Dictogloss for a descriptive paragraph

I had previously shared a dictogloss format that was geared towards narrative paragraphs. This week, students are writing their own descriptive paragraphs about a place on campus where they like to hangout in their free time. So I thought I would share it here. I set it up to neatly scaffold into students having to reconstruct only parts of the text. It would be pretty challenging to reconstruct the entire text, so I adjusted.

Text (From Write Source) narrative paragraph

Step 1: Listen and write key words Listen for key words This step just aims to give the students their ‘taste’ of the text and of the genre. I read it slow to make it more comprehensible and make it easier for them to notice words.

Step 2: Discuss key words they identified and teach a few words that may be unfamiliar to some students

discuss words In this step, we first discuss words they heard (or think they heard). I make a list on the board and encourage students to make a list in their journals. The discussion is good for shaking out nerves of language class. They also get the chance to learn from each other. Then I introduce a few words that I thought may be unfamiliar to some. I show visual aids when feasible. All that is included in the actual PPT at the bottom.

Step 3: Listen and complete the mind map mind map mind map This is pretty straight forward as well. As it is a descriptive paragraph, I usually try to get the 5 senses involved as the concepts are easy for students to understand and personalize. I reinforce their ideas by restating (not reading) parts of the text. This gives them a bit more input as well.

Step 4: Retell the story to partner(s) retell and reconstructThis step just aims to get the students talking it out and organizing the details. I usually have them do this orally before they start writing. And if it is conducted in pairs or small groups, they are able to work out the organization of the text together rather than on their own.

Step 5: Reconstruct with partner(s) narrative paragraph _ reconstruction prompt As stated above, it is possible to have students reconstruct the entire text on their own, but those are pretty high expectations. So here, it is basically just a fill in the blank, but without the word bank. Students have to use their key word lists, mind maps, and each other to work out the missing details. The numbers represent the number of words that are missing. This is an optional feature of the activity as well.

Step 6: Compare reconstructed version with the original narrative paragraph _ comparing prompt

Here, they just compare their reconstructions with the original text.

Overall, the lesson went quite well. The ‘retelling’ task took a little more coaxing on my part than I would like, but that will probably be the case in many classrooms. Hope this can help in some small way. Have a good week!


Picture recall for vocab

14. 3. 7. - 1

As teachers, we appreciate a low-maintenance, fun yet effective activity that is flexible across topics as well as within the structure of a lesson. This one is a simple picture recall to check, share, and/or teach vocab.

  1. Display picture from book for 10 seconds. Turn it off.
  2. As a class, students try to recall everything they saw in the picture.
  3. Make a list on the board as they call out items.
  4. Display the picture again and have the students match the words to the items in the picture.

Pretty straightforward. I have talked with lots of teachers about this one, which leads to lots of different ideas when it comes to implementing it. A few of these ideas include:

  • If L1 is acceptable in your classroom, allow students to recall items in the picture in L1 if they cannot think of the L2 word. Good teaching opportunity when done this way.
  • Can use it to engage students at the beginning of a unit/chapter. This could be a good way to assess background knowledge of vocab or topic.
  • Can try to write the words based on where students ‘remember’ the items to be in the picture. Then do the matching for words that were written far away from the actual items.
  • Have students write all the words in their word journals even if the words are not specifically identified as key words in the curriculum.

Have fun with it!