Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Market Day

(Oral interactive/communicative)
This is a great activity to get students to creatively use a variety of vocabulary, have some fun and absorb a bit of culture at the same time. To set this up, you'll want to prepare (print or cut out) a series of pictures for items being sold. This can be done with food, clothing or other household objects covered in the vocab. You also select some things to set the scene - perhaps the type of music which would be heard in a marketplace in a studied area, pictures of such a marketplace, etc.

You select a few students (probably some of the students with a better grasp on the vocab) to be vendors - 1 for every 3 or so buyers - and distribute the items to be sold among them. More than one copy of each item should be available in the marketplace but not every vendor needs to have every item. If desired, vendors can also be supplied with "recommended" prices.

Each buyer is given a shopping list and a supply of "money" (preferably using pictures of the currency of a currently discussed country: Guatemalan Quetzales, Mexican Pesos, etc.). They then go to the assorted shops trying to purchase all of the items on their list. If a desired item is not available, a vendor may attempt to sell the buyer a similar item (black pants instead of dark blue pants, for example). They then haggle over the price (since many Spanish-speaking countries feature haggling as an essential part of their business practices) and complete their transaction, then move on to the next item on the list.

Prizes of some sort can be awarded for things like:
First buyer finished shopping
Buyer who most accurately fills their shopping list
Buyer who spends the least
Vendor who earns the most
Vendor who unloads the most merchandise

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