Last time we were here, we had successfully made our house. We took 2 days to build it to this point. The 1st day, we build the structure and add that vocab. The 2nd day, We build the foldable rooms and add them, along with the door and the window. That way, I don't overwhelm my kids with vocab and we don't have a death march to the end of something that's supposed to be fun and engaging.
The 3rd day is where we really get into the use of each room. We open each room (abre la cocina: with super exaggerated motions) and then I ask them "Te gusta" questions about the actions in each room. We write and draw the full sentences on the inside top of the flap. They don't need help with the "me gusta" part because that structure is from last unit. It's a whole conversation in Spanish that goes in depth in each room about what they like or don't AND they can give details about specific things that they like to cook or don't like to cook. They can tell me what they like to watch or not, or if they like to sleep a lot or a little.
So...this is Day 4!!!! I have never been so nervous about a lesson as the first time I did this. So, I was determined to introduce the grammar without making a chart and conjugating every form of every verb. So, I started talking to them about what they like to do, repeat from yesterday, then I modeled... "Me gusta cocinar...por eso, YO COCINO." and then I repeat it. "Me gusta cocinar...por eso, YO COCINO." and then they write "Yo cocino." in the blank on the bottom. Then I ask someone " ¿Tú cocinas? and I give them a few seconds to process and if they don't say anything I point to myself and say "Yo cocino pizza. Yo cocino pollo. Yo cocino hamburguesas.... ¿Tú cocinas?" And my AMAZING students say "Yo cocino." and then you move to the next kid... ¿Tú cocinas? "Yo cocino." and then you move to "comer" and repeat.
Some of the other verbs in the house are reflexives or stem changers, but I don't even have a discussion about that. I teach the language function as a vocabulary piece, the same way I teach "Me llamo" at the beginning. It doesn't require any explanation. I make sure to include 1 verb that you don't do, so they can see where the "no" goes in the sentence to get the structure written down. Once all the sentences are in the house, we talk and expand. From "Do you cook?" to "What do you cook?" You can give your high flyers open ended questions and your lower kids yes/no questions. You want them to feel the Q&A rhythm.
Once they have the rhythm, then you open all the rooms, switch into English, and ask them what patterns they see. Every time I have done this, they see the "yo--o" connection and they see how the stem of the verb is common in the "Me gusta" and "Yo" sentences, so that must show the meaning. They end up with "The front of the verb shows what is happening and the ending shows who is making it happen." I was so scared about this lesson at the beginning, but by the end, they were asking and answering questions in spoken and written form and I have never been so proud of anything that we have done together.