Cute Ideas – 4

Cute Idea #4: The Window Box Person
This idea is best for levels 3 and above:
A little window can be built out of a cardboard box. It can be spray-painted and kept in the classroom. The student chosen for the job of window box person grabs the box during class at any appropriate time and interjects things into the story.
Quite different from other actors, this actor enters and leaves the story line at any moment they choose. The role is not unlike the role the two old men kibitzers from the Muppets who sit up in the balcony, hurling comments (usually insults) onto the scene below.
The actor grabs the window frame, holds it up to his or her face, opens the window, sings a line, leads a chant, or hurls a comment, and closes the window, all in five to ten seconds.
If the actor has a good voice, or even if they don’t, they may want to sing a sentence that they hear every now and again. This must be done only at opportune moments in the story.
This student may also choose to lead a chant, or just make comments in the target language about what is happening in the story. Obviously, there is outside preparation for this role – learning insults, etc.
The instructor or someone in the class can engage the window box person in conversation. This usually takes the form of some kind of shouting match in the target language.
One word of caution: this role must be reserved for the bright and active student who can handle the discipline of knowing when and when not to speak. The instructor must carefully choose only students who can do that.
Some classes don’t have such a student, and this idea can’t be used in those classes. It takes a strong student with good language skills and a sense of humor, who doesn’t mind leaving their comfort zone in front of the class from time to time. I always praise each thing that comes from the window box person.

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