Four Corners

Disclaimer: I still have targeted structures, thematic vocabulary lists, and specific verbs I need to teach to keep my students in line with the county curriculum. My goal is to do so while providing as much input comprehensibly.

I saw this idea in passing on another blog and if I could remember where that was, I would surely give credit where due.

Because I teach vocabulary, whether nouns or verbs, I try to find ways to introduce or review the words while still providing comprehensible, compelling, and caring input.

Four Corners for Nouns

Place one of each of the following statements in each corner of the classroom:

  • amo / mihi placet (I love / I like)
  • odi / non malo (I hate / I don’t prefer)
  • volo (I want, wish for)
  • mihi non est curae (I don’t care)

Let’s say your thematic vocabulary is animals… Put up a picture of the animal. Say the Latin word. Students rush to stand in the corner that most adequately expresses their feelings about the animal.

Now, do what you do to provide input: circle, PQA, write & discuss, cooperative stories, whatever… If there are options to a corner as in like or love, I ask students to clarify their stance. If they say they don’t care, I ask what they would care about, then add that in later. I even ask them to describe the “thing” they are thinking of: is it big? small? what color? how many ears?

Imagine the possibilities. Don’t get too bogged down on one noun, though. The power of the game is in the movement and personalization.

Four Corners for Verbs

Place one of each of the following statements in each corner of the classroom:

  • semper (always)
  • numquam (never)
  • saepe (often)
  • vix (barely) / haud (hardly)

This works best as a review of verbs or to get more repetitions of a verb, instead of an introduction to a verb. Say the verb. Students rush to a corner.

Similarly, you can follow up with any of your favorite input providing activities like with the nouns. Use the adverbs to describe what students do and how often. You can even turn single verbs into noun-verb phrases or complete sentences.

I even tried using it to play around with tenses… It kinda worked. I need to think more on the best way to get the present and future tenses to make more sense. The past tenses were easy to target this way.

Four Corners to Play “Would You Rather…?”

Place A, B, C, D in each of the four corners of your classroom.

Put a Kahoot-style four square board up. In each, make a statement about things to do. Students read the statements, then move to the corner that matches whichever statement they’d rather do.

Once again, this can be used for any poll-taking type, input activity as you see fit.

My personal favorite for this version of four corners is to use it as an alternative start-of-class check-in. Feelings: sad, happy, tired, angry. Weather: hot, cold, sunny, rainy. Structure of class: let’s read, let’s sing, let’s write, let’s draw. Content: mythology, daily life, art, history.

The only limit is your imagination.

One last note… If your classroom has corner related issues, use the walls. One corner of my class is inaccessible. So, we use the walls as our corners. And my students must be touching the wall – just that wall.

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