A topic I just completed with my French 2s was a topic regarding location prepositions: on, under, near, far from, etc. I am a very hands on teacher and feel that being able to move and feel some of the actions can help students learn, so I do that whenever possible. To prepare them for the exam, I would tell them where to put their pencil in relation to their notebooks. "Mettez le crayon sous le cahier." "Mettez le crayon devant le cahier". It worked alright but things got messy when you tried to do "in" and the notebooks were just plain awkward. Not to mention some students don't have notebooks (by choice.. I don't get it... but hey that's another story).
My next idea was to have them make a small cube out of paper by folding and gluing flaps. So I set aside 10 minutes one day for them to make a cube (and keep the top open) to do this exercise. Well.. 30 minutes later... the cubes weren't even finished yet. Not to mention.. where do you store 15 cubes that are 3x3x3?
Then it hit me. Cups! They store easily, still have an inside/outside and everything in between. All you have to do is go to the store and pay a few dollars and these cups can be used for years to come. If you get the sturdy red plastic cups, you can easily store them for years and years and bring them out whenever you do this unit. It's also nice to have them on hand in case you have a few minutes at the end of class with time to kill. All you have to do is whip them out and review location prepositions. Cleanup is a breeze as well and they are much sturdier than paper cubes.
And because it's that kind of day, here's a little bit of cup happiness for your Tuesday morning. Bonus points if you know what awesome TV show this photo comes from :)