Write, Read, Draw!

One thing I’m working on this year is making the boring learning exercises more fun. In a language class, it’s important to practice literacy. Students need to practice reading and writing in order but build vocabulary and practice grammatical structures. This used to mean reading a paragraph from the textbook or writing a paragraph on the unit’s topic. While these got the job done, there was no fun in doing this. As I grow as a teacher, I realize there are so many better ways to get students practicing literacy. 

One activity I like is what I call “Write, read, draw” (also known as “telestrations” or “telephone pictionary”).

I have done this activity before, but without a focus of practicing literacy. This year, I gave the activity some structure so I could ensure students would reach the overall curricular outcome. 

In Spanish, we were learning body parts, daily routines activities and items and using reflexive verbs. So for this game, the students had to write a complete sentence with one word from each category. 

Something like: “I brush my arm with a hair dryer.” 

Sounds silly, but that’s the point! The students had to write it and spell it correctly. I also pushed advanced students to write two activities in the same sentence or add another detail to their sentence.

Then, what happens in students pass their paper with the sentence they wrote. The next student reads the sentence and then draws it. And on it continues for specified number of rounds.

So here’s how it works. (I recommended using slides with instructions to post on the board for the students):

  1. Write one focused sentence. Pass your paper.
  2. Draw what you read. Fold over the original sentence. Pass your paper. 
  3. Write what you see. Fold over the drawing. Pass your paper.  
  4. Draw what you read. Fold over the sentence. Pass your paper. 
  5. Write what you see. Fold over the drawing. Pass your paper. 
  6. Draw what you read. Fold over the sentence. Pass your paper.
  7. Write what you see. Unfold and pass it back to the owner so they can see! 

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Here is an example of what my students did this year.

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I was really impressed with not only the writing, but also the drawings! Basically, in thirty minutes every student wrote a paragraph about someone’s daily routine without even knowing it, because they were having fun drawing all the crazy things they read. This activity could work for a variety of learning objectives and students will have much more fun with it! 

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