I’ve been playing with soap operas (details here and here). Our telenovela is La Muerte y las Rosas (death and roses) and every day we add a few sentences to it. I write these sentences on the board, circle them a bit, and when I have enough for a full page, I type it into my telenovela Word doc and hand the kids another page of it.
I am storyasking (and doing Movietalk and Picturetalk) in the present tense, but we are also doing our ¿qué hiciste anoche? class opener routine in the past and the telenovela in whatever tense(s) we need.
Written on the board (from yesterday) what happened in the present tense: Will Smith está en el hospital, porque se le cayó una coco en la cabeza. (Will Smith is in the hospital, because a coconut fell on his head). Yesterday, when this had come up (student Kajal’s dad is Will Smith, and her Mom is Rihanna, ssshhh don’t tell Mrs Smith), I had written it down, and circled it. So today, a simple trick:
I just changed the verb endings into the past tense and added a tense marker word: Ayer, Will Smith estaba en el hospital, porque se le había caido una coco en la cabeza (Yesterday, W.S. was in hospital, because a coconut had fallen on his head). I circled this for a bit.
This might be a not-bad idea because we have 95% of meaning established when we generate the sentence, write it down, and circle it. When we switch to the past tense, we only really have to circle the verb a few times so the kids can hear the difference. I’m going to make this a regular routine: generate ideas in present, then rehearse in past. Blaine Ray has done something like this– storyasking in present, and reading in past.
Anyway, simple trick: translate from one tense to another, keeping rest of vocab the same.