Fresh from the York MFL Show and Tell (Clare Seccombe wrote a very detailed blog, so why reinvent the wheel?), I decided to try a mixture of two speakers’ ideas in one: Alicia McKenna‘s use of Tarsia circles, with Rosemary Hicks‘ Fox’s Thinking Skills (hence the title Foxy Tarsia!).
My class had completed a Spanish Foundation Reading and Listening paper (AQA June 2012, to be specific) and I wanted an interesting way to review the vocabulary and structures used in the papers.
I decided to make a Tarsia of 24 phrases from the two papers, but missed out crucial words in either the English or the Spanish. I left in enough clues so that they could be easily matched up. I didn’t take out words at random, some review grammar points, lo odio and others were tricky translations, últimamente (no, it’s not what it looks like!)
Tarsia version: Foundation Paper 2012 Tarsia
Word version: Foundation Paper 2012 Tarsia.
I printed it out 4 to a page of the small sized segments as these are the perfect size to stick on an A3 piece of paper.
Armed with a set of instructions, I set the class away and waited for the questions… they didn’t come! By working in groups (randomly selected), they all completed the circle, all filled in the gaps and started working on including them in full sentences.
1. Cut out the pieces
2. Divide out the pieces (6 each)
3. Read out the Spanish – see if others know what it is. Put into piles of known/unknown
4. Work out the unknown ones
5. Match up the Spanish and English meanings to form the circle
6. When you are sure they are right, stick on to A3 paper
7. Fill in the gaps
8. Write a sentence using each phrase (in Spanish) around/in the circle
9. Go through the papers, work out which phrase came from which question. Did you get it right? Would you get it right now?
10. When you are finished, put your names on the back, bring the A3 sheet to me (I will copy it so you all have it)
The students all worked in different ways. Some completed the circle one piece at a time, others worked on making a segment and putting these together. The instructions were followed fluidly, with some filling in gaps as they went, others sorting out the circle. Ultimately, they were having to work together to complete a massive task (revising lots of vocabulary and grammar) and doing a bit each, putting it all together.
Exam paper reviewed, grammar reviewed and they had to think. Result!