My students LOVE this. They beg for it- even the ones who will never talk in class. You must try it, and if you’re anywhere around a unit building on present progressive, you should do this every day for the first five minutes at least.
I copy/paste my class roster into the fruit machine picker and it chooses a random student. That student stays seated and all the others come to the front (you may have to do this in groups – my largest class is 8 so we can do it as whole-class). The chosen student gives a place and/or situation, e.g. in a park, or at an amusement park, or at the movies. I say ‘lights, camera, action’ (in Spanish) and all the ‘players’ adopt a frozen pose of what they are doing in the situation. Then I go around with a pretend microphone and interview them with rapid question/answer style – “Where are you? Why? With whom? Who’s winning?” etc. Then the chosen student selects who was the most creative (they just get cheers for it; there’s no prize, but they don’t care), I remove the chosen student’s name from the fruit picker and do it again.
It’s a winner. My dramatic students get crazy with it. My shy students do something expected but are eager to talk about what they’re doing, especially because the Q & A style doesn’t involve me standing at the front of the class saying, “Now, remember to answer with a complete sentence” (who says that in real life anyway?). I made a video of my students doing this
and posted it as a private video on YouTube for Paulino. I don’t have permission to show my students on my blog or on YouTube publicly, but if you are a teacher and you’d like to see how it worked for us, send me your email and I’ll add you as a viewer.
UPDATE (Dec 2012)
These students have all graduated and given me permission to make this video available to you. Enjoy.