I did quite a fun activity with a couple of groups today – it’s a mish-mash of a dictagloss and a circle activity which a former colleague, Richard Whiteside, once told me about…here’s the activity…
Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students and give each group a piece of blank paper and a pen. Explain that the activity is like Pass the Parcel, but instead of music, you’re going to be speaking; and instead of opening the present, they have to write a sentence*. The students start passing the paper and pen round and you repeat the first sentence of the dictation, perhaps 4 or 5 times. Then stop and the students write it down – the rules are that only the person with the pen can write that sentence, but anyone in the group can help. Keep doing this until you’ve dictated the whole text. Then nominate students to read out each sentence and do whole group feedback; students could also check their answers with another group first, or swap papers and correct another group, etc.
Although at times students are so fixated on passing the paper that they don’t really listen to the sentence, it is interesting to see what they pick up and how they transform the original.
*OK, so perhaps don’t tell them it’s like Pass the Parcel as you’ll get their hopes up only to dash them to smithereens!