Last year, I ditched the TPR Word Wall for a bottom-up Word Wall (i.e. blank at start of year, then add as you go). This year, I’ll have both. As such, my TPR Word Wall just had a reboot, now featuring English meanings, pictures when possible, new verbs (that I know I’ll use more), and a cleaner look. Oh, and these posters are primarily to help me do TPR, not as a learner reference on the wall. With everything up there, all I have to do is combine things to form novel chain commands, and hilarious 3 Ring Circus scenes (i.e. assign chain commands/actions that a few learners then loop)!
Total Physical Response (TPR) is a classic way to start the year, exposing learners to a lot of different words in a comprehensible way—words that represent familiar or obvious things (e.g. observable actions & prepositions using classroom objects, as well as limbs & parts of the face, etc.). Although TPR could have a communicative purpose of entertainment all on its own, it does tend to fizzle out. Here’s a variation that presents a challenge likely to increase that entertainment value.
So, before getting a volunteer or two (or during 3 Ring Circus), tell other learners watching to try not to laugh.
This is particularly useful if you have a too-cool-for-school class that has lost the joy of learning. Either they keep it together and don’t laugh (i.e. beat the game), or they give in and laugh (i.e. have a good time). This is win-win.