Crafting an effective CI (Comprehensible Input) lesson sequence is no small feat—it's an art form.
And guess what?
I've got some seriously game-changing tips that'll turn your classroom into a language learning wonderland.
The Game Plan: A Week in My CI Classroom
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let's scope out my usual weekly agenda.
Trust me, a little planning goes a long way!
The Daily Groove: TPR and Song Time
Every day, I make room for some TPR (Total Physical Response) action.
We kick things off with six high-frequency verbs, presented through animated gestures and movements.
Each week, we layer on another half-dozen verbs to keep the momentum going.
But wait, there's more!
I have a Song-of-the-Fortnight—yeah, you heard that right.
We sing the same song for two whole weeks.
Day one is all about the rundown; then we stand and sing our hearts out daily.
And, the grand finale?
A sing-off on the final Friday to see who brings down the house! (Sorry, not sorry, neighboring classes.)
Monday Madness: TPR Overload and Heart-to-Heart Convos
Mondays are when we crank up the TPR.
We channel our inner charades gurus, going full-on dramatic with gestures.
But let's be clear: it's not just for the LOLs.
TPR is the unsung hero that helps students internalize vocabulary and crucial concepts.
Post-TPR, we transition to organic conversations.
No, I'm not talking stilted teacher-student exchanges.
I aim to get to know each student better, connecting with 2 or 3 each week but cycling through the entire class as the year progresses.
Character Building Tuesdays: Co-Creation at Its Best
Tuesday is all about co-creating a character for our upcoming story.
I have a soft spot for inanimate objects—they keep things fun while steering clear of stereotypes.
We brainstorm the basics: what the character is, its dimensions, colors, and dominant mood.
If time allows, we flesh out the backstory with names, family, and even personal quirks.
Storytime Wednesday: Character Comes Alive!
Ah, Wednesdays, the stage for our newly minted character.
I guide the narrative through a sequence: problem, failure, success.
From identifying the character's dilemma to its failed and successful attempts to solve it, it's a rollercoaster of storytelling.
Reading Thursdays: Same Grammar, New Tale
Thursdays are dedicated to extended readings.
While these narratives are distinct from our Wednesday stories, they still focus on the week's target vocabulary and grammar.
Usually, these tales range from 300-500 words and are perfect for class readings and comprehensive Q&A sessions.
Fun Fridays: Variety is the Spice of Learning
Fridays are a mixed bag. Here are the three modes I toggle between:
- Write & Discuss: I fire questions that review the story or the reading. As students respond, I jot down their answers, and they do too. They leave with a written review—a handy study aid.
- Kindergarten Day: Taking a page from the ever-brilliant Susie Gross, we combine storytime and language class in a nostalgic setup. We sit on the floor, munch on snacks, and project a children's book. Let's just say, engagement is through the roof.
- App Attack: Kahoot!, Gimkit, or Blooket! I deploy one of these apps for an engaging, interactive session. It's a blend of comprehension questions, vocab review, or any focus area for the week.
Let's Connect: Over to You!
Hey, your input is the lifeblood of this teaching community.
Got questions or thoughts?
Shoot, I'm all ears.