Venezuela……Metas y Sueños…….and the power of Twitter

I’ve posted a couple of times now about this unit on goals and dreams that my Spanish IV students are doing (we’re almost done).  I have lots of activities to add to what I’ve already posted about, but something is happening that has interrupted and enriched the unit:  Venezuela.  Thanks to the power of Twitter, I have been able to incorporate the explosive situation in Venezuela into a very real, immediate, authentic source for Metas y Sueños.   ven 1If you have followed this blog for a while, you may remember that I have a huge unit that is loosely called Social Awareness through music; I use this unit in Spanish III.  About two thirds of my Spanish IV students were in my Spanish III classes last year, and therefore have some background knowledge of Venezuela.  Last year we followed the death of Hugo Chavez and the subsequent election between Maduro and Capriles.  So, last Friday, February 21, after having seen the Twitter activity with #SOSVenezuela, I had my students pull out their cell phones (Twitter is blocked at school) to begin reading the tweets with #SOSVenezuela.  We also had laptops out, so they could google Venezuela and find out information to answer their questions.  We spent most of the class “discovering” and talking.  What was happening in Venezuela? Why?  What were the goals and dreams of the students?  The goals of Leopoldo Lopez and his supporters?  The goals of Nicolas Maduro?  It was the best of helpful technology, high interest, situational immediacy, and the inquisitive minds that teenagers can exhibit.

After having followed the situation all through the weekend, I knew that I had to incorporate it into my lesson plan for this week, which was going to throw my timing off for the entire unit, and ultimately has made me do away with the last original Essential Question and evaluation for the unit (la banda sonora de tu vida).  We spent Monday viewing videos that had been tweeted about on Twitter, and working through many, many images, memes and posters.  I put all of the images on a SMARTboard presentation so that they could see them in color and very large.  The vocabulary was an amazing tie in with our active vocabulary for this unit (rendirse, darse por vencido, metas, sueños, vale la pena, alcanzar, etc.)

I followed this exploration with a “Free Write”.  I asked them to take the point of view of one of the following:

  • a student in Venezuela
  • Leopoldo Lopez
  • Nicolas Maduro
  • a musical artist that we have studied (Juanes, Carlos Baute, etc.)
  • an average citizen in Venezuela
  • an average citizen in the U.S.

For five minutes, they were to write about what was happening in Venezuela, using as much of our active vocabulary as possible. As with all of our free writes, grammar counts very little, content is most important.  This free write was 15 points content, 5 points grammar.  The results were impressive, as were the different points of view.

Here is a sampling of some of the sources of information that I used (most of them came directly from Twitter):

We also revisited song of the songs that we had used in Spanish III by Carlos Baute, including this one that has a new video using images from the current situation.

NO TE RINDASAs WORLD language teachers, I can not emphasize enough how valuable Twitter is for us.  It continues to be one of the most valuable tools that I have.

Advertisements

And the curriculum guide says………

para alcanzar tus suenosOur curriculum for Spanish IV says that we are in a chapter that focuses on aspirations (tough vocabulary, abstract ideas) and,…..tons of grammar (preterite of stative verbs, grammatical reflexives, preterite versus imperfect, subjunctive with adverbial conjunctions). So, am I tied to this textbook that we have been given? No!  With this post I hope to encourage those of you who have a textbook that may not be the most relevant….meaning that it simply doesn’t have the authentic resources that will tie it to comprehensible input……to take part/some of what the curriculum dictates and create something that does use authentic resources.

For the past three years I have been modifying this chapter, trying to add interest, trying to make it relevant and not so overwhelmingly dry and so heavy, grammatically. Even so, I have not looked forward to tackling this chapter again this year. To some extent, I have had success, but not enough for me to be content with what we’ve done.  Therefore, I decided to undertake a complete overhaul of this unit.  I’ve created a master plan (backwards design) and have modeled the “look” of the plan on one that I started using after admiring/implementing the work of Kara Jacobs. The name of the unit is now Las metas y los sueños, and it does include many of the elements of the original chapter. Here is the ” BIG PICTURE.”

Preguntas Esenciales

1. ¿Qué es tu rutina diaria? ¿Cómo te escapas la rutina?                                                    2. ¿Cuáles son tus metas, tus sueños? ¿A qué quieres dedicarte? ¿Cómo han cambiado tus metas /sueños desde tu niñez? ¿Cómo vas a lograr tus sueños? ¿Cómo te enfrentas a los retos, los obstáculos?                                                                                                   3. ¿Quién es una persona que ha superado mucho? ¿Cuáles son las características y/o las acciones de la persona que ha superado mucho?  ¿Quién es una persona que admiras?¿Porqué?                                                                                                                                        4. ¿Cómo presentan los sueños y las metas las canciones y/o las películas populares?                                                                                                                                5. ¿Cuál fue la banda sonora de tu infancia? ¿Cuál fue la banda sonora de sus años de escuela secundaria? ¿Qué crees que va a ser la banda sonora de tu futuro?

Evaluaciones

1. Examen Oral (25 puntos): describe tus metas y tus sueños y cómo han cambiado (6 febrero)                                                                                                                                   2. Examen escrito (25 puntos): describe a una persona que admiras (11 febrero)                                                                                                                                   3. Examencito oral (20 puntos): Contesta preguntas sobre tu rutina diaria (14 febrero)                                                                                                                                    4. Presentación (con compañero, 30 puntos) : Escoge una de las canciones/películas y haz un video/ppt, etc. que refleja el significado (26 febrero)                                                  5. Presentación: La Banda Sonora de tu vida con audio/explicación escrita (25 puntos) y presentación oral de 2 minutos SIN APUNTES (20 puntos) (5 marzo)

I am going to try to post the various materials being used as I use them.  As with so many of my Twitter colleagues (so many, but to name a few: Kara Jacobs, Sarah E Cottrell, Cristina Zimmerman, Kristy Placido, Mike Peto, Bethanie Drew, Cynthia Hitz, Carrie Toth, Amy Lenord) the emphasis for providing comprehensible input will come from authentic resources. However, I will say that with the constant weather interruptions, it has been impossible to gather momentum yet!

I introduced the unit with an unusual video:  Elvis Presley, singing If I Can Dream in English, with Spanish subtitles.

This was followed by some discussion of his dream and dreams in general.  I had pre-targeted some vocabulary, which was on the word wall in Spanish only: metas, intentar, realizar, soñar con, retos/desafíos, and I kept trying to insert the words into our conversation as I pointed to them on the wall.  Next I had them work with a partner with a “Twitter” page (modeled after Twiccionario by Zachary Jones).  To create your own Twitter page is relatively simple by using the #hashtag with the word(s) desired.  In this case I wanted authentic tweets about #metas.  Metas day 1 beginning

Day 2 began with several posters from the site desmotivaciones that focused on dreams, goals, challenges, etc. Working with different partners, they worked their way through the 8 posters, trying to derive meaning while adding to their vocabulary.  After about 7 minutes, I had them choose two that they either understood well, spoke to them, or were giving them trouble.  They then shared with the class. Here are the Metas carteles, and here is a link to them on my wiki (so they could see them in color). Following this, students worked in small groups (3-4) creating definitions for los sueños y las metas and discussing whether a dream is the same thing as a goal.  After that, they worked individually to focus on their own dreams and goals in three categories: education, family/love, and profession/future plans. They also began to write briefly about how they would reach these goals/dreams and the challenges they might face. Metas personales

Both days I have had Celebra tu vida by Axel playing as they come to class.  I intend to use it extensively this coming week. The plan for Monday is based on a lesson that has gone well for the past 5 years, and one that came from Zachary Jones‘ older site, Actualidades.  It includes a lectura, video, and a free write about Kseniya Simonova, an artist from the Ukraine who won the Ukrainian version of America’s Got Talent in 2009. Metas Kseniya Simonova If you have not heard of her, or seen the video, it really is worth watching.  Each year my students have been amazed, and very moved.  It has led to some rich discussion and some interesting free writes.

We also will be looking at parts of the famous speech by Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream, using the Spanish text. (This idea came from something that Zachary Jones posted on MLK Day, what an incredible resource he is for Spanish teachers!!!!) We will watch small parts of this video 

  We will use this lectura based on the speech.   Metas MLK

Both the work with Kseniya and Martin Luther King are activities designed to support the oral assessment of dreams and goals as well as the written assessment on a person that they admire.  Since this is a work in progress, I would really appreciate any ideas, suggestions, comments that you might have.

Ejercicios para escuchar…..

As language teachers, we spend a lot of time trying to give our students ample opportunities to speak as well as to listen.  We know that listening is the crucial skill that leads to language acquisition.  Perhaps some of you have reached the point where listening activities in your textbooks just are not adequate, or they are boring, or they are not relevant and certainly not authentic.  This post is to share some different types of listening activities that I have come to rely on.  In no particular order:

1.  Take any group of related vocabulary that you may be working with and create a document with a word bank and pictures.  My example is something that my Spanish III students were working on toward the end of the year, a unit on bullfighting in Spain.  La Corrida de toros La corrida 2There are many options, and I used just about all of them with this particular document. I retold all of our information about bullfighting, and as I did this, the paired students identified which picture I was talking about.  When I was done, the paired students then identified the pictures, in random order, saying the vocabulary word that is listed in the word bank.  The paired students can ask each other to indicate which picture goes with a specific word.  Finally, the paired students can recreate all of the information that they know about bullfighting by using the words in the word bank and indicating the pictures.

2.  Use any SHORT (no more than a minute or so) high interest video.  My students are really into sports, and we were learning about all types of sports.  I took a clip from ESPN called las mejores jugadas de la semana and created three different types of listening activities from it. Sometimes students worked individually, sometimes with a partner.  Play the video at least once prior to working with it.  I actually played it the day before I intended to do anything with it, and asked students to tell me what they knew from the video.  The next day, with a partner, I asked them to focus on a very limited range of information: what country each ball player was from and to complete this chart: ESPN 2Individually, the next day, I played the clip again, and asked them to attempt to identify/answer 5 pieces of information.  Again, the listening focus was very narrow, and they had now heard the clip at least three times.

  • 1.     Hace su novena jonrón del año.  
  • 2.    ¿Qué es un campo corto?  
  • 3.    Bateó un jonrón larguísimo que llegó hasta el agua.  
  • 4.    Tenía una gran atrapada.  
  • 5.    Llevó la cuarta victoria de la temporada, 7 strikeouts y permitió 2 hits.  

Another activity, again with a partner, was to identify the team of each player mentioned.  For this activity, they are listening as well as reading the information on screen. 

 

Colorado Rockies

Cardinales

New York Mets

Gigantes de San Francisco

Azulejos (Toronto)

Medias Blancas

Texas Rangers

Bautista

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramírez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandoval

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martín

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lagares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

De la Rosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

García

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crédito Extra:  ¿Qué significa?  Perfecto hasta la séptima entrada

Some sites with great short clips:  BBC Mundo Noticias en 60 segundos  ESPN Deportes    Video      Video y Fotos-BBC Mundo

3.  Use a song to introduce a unit.  In this case, I was beginning a unit on sports, and decided to focus on this great song by Huecco.

The first day, the song was playing as the students entered the classroom.  They immediately requested that I play it again after the bell had rung!  The second day, we took a more focused look at it, as I asked them to attempt to complete this chart:

Escuchas muy bien!!!  Huecco……….                          

Sustantivos (Nouns)

Verbos/Infinitivos

Time Expressions

1.

1.

1.

2.

2.

2.

3.

3.

3.

4.

4.

5.

5.

               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               

10 years of teaching social awareness through music….

I finished my 10th year of teaching social awareness through music with my Spanish III classes this week.  And, as has happened every year since I created this unit, it got longer and more involved, and the kids were terrific!  When I started 10 years ago, I used 3 songs (two from Juanes and one from Juan Luis Guerra).  This year, I used 15 songs (Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Baute and Yerson and Stuard).  I spent about 6 weeks in the unit full time, but I actually started the music as we were finishing a unit about travel.  Within the teaching of this unit, I also incorporated preterite and imperfect, present subjunctive, geography of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and South America in general, history of the three focal countries and background information with authentic readings of all of the artists except for Yerson and Stuard.  I plan to post the entire unit here this summer, when school is done; however, you can see the bulk of the work here.

This year, as I have done for the past 6 years, the students all chose one song as their focus, and created their own interpretation of it.  This was the assignment: PBT La Música 2013.

With this unit, I give the only “test” of the year, which is essentially identifying the geographical and historical points for the 3 countries studied in depth, identifying positive and negative vocabulary, choosing their own vocabulary to show me what they have learned, writing what they know about Juanes, and using the lyrics of the songs to support the themes of the unit.  The last part of the “test” is to let me know what they may have gotten from this unit.  Here are some of their responses.

Barrett23456

Additionally, I had some students create extra things, and I had one class, my smallest, ask to create their own Bandera de Manos.  I’m posting some of the projects below as well as pictures of the Bandera de Manos and some shirts that students created.

Minas Piedras 2

Bandera 2Bandera 3bandera 4bandera 5bandera 6 groupbandera 7Bandera de Manossuenos

Q & A with song lyrics

I was wrapping up the very large Juanes section of my music/social unit with my Spanish III classes this week when I decided to include one more song, one that I had not used in previous years: Segovia.  I have used a different tactic with each song in the unit, so I wanted something new for this one, too.  The lyrics of the song include some words that were very new, but important to the song, as well as words that we had been including in our unit but may not have been fully grasped by everyone.  I’ve bolded the words we have been including in our study below, and I have italicized the words that were brand new.

Un once de noviembre a las siete de la noche
Hombres armados dispararon sin reproches
Contra la gente del municipio de Segovia
Llovía cántaros, la plaza estaba llena
Varias granadas estallaron en cadena
El nordeste antioque
ño todo rojo se tornó
Es una canción por los que se murieron allá en Segovia
Y por todas las familias que fueron víctimas en Segovia
No van a desaparecer
Nunca jamás de la memoria
No van a desaparecer
Aunque los quieran desaparecer

Since the song very specifically tells the story of what happened in Segovia on the 11th of November, and one of our goals in Spanish III is to be able to narrate a story, I decided to pull the details of the story out of the song that would then become the answers to a series of questions.  I first had my students watch the video with the lyrics.  When it was done I asked them what they knew.  They quite accurately were able to tell me people died in November (they mixed up Nov. 11 and 7:00 at night), that there were victims, that it was raining, and that armed men shot. A few in each class were able to guess that grenades were involved and that they didn’t want memories to disappear.  Segovia por Juanes

Next I gave them the paper on which all of the key information had been placed randomly.  Slide1They listened to the song again (just the first minute and a half) without seeing the lyric video, and I asked them to put a check by every phrase that they heard.  After that, I had them count how many they had heard.  While some had only heard 5 – 7 of the phrases, most had heard 10 -13 (there are 13 phrases in total).  We then went through the phrases and they told each other what they meant, checking with me when they were unsure.  I then finished playing the song while they answered the questions at the bottom.  After having done that, they were very capable of narrating the story of what had happened in Segovia.

I liked this activity, and the students were actively engaged in it.  I have decided to apply the same type of exercise to a listening activity that my Spanish IV students will be doing on Monday, using a news video from BBC Mundo.  Música para alejarse de la violencia

Slide2

Using a news clip

I firmly believe in exposing my students to geography and current events on a very regular basis.  We work with maps, geography and recurring stories a lot.  I used to love the BBC Mundo Freaky news stories, but they no longer are creating them. As I’ve mentioned previously, I also use the BBC Mundo Noticias en 60 Segundos.

Zachary Jones/Zambombazo had a great find and activity posted about two weeks ago.  He found a news source that uses positive news!!! To quote Zachary Jones, Horizonte Latinoamericano

1. Es positivo.
2. Tiene un enfoque cultural.
3. Tiene un enfoque latinoamericano.

I really liked it, but I didn’t want to spend as much time with the activity that it would have taken.  Also, I wanted an opportunity for them to talk with a partner.  So, I decided to use part of the video about Fútbol en Haití (the first two minutes),

I created this activity (based on part of the Zambombazo crossword puzzle).

Fútbol en Haití

deportiva                     Violette                sueño                  Real Madrid
latas de refresco                 juntarnos(X2)                 fútbol
  1. “En Haití el ______________________ es un estilo de vida.” (Bisogno Jacques)
  2. El cantante y representante de cultura de Haití en México, Evans Cadet, nos platica de la pasión _____________________ en la isla.
  3. Evans Cadet dice que jugaba al fútbol con __________________ y con las mallas de su mama con papel adentro.
  4. “Somos un pueblo bien amigable.  Nos gusta _________________, tener un motivo para __________________ y el fútbol es un motivo.” (Cadet)
  5. Evans Cadet compara la rivalidad entre América y Chivas en México con la rivalidad entre RC Haitien y _________________.
  6. “Había muchos aficionados de Napoli con Maradona y más tarde de Fiorentina por Batistuta, pero ahora creo que la moda es le fútbol español, entonces obviamente __________________________ tiene muchos fans en Haití, Barcelona también”.  (Cadet)
  7. “El gran _______________ del ser haitiano es ver a Haití en el próximo Mundial”. (Cadet)

Con tu compañero, hablen………

  • ¿Por qué están los verbos en #3 y #6 en el imperfecto?
  • By context, ¿qué quiere decir “platica” en #2?
  • Busca 7 cognates
  • Según Cadet, ¿cómo se dice “next World Cup/games”?

Horizonte Latinoamericano 42 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NYZSS7xK8FU#!