Fútbol y…….Wavin’ Flag

Having started the “sports/Spain” chapter with Spanish III, and having added lots of material related to jai-alai, la corrida de toros y la geografía de España in the last two years, I decided to expand the part on fútbol this year.  Actually, I was inspired by  Kara Jacobs and her mini unit on El Fútbol y la Copa Mundial.  In 2010, 2011 and 2012, I spent some time at the beginning of the school year with the songs Wavin’ Flag, Waka Waka and Grito Mundial.  I didn’t do that this year, so it seems logical to pick up something in the sports unit related to fútbol.  Today we spent just a bit of time with the song No hay dos sin tres (David Bisbal/Cali y el Dandee) and we talked a bit about the success of Spain in the recent years with fútbol.

The Plan:

Waka Waka will be playing as the students walk into class (it is routine that there is music playing as they walk in), and I may spend a minute or two talking about what they see/understand.  However, the lesson is going to be wrapped around Wavin’ Flag (David Bisbal and K’Naan).  Working with a partner, students will be given the Spanish lyrics to the song (without identifying what the song is).  Each group of two students will have two different colored highlighters to highlight first the nouns, then the verbs.  After a brief check to verify responses, the second step of this activity will be to place the nouns in three categories (people, places, things) and to place the verbs in a fourth column.  Hopefully, this will help them to give more context to the lyrics of the song.  I will spend just a few minutes with the verbs, asking them to look at tenses.  They have not worked with the future tense, so it will be interesting to see what they do with the verb seremos.  It will just be a glancing look….oh….future…do you recognize the infinitive….how do you think the future tense may be formed?

Next, I will give them two sets of sentence strips.  I’m going to use two different colors to separate the first two verses from the final two verses so that they are not overwhelmed by 15 strips of paper.  With their partner, as they listen to the song, they are going to attempt to put the lyrics in order.  However, the lyric strips that I will have given them are not in Spanish: they are loose translations in English.  I will have them attempt to do this without looking at the Spanish lyrics; they will be able to check their order with the Spanish lyrics after listening.

Embedded in this activity will be some vocabulary review, coming from recent units: fé, verdad, países, unir, fuertes, pueblo (as a people), vida, fuego as well as new vocabulary: campeones, comenzar, intentar.Of course, the last step to this activity is going to be to sing the song! Materials can be found here: Wavin Flag activity.
Here is what the lyric strips look like: wavin



Every year, after I finish the big music/social awareness unit with Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Baute, my students fear that the most compelling part of the curriculum has been covered.  Fortunately, we go right into a unit about Spain that has several really interesting components.  Yes, it contains grammar (preterite/imperfect yet again and the present perfect), but it also has a great deal about sports and culture of Spain.  I get to introduce them to David Bisbal and his ever popular Bulería, Macaco, Jarabe de Palo, and Pablo Alborán, among others.  We get to discover El País Vasco, Andalucia, Galicia, Cataluña, Castilla La Mancha, Madrid, etc.  AND, we also get to talk about jai-alai and la corrida de toros.

They are always interested in jai-alai, so I’ve tried to expand that part of the unit over the past several years. We will start by taking a look at
El País Vasco with this video:

and probably a bit from the Aventuras Vascas series:

For background information on jai-alai, I use these videos:

The Fastest Game in the World

For sheer silliness, I will include the infamous Steve O and Johnny Knoxville adventure into jai-alai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwZLlwHp2zI   and also a brief Simpsons clip:

I created a powerpoint on jai-alai Jai- Alai-1-2 and I can share my own personal stories and pictures from games that I have attended. Somewhere along the years, I also was given an actual cesta, pelota and sash.  We leave the classroom, and I always let several students in each class attempt to throw  a ball (a koosh ball, not the actual pelota), with the cesta.  It’s usually something that they enjoy trying.

If you have other jai-alai resources, I would love to know about them.  Or, if you have other favorite activities from teaching about culture in Spain, please share.

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.


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

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#!

La Historia de Juan

I would imagine that the song La Historia de Juan by Juanes is known by many, many Spanish teachers.  I’ve been using it in my big music unit for 10 years.  Over the years, I’ve found wonderful resources out there from many other Spanish teachers.  Barbara Kuczun Nelson has a great site, Spanish Language and Culture, with a nice unit on the song.  I use the reading

Los Niños de la Calle—Una Historia from that unit.  I also use several parts of this terrific lesson created by Eva Sabate for La Historia de Juan. Additionally, I’ve created my own Photo Story for Colombia with the background music being La Historia de Juan and A Dios Le Pido.  The photostory showcases the beauty of Colombia as well as some of the social and political issues.  It contains some sobering statistics about the street children.

In my never ending quest of having my students speak more, more, more…and recycle what they have learned constantly, I have added the following activities this year.  After having worked with the song lyrics once, and doing some preliminary map review, I grouped students (I had decided on the groupings before class; many times I allow them to group themselves, but not this time.) and had them do the following activity:

  • Hablen de lo que saben de Colombia, de la canción “La Historia de Juan” y de la canción “A Dios le Pido”. Usen sus letras y el mapa. Inglés/español
  • Repasen la tarea, los verbos de “La Historia de Juan” en el pretérito. ¿Hay problemas? español
  • Lean p. 2 en el paquete: Los Niños de la Calle-Su Historia (just the first half of the page). ¿Qué significa? Hablen de las palabras nuevas y viejas. Inglés/español
  • Actividad individual (mini quiz de Los Niños de la Calle-Su Historia, consisted of 5 multiple choice, find 7 cognates and a free response with their personal opinion as to why these children are so vulnerable.)
  • Escuchamos “La Historia de Juan” otra vez y completamos Actividad 2 (p. 4 en el paquete).

The next day, in the same groups, they worked with these

  • ¿Cómo se dice?
  1. No one loved                                                 9.  It was
  2. He grew up                                                   10.  He cried
  3. The world forgot                                           11.  The light went out
  4. He asked                                                      12.  The world gave
  5. She abandoned                                           13.  The world denied
  6. The world didn’t listen                                  14.  He wanted/tried to
  7. He mistreated                                               15.  It took, carried
  8. The world hurt
  • Trabajo con los verbos

Escriban los verbos en español en las fichas:  ESCRIBAN GRANDE!!!!

Cada persona necesita 3 – 4 fichas

Retell the song using only the fichas……NO LETRAS!!!

Many of the cards need to be used multiple times!

  • Partido   This song, as you may know, is very serious and depressing.  We needed something to lighten the mood a bit, have some fun, but yet still work (unknowingly) with the past tense.  (I did several things with this.  First, in their groups, they spread their index cards out so that everyone could see and reach them.  I then simply said the verbs in English while they looked for the Spanish equivalent.  The goal was to grab the card before anyone else.  If you were correct, you kept the card.  At the end of the game, the person with the most cards was the winner.  Next, I said the line from the song that used that verb and they had to find the verb to complete the line (same process as the first game). Lastly, the cards that they had won were their assigned “part of the story”.  The group had to retell the story/lyrics, using the verbs in their hands from the game.)

If you are interested in seeing how this unit is unfolding, here is the link to that chapter in my wikispace. What other ideas might you have for this particular song?

Blockbusters, the game: Lo Tech and Hi Tech!

Somewhere along the way, many, many years ago in my teaching career, I came up with the idea of a game called Blockbusters for Spanish class.  It must have been based on some game I had seen, but I don’t remember where. It’s a good game for vocabulary review, easy to create, and usually keeps the attention of the entire class.Lo Tech version:

Purpose: Review and reinforce current and prior vocabulary

Language Level:  applicable to all levels

# of Players:  entire class

Materials:  set of laminated, individual letters (doubles of some high frequency letters, such as a, p, r, e in Spanish); whiteboard/chalkboard.  I use magnetized cards that I simply put up on the board; they are easily arranged and removed.

Directions and/or Rules:  Create a database of vocabulary words for each letter in the set of laminated letters.  Create definitions for targeted words in the language (it is also very easy to spontaneously create definitions as you proceed).  Place laminated cards in rows across the board.  It does not matter how many cards go vertically or horizontally.  Use about 26 letters.  Divide the class into teams (2-5 teams depending on size of class).  Assign each team a symbol:  Team 1 will be the ♥; Team 2 will be the ☺; Team 3 will be the ♦; etc.  Instruct the class that the object of the game is to achieve 5 symbols that connect vertically, horizontally or diagonally, or any combination of those.  The team symbol replaces the letter when the team gives the correct vocabulary word to match the definition.  Any member on any team may answer, but once the student has been called upon, he may not receive help from his teammates, and must give his answer within 5 seconds of being called on.  Teacher chooses the beginning letter and reads the first definition.  The first hand up will be called upon.  If that person gives a correct answer, then the team symbol replaces the letter (draw it on the board).  If that person gives an incorrect answer, his team is eliminated from answering for that letter, and a new definition is read.  Play continues until one team has 5 symbols that connect vertically, horizontally or diagonally, or any combination of those directions.  When 5 connecting symbols are achieved, that team has won one game, and the symbols that were connected for that team are now “dead”, meaning that they can not be used to connect to any other letter..  However, play continues, as there should be many possible ways for teams to win.  When it becomes impossible for a team to win with 5 connected symbols, I count the symbols that have not won, and award a game to the team with the most symbols on the board.

Sample Database

A:  abogado, abril, abuela, abuelo, abuelos, aburrido, animales, antipático, apagar, aspiradora, ajedrez, atlético, ayudar, azul

B:  bailar, bajo, banco, bañarse, baño, baloncesto, beber, bebidas, bicicleta, bombero, bueno,

C:  Café, calor, calculadora, cama, caminar, camisa, cantar, carne, carpeta, cartero, cena, ciencia ficción, cine, ciudad, clase, cocinero, comer, comerciante, comprar, concierto, computadora, conductor, conocer, contento, cartas, cuaderno, cuarto, cumpleaños

D:  dar, decir,  decorar, dentista, deliciosos, deportes, dependiente, desayuno, descansar, dibujar, dientes, diseñar, divertido, dormir, dormitorio,

E:  edificio, educación física, empezar, enchiladas, enfermo, enfermera, ensalada, enseñar, entrar, entretenimiento, escribir, escritorio, escuela, escuchar, esquiar, estudiante, estudiar, estufa,

F:  falda, fácil, familia, fecha, feo, fiesta, flor, fin de semana, foto, francés, fregadero, frío, fruta, fútbol

G:  garaje, gato, garganta, gente, gimnasio, gordo, gracias, grande, gris, guapo, guitarra, gustar

H:  habitación, hablar, hace…tiempo, hacer, hambre, hamburguesa, hasta, helado, hermano, hija, historia, hospital,

I:  idiomas, iglesia, incendio, inglés, inodoro, inteligente, intelectual, interesante, invierno, invitar, italiano

J:  jamón, jardín, joven, juego, juego de mesa, jugador, jugar, jugo, julio, junio

Sample definitions:

A:  Es la madre de mi madre:  abuela

Los gatos y los perros:  animales

Limpia la sala, tienes que pasar la ____:  aspiradora

Un juego de mesa:  ajedrez

Los bomberos con el incendio:  apagar

Hi Tech Version:

Somewhere along the line, I found this PowerPoint for blockbusters.  You can easily edit it to create a game specific to your own vocabulary.  The PowerPoint that I have here is mainly used as a review after the huge music unit I do each year in March, although for some letters it will be a review of miscellaneous vocabulary.  The great thing about this version is that it actually contains 9 different versions of the game.  You simply have to remember which version you are playing, and use the questions from that number only.  blockbusters as powerpoint primarily music

Special thanks to the person who created the original PowerPoint that I have now modified for my classes!