Running Dictation

A couple of weeks ago, I tried Running Dictation with my students using a recommended twist I read about on one of the many amazing TCI blogs I follow.

All year 3-7 students have been focusing on the following target Language this term:
mau – want
kasih – gives
punya – has
minum/makan – drinks/eats

Using a familiar mini story about Spongebob and Patrick, (who are without doubt the most popular celebrities I have discovered for all year levels), I pared down one of our stories down to:
Spongebob mau makan krabby patty.
Patrick punya krabby patty.
Patrick kasih Spongebob satu krabby patty.
Spongebob makan satu krabby patty.
Spongebob kenyang dan senang sekali.

I wrote each sentence in very large font and then printed it onto A3 paper. I cut up the sentences into strips and then put each sentence in different spots around the room randomly. One was on the telephone bench, one on the computer desk, one on a back table, one on another back table and one on the table near my desk.

In groups of 3, students had to nominate
a reader – the fastest and most confident reader with a good memory,
a writer – the neatest and fastest writer who is also a good speller
an illustrator – the best drawer/illustrator.

Before we started, each group needed to organise 2 clipboards, 2 pencils and have 5 sheets of A5 white paper.

The reader had to, in any order, find a strip of the story, read it, memorise it, and then run back to his/her team and retell the writer the sentence. The writer then neatly wrote out the sentence onto one of the A5 pieces of paper, checking with the reader any spelling that they are unsure about. The writer then gives the page to the illustrator who illustrates the sentence.

When all 5 sentences are written and illustrated, the group then puts the 5 pages into the correct order and hands them in to me. I then checked that
a) the pages were in the correct order
b) the sentences were written correctly with no spelling errors
c) the illustrations matched the sentence and demonstrated comprehension.
If all the above were completed, I announced a winner.

It was a terrific and fun activity which consolidated beautifully our focus these past 4 weeks on this vocabulary. I loved the illustrator job which invariably was awarded to the group member with the weakest literacy skills. The look of relief on their faces when they discovered one of the jobs was, in their minds, not literacy based, was really lovely to see. The language that the students used was fantastic and it was truly a collaborative activity. The discussion about the sentences and illustrations was awesome.

My only beef was that as it was a race, the writing and the illustrations were largely rushed. I would love to repeat this again with no time restraints so that the final product could be turned into books which could then be added to the class library.

Here are a sample:
Spongebob mau makan krabby patty
Spongebob wants to eat krabby patties.

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Patrick punya krabby patty
Patrick has krabby patties

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Patrick kasih Spongebob satu krabby patty
Patrick gave Spongebob one krabby patty.

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Spongebob makan satu krabby patty.
Spongebob ate one krabby patty.

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Spongebob kenyang dan senang sekali.
Spongebob is full and very happy.

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Can you just imagine the possibilities there are for taking this even further using these pictures!! Imagine a smart board notebook file with them all and the class matches the sentences to the illustrations, Putting the pictures into the correct order, Retelling the story, Embellishing the story….. the possibilities are endless…

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