The Janitor Story — MovieTalk and more!

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Isn’t it fun when a great video pops into your newsfeed? I remember seeing The Janitor Story before, but I had forgotten the ending when one of my mom friends shared it over the weekend! Without my ‘real’ computer (my 5yo killed it with a kombucha spill) and unable to work on any ongoing projects, I decided to spend my kids’ nap time today putting together a sequence of activities for you to use with this great video in class!

As you can see, the video is great for MovieTalk because of the ‘twist’ at the end (funny and horrifying), and it provides an opportunity for discussion about respecting school property and–more importantly–respecting others (the janitor). With the verb ‘limpiar’ being a high frequency word in this story, it would make a great pre-reading activity for Chapter 5 of El Nuevo Houdini!

You can download the materials that I created for this video here. 

Please notice that these materials are licensed CC-BY-SA-NC. Read the complete Creative Commons license here. With this license, you are free to adapt these materials and share them with other teachers provided that you credit me and do not sell anything that you develop based on the materials that I created.

The Janitor Story MovieTalk and activities from www.martinabex.com

While you can certainly do anything you want with these materials, here is the sequence of activities that I had in mind when creating them:

  1. Introduce vocabulary to students by showing them slides 2-12 of the slideshow. Read each sentence aloud, clearly establish meaning for the new vocabulary item (in blue), and finally discuss the questions provided.
  2. Read the simplified and incomplete version of the janitor story on slides 13-31. Take your time. As you read, circle new vocabulary items, check for comprehension, and personalize the content with questions. If you are unfamiliar with these strategies, please click here.
  3. Show the complete video using the MovieTalk strategy. You might choose to do the MovieTalk in present tense or past tense; your choice! Present tense would be a nice compare/contrast with the reading, and Past tense would further enforce the past tense constructions.
  4. Discuss the video with your students.
  5. Readings for The Janitor Story from www.martinabex.comHave students read the story. There are two versions provided: one with boxes for students to illustrate the story in, and another in which students must choose the verb in the past or present tense to tell the story in the way that you assign. There are no directions on the page so that you can instruct students to highlight the present OR the past tense verbs, depending on your curricular goals.
  6. Consider doing a Blind Retell with students referencing the reading handout that you chose to use from Step #5. (Activity from Betsy Paskvan)
  7. Play Sentence Flyswatter with your students using slides 33-49. (Activity from Keith Toda)

6 comments

    1. When you do a MovieTalk, you mute the video–language is irrelevant! Great videos for MovieTalk can be understood simply by watching, even when dialogue is absent. The teacher can add narration as desired in L2 while the volume is muted!

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