Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Partner Crossword Puzzle

This activity is one which I have not done in a very long time, but someone on Twitter recently used it in her classroom and thanked me for the idea (I had presented this idea years ago, so I am glad to see that people are using it). I learned this years ago from David Jahner, my district's world language coordinator at the time. I was not a CI-teacher then but used it with the textbook. It is a basic partner activity involving crossword puzzles, but there is a twist. 

This listening comprehension activity involves crossword puzzles between two students,
where Student A has the target language clues for student B, and vice versa. This will require
making two different crossword puzzles and cutting/pasting the clues onto the other puzzle.
There are many crossword puzzle makers online.

  1. Student A will ask Student B for a particular clue, e.g. “5 down”
  2. Student B will read the clue in target language to Student A
  3. Student A will fill in the target language answer on his/her crossword puzzle
  4. Student B will ask Student A for a particular clue. The above pattern will continue until both crossword puzzles are completed.

Like I stated earlier, I have not used this activity in quite awhile and never in a CI classroom setting. I was a bit hesitant about posting this activity, because I can see both benefits and drawbacks. As a result, I will discuss both here:

  1. This is a great language lab activity, where partner pairs are scattered. Since partners are not seated directly next to each other, they must solely rely on listening.
  2. This is another post-reading activity to review a passage/story. You can take actual sentences from the reading or ask questions about the reading for students to answer.
  3. In using known sentences from a passage/story, students are continuing to receive understandable messages in the target language.
  4. It is a novel way to get students to interact with both the language and each other.
  1. Because students are working with crossword puzzles, it relies on them knowing the correct spelling of the words. As most students are at the novice/intermediate levels of language proficiency, their target language spelling skills are still developing. In doing a crossword puzzle, correct spelling is absolute key. In my opinion, adding a word bank does not really solve the problem and actually works against the concept of a crossword puzzle. 
  2. If one is using this to review a story, students need to know the story well by the time you introduce this. 
So CI teachers out there, try out this activity, and let me know how it goes, any changes which you made to it to make it more comprehensible, etc. 

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