frater est femina! quod frater est femina, Ariel est irata, et gladio (with a sword) feminam necat (kills). nunc Ariel est semper irata. Ariel fratrem non vult, sed pecuniam vult. Ariel Publix invenit, et Yodam vendit. Ariel pecuniam habet. subito Flavia apparet! Flavia Yodam emit, sed Flavia displodit. edepol!