Sunday, November 20, 2016


I started having my students write Twittertales several years ago, as an exercise in getting them to understand that they can tell stories in the Target Language - sentences that go beyond simple subject and verb -  even at the Novice High/Intermediate Low Levels by focusing on specific pieces of information:
  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
The beauty of this platform for lower level students is the 140 character limit. By using the simple formula of including those five elements, a complete story can be told basically in a single sentence. The other, perhaps more obvious advantage, is that Twitter allows students to write for an authentic, global audience.

I give students a visual prompt, usually in the form of a thought-provoking photo, often from the French Facebook page Les Photovores. The curious nature of the photos serve to spark students' creativity, though they may be using very basic language (dates, family members...) to address most of the elements. I've also used candid shots of students, which really gets the creative juices flowing!

Twittertales may stand alone, or for students capable of more advanced writing, serve as a starting point for expansion with connective phrases and detail.

Give this new twist on storytelling a shot, and let me know how it goes!

No comments:

Post a Comment