Zaubersatze

ZAUBERSATZE

By: Pete Jones

Head of Modern Languages - Pine Ridge Secondary School

Pickering, Ontario, Canada

Welcome to ZAUBERSATZE - a small group cooperative learning activity.

I hope that your students enjoy this activity as much as mine! You will be amazed at how much writing they do!

The first thing which you will see in a few seconds is an explanation of how to use Zaubersätze.

I tell the students that any group which writes sentences equalling 20 points or more will receive a reward (you decide on the reward). Please note that it is 20 points and NOT 20 sentences.

I find that telling the students that the team which gets the most points will receive a reward is not such a good idea because this creates a civil war of teams.

Please note that the vocabulary in the table below is from our particular text book and meets our needs. You will have to adapt the vocabulary and grammar structures from your own text to meet your needs.

If you take a look at the table below which I have set up as an example, it is based on Units 1 and 2 of a grade ten text called Zickzack. The words Brüder, Schwestern, Pferd, Kaninchen, Reihenhaus and am Stadtrand are all new vocabulary items for my students and I wanted them to "play" with the vocabulary and see how many sentence combinations they could come up with. One group got over 30 points!


Here is the explanation of how Zaubersätze works:

Zaubersätze is another way to involve your students in cooperative learning and have fun manipulating the vocabulary and grammar of new units.

The idea is simple and the results amazing as you discover how inventive your students can be! You will also note with interest how much writing they do!

Here's how it works. Please refer to the table beneath.


Divide the students into groups of two. One student will compose two sentences and the other will write them. The one composing will also check to ensure that the spelling is correct. After two sentences have been written the roles of the creator and writer are reversed and so on and so on.

Students start in the STAR box - here it is "Ich". They then compose a sentence ie. "Ich wohne in einem Reihenhaus am Stadtrand." They have come out of a star box and earn two (2) points.

They may, however, compose the following sentence. "Ich wohne hier." For this they earn one (1) point because they did not exit through a star box.

Students do not necessarily have to start in a star box to earn points. For example: "Hier wohne ich." For this they earn one (1) point.

Remember, in order to earn two points, students must start in a star box and come out through a star box.

Students are not allowd to jump boxes. They must always use boxes which touch each other. Students write sentences on the lines provided beneath the table. You could have 15 lines (I have only put two in the interest of conserving space.) Students, of course, are allowed to compose as many sentences as they wish and can simply turn over the page to do so.

Here is the table!

Brüder drei ******
Ich
******
trinke hier
Schwestern habe heiße
Peter
wohne in
ein
Kaninchen
ein Pferd und einem Haus
****
Rex
****
heißt es Reihenhaus ****
am Stadtrand
****

1. .........................................................................................................................................................................

2. .........................................................................................................................................................................

ENJOY THE ACTIVITY!

Please take a few moments to e-mail me your comments.

I have made it easy - all you have to do is click on my name!

Pete


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This page was created on September 23, 1997.


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