Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Running Dictation with Categories

This is a take on a regular running dictation which I learned from Miriam Patrick. This is a great post-reading activity involving characters from a reading or sentences involving categories. It still has the basics of a running dictation where a runner will run to a list of sentences in the target language, memorize what is written, and then dictate what is said to a writer. This twist, however, has the writer put the sentence now in a particular category.

Pre-Class Directions
  1. On a document, create a number of categories, such as characters in a reading or other natural categories. 4-5 categories are a good amount.
  2. Write short sentences in the target language for each category. 4-5 sentences for each category are a good amount.
  3. Scatter the sentences on a document so that all of the sentences are not grouped by category.
  1. Put up the sentences along a wall in a random order either in the room or outside of the classroom. You can post copies of the document. I recommended making one copy of the sentences, cutting the sentences into strips, and taping them to an outside wall.
  2. Pair up students.
  3. Each team will need a writing surface and a writing utensil.
  4. Give each team a copy of the category document.
  5. Explain that one person will sit with sentences and the other person will run to ONE of the sentences. It is not necessary for them to run to the sentences in order but rather to run to just one of the them.
  6. The person who runs will look at the sentence, memorize it, run back to the partner, and dictate the sentence in the target language.
  7. Both members will then determine into which category that sentence that goes, and the writer will write that sentence under that category heading.
  8. Then, the two will switch roles - the writer will now become the runner, and the runner will then become the writer.
  9. Explain that they may NOT use their phones to take a picture! They again can only look at one sentence at a time.

Non est defessus
Exclamat “Narra fabulam mihi”
Ludit (is playing) cum amicis in silva
Habitat in parva insula
Iecit rete in mare
Vidit aliquid in mari
Putavit arcam esse navem
Est defessa, sed narrat fabulam
Non vult narrare fabulam
Vult matrem narrare fabulam
Est monstrum
Est in Labyrintho
Habet caput tauri
Est in arca
Est cum parvo infante in arca
Invenit feminam in arca
Vendit pisces
Accepit nummum
Vult caedere Minotaurum
Non vult auxilio esse (to help) patri
  1. This is a quick post-reading activity and takes about 10 minutes.
  2. I love the higher-level thinking that goes on in this activity. Instead of just parroting back sentences, students are using the sentences for a reason (a "task" perhaps), which is putting the sentences into categories.
  3. This is also a higher-level thinking activity, because runners and writers need to communicate to each other which sentences they already have.
  4. The sentences need to be short, since runners are dictating them for a purpose. It frustrates students to have long sentences where they have to keep running back to the sentence.
  5. The sentences need to be comprehensible, since the both the runner and writer need to understand the message communicated.
  6. I love the multiple layers of input which is going on - the runner reading the sentence and then dictating it to the writer, who is listening and writing it down.
  7. I like cutting up the strips and posting them all over the walls outside the classroom, because students are moving all over the place and really start to read each sentence as the activity progresses to determine if their team already has that sentence.

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