Input-Based Strategies & Activities

**Updated 1.13.22 with the “EZ” code showing low-energy-demand**
**Check out the companion post on Getting Texts!**

**Here’s the list of older ones I haven’t used in a while**

When choosing the class agenda beyond each particular day’s routine, it dawned on me that I couldn’t remember all my favorite activities. Thus, here are the input-based strategies & activities I’ve collected over the years, all in one place. Although this began as only reading activities, I decided that it didn’t matter as much whether students were reading or listening. Why? These input-based activities start with some kind of text either way, so beyond variety, what really matters most to me when planning for class is providing students with input, and what kind of prep goes into getting the text/activity. Everything is organized by prep, whether no instructions, no prep, printing only, or low prep. You won’t find prep-intensive activities here beyond typing, copying, and cutting paper. Oh, and for ways to get that one text to start, try here. Enjoy!

**N.B. Any activity with the word “translation” in it means translating what is already understood. This should NOT be confused with the more conventional practice of translating in order to understand.**

No Instructions

  • Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) EZ (Krashen-coined term? for Extensive Reading)
    Booklets of class stories & novels
    Students choose a book and read.
  • Read & Discuss/Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) (source unknown)
    Printed copies of text, or whole-class reading of novels
    Students read, then discuss topic as a class.
  • Read & Translate EZ (source unknown)
    Printed copies of text, or whole-class reading of novels
    In pairs, students translate text. Save this for when you, or the students need a break. **Do NOT use if students are unable to understand the text in Latin.**
  • Read & Draw EZ (source unknown)
    Printed copies of text, or whole-class reading of novels
    Students read, then draw a scene (favorite?), or mashup of events from the text.

No Prep
Usually just projected text, sometimes less

  • DEBATE! EZ (Caroline Spurr)
    Get a topic and hold an informal debate. See this post for more details.
  • Jamboard Read & Teacher-Draw (Caroline Spurr)
    1) Add short sections of a text to Jamboard (in Google apps)
    2) Read as whole class and ask students “how do I draw this?”
    3) Ask Qs and restate in target language throughout
  • Mike Peto’s Read-Aloud
    1) Teacher reads aloud as students listen
    2) Reread paragraph-by-paragraph as students ask clarifying questions to help understanding (English is fine)
    3) Reread again as students come up with comprehension questions that the teacher has to answer (English is fine)
  • Weekend BINGO (Michelle Dawson)
    A whole-class BINGO board filled with prompts about what students did over the weekend. Randomly call out numbers, and first student to complete row or column wins.
  • Game of Quotes EZ (shared by Senora Chase, from Jessie Oelke)
    Team-based follow up to independent reading, and/or longer text. Read about it, and get the Slides here.
  • Choral Translation EZ (source unknown)
    Teacher points to words/phrases as class translates into English. Change this up by translating aloud yourself, pausing and gesturing for students to fill-in a word/phrase. They often pay more attention because they don’t know what word you’ll ask them to fill-in.
  • Classic Dictation  (source unknown)
    Teacher reads a sentence a few times. Students write down exactly what they hear, in Latin. Teacher will project the text. Students use different color pens to make changes to what they heard (vs. what the text has).
  • mendāx! EZ (a.k.a. “Stultus,” from Keith Toda et al.)
    A student volunteer (job?) points to words as teacher translates. When the teacher intentionally makes mistakes, students yell “mendāx!
  • Independent K-F-D EZ
    Students sort words they Know, Forget (or will probably forget), and Don’t know into their respective column.

Print Me!
Requires just printed copies of text

  • Most Points Wins! EZ (me)
    Students read a text, and write down as many X as they can, in English. When the time is up, review text, and students get a point for each detail the teacher calls out. X is any detail the teacher identifies from the text on the spot. Most points wins!
  • Lucky Reading Game EZ (Senora Chase)
    + Whiteboards & Playing Cards
    Project this for scoring
    Students Read & Translate in groups for X minutes. All members should understand the whole text. If they finish early, predict questions teacher will ask. Each group sends a representative to the front of room (with the text). Teacher asks a question, in English or the target language, then counts down from 5 as students write their response. Correct responses allow students to draw a card, and bring back to show their group, and keep secret. Since the point values are projected on the board, but cards are kept secret until end of the game, groups don’t know who’s in the lead! A new representative is sent up, then play continues. Group members can highlight parts of the text that have been questioned, predicting what might come next.
  • The septem game! EZ (adapted from “The sex game!” shared by Keith Toda)
    Oh, and some 10-sided dice (N.B. use any-sided die, and pick any number)
    In groups of 3-4, students get a text, as well as a 10-sided die and 1 pencil. The goal is to be the first to translate the text (or be furthest along). This can be individual against the group, or group against other groups. Take turns rolling until someone gets a 7, yells out that number in the target language (TL), and begins translating sentences from the text. They continue to do so while other team members keep rolling. Once someone else gets a 7, they grab the pencil from whoever was writing, and play continues. Stop after a round (of however many minutes) and reread the text. Students stand. They sit down when you read the end of their translation. Continue until last standing (furthest translated) is the winner.
  • Silent Volleyball Reading EZ (update shared by Jason Fritze)
    In pairs, students read a text sentence-by-sentence. Student A translates aloud while Student B reads silently. Student B translates the next sentence aloud while Student A reads silently.
  • Silent True/False Reading EZ (shared by Alina Filipescu)
    In pairs, students read silently for X minutes, then each draw 2 pics about the text (1 true, 1 FALSE). Students swap papers, and partner points to the True pic. Pairs now trade papers with another pair, and determine the new True pics with partner.

Low Prep

  • Flyswatter PictureTalk EZ (my adaptation, shared by Keith Toda, from Jason Fritze)
    – Student drawings (e.g. products of Read & Draw, and Silent T/F Reading)
    Place two drawings side-by-side under a document camera (or use silent T/F Reading drawings all ready to go). Two competing students head to board. Students indicate the picture you’re describing by calling out “left/right” in the target language. It’s best when you can describe things that are in both, reserving any difference for after some input.
  • Word Race EZ (Martina Bex)
    Printed Word Cloud with phrases from a text
    Call out English meanings as pairs race to highlight the TL. Or for more input, put all phrases in English as you read text in the TL.
  • Individual Word Race EZ (Karen Hellow Shackleton)
    Solo variation of the Word Race. Each students gets their own Word Cloud. Set a timer (e.g. 3 seconds) and students race against the clock!
  • English Quadrant Word Race EZ (me?)
    Printed Word Cloud quadrants with 3 false English phrases/sentences, and 1 true
    Variation where the teacher reads aloud sections of the text as pairs race to highlight the English when they hear the TL.

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