Here’s a way to make the language of a story memorable by using physical activity.
All you have to do is find a story that lends itself to being mimed. Get the students to stand up and then slowly read the story acting it out at the same time and encouraging the class to join in. Repeat the story but this time at a faster pace, again with actions.
In pairs the students then try and retell as much of the story as they can remember.
Whilst this is going on you can write the skeleton version of the story, first letters only, on the board. This will act as a memory trigger.
Go through the story together, pointing to the letters on the board and asking the class to come up with the appropriate words. You could do this two or three times, speeding up each time.
Finally, in pairs one person tells the story while the other performs it (with or without the aid of the skeleton story on the board).
This is a poetic story that we use with younger elementary level students. First the story and then the skeleton version.
I travelled to the jungle.
I walked through the trees.
I stopped, I waited,
I watched a chimpanzee.
I looked at him and smiled.
I wanted him to stay.
He picked up my banana
And then he walked away.
I T T T J I W T T T
I S I W
I W A C
I L A H A S
I W H T S
H P U M B
A T H W A
We got this idea from Nick Bilbrough and his excellent book ‘Memory Activities for Language Learning’ published by Cambridge University Press.