OWI: Compiling Profiles Across Classes & Instant Parallel Characters

Last Friday, I suddenly found myself without a document camera after a Listen & Draw with our first One Word Image (OWI). Realizing my error, I scrambled to snap a pic of just one student drawing, send it to my email, sign in, download and orient, turn on the projector, etc. all just to discuss student artwork. No bueno. Not only did I lose a few kids during the shuffle, but I avoided repeating the process, meaning we looked at just one student’s work. No bueno mas. With a document camera, we used to look at several different drawings easily, keeping interest high throughout class. That absence was obvious, and I was unhappy with how things went. Still, I was determined to use the stack of hilarious drawings somehow…

I first considered doing something teacher prep-heavy, but knew better than to pursue those ideas, and quickly ditched the notion. My next ideas were output-based, which was no bueno, again, because students need more input-based activities. Then it hit me. Upon reviewing each drawing looking for one that had the clearest representation of the character, it dawned on me that more than one drawing would be necessary to accurately convey all established character traits. Thus, an activity is born:

OWI Profiles

Gather the drawings from a Listen & Draw, and give them to another class to interpret in groups of 3-4. The task is to compile a profile of the character’s traits based on student drawings. That’s it! The process:

  • Distribute the drawings to groups until all are gone.
  • Groups brainstorm (set a short timer in order to keep English at a minimum).
  • Lead a reconstruction of the other class character in the target language using a blank graphic organizer.
  • Finish with revealing the actual traits one-by-one after the whole-class discussion. Perhaps creating a bulleted list of the character traits is the only prep.

Instant Parallel Character

Follow up the next day by reading the other class’ character description (either the Write & Discuss snapshot, or typed-up) for more input. It’s true that most classes won’t be invested in other class characters, per se, but that’s not the point. The point is to compare another class character to a class’ own OWI, strengthening buy-in, and providing more exposure to frequent vocabulary in a new context. In this sense, the other class character is just a prop to talk more about a class’ own OWI.

This is just the tip of the iceberg; we haven’t even started stories featuring other class characters. Imagine how that could play out…

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