Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Arthur Alien Assembly

Ok, so admittedly this is a tech tool with a very narrow application, but it solves a problem for me that I have long been wanting to solve, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

The Arthur Alien Assembly Game allows students (or teachers) to create original alien creatures with minimal effort.  The website will then allow you to print the alien you have created, or alternatively, you can take a screenshot of your creation, and embed it into a web page, wiki page, etc. 

Why would a foreign language teacher be interested in this tool?  Body parts, numbers, and colors.  It's a concept most teachers of novice language students must teach.  I have long drawn absurd pictures of alien creatures for my students to describe to one another, but my art skills leave a lot to be desired.  If students have to ask me what body part appears on their paper, I have failed.

So here's how I use this in class:  Each student spends less than five minutes creating their alien.  Without showing their partner, they need to describe the alien (including numbers, body parts,and colors) to their partner, who must attempt to draw what they hear.  Partners then switch roles.  Drawings are compared to the actual alien creations to see how well they described/understood the description.

Here's a sample :

What do you think?

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