One Word Images

I have always felt that a viable option to starting the year with Circling with Balls has been to use One Word Images (described, along with the Circling with Balls activity, on the resources page of this site under workshop handouts).
Kristy supported my idea in an email today. She said:
“Okay, so I get overwhelmed with trying to be awesome at TPRS but after reading about and watching your You Tube video on “One Word Images” ( suddenly, the process seems so much more doable for me.
“It’s harder for me to get a full story going but starting with a word is brilliant! I can see how I can easily take a vocab word like “una casa” and circle details and get a story and target structures from the kids’ suggestions! I think you just changed my world!
“I’m actually doing a mini “Intro to TPRS” presentation tomorrow and that’s exactly the example that I want to give teachers. Rather than overwhelming them from the start, I think an amazing take-away will be implementing one word images!
“Totally brilliant! Thank you!”
[ed. note: an important thing to add here is that when I do a word image with the kids I always work from a series of prompts. I just go down the list of questions I have on a piece of paper that I always keep near me. It really helps to keep the adding of new details about the image flowing along nicely.]
Here is my list – I added a lot to it in St. Louis but can’t find those additions, so if you think of anything else that we came up with in St. Louis when we did that, please let me know:
– its quantity
– its size
– its color
– its intelligence level
– rich or poor
– mean or kind
– hair color
– eye color
– other physical characteristics – see TPRS in a Year!, Portrait Physique
– its mood
– where it is
– when this occurred (time, day of the week, etc.)
– a superhero or not; if so what kind
[Also, be prepared to see the class invest heavily in the image, and be careful not to overide them. You can seriously piss off a teenager if they want the house red and you want it blue. Take it easy on yourself and make it red. Also, this activity seems to really build a feeling of group ownership. The kids get real protective of what they create. And you can add certain of the more successful, more beloved, if I may say that, images into PQA and stories all year. They always love the reappearance of their old friends into the CI.]



5 thoughts on “One Word Images”

  1. The beginning of TL 1 should not have to be either circling with balls or 1-word images. There would seem to be nothing wrong with alternating between the two, letting each type of lesson lead in to the other until finally one feels ready to break into full TPRS.

  2. I’m also hoping to use a combination of circling with balls based on student interest cards, one word images, and classroom objects/phrases. It seems like all of these areas lend themselves to blending into each other.

  3. I can only get TRR to last for ten minutes on the first day, then it’s downhill from there. I just don’t know how many times I can have them sit or stand or run in place. But one thing I do want to remember this year that is connected to TPR is the oldie but goodie Three Ring Circus.

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