Esperanza…..4th time!

This is the 4th year that I have used the TPRS Storytelling novel, Esperanza (Carol Gaab) with Spanish III as the first novel of the year.  Although it may sound ridiculous, I am loving this novel more than ever! However, the point of this post is not to detail all of the things that I am doing the same as well as differently. Rather, I am going to share, once again, a favorite song that I use with the novel and the updates that I have done with it.  The song is Ave que emigra by Gaby Moreno (from Guatemala).

The previous three years the song was a hit with most of the students in my classes, but this year it became a guiding piece of pre-teaching as well as a continuing presence during the novel.  Additionally, there is a new Gaby Moreno song out called Guatemorfosis that will provide a hopeful focus as we finish the novel.

This year, in conjunction with my “Intro to Guatemala” cultural component, I used a story that I wrote that was based on the song.  We started this one the very first day of our Guatemala study.  I literally used the lyrics that Gaby Moreno wrote in the song to create the story, incorporating some of them directly into the story.  The results were wonderful. I spent 2 days with the story prior to introducing the song. The first activity with the actual song is to watch about a minute 10 seconds of the video, just checking what they see.  We briefly talk about the images that they have seen.

ave-1  We then listen to the first part of the song, putting the first 7 lines in order. After that, we talked about what those lyrics meant. This year, there was no need to elaborate on new vocabulary or to explain what “Guate” was. The students knew exactly what the lyrics were saying because of the story that we had read.  Students answered some basic questions about the singer and the song, completed a simple cloze, worked with synonyms and antonyms, and did a personal reflection about what they thought the title of the song meant and what it might mean in terms of the novel that were going to be reading. We also did a partner ordering of the song lyrics on another day, using big sentence strips on cardstock. An additional homework assignment was to illustrate their choice of three lines of the song. I brought the song back again in chapter 4, as the family prepares to leave for Chiapas (we spent quite some time on Chiapas and its’ relationship historically with Guatemala/Mexico), using an interview with Gaby, a close look at the lyrics (especially Cansados de estar corriendo    En tiempos de cacería ) and the official video for the first time.

I was so excited this summer to discover that Gaby, as part of a Pepsi campaign in Guatemala, had released a new song. There is an entire site devoted to Guatemorfosis: El cambio #YosoyGuatemoforsis, with many stories from people in Guatemala who are creating change for the country.  The song is a HUGE hit in my classes. The kids love the music and her voice.  It is a really catchy tune! I have not yet worked with the lyrics with the classes yet since I want to keep this as an end activity when they know that the family has made it to the United States. I will use the song to bring the focus to present day Guatemala and the hopeful state of mind that is beginning to emerge after the decades of Civil War and the troubling years after that. One activity that I know I will use once the students have learned the lyrics will be this matching activity guatemoforsis-through-images. I will run off sets of the pictures for groups of two. They will be cut and placed in a baggie.  I will play the song and the students will arrange the pictures to go with the lyrics of the song. There will be other activities, I just haven’t gotten to that point yet!

The song is so new that the lyrics are not available on line yet, so here they are, to the best of my ability (which means there may be errors!):

Hay un camino que nos trajo hasta aquí
No conoce las fronteras de esta pasion dentro de mi
Es anhelo el que me empuja cada nuevo amanecer
Con mis temores y ilusiones y los restos de ayer
uuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh
La esperanza nos acompaña
Con ella nada nos puede detener
Yo de tu mano
Tu de la mía
No hay nada que temer
Y río y bailo
Está en mis venas
Y libre sueño
Yo pertenezco aquí

Quién sabe
lo que el mañananos quisiera regalar
Hoy es todo lo que tengo
Y lo voy a atesorar
Poniendo en manifiesto cuanta luz puedo irridiar
Y ser feliz es el remedio
Que todo lo pueden mejorar
Y río y bailo
Está en mis venas
Y libre sueño
Yo pertenezco aquí
Y río y bailo
Está en mis venas
Y libre sueño
Hasta el final seguiré

 

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The songs that anchor my units

ship-anchor-red-clipart-1  I have written so many times about music and my teaching.  I literally have been using music in my classes for the past 37 years!  Yes, I know, I’m ancient. What doesn’t ever get ancient is the music.  This post is going to be a bit different.  I’m trying to consolidate; instead of writing a post about a specific unit I am going to simply list all of my units and the music that anchors each of them.  There is NOT ONE unit that doesn’t begin with music, not one. Music is always part of my “hook”.  It may not be the only hook, but it always is one of the hooks and the music “plays” on throughout the entire unit.

Spanish III

  1. Esperanza, the novel, written by Carol Gaab

2. La comida (Puerto Rico), story and unit developed by Sharon Birch

3. La ropa, story and unit developed by Sharon Birch and Megan Matthews

4. Robo en la noche, the novel, written by Kristy Placido

5. Colombia, Juanes y Los Colores de la Montaña, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch

  • A Dios le pido, Juanes
  • La Historia de Juan, Juanes
  • Segovia, Juanes
  • Minas Piedras, Juanes
  • Sueño Libertad, Juanes
  • Bandera de Manos, Juanes
  • Odio por amor, Juanes
  • La Tierra, Juanes
  • No queremos minas, Yerson y Stuard
  • Los Caminos de la vida, Los Diabolitos

6. Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos, the novel, written by Carrie Toth

Spanish IV

  1. La Llorona, the novel, written by Katie Baker

2. El Arte (Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Picasso,Dalí), stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch     I hope to add the novel, Frida, written by Kristy Placido

3. La Comida de México y Perú, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch, original ideas from Kara C. Jacobs  and Cristina Zimmerman

4. Las Metas y los Sueños, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch

5. La Guerra Civil en El Salvador y Voces Inocentes, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch, original ideas from Kara C. Jacobs

6. Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha 13, the novel, anonymous

7. La Inmigración, unit developed by Sharon Birch

8. La Narcoviolencia, unit developed by Sharon Birch, original ideas from Kara C. Jacobs, Cristina Zimmerman and Zachary Jones

9. Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos, the novel, written by Carrie Toth     I taught this in Spanish III and IV this year due to some extenuating circumstances (having to pick up a 6th class in March, no more funding for a new book, etc.)  Next year I hope to have the novel Felipe Alou, Carol Gaab, here.

 

Esperanza, year two……

So many people have been acknowledging the tremendous benefits and relevance of teaching with novels and CI, that there is no need for me to say more….other than I am 100% convinced that, for me, this is the way to teach.  I can not emphasize enough the phenomenal value of the TPRS novels and the novels being selfpublished (Mike Peto) as well as the original stories by people like Martina Bex.

This is my second year teaching with the novel Esperanza (written by the fabulous Carol Gaab) in my Spanish III classes. Last year, both the majority of my students and I loved this book and I wrote two posts about some of the things that we did: Esperanza y Gaby Moreno and Esperanza….the final assessments. However, this year I am even more pleased with what we have done so far…..and I am a little more than 2 weeks slower than I was last year!! Yes, it has taken me twice as long to cover the same material this year that I had covered last year at this point in time.  When all of those wise TPRS teachers and leaders say that “slower is better” and “make it personal”, they are oh, so right!  I know now that I did not do justice to the novel last year, nor to the great ideas in the teachers guide.

I am fortunate to be teaching Spanish III with a terrific colleague, Megan Matthews. We make a pretty good team, if I do say so! Between the two of us, we have 137 students in 5 sections of Spanish III, and we really try to plan and create together.  This year, we took many days to explore Guatemala: music, geography, history, etc.  We decided to really focus on La Guerra Civil before we began the actual book.   So far, it has really paid off. We have read, viewed, talked and used manipulatives to really understand the background of the book. Here are some of the things that we have used:

A brief “lectura”

Matarom a más de 200.000 personas.
Empezó en 1960. Duró por 36 años.
83% de las personas matadas fueron personas indígenas (mayas)
Los EE.UU. tenían intereses en Guatemala…..tierras de frutas, café, etc.
Los EE.UU. querían controlar la tierra. No querían a una persona comunista como presidente.
En 1960, los sindicatos empezaron a luchar por una vida mejor y los derechos de los mayas y los trabajadores.
General Efrain Rios Montt empezó los años más violentos. Mató a muchas personas en las montañas de Guatemala.
La Guerra Civil terminó en 1996 pero la lucha y la violencia siguen (continue).

La Guerra Civil Guatemala images

 

 

A Kahoot game

More information on General Efraín Ríos Montt, including a SMART presentation and more work with the vocabulary from the lectura (wordpress does not allow uploading this type of file).  Some of the things in the file are:

smart 1 smart 2 smart 3 smart 4 smart 5 smart 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another game, called Game Gritalo facts about civil war, where the class is divided into 2 teams.  Each team receives an identical set of cards (answers to the questions I will ask).  Each person receives at least one card.  I read the question or fact, and they had to recognize the answer, stand up and shout it! Noisy but a lot of fun.

Additionally, we have spent significant time talking about public transport, bus drivers and strikes.  All of this because Alberto, in the book, is a bus driver and we wanted our students to understand the significance of this, why it would be dangerous to be a bus driver (and why it continues to be dangerous) and why Esperanza and her mother have the feelings that they do about him/the job. Martina Bex has a useful product for the chicken bus in Guatemala and we used one of the readings from it. We also prefaced the entire situation with many personal questions about our students’ experiences with busses, whether they could identify the bus in Guatemala as the same school bus that they ride to school, etc. It was a very rich discussion in Spanish. We referenced articles that are relatively current that deal with continuing bus issues in Guatemala, such as this one. We used several videos: Just a bit of this one:

And finally, we have talked extensively about the crying of the baby due to hunger, the whining of Ricardito due to hunger, and their vomiting. We have discussed hunger (and vomiting due to crying and hunger) quite a bit.  I realize that I am taking liberties with the text, but I don’t feel that it is out of line.  We have talked about tortillas, bread and the staples of life for different cultures.  We have wondered and guessed why Esperanza was going to a tortillería in Chapter 2.  Would they eat just plain tortillas? What does a plain tortilla taste like? Would they add salt to it, such as in the documentary “Living on One“? On Monday, we are going to eat plain tortillas, salted tortillas, etc…..and they won’t be the American version “white flour tortillas.”

I hope these ideas may be beneficial to those of you who are also teaching with Esperanza. I’d love to hear more about what you are doing.

Esperanza….the final assessment(s)

It has been a whirlwind of a fall!  It is difficult, on one hand, to believe that I have not been able to blog since August.  On the other hand, it seems like August was just last week!  I continue to teach Spanish III and IV this year, but, as always, changes abound.  Since I do not use a text book (and haven’t now for years), I find myself creating material each year to match my students, their interests, and also, to match where I am going professionally.  I can say one thing unequivocally…enhancing CI with novels written specifically for that purpose is probably the best thing that I have ever done in my teaching career (with the exception of leaving the textbook behind, and always incorporating music).

I began this school year using Esperanza by Carol Gaab with Spanish III, and La Llorona de Mazatlán  by Katie Baker with Spanish IV.  My intentions/goals for those two books were my last posts in August….prior to the beginning of school!! With this post, I am only going to address Esperanza.  Two important observations:  my students thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it took much longer to finish that I expected!  However, it took longer because they enjoyed it so much!! There was just so much to do with the story and all of the possibilities that emerged as we went along!  You can see my entire 7 weeks of lesson plans here. I owe so much to the phenomenal Martina Bex, as it was her lessons that initially guided my planning, and I continued to refer to her during the entire journey.

We concluded this opening unit of Spanish III with this PBT Esperanza:

PBT Esperanza
Choose one of the following options to complete as your formal assessment. Pay close attention to the description, many of them contain multiple parts.
Guidelines:
• Work days are Wednesday and Thursday IN CLASS, that work is part of the grade.
• All PBT’s are due on Friday. (Work turned in late will be accepted, but for reduced credit).
• The PBT is worth 45 points.
1. Choose two characters from the book. With another person, role play a scene from the book featuring these two characters. You must create your own script. You cannot use the dialogue in the book. The script must contain at least 10 lines per character. The dialogue will be performed in class, and a copy of the script will be turned in. ***This is the only option with a partner. ***
2. Retell a part of the book from the point of view of Ricardito, Beto or Lucy. You must use at least 20 sentences.
3. Draw at least 3 full size comic strips that highlight three important events in the book. Make sure the dialogue is realistic for the characters and does NOT come from the book.
4. Create a graffiti drawing or mural about the book. The drawing should illustrate the MAIN events in the book. Graffiti/murals contain sentences and words, make sure you have at least 5 sentences in the picture.
5. Design a poster advertising the book, include at least 5 interesting details about the book that would make others want to read it.
6. Create song lyrics and music to tell the story of the book. Use the book title as the song title. Perform for the class, live, or record your song and bring it in. Alternately, you could adapt a song that already exists.
7. Draw relevant pictures for either Esperanza OR Alberto and write at least 10 facts that the reader learns about him or her.
8. Imagine that you are a character in the book and create a diary or a blog. Describe at least 5 events that happened in the story and YOUR reaction to them. Each entry must have at least 5 sentences.
9. Put together a collage for the book using at least 10 magazine pictures or color images from the computer. On a separate paper describe how at least 5 of the pictures relate to the story.
10. Make a timeline sequencing 10 important events that happened in the book. Each event must have a picture and a description.
11. Write a poem about one of the characters in the book. The poem should include at least 20 lines that illustrate the role of the character in the book.
12. Create the documents that Esperanza would have found to be the necessary evidence for political asylum. Include a letter stating why she qualifies for asylum. Include a newspaper clipping with picture that discusses violence in Guatemala.

Rubric checklist
_______ Meets the criteria of the description (5 points X 2)
_______ Demonstrates comprehension of the book (5 points X 3)
_______ Class Time used effectively and wisely (5 points X 2)
_______ Evidence of effort and creative work (5 points X 2)

I have 44 students in Spanish III this year, and every option available in the “lo tech” PBT was used by someone. The results were amazing as far as what the students took with them from the book and our activities.  Additionally, it should be readily apparent that there is a very wide span of proficiency with these assessments. NONE of these students came to be with a CI background, and 1/3 of them arrived in Spanish III from a miserable Spanish II experience with a person who is no longer in the profession. I will let the images below speak for themselves.  I can hardly wait to start our next book……here comes the end of January!!

photo 3 photo 9 photo 10 photo 11 photo 12 photo 13

photo 1photo 2 photo 4 photo 5 photo 6 photo 7

Esperanza y Gaby Moreno

cover of bookSchool starts in just a few days.  For the first time, I’m going to be starting the school year with the novel Esperanza by Carol Gaab. There are some superb lesson plans and activities that have been developed by Martina Bex and Profe Hanson. I will be using a lot of their material, but I’m also going to be creating some of my own….particularly dealing with music, and for this book, music from Guatemala.

I absolutely love the voice and music of Gaby Moreno.  She has a beautiful song called Ave que emigra, that I believe will help me transition into the central issue of immigration, reasons and causes.

I have developed activities that are designed to be done over at least two days. Our work with the song will  begin with watching the first minute of it and identifying what is seen.  It will continue with some ordering of the first two verses, some comprehension questions for those verses, a short cloze activity, some discussion with a partner, a retell in your own words, some work with synonyms and antonyms, interpretation of the title of the song, a reflection of the significance of the title in English, and drawing of choice lyrics.  If you would like to see the document, here it is: Ave Que Emigra por Gaby Moreno.