Last summer at NTPRS Leslie Davison introduced a game called the “le da” game. Brilliant! It is so simple and has tons of potential to go wherever you need it to go. The basic idea is to create a mini-situation and have the class vote on the outcome.
1) Introduce a character (student actor) and establish something they want. I use my props and give them a few options. You could have them want a certain animal, food, piece of clothing or maybe a little brother. The sky is the limit.
2) Create a backstory. This can be long or short depending on time and comprehension level of your students. Why do they want it? How many do they want? What color? What size? Does it talk? What does it say? ETC.
3) Introduce the character that has the thing they want. You could also create a backstory here too.
4) DIALOGUE: Now have the first character see the thing they want and have them BEG for it, or maybe they are really cool in asking for it to hide their desperation. Go back and forth between the characters. Narrate the whole thing using the vocabulary you are reviewing. (cries, yells, throws, falls on the floor, is angry, is sad, is frustrated, laughs etc.)
5) NOW THE FUN PART- The class votes on if the 2nd character gives the item to the 1st character or does something else. (For example, does the 2nd character eat the 25.3 blue pancakes, or does she give them to 1st character?) I stop and ask every person in the room (observers, student workers, teacher aides included). When I ask, I repeat the options with one hand doing each motion. (¿Le da o come?) The kids say the word back to me, or they can just do the motion (which I repeat back to them). If I come to a student who looks unsure, I repeat back the actions and may translate into English quickly, but I don’t usually have to do that unless a student comes in late or for some reason just came in the door. (I secretly love those situations because then I have a reason to go back and summarize the whole thing again, and the other students are so eager for their classmate to understand the importance of the vote.)
** I don’t really direct them to, but my actors always react to the voting. Then, I might narrate their reactions. (está triste, está enojado, está muy contento, etc.)
6) Now that everyone has voted. I can either just have the characters do the action, OR I may tally the votes with the class. How many said “le da”? How many people voted? (Write it on the board and subtract.)
7) FINALLY, I narrate the most voted on action and narrate the emotions and reactions of the characters.
You are done..or maybe you can extend the activity to a related story next class time … or you have students complete an “after story” activity. The beauty of this “game” is it can be as complex or as simple as you or your students need it to be. In the picture above you can see a drawing by one of my kindergarten students. I had them draw the story again as I dictated each square.