I’m not exactly sure where I got this idea, it may not be original but it is SO great that I have to share it. I’m not terribly creative on my own, but I can take other peoples ideas and make them work in my classroom so I imagine that it is a combination of ideas from a number of resources.
I really dislike teaching indirect and direct object pronouns and have really quit reviewing them specifically in my upper-level classes for the most part and instead we read novels and discuss them anytime they come up in songs and other authentic materials I use in class.
I just began a chapter on the future that includes the introduction of using the two types of object pronouns together and was looking over my plans from last year and found this message on introduction day’s plans:
THIS ACTIVITY IS AWESOME FOR TEACHING DOUBLES!!!!!!!!!!! USE ME AGAIN!
So, apparently I was impressed enough with the outcome to leave myself a message-which I don’t do as often as I should!
First we have already spent a day using the song “I Love You” by Juan Cirerol to review IOPs and DOPs in another period so they understand the difference and have it more freshly in their memories. To start, I tell the students that they are leaving this world (moving to Mars or by death or whatever other reason they want to come up with) and can’t take anything with them. They then write down their 5 most prized possessions (that they must be able to say in Spanish), but they cannot be people.
On the board I write: ¿A quién le darás _________? and choose 1 student to give me one of the items from their list with which I finish the question: ¿A quién le darás el guante de beísbol? Then have them tell me who they would leave this item to and write it out like this:
Kyle se lo dará a Casey.
This is followed by 1 minute for them to discuss what the sentence is stating and what the colored parts represent. They don’t have any trouble with the DOP usually, but the “se” really throws them off. “It’s reflexive.” “Are you sure that’s right, Profe?”, etc. So I bait them a little. Well, is there a reflexive verb in that sentence? –No.– Then some of them will try to say it matches the “to whom” (the indirect object) and so I mess with them. “I’m pretty sure “se” was not in your notes for IOP, so how would you explain that. They either get worked up, throw out ridiculous answers, or figure out that for some reason it is still the IOP just in a different form.
At this point I tell them the IOP idea-folks are right and tell them to say out loud to their partner how it would be if I used “le” instead of the “se.” Immediately they comment on how difficult it is to say and we have a discussion about romance languages and why these changes happen. Then I have them say it out loud as it should be with the “se lo” and they agree that it flows so much better.
To follow up, I have them write my question with each of their 5 items and answer the question describing to whom they would leave it using their newly discovered understanding of double pronoun usage. I will spend another day or two working with them on personal and authentic text examples to ensure that they understand how it all goes together. What I love about this is that it is completely discovery learning. The kids figure out the how and why and I simply mediate (and at times for those that “just want the answer,” aggravate) the conversation, subtly leading them to land in the right spot.