This is from James:
Ben, I just posted this on my blog here:
Here is what I wrote. Feel free to put it on your blog so it can get more exposure and more comments:
Pictures for CI: What’s Wrong? and What’s Different?
Ben Slavic (benslavic.com/blog) describes a procedure called Look and Discuss (L and D), in which the teacher leads the class through describing a picture that is projected on the board. The goal is to get comprehensible, compelling repetitions on target structures. It works really well.
How about adding these two activities? The inspiration came from my curriculum director. Both involve projecting a picture on the board and leading the class through a discussion in the target language in order to provide comprehensible input. Of course the normal rules apply: The teacher is trying to speak comprehensibly in the target language and is using circling and personalized-question and answer (PQA) throughout the discussion.
1. What’s wrong with this picture?
Focus the kids on the wacky stuff in an otherwise normal picture. Here are some good pictures to use: http://pbskids.org/berenstainbears/games/wrong/
2. What are the differences between these pictures?
Say what is in one picture but not in another picture. Some examples:
These ideas need to be tested in the classroom; I have not yet tried either. These are popular “for kids” activities, so they have the potential at least of being on the level of our new language learners.
Some more brainstorming: (for number 2 above) For more discussion, you can ask something like: “Is the girl happier in the first or the second picture? Of course! In the second picture, because in that picture she has two scoops of ice cream!”
Or how about: (for number 1 above) “Would the boy be happier if the fish tank were on the ground? Of course he would! He wants to feed the fish but he can’t reach them up on the ceiling!”