I have blogged about Bill Van Patten's book While We're On The Topic before. I, again, highly recommend it! One thing that I really like are what BVP calls "Tasks". BVP explains the difference between Exercises, Activities, and Tasks in detail in his book, but I super-simplified it in this post.
I also shared two examples of Tasks: one for Weekend Talk and one for ¿Jugamos más deportes ahora o jugábamos más cuando éramos niños? These Tasks, in addition to being communicative, are also giving lots of INPUT and building community in the class because of the wrap-up class discussion where they share about what they learned about their classmates.
I like Tasks so much, that I decided to create one to use as starter activity at the beginning of my Lotería unit (or this smaller unit with the new "22 otra vez"). See the doc below and/or click here to make a copy of it.