Gossip in the classroom: Practicing IOPs

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I strongly dislike trying to teach direct object pronouns (DOPS) and indirect object pronouns (IOPS).  I know there are some that will argue that we don’t even need to “teach” them, just let natural learning take over and students will figure it out.  I agree that after awhile you (people in general) will sort it out and figure out what that “le” or “lo” means.  I still like to take some time to present them and introduce them to students so when they see them they don’t get stumped by them.

For IOPS, specifically le, I did a short activity involving gossip.  I set this activity up by telling students that I thought I could trust them but I was obviously wrong.  I said that I told one of them something in confidence and that person turned around and told someone else and just like always the information spread one person at a time until everyone knew.  I introduced this with a lot of drama and the students actually thought I was upset with them and that this had really happened.  It was fun to see them looking around at everyone since they all thought they were the one person that didn’t know what was going on!  They soon caught on that it wasn’t true but rather a set up.  I gave each student a slip of paper that said “Yo le dije a ___________”.  The students had to go around and ask “¿A quién le dijiste?” then give their answer.  After students had talked to everyone in class they reconstructed the chain of who told who my “secret”.

The kids had a great time and got so much repetition with “le” and “dije” and “dijiste” (an unknown verb at the beginning of this activity).  It went really well and the students had a blast and used Spanish the whole time.  As an added benefit, I had a fun making the kids sweat for a minute or two! 🙂

Until Next Time,

Maestra McH

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