Use Stories to Teach Targeted Vocabulary and Grammar

Stories are my favorite way to introduce new vocabulary to students. Why you ask? It's a great way to communicate a message in a comprehensible way to students. 

When I want my friends to know about what happened to me I tell them a story. Using hand gestures and changing my tone of voice is how I can communicate how I’m feeling and important parts of the story.  

The same applies when I’m telling a story to my students. I’m using hand gestures, changing my tone, and using pictures to help them understand the story I’m trying to communicate in the target language. 

The stories are crafted a head of time to either review or introduce vocabulary that students will need. 

My students either have the stories in front of them as a copy or a watching me tell the story on the board in class. Either way they'll have the support they need to understand. 

Below is a sample of a story that I would use to introduce verb structures and vocabulary. 

Paloma es una muchacha. 
Paloma come helado. 
Paloma come mucho helado. 
Paloma come el helado de vainilla. 
Ella no come el helado de chocolate. 
No le gusta el sabor de fresa. 
El helado favorito de Paloma es el helado de vainilla. 
Paloma va a la heladería. 
Paloma va a la heladería con su mamá y papá. 
El helado es el postre favorito de Paloma. 
No le gustan las galletas ni el pastel. 
A Paloma le gusta mucho el helado de vainilla. 
El helado de vainilla es delicioso. 

I may have key terms at the bottom of the board. This is especially helpful when it’s a new target structure. 

Using this story and circling will help lead me into personal questions about what the students like. I would ask questions like ¿Te gusta el helado de vainilla?, ¿Te gusta más el helado de fresa o el helado de pistacho? or ¿Prefieres el helado de chocolate o el helado de vainilla?  It comes full circle because I’m able to make personal connections to the content in the target language. 

You can search images online to create comprehensible and intriguing stories for you students. Students will also appreciate you creating stories and using images that are interesting and funny to them. 

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