Monday, May 26, 2014

Schnipp-Schnapp: Future Tense Practice

One of our final units during German 1 is the Future Tense with werden.  A common theme that comes up with the future tense is fortune telling.  

My mentor teacher actually had a project for her French III class where they would film videos involving going to a fortune teller and having their fortunes come true (very cute project).  The project works really well with le futur simple, mostly because the students have more vocabulary to work with.  My German 1 students obviously are at a more basic level, and doing a project like that would probably be more frustrating than worthwhile.

I've done horoscopes in the past, but honestly one of my favorite fortune telling activities is cootie-catchers.  

You've probably seen these things if you've spent a lot of time in an elementary or middle school.  You might even remember making them yourself.  Basically, it's a foldable that has fortunes hidden on the inside.  

To prep for this activity, I have students write down eight interesting sentences in the future tense, all starting with "du wirst..."  I give them some suggestions by writing verbs like toeten, heiraten, stehlen, kaufen, and finden on the board.  After students have had time to come up with their own, I ask for examples to write on the board.  Students love sharing their ideas - plus it gives a little extra inspiration or help to students who struggle to come up with eight on their own.  Here are some of the sentences my students came up with this year:
- Du wirst die Mona Lisa stehlen.
- Du wirst 100 Babys haben.
- Du wirst in Schloss Neuschwanstein wohnen.
- Du wirst einen Frosch heiraten.
- Du wirst einen Drachen finden.
- Du wirst im Vulkanausbruch schwimmen.
- Du wirst meinen Hund essen.

Next I tell them to hold on to their list as we make the foldable.  If you've never made one or have forgotten, there are plenty of online tutorials and videos, even templates.  The only thing you need to make sure you have is square sheets of paper - rectangles won't work!

Once students have made their cootie-catcher (or das Schnipp-Schnapp as they're called in German), they get to set it up.  On the outside, I have students put different animals.  I usually stick to basic animals like Katze, Hund, Vogel and Fisch (really easy to draw and shorter words are better).  The students tend to use more exotic animals when they can - the animal alphabet on my wall helps them find some alternatives.

Outer most layer: Animals!
Next we open it up and put numbers on the inside.  1-8 works the best.

Second layer: Numbers!
Then on the very inside, students put the eight different fortunes they've come up with.

Inner most layer: Fortunes!
Once they've set up everything, it's time to play!  This is usually easier to demonstrate the first time through (especially for students who haven't used a cootie-catcher before).  Ask for a volunteer.  Have this student pick one of your animals.  Spell out the animal out loud, alternating between the two opens as you go.  Now the student picks one of your numbers - do the same thing as you count up to that number.  The student gets to pick one more number.  Open up your Schnipp Schnapp and reveal what their future is!  

After showing students how to play, students get a chance to find out their fortunes from other students.  I ask students to play with five other kids in the class.  For each student, they have to write down the fortune they get from them (ex: Joey sagt, ich werde ins Kino gehen) and the fortune they gave them (ex: Joey wird in Deutschland wohnen).  Throughout this activity, students are using all of the singular forms of werden - great practice!

This activity is actually a lot of fun.  It's a bit of nostalgia for some of the students (mostly the girls) and fun to learn for students who have never made one before.  It's more interactive than just doing horoscopes but not as complicated as the fortune telling video.  AND it's easy to add on to - I usually assign students to take it home and play with 10 family members or friends.  They just have to write down the name of whoever they played with and the fortune they got.

Don't forget - this activity is easily done with any language!  French, German, Spanish, Latin, it doesn't matter.  As long as the future tense is involved, you can tie it in :)

If you're interested in this activity and the worksheets, they're available on TPT - just click here (it's the free preview activity!).

- Frau Leonard

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