CardTalk: Personalizing vocabulary for EVERY Student

CardTalk (previously, Circling with Balls) is a super easy, no prep activity that you can do with literally anything.

A lot of people have written about how to do CardTalk (Click here to read Martina Bex’s overview) but to save you some time here’s a quick step by step process:

  1. Give students an index card(hence the Card part of CardTalk)
  2. Ask students a question in the TL.
  3. Students respond to the question by DRAWING (If you need more motivation for getting students to draw, read this article on Edutopia).
  4. Teacher finds an interesting drawing, displays it and talks about it.
  5. End with write and discuss, or any other follow up activity you might use.

For me, a downfall of CardTalk is that there is just not enough time to talk about every student’s drawing.

And this is where my tip for you comes in.

As we did CardTalk with the question “What do you give thanks for?” I walked around the classroom while students drew and did some interpersonal talking with them. I asked “Do you have all the vocabulary?” I asked them what things they drew were, and they were able to give one word responses, and when they didn’t have the word they wanted I gave them a post it note and gave them their own personalized vocabulary.

Then, as we came back together after drawing, I modeled responses with my own answers “I give thanks for…” And opened the floor. At this point I had already made sure that every student had SOMETHING they could say because they either already knew the words for what they drew, or I gave them a post it with new vocabulary.

I think this empowered students a lot. I asked every single student today what they were thankful for and they responded completely in Spanish.

It was a good day and I’m thankful for CardTalk and personalizing vocabulary to each and every student.

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