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Conversation Re-Write

November 11, 2011

In Chapter 3 of Pobre Ana, Ana meets Susana and they talk for about five pages about all sorts of interesting things. However, they manage to do it in an extremely un-interesting way. Today, my students' assignment was to re-write their conversation (using false information, if desired) so that it was interesting. This could be used with any novel that you read or story that you develop as a class.

  1. I asked students, "¿De qué hablan Ana y Susana?" (What do A&S talk about?).
  2. We made a list of tópicos de conversación (topics of conversation). I called on students at random--no hand raising because it holds students accountable and gives an authentic picture of where the entire class is at--to add topics to the list. Some of the topics were how old the girls are, their friends, cars, school, music, boyfriends, and food.
  3. I asked the students, «¿Es una conversación interesante?» (Is it an interesting conversation?) and the general consensus was, of course, NO!
  4. I asked the students, «¿Los tópicos de conversación son interesantes?» (Are the topics of conversation interesting?) and the general consensus was yes, at least some of them. (More probing could it interesting to talk about boyfriends? about school? about food? etc.)
  5. I assigned students to work with their table partner and choose two of the topics to focus on. They needed to write a new, interesting conversation between Ana and Susana that covered those two topics in detail.
The most interesting topic quickly became 'boyfriends', as we discovered that Susana actually has two boyfriends, or Ana has a boyfriend that is six years younger than her, and all sorts of other interesting possibilities. We shared the conversations with the class and, voila! Pobre Ana now has an interesting life.

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