Music without the cloze……..

Yesterday, one of my Twitter colleagues remarked how much she enjoys using music in her Spanish classroom.  She continued by asking what else could she do with a song other than have students complete a cloze activity.  It’s very hard to give an answer to that question within the 140 character limit. Therefore I am going to share some of the ways that I have used a song recently. My Spanish III classes have just begun a Colombia/Juanes/Social Awareness unit and my Spanish IV classes have just finished the novel Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha.

An oldie, but a goodie…..La Historia de Juan (Juanes).  Everyone has heard this song and knows that it is filled with preterite verbs.  There are several activities that I do with this song, but one of the newest is this document La Historia de Juan que representan las fotos (see the pictures below).  After we have worked with the songLa Historia de Juan retell, I will have the students first identify what the pictures mean in relationship to the song; next I will have them attempt to recreate a line from the song; finally, they will have to attempt to put the pictures in some order, with lyrics, that will make sense.  It may not necessarily be the same order as the song.

For another old song, A Dios le Pido, BEFORE my students had any exposure to it, I gave them 12 strips for the first part of the song.  Working with a partner, they read through the lyrics, in whatever order they got them, and tried to understand as much as possible.  We shared this in class and then made guesses as to what the song might be about. A Dios 1 A Dios 2

Their guesses ran basically along these lines:  someone is in love, someone is sick, someone has Alzheimers, etc.  Without watching the video while we listenend, they next tried to put the 12 strips in order.  I recommend having the students derive some meaning before ordering, otherwise trying to order an unfamiliar song can be a bit daunting.  It took two times listening, and they had the order.  Then we watched that part of the video.  It didn’t take much discussion to determine that the song was about more than they had originally thought.  The second day with the song I did a type of go/stop activity (similar to MovieTalk) with the video as we identified what it was that we were seeing.  We then listened again, identifying, by circling, which word was in the song (despertar, despiertan, despierten; recuerde, recuerda, recordar) A Dios part 2. A Dios le pido day 2 Next, I had them,without looking, attempt to write down 5 things that Juanes had asked for in the song.  They shared with a partner, and together, as a class, we listed as many as we could.  We looked at the lyrics again and I asked them if they noticed anything different about the verbs that we had circled (brief foray into the world of present subjunctive, and I do mean brief: they have “opposite endings” and there is a “que” before them). Finally, the students determined what three things they might ask for.

Enrique Iglesias and Nicky Jam released the official video for “El Perdon” last Wednesday.  It was a song that had been on my radar for about a month, as I waited to see what the video would be like to determine if I was going to use it.  The video is mostly decent, there are a few things that might be inappropriate depending on your school situation and level. I played it for my students as the opening music last Thursday, and predictably, they really liked it.  Sara Elizabeth Cottrell posted some wonderful ideas for this song on her blog Musicuentos and I strongly encourage you to explore her blog!  I did something else with the song. First, we identified every word that they knew after only listening once.  We listened again, and added to the list. It was great because we have certainly been working with “estaba buscando, gritando, matando, tomando etc.”  They really felt good about what they understood after just those two times. Then, I had them listen to the way Enrique and Nicky pronounced words, asking if they were the same.  Of course, they are not.  This led to a good discussion about the difference in Spanish from Spain and Spanish from the United States (Nicky Jam was born in Boston) when your parents are from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Their listening was intense as the picked up on the “decir” of Enrique Iglesias; the e’taba bu’cando of Nicky Jam, etc.

Finally, one of the songs that I used with the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha (from TPRSPublishing, was Tu Carcel. I had read about the song in another blog, and I’m really sorry that I can’t remember where (if you know, please tell me and I will credit that source).  In the book, the anonymous author will eventually go to jail, but even before that happens, he is imprisoned in a jail that is of his own making/or of the gang.  While the song is technically a love song, it was really easy to reinterpret the lyrics so that they applied to the narrator, the disappearance of his father, the death of his mother, etc.  And that is exactly what we did with those lyrics.

So, there you have it, 4 different activities that are not cloze activities, that I have used in the past 2-3 weeks.

Whoops…updating…..

Spanish IV started the Immigration unit three days ago.  I introduced it with the very popular song, Wake Me Up, from last year.  It was done originally by Aloe Blacc and Avicci.  Aloe Blacc (whose parents are from Panama), made an acoustic version of the song with Immigration as the video context.  It was an immediate hook for my students because it was a song in ENGLISH that they already knew quite well…..but, they had never seen it from the perspective of immigration.  The lyrics are the same as the original version, but they take on a completely different meaning in the context of the song.

We also work very early in the unit with the Statue of Liberty. I adapted an English article to Spanish Inmigracion Estatua de Libertad 2015, added the poem by Emma Lazarus, and finished our brief survey with this music:

Music Through Social Awareness….2015

Later this week I will begin my social awareness music unit again, but much altered from years past.  I have to shorten the unit due to 2 weeks of snow days and the 16 days of PARCC testing.  Therefore, I am only focusing on Colombia and the music of Juanes. Each year I have always struggled with a biography for Juanes….they were all either too long, too advanced, or too something for my kids.  So, this year, I wrote my own, with comprehensible input, and I intend to begin the unit with it! Juan Esteban…. It’s created, but I don’t have the followup activities for it yet.

I’ve also written a story that I will use prior to the song Segovia. I wanted to preteach some of the vocabulary in the song and the actual historical event,  as well as reinforce vocabulary that we will have done in the first two songs in the unit ( A Dios le Pido and La Historia de Juan).  I took the actual events, an actual survivor, and the record of those killed in the attack and created a story.  I added details to flesh out the story, creating a homelife, a job, feelings and background information. I have not used it yet, so there may be errors/typos, etc. and I will develop other activities to go with it.  I welcome any suggestions or activities.  Cuento de Segovia rev     and a ppt to preface it and use with it. Segovia    Here is an activity with the song SEGOVIA

My Essential Questions are based on those that @Karacjacobs created (thanks, Kara!)

PREGUNTAS ESENCIALES
1. ¿Qué pasaba en Colombia entre 1960 – 2014?
2. ¿Ha cambiado la situación en Colombia? ¿Cómo? Explica.
3. ¿Cuál es el mensaje y/o el propósito de las canciones de Juanes?
4. ¿Cómo se manifiestan las realidades de Colombia durante los 80 y 90 especialmente en las canciones Segovia, Minas Piedras y Sueños y en la película “Los Colores de la Montaña“?
5. ¿La música y el cine pueden ser promovedores de la paz? ¿Cómo?

Additionally, I have some new resources to add to the part of this unit when we study the landmine situation in Colombia (and the world), working with the song Minas Piedras. There is a website in Spanish, Suelos de Paz,  with current updates and statistics for Colombia. There is a new video, Ya Olvidamos, published in February 2015 and a great video with subtitles:  Qué es y cómo se hace el Desminado Humanitario

.

If you are interested in following what we are doing, here is my wikipage that I use for daily lesson plans.

Robo en la Noche

Robo_cover_pic

Snow days, snow days….give me an opportunity to get caught up with lots of things.  Even provides enough time to attempt to write another blog post!

Teaching and planning Spanish III with a great colleague, Megan Matthews, the past few years, and we have really hit our stride. We are currently in Chapter 5 of Robo en la noche, (written by Kristy Placido) and I could not be more convinced that reading, comprehensible input and these TPRS novels are the way to really help our students acquire language easily AND TO RETAIN IT. It’s one thing to say that we are reading a novel in Spanish, but it is just so much more.  This is our second time with Robo; the first time we relied extensively on the wonderful resources of Cynthia Hitz, while creating some of our own. This time around, we have added extensively to our supplementary activities. We have incorporated music, history, geography, culture, manipulatives, listening, speaking….you name it.  This is my wikipage with all of the resources that we have developed. You can click on the menu bar for the chapters; the work is in descending order, meaning that the oldest is on the bottom of the page.

We began our study of Costa Rica with the students NOT knowing where the story would be located.  We used a Primer Dia Opening Activity, combined with a smartboard presentation that we created as well as part of this video (cut so that it didn’t show the words Costa Rica/Pura Vida) , to have students begin to make some guesses as to where we were going and what it might involve. After guessing, correctly, the students then worked with partners and laptops to develop a further base of knowledge with Primer Dia. We also spent time with the song Percance Pura Vida by Percance….a song that they LOVED singing, especially the chorus!

If you visit my wikispace you will have access to the smartboards and other papers developed for the book.  There are links to TOCA boards, Picture retells, Who Said What, Kahoot and vocabulary work. Additionally, I collect resources on my Pinterest board for Robo.  I am sending everything to Carol Gaab for formal approval (hopefully).

Hope this helps some of you who are working with this awesome book!

Beyond the basic clothing unit….with 3 CI stories

Spanish III this year has read Esperanza and studied Guatemala.  This was followed by an extensive food unit that I hope to blog about soon. According to the county curriculum, the food unit is followed by a clothing unit with a preterite/imperfect focus which has only been referred to as past tense….never separated.  There were three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks….perfect to do the clothing unit.  This is NOT the basic, introductory unit that most students are exposed to in Spanish I or II.  It is greatly expanded, and for the past several years, I have let the students dictate where the bulk of our vocabulary is going to come from, based on their interests and questions.  Additionally this year, I decided that I was going to continue with the comprehensible input stories, and so I had to create stories to go with the unit.  (I also did this for the extensive food unit).  The inspiration for the stories came from the current popularity of Selena Gomez and Enrique Iglesias, a song by Selena Gomez (The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants) that was covered by Kevin, Karla and the Band, and the natural affinity of teenagers for shopping (or not) and the “love interest of the week.” When I wrote the first two stories (for the first two weeks of the unit), it was my intention that the students were going to create the conclusion…but they practically begged me to finish the story (hence story number 3).

Slide1

While I used many activities and creations from the past few years of this unit, such as the great song ¿Qué me pongo? by Mango Punch Qué me pongo Mango Punch 2014, a fun group creation activity with La Camisa Negra, lots of partner activities, etc. (as can been seen here), the primary focus was the stories, the repetitions, and a myriad of activities that went with the stories.

The story began: Había una chica que se llamaba Sofía. Sofía tenía 16 años y le gustaba ir de compras. Le gustaba ir de compras muchísimo!!! También había un chico, un chico de 16 años que se llamaba Enrique. A Enrique, no le importaba mucho la ropa….pero necesitaba la ropa confortable.   I introduced the story for the first week with this powerpoint version Ropa part 1 The student copy for the rest of the week is Ropa part 1 We read it multiple times, using various methods and ended the week with a “practice” free write that was completed with a partner then exchanged with another group who read it, underlined the words used and gave it a score. Practice Free Write

Week Two featured the second part of the story. Ropa part 2 and another version with many images replacing the vocabulary Ropa part 2 with multiple images.  We also used these story cards Sofia 2nd part story cards to retell the story (run off, cut and laminated) with a partner. The cards also lend themselves to a multitude of activities: vocabulary identification/description, sequencing, teacher read description with student “grabbing” of the correct card, etc. Part of the fun this week was the designing of the outfits that the students thought that Sofia and Enrique had worn to the dance.

Dibuja las prendas de ropa que llevaban Enrique y Sofía. Cada persona necesita tener 4 prendas de ropa y 2 accesorios. ¡Incluye los colores! ropa maleropa female

This was a multiple day activity…the creation of the outfits, the description of the outfits to a partner, and then an inner/outer circle activity where they received and exchanged and described multiple creations that were not theirs. There was also an assessed free write for this part of the story Sofia second part free write

 

Week Three brought the conclusion of the story. Ropa part 3, Sofía queria ir verb completion activity an acting competition, playing Kahoot with the story and also Triple Trouble Triple Trouble game.  Triple Trouble is played with groups of 2/3 students (each with their own color marker).  The teacher asks a question, and the first student has 10 seconds to tell/write the answer for his/her partner.  If correct, he/she colors in one circle, with the goal of getting three in a row as many times as possible.  Naturally, we also had to work with the song What A Heart Wants as covered by Kevin, Karla and the Band.

We ended the week with an Educreations project  Educreations 2014 for blog which really showed how much vocabulary they were using as well as a pretty natural use of the past tense.

Beginning the school year…….

cover la llorona

I’m getting ready to teach La Llorona de Mazatlan by Katie Baker for the very first time, and I intend to begin working with material associated with it during the first days of school. While I will be using videos with the MovieTalk method to introduce MéxicoMazatlan, and  the legend of La Llorona, I also will need to assess and identify what these new students know or remember.   I don’t want to “review” in the traditional sense of review, but I know that I need to wake those summer brains so that they remember present tense and past tense.  AND, I need to make sure that those verbs that are so crucial for storytelling are cemented in with the new groups of students. I am only going to know about 20 of my 115 students this year, and they will be coming from many different Spanish instruction styles.  Looking at the Super Seven and Sweet 16 list that Mike Peto posted in this blog entry, I found a song that has many of them.  Additionally, the song will eventually fit in with one of the storylines in La Llorona, although in a slightly different way.

CD9 is a “boy band” from Mexico, very similar, in my opinion, to One Direction.  The five young men are all between the ages of 17 – 19, and should  therefore be quite interesting to many of my students.  I created a series of seven different activities to be used with their song “Me Equivoqué“.  I first heard the song when they released a really cute lyric video for it a little over a month ago, and knew that I was going to use it this year.  Today they released the official video for the song.  I will probably use the lyric video first, playing it as students enter the room.  I will spend several different days working through the activities for Me Equivoqué por CD9 de México.  Only after we have finished those activities will I use the official video.  It is significantly different in the arrangement or ordering of the song.  Below are the various activities that I will be using,

  • listening for verbs remembered; identifying past/present (without viewing the video)
  • cloze
  • reading comprehension/questions
  • paraphrasing
  • Arrange lyrics in order
  • Pair English/Spanish lyrics
  • Free Write   “Me Equivoqué……”

Me Equivoqué por CD9 de México
I. Escucha sin mirar el video (3 versos) y escribe 7 verbos

¿Presente o Pasado? Identifica tus verbos.
II. Completa
______________________________ otra vez, con la ausencia de tu voz
y ___________________________________, con mis manos tu silueta amor
Si te _______________________ no __________________________,
si te _________________ nunca ______________________________
Nena __________________me una oportunidad
Mis días se _____________________ noches, si no ______________________
Sin ti la vida, ya no __________________________ igual
Te ________________________________ en mis brazos, me ______________________ aceptarlo
Me ____________________________________ie ie ie eh
Mis manos ________________________________ tu calor
Quisiera que escucharas mi canción
Te __________________________________ en mis brazos, me _________________ aceptarlo
Me _____________________________ ie ie ie eh
Me _____________________________
Me _____________________________

III. ¿QUÉ ES CD9?
CD9 es el grupo conformado por Jos, Alonso, Freddy, Alan y Bryan, amigos que unieron sus talentos para formar una gran propuesta musical. Mientras se encontraban desarrollando (developing) su proyecto, no querían que nadie se enterara (find out) de lo que estaban planeando, por lo que implementaron el Code 9, que es un código que se utilizaba entre los jóvenes en los chats, para advertir (warn) que había alguien cerca y que no podían hablar del tema; Code 9 es la manera moderna de decir: “hay pájaros en el alambre”. Así, cuando los chicos hablaban al teléfono o estaban enviándose mensajes o chateando, si alguien se acercaba decían o tecleaban CD9 (que es el acrónimo de Code 9) e inmediatamente dejaban (stopped) de hablar del tema.
Al final, cuando los chicos se encontraban buscando un nombre para el grupo, pensaron en una infinidad de posibilidades, sin darse cuenta (realizing) que el nombre
perfecto había estado allí todo el tiempo. “CD9 refleja lo que somos; cinco chavos que hemos guardado en secreto nuestra música, pero que ahora estamos listos para mostrársela al mundo”, comentan.     Fuente: http://www.cd9.mx/bio
Contesta las preguntas en inglés.
1. ¿Quiénes son CD9? ______________________
2. ¿Qué es Code 9? ¿Por qué lo usaron? ________________
3. ¿Por qué es CD9 ideal para ellos? ___________________
4. What do you think “hay pájaros en el alambre” could possibly mean? _____
5. ¿Qué es el sinónimo para “chicos” que está en esta lectura? ______
IV. En tus palabras, qué significan (quiere decir) ……
A. Desperté, otra vez, con la ausencia de tu voz
y pinté, con mis manos tu silueta amor
B. Si te llamo no contestas, si te busco nunca estás
Nena dame una oportunidad
C. Mis días se hacen noches, si no estás
Sin ti la vida, ya no sabe igual
D. Te quiero en mis brazos,
me duele aceptarlo, Me equivoqué ie ie ie eh
V. Pon las letras en orden (1 – 8)
_______ pero llamo y no contestas, si te busco nunca estás
_______ ¿Te fallé? Y tal vez, no merezca tu perdón
_______ Me duele aceptarlo
_______ Mis días se hacen noches si no estás,
_______ Soñaré que has pensado en olvidar lo que pasó
_______ Nena escucha solo una vez más
_______ Te quiero en mis brazos,
_______ Sin ti la vida ya no sabe igual
VI. Empareja
A. Dejemos todo atrás, volvamos a empezar
B. No sabes cuánto me arrepiento
C. Sin ti no sale el sol, no late el corazón, no
D. La vida ya no tiene color
E. Mis días se hacen noches si no estás
F. Sin ti la vida, ya no sabe igual,
G. Te quiero en mis brazos,
H. Me duele aceptarlo
I. Me equivoqué ie ie ie eh
Me equivoqué Me equivoqué
J. ¿Te fallé?
K. Y tal vez, no merezca tu perdón

_____ 1. I made a mistake
_____ 2. Life is colorless
_____ 3. Without you, life isn’t the same
_____ 4. I made a mistake, I failed you
_____ 5. I want you in my arms
_____ 6. You don’t know how sorry I am
_____ 7. My days become nights without you
_____ 8. Maybe I don’t deserve your forgiveness
_____ 9. It hurts me to accept it
_____ 10. Let’s leave everything behind, let’s start again
_____ 11. Without you, the sun doesn’t rise, my heart doesn’t beat

VII. Me equivoque cuando…………………….. (Escribe un cuento de cinco oraciones)

Vazquez Sounds

vazquez

One thing that has remained a constant in my 33 years of teaching is music, and the place that I feel that it holds in teaching a world language.  From the years of those old vinyl 45’s and 33’s  when I used to have to listen to a song a million times (slight exaggeration) to get all the lyrics, to 2014 when all the lyrics are right at our Google fingertips, I have consistently used music as a “hook” in my WL toolbox.  While styles, genres, and tastes in music have all evolved over the years, and are constantly in a state of flux, I can usually (but not always) identify an artist that will appeal to my students.  Not quite three years ago, I became acquainted with Vazquez Sounds, a trio of siblings from Mexicali, Mexico.  At the time, they were 9, 12 and 15 years of age, and they had done a cover of Rolling in the Deep that became a youtube hit, it now has over 135,000,000 hits!!  I played it for my students and they were fascinated.

I then had to find more information about them, and we explored what was available.  Periodically over the next year, I updated about them with my students, and then I forgot about them.

Well, they have exploded onto my radar again with new videos, including an original instead of just covers. Ángela is even the Spanish voiceover for Disney’s new Tinker Belle movie (El Secreto de las Hadas). In 2014, Abelardo is now 18, Gustavo is 15 and Angie is 12…..ages that will definitely appeal to a broad spectrum of our students, and their music/musicality is GOOD!!! I think that there are many activities, applicable to novice and intermediate levels of Spanish, that could be developed from studying them and their music.  Their official website could be explored by students; novice students might look just for cognates or words that they could pick out that are related to music. The information about the siblings could be used by intermediate students for reading comprehension and an assortment of activities related to that.  It is of high interest, and extremely “readable”.  All of the music that they have released over the past three years is on the site, too.  Intermediate students could listen to Angie in an interview on Primer Impacto; there is also a great video that is labeled as Biografia from which different activities could be developed.

Then there are the two new original videos released this year.  The first one is Te soñaré.  So much could be done with these videos for novice or intermediate: infinitives, past tense, high frequency vocabulary words…..


The one just released a few days ago is Me Voy, Me Voy

Without a doubt I will be developing activities to go with these videos.  I’d love to hear from you…what ideas and suggestions do you have?

Follow them on Twitter @ vazquezsounds

 

Unexpected additions to the Immigration unit

My Spanish IV students have been working in the Immigration unit for the past four weeks.  As I wrote in that earlier post, the basic framework of the unit is based on the great work of Kara Jacobs and Pilar Munday, with additional songs, readings and materials from me. It is taking a bit longer than I expected due to four snow days that have really interrupted the flow of the lessons, and also a few twists in the unit that I didn’t expect.  We spent quite a bit of time with the movie Which Way Home, much discussion, a wonderful Free Write, and a great search to see where the featured children from the movie are today (we found most of them!). We also spent some time talking about the American Dream:  what it means to Americans, to them as students, what it means to different nationalities, how it has changed, etc.  They wrote definitions of the American Dream, illustrating them and posting them in the classroom, and then modified them after watching these videos:

We talked quite a bit about the Statue of Liberty and what it represents. Because they really didn’t know much about the Statue of Liberty, and I felt that the symbolism was important to the overall unit, I used a modified reading Inmigracion Estatua de Libertad.  I discovered that we really had to work through the Emma Lazarus poem as the English language was difficult for them!  We watched this video and we also practiced reading the poem dramatically, which I believed really helped them to understand the significance of the Statue of Liberty.


We’ve explored Green Cards, Visas, the Dream Act, and related topics as I expected to do. We have used a lot of music, which brings me to the next unexpected addition.  One of the songs that we were scheduled to study indepth is Bandera by Aterciopelados.  We began by talking about what flags represent in general.  Since there are 10 flags hanging around my room, we had a lot with which to work. flags Again I was surprised about how little they knew about their own U.S. flag. Since they had done some preliminary work with a partner about the symbol on the Mexican flag as well as the Virgen de Guadalupe, I almost felt like they knew more about that flag! We watched the video several times, over the span of 4 days, working with different aspects of it.  We talked about what they saw in the video, what they heard in the video, and how they felt.  They completed a cloze activity as well as activities with specific lyrics, translating, ordering, etc. They read about the band and why they made the video Aterciopelados reading.  And of course we sang it! Next, I used information from The World Factbook to give them more background material on the symbolism of individual flags. After reading about the flags of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and the United States, they had small group discussions about what flags have in common, what information is available about a country based on its’ flag, and when flags may change and why.  I then asked them to create their own flags (keeping in mind the lyrics to Bandera) with the condition that the flag could not represent one country and they had to write a description of the significance of  the colors and symbols of the flag created.  I gave them 20 minutes.  To me, the results were quite impressive. Here are some examples of that work, unedited….so the descriptions are as they wrote and printed them.

flags 1flags8

flags 2flags 3flags 4flags 5flags 7We have moved on, completing a few days with ICE by La Santa Cecilia, among several other songs.  We have watched 30 Days, done another Free Write, and have had two oral evaluations.  I believe that my students have remained engaged most of the time.  This coming week I plan to work with Pa’l Norte by Calle 13 and Pobre Juan by Mana as well as have them create infographics about the Dream Act/the Dreamers.  I anticipate being in this unit 7 – 8 more days.  Here is the unit plan, and here is the daily plan.

 

 

 

 

Argentina! culture, geography, reading, speaking and listening!

My Spanish III students have been in the “travel” chapter. For the past 4 years, I’ve had my students “travel” to Argentina, and I have had them work quite a bit with maps and geography (two of the many links I use).  One of the activities that I do is to have them compare Buenos Aires and Washington, D.C.  Of course, initially, they don’t know what they are doing!

The first thing I do is divide them into groups (no more than 4 students per group) and give each group a packet of laminated, full color pictures (all pictures are located on the powerpoint below, just separated).  Those pictures include geographical markers, sports, food, government buildings, etc. I ask the students to categorize the pictures into no more than 6 groups, and to write the names of the categories they chose. Buenos Aires DC categorization student group sheet  The back of this paper will be used for the similarity/difference activity the next day.

I then asked them if they could guess the places/cities in the pictures.  Of course, they came up with D.C. immediately, and because we had begun our preliminary introduction (Qué sabes de opening activity 2014) to Argentina, they guessed Buenos Aires.  The next step was to divide the pictures into two groups: Buenos Aires/D.C.: quickly and easily done. We  used this powerpoint Buenos Aires Washington, D.C. 2014 revised and started to talk about the similarities and differences between the two places. We continued this work the next day, but did not finish the powerpoint.  Instead, I gave them the packet of pictures again and this time, also gave them captions Facts for Buenos Aires Washington D.C..  I asked them to match the captions with the pictures.  Two members of the group were responsible for D.C. and two were responsible for Buenos Aires.  They had to share information with each other when they finished, and I then also had them choose one picture/caption from D.C., and one from Buenos Aires that they were responsible for “teaching” to each other. They practiced reading captions to each other, choosing the appropriate pictures, etc. We then finished the powerpoint, and each group completed the paper Buenos Aires DC categorization student group sheet with their similarities/differences. It always amazes me how much the students DON’T know about their own capital!

The next day, in groups of two, I gave each student 9 words.  Their task was to describe the nine words to their partner, without using the actual word, so that their partner would say that word(s). Each one had nine different words. Argentina questions Since we had been doing some map work, and we had watched several short clips about Argentina, I had them work with that partner to color code this map. La Argentina primer trabajo del mapa  mapa

Borrowing an activity from one of my colleagues, I had my students work with another partner to complete a reading/listening and map activity. Each partner got a description of an imaginary trip that he/she had taken.  They read it silently, then they read it to their partner.  I had them read aloud several times, using various “voices”. The next day, they each got a map, and the partner read the description of his/her trip one more time to his/her partner.  This time, the partner was drawing everything that was said on the map.  Once they finished, they had to write 5 sentences, using ONLY the map that they had drawn on, to describe the trip of their partner.  While this activity was going on, I was conducting individual one minute speaking assessments with each student in the class. Partner description of trip to Argentina with drawing activity  5 sentence about partner’s trip

A final speaking/pronunciation assessment came from a Google Voice assignment that I gave them 2 nights to complete.  We practiced reading a paragraph about a trip to Argentina several times.  They all read, and I timed them.  Finally, they called my Google Voice number and recorded it.  Google voice paragraph read Hice un viaje a Buenos Aires

A final activity with maps that was 100% engaging (again borrowed from a colleague): I gave a group of two students a blank map of South America in a sheet protector; the map had NO political divisions.  Each student had a different colored dry erase marker and eraser.  Their task was to draw all 13 countries and capitals, the equator, the Andes mountains, and label the oceans.  I had to see approximately equal colors on their finished work to indicate that both partners had shared equally in the work.  I was amazed at how intently they worked on this activity!

New Unit: Immigration

Statue of LibertyThanks to the addition of another unexpected day at home (snow day #6), I’ve been able to devote quite a bit of time to the next unit that Spanish IV is going to explore:  Immigration in the United States.  Before I go any further, I must say that I am indebted to the great, original work of Kara Jacobs @(karacjacobs) and the additions of Pilar Munday (@mundaysa) and @cristinaZimmer4. Next, I would like to say that while this is a unit that I will be using with my Spanish IV students, I think that there is material here that can be used with all levels of proficiency, including novice.  I’ve created a database for 29 songs that deal with immigration17 videos that deal with immigration and 35 links on the web for authentic resources both in Spanish and in English.  This is my Pinterest board, where I have been collecting resources for the past several months. Here is the link to the daily lesson plans from my wikispace, El Mundo de Birch which are in development and will be added to on a daily basis for the next month that I am in this unit. As of this writing, there are three full days of lesson plans, with the outline for the next six days.

PREGUNTAS ESENCIALES (2-5 Kara Jacobs)

1     Define la diferencia entre “emgirar” y “inmigrar”. ¿Qué es el Sueño Americano? ¿Ha cambiado el Sueño Americano? Explica tu respuesta.

2     ¿Por qué emigran ilegalmente muchas personas a los Estados Unidos? ¿De dónde es la mayoría de los inmigrantes indocumentados? ¿Cómo llegan algunos? ¿Por qué vienen ilegalmente y no legalmente? ¿Cuál es el proceso de entrar legalmente en los EEUU?

3     ¿Qué pasa ahora con la reforma migratoria en los EEUU? ¿Qué es el DREAM Act?

4     ¿Quiénes son algunos cantantes que cantan sobre la inmigración? ¿Cuáles son sus perspectivas? ¿Cómo son diferentes y/o similares las canciones y los videos? ¿Qué opinas tú de las canciones?

5     En tu opinión, ¿hay una solución al problema? ¿En qué consiste?

EVALUACIONES FORMALES

  1. Evaluación Oral, basada en Pregunta Esencial #2 (el 17/18 marzo) 25 puntos
  2. Free Writes
    1.  Which Way Home (10/11 marzo) 20 puntos
    2. 30 Days Inmigración (13/14 marzo) 20 puntos
  3. Compara y contrasta dos o tres de las canciones en cuanto a sus perspectivas de la inmigración illegal. (I.C.E./Bandera/Pa’l Norte/Pobre Juan) En tu opinión, ¿qué es el mensaje de la canción ? ¿Estás de acuerdo con el mensaje? ¿Por qué sí o no? Apoya (support) tu respuesta conlíneas de la canción. (25 marzo) 30 puntos
  4. Evaluación Oral, basada en Pregunta Esencial #3 después de leer el artículo de CNN       Google Voice response (20 marzo) 20 puntos
  5. Interpretación dramática de una de las canciones ( I.C.E. por La Santa Cecilia, Bandera por Aterciopelados, Pobre Juan por Maná, Pa’l Norte por Calle 13)
  • a. grupos de 3-4 personas
  • b. escriben una “obra” (play) sobre la canción
  • c. presentan la “obra” en clase (sin apuntes)
  • d. 31 marzo, 1 abril,  guión (script) 20 puntos, presentación oral 25 puntos

The initial target vocabulary for this unit: (Quizlet)

  • 1. cárcel
  • 2. castigo
  • 3. ciudadanía
  • 4. ciudadano
  • 5. cruzar
  • 6. discriminar
  • 7. dispuesto a trabajar
  • 8. echar de menos
  • 9. el derecho
  • 10. en busca de
  • 11. extranjero
  • 12. frontera
  • 13. igualdad
  • 14. leyes
  • 15. mudarse
  • 16. país natal
  • 17. población
  • 18. preocuparse por
  • 19. prosperidad
  • 20. seguir las leyes
  • 21. ser testigo (de)
  • 22. tratar (de)

Metas y Sueños, some final thoughts

Like all things in the teaching world (and in life, in general), things don’t always go as you have planned…even when you have spent a long time planning!  This new unit that I began creating in the “snow days” of January has been much of what I planned, but has certainly evolved into things that I simply could not anticipate.  What began like this:

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 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?

changed to eliminate question #5, added significantly to #3 and included several days on the goals and dreams of the people of Venezuela.  With the elimination of essential question #5, I also had to eliminate a final evaluation (the sound track of their lives, and a review of preterite/imperfect). But, with the addition of the Venezuela component, I believe that the unit became even more authentic.  To question #3, about people who have overcome obstacles to achieve goals and dreams, I had planned on using Martin Luther King, Jr.,Kseniya Simonova, and Charlotte and Jonathon from Britain’s Got Talent.  The section on Charlotte and Jonathon I got from tweets from Axel (from Argentina), as I looked for more information to include in the study of his song “Celebra la vida“.  Metas celebra tu vida We spent quite a bit of time with the song, with various activities, including drawing the lyrics and acting the lyrics.  Our discussion of the tweets and then the follow up with the Charlotte and Jonathon story, including updates through December 2013, was certainly very worthwhile.  I decided, after the reaction of my students, to add another person to our study of overcoming obstacles: Malala Yousafzai Metas Malala  and with the BBC video, Metas Malala BBC Mundo video.  I was amazed that so few of my students knew who she is.  We spent several days with the reading taken from BBC, talking in small groups, working with the Spanish captions in the video, and talking about and contrasting their views of education with hers.  We also watched a Diane Sawyer interview with her (in English) as well as her appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

I’ve already posted about our work with Venezuela, and I’ve also posted a few of the final evaluations.  However, there was one student who did not have her project ready in class yesterday.  She told me she was having some difficulty with the final editing and uploading of her project, and promised that I would have it by last night.  Well, she carried through with her promise, and, in my opinion, it demonstrates her total comprehension of this unit, interpreted through the words of Juanes in his inspirational song, No creo en el jamás.  I wish that @Juanes could view it.  Please watch her video here.

Our work with the song began with Metas No creo en el jamas Juanes revised. The five songs that I selected to use with the unit were mostly successful.  There were three that my students really enjoyed:  Celebra tu vida (Axel), No creo en el jamás (Juanes) and No me doy por vencido (Luis Fonsi).  ( By enjoy, I mean that by the end, they were singing the songs at the top of their lungs!) The songs No hago na’ ma’ (El Gran Combo) and the new version Echar Pa’lante were received with a mediocre reaction, and Bonito (Jarabe de Palo) was a song with which they were already familiar. I also used, to lesser degrees, Vivir mi vida (Marc Anthony), Solo soy (Doctor Krapula) and So What (Sie7e).

The entire scope of this unit, how it went day by day, with additional materials can be viewed here. Next week, we move on to the Immigration unit with materials from the amazing Kara Jacobs (@karacjacobs) and Cristina Zimmerman (@CristinaZimmer4), as well as my additions.  To start the unit, we are going to use the documentary Which Way Home, making the transition from dreams and goals to immigration via the dreams and goals of the dreaming children in the video.