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Unit 1: In school

Day Seven: Months of the year


Students, as members of the class, will create a master calendar on butcher paper that shows various birthdays of faculty and staff members at their school.

Setting the Stage

The teacher has a calendar propped up on a table in front of the room, with the calendar open to the current month. Next to the calendar sits a hand puppet. The names of the months in the target language (TL) are posted in front of the room.

Input (15 minutes)

The teacher puts the hand puppet on and begins a TL conversation with the puppet. The puppet reacts with appropriate responses in the target language.

How are you? I'm well, thank you. What's your name? My name is...
How old are you? When is your birthday? My birthday is (name a date and a month).
Oh, how nice! That's a good month. (Teacher gives the name of a fictitious person who also has a birthday in that month.)

The teacher turns to a student in the room and has the puppet speak to that student, asking the same introductory questions: name, age, and then asks the student, "Were you born in (the same month as the puppet)?" If the answer is no, then the teacher chooses another month in the calendar, shows the month to the class and then the puppet asks that student, "Were you born in (the name of the month that is shown in the calendar.) This process continues until the student answers affirmatively to a month being displayed.

Then the teacher turns to the class and puppet says in TL,"Those of you who were born in (name of month), please stand up." Hopefully, some students stand. The teacher approaches each standing student and the puppet asks, "Were you born on the (points to calendar and to a specific day and naming the numeral that represents that day)?" Students respond. The puppet conducts a mini-conversation with each standing student.

The teacher opens the calendar to another calendar page, turns to a student who did not stand up and the puppet asks "Were you born in (names month)?" Repeat the process...finding the right month, chatting with that student, asking other students born in that month to stand and chatting with each of them, as well.

Repeat this process until the puppet has spoken with at least 5 students. If there is a month that has not been mentioned and discussed, teacher can ask the puppet in what month his/her parents were born. If any more months have not been mentioned after this conversation, then teacher can turn to those months and ask students whose parents were born in those months to stand up.

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

The teacher hands out the student interview form and directs the students to walk around the classroom, interview at least ten students and find out in which months they were born. The students are to fill in the information on the survey. This conversation is very structured or "directed."

Independent Practice (20 minutes)

Teacher directs the students to take a blank sheet of paper and write their name and the day's date on the paper. Then the student is to write the names of the 12 months on the paper, one month on a line (total of 12 lines) Teacher informs the students that they need to return to the classroom in 15 minutes! Any student arriving later than 15 minutes will be considered tardy.

Then, teacher directs the students to go out on campus around the school and interview at least 5 different adults (library, administration building, counseling building, janitors, other teachers in other classroom, etc.) Students are to tell the adult in English that they will teach that adult the months of the year in the TL and then ask them when their birthday is. The student teaches that adult the months of the year in the TL. Then, the student asks, in the TL, when that adult's birthday is. Student writes down the name of the adult on the appropriate line.

While students are out on campus, the teacher also walks around the school and monitors the students.

Quick Tip: Permissions
Remind students before they leave the classroom, they need to ask for permission from each of the 5 adults to speak with them for 2 or 3 minutes. Campus security needs to be informed about this activity before the activity starts.

Evaluation (10 minutes)

This can be done at the beginning of Day 8.

Students create a large "master calendar" on the board or on a large piece of butcher paper. The teacher asks for a volunteer to direct this activity. The students are to report the results of their "Adult Birthday Survey" and the coordinator writes in the information into the appropriate month of the master calendar.

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