Rods and Silence
Continue placing rods on the table for the students to name
and once the group is feeling confident and responding quickly
and naturally to the stimuli put down two of the same color.
Depending on your group's mother tongue you'll get different
responses to this new stimulus.
When teaching the plural in English the main concern in this
situation is that we don't use the indefinite article and
that the "-s" is added only to the noun. Continue by placing
individual rods and manageable groups of the same colored
ones on the table. Before asking for questions ask who hasn't
caught on and have them take your place at the table to put
different rods on the table. This gives them a chance to test
their theories or clarify doubts by listening to the group's
description of the configurations. Finally have the group
tell you what the salient features of this plural are.
one/ones AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE NOUN
With the rods hidden from the learners' view by the upright
lid place three or four different colored rods on the table.
Elicit from the group the first phrase: "A red rod,". Hold
up your hand or signal in some other way that they are not
to go on. Tap out the rest of the sequence using the words
you've put on the board: "a white one and a black one." Show
with the pointer that the group is to start from the other
end. The reverse sequence will be "A black rod, a white one
and a red one." Remove the rods and replace them with another
three or four and ask the group to say this sequence. Remove
these rods and replace with a sequence that has at least two
rods of the same color in it. Put these rods in the middle
or at the end. By now the students or at least some of them
will feel confident enough to start right in with describing
the sequence. They will easily say "An orange rod, a dark
green one and something like a two blue one (sic) when they
get to the last phrase wait for someone to come up with the
plural and if after thirty seconds no one does either point
to the "s" you've written on the board or if you're using
hand finger correction show them they must add something to
the final word. Have the group reverse the order to produce:
"Two blue rods, a dark green one and an orange one."
At this point you
may ask the group what "one" means or does in these phrases.
As usual you should accept all theories, but if they're way
off, the group is telling you that your examples haven't been
clear enough or that they need more practice.
For further group
practice have the students work in pairs or small groups taking
turns at setting up and describing the different configurations.
D. NUMBERS REVISION
If you want to review numbers place different numbers of rods
on the table saying "Three rods. Ten rods. etc." Turn the
task over to the students first by placing them on the table
yourself and having volunteers supply the correct number and
then having volunteers put various numbers of them on the
table which other volunteers or the group number.
to the beginning of the article
Back to the
the cuisenaire rods illustration page that accompanies the
December 2000 newsletter
To a lesson
plan that incorporates the rods