Hold Ups

The purpose of this activity is to build recall of key or target vocabulary at sentence level, to build confidence in learners, and to check for learning for each individual student. Each student has a collection of images that represent a key vocabulary item of the lesson. The teacher says a sentence (and questions as appropriate for context) containing a key vocabulary item or describing the vocabulary item to the whole class. Based on the sentence they hear, the students hold up a picture that corresponds to the key vocabulary item described in the sentence or used in the sentence.

Instructions

  1. The teacher gives a short explanation of the activity and models the procedure with a sample sentence, selecting the image that matches the sentence. Repeat with additional samples based on student understanding of the task.

  2. The teacher distributes a set of images to each student and asks each student to spread the images out on a desk or table, looking at each one carefully. If necessary, lead students through a practice round to make sure that the they understand the process.

  3. The teacher says a sentence containing a key vocabulary item or describing the vocabulary item to the whole class. Based on the sentence they hear, the students hold up a picture that corresponds to the key vocabulary item described in the sentence or used in the sentence.

  4. The teacher pauses to review monitor student responses and provide extra support by using non-verbal prompts or cues as needed.

  5. Possible extension: As students store their images, they are asked to say what they can about each image to their partner.

Helpful Tips

  1. Ask students to place their images into an envelope or a sealable bag for future use.

  2. Ask students to hold the images close to their bodies so that other students cannot see them, so that: 1. anxiety of more timid or less confident students is reduced because only the teacher can see their responses; 2. Students cannot see the image others choose and must rely on their own learning and understanding to choose the image.

  3. Vary the complexity of the sentences so that more than one image is the appropriate choice.

  4. Take note of any gaps in the students’ understanding and adjust next steps in instruction as needed.

Differentiation

  1. Vary the complexity and type of sentence based on the proficiency level of the students, e.g. basic descriptions or sentences containing the item for Novice, questions whose answer is the item for Intermediate.

  2. Adapt this interpretive activity into a production task by asking students to: 

    1) use two images to create a sentence (oral or written)

    2) write a story containing all the images

    3) ask small groups to make up their own sentences, then give this “quiz” to other individuals or another group to identify.

Materials

  1. Individual images for each key vocabulary item. One set per student. 

  2. Teacher developed sentences that describe or include each image.

  3. Sample hold-ups in multiple languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish) including processing cards, emotion cards, like/dislike cards, yes/no cards.

  4. An envelope or sealable baggie to store each set of vocabulary images for future use. Optional

Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrOuPDzmiI8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iu82A03wJo