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Unread Apr 27th, 2005, 02:18 am
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Default Introducing THE SPINNER: a sentence generating machine

I have had great luck using this simple activity, so I thought I'd share it and maybe get feedback on variations I haven't tried yet.

The Spinner
The spinner is a very simple machine. Any paper circle divided into pieshaped sections with a spinning pointer in the center will do. Instructions on making a good spinner follow.

USE: to practice any language points with small groups of young kids -the spinning action becomes less fascinating after you hit, say, age 11. This "game" works best to practice grammar points that are already fully understood by the class.

1) Write a sentence form on the board leaving gaps, for example:
I am ________________ in the ________________.
2) Prepare spinner A with images of activities (flying a kite, fishing, running).
3) Prepare spinner B with images of (for example) rooms in a school.
4) Have a student spin A to generate a random activity (fishing).
5) The same student spins B to generate a room (boys' room).
6) The student must put both words together into a sentence
"I am fishing in the boys' room.
7) Allow class to laugh heartily at this silly sentence.
8) Let the following student do the same.
9) After a few tries, erase the sentence frame from the board.

FOLLOW UP: Go around the circle again and ask them to repeat what each person said they were doing: EX. "Sara is fishing in the boys' room." Or have students write as many silly sentences as they can remember.

Other funny sentence stems include:
I have + number + colour + animal (plurals).
I wake up at + time.
I eat + colour + food.

1) Print out the spinner frame attached to this thread.
2) Cut out photos with or without spelling of the target language (words only for reading practice).
3) Glue one image into each division on the spinner.
4) Cut out the spinner shape and glue onto coloured paper.
5) Laminate carefully.
6) Poke a butterfly clip through the center.
7) Attach a paperclip or a safety pin which will act as your pointer.
8) *For best spinning action, glue or staple your laminated board to a piece of cardboard, or tape your board to the desk before playing. An even surface will minimize repetitive answers.

Alternatively, you can use one spinner and a deck of cards naming the kids in your class or any words that could become funny subjects.
The elephant is fishing in the boys' room.


WARNING. I have a very shy student who once made such a silly sentence ("The puppy practices the piano on Monday", perhaps?) that her intense laughter caused her to knock her head against the piano bench behind her. Take heed!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg example1.jpg (84.4 KB, 129 views)
File Type: jpg example2.jpg (105.2 KB, 79 views)
Attached Files
File Type: doc spinner_black.doc (19.0 KB, 267 views)
File Type: doc spinner_green.doc (19.0 KB, 127 views)
File Type: doc spinner_violet.doc (19.0 KB, 72 views)

Last edited by little sage : Apr 27th, 2005 at 04:27 am.
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