Update to Metas unit: goals and dreams

metas-2017I have done a unit on “goals and dreams” since 2010. Each year it takes on a different shape…sometimes shifting considerably. I haven’t posted about the unit since 2014, before I knew that I was going to be teaching Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha as the next unit following “metas” (This year will be the third time reading that novel). A unit on goals and dreams is perfect to do at the beginning of January, when goals/resolutions/promises may prompt our attention. I think that it is an appropriate unit to do with any language, but obviously, I teach Spanish, so my resources are going to be in Spanish but I believe that they could easily be adapted.

Preguntas Esenciales
1. ¿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?
2. ¿Cómo presentan los sueños y las metas las canciones populares?
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? (This question we did not cover adequately this year due to snow days, exam schedule)

Las Canciones

  1.  La Lista (Aldrey, Venezuela)
  2. Vivir mi vida (Marc Anthony, U.S)
  3. De Tú a tú (Lasso, Venezuela)
  4. Creo en mí (Natalia Jimenez, Spain)
  5. No creo en el jamás (Juanes, Colombia)
  6. No me doy por vencido (Luis Fonsi, Puerto Rico)
  7. El Ganador (Nicky Jam, U.S.)
  8. Celebra la vida (Axel, Argentina)

Las Historias

  1. Las doce uvas de la suerte, La Nochevieja (to start our resolutions, goals, and cultural comparison), purchase here from Martina Bex
  2. Campbell Remess, (a young boy who sews bears for sick children) a “freebie” that Martina Bex posted in late December/early January?
  3. A visual story that I created about multiple people who have overcome physical challenges (including Frida, who we had just studied and read about in December)
  4. Jennifer Bricker, Todo es posible (acrobat born without legs), purchase here from Martina Bex.  Leads into the song Vivir mi vida
  5. A story and powerpoint created by Arianne Dowd for De Tú a tú; I added background information for the current situation in Venezuela
  6. A story that I adapted from Zachary Jones  (and have rewritten four times) about sand artist Kseniya Simonova. I originally read about her back in 2009 (I think) in a post in the original Zachary Jones blog! Leads into the song Creo en mi
  7. A story that I wrote for Malala (based on a BBC article that I read).  Leads into the song No me doy por vencido
  8. A story that I wrote about Juanes and his personal struggles following his rapid successes from 2000 – 2006 (based on his autobiography, Persiguiendo el Sol).  Leads into the song No creo en el jamas
  9. An oral history of the life of Nicky Jam and why his new album is called “Fenix”.  Leads into the song El Ganador

Assessments

  1.  Quizlet
  2. Lyricstraining (choose two of the songs that we covered)
  3. Free writes
  4. Mixed media presentation that tied at least two songs with at least five lyrics to each students’ personal life, philosophy, goals and dreams
  5. A multitude of partner and small group informal assessments from discussions, questions, reading interpretations, etc.
  6. Individual and partner creation and translations of tweets about #metas # propósitos #sueños #nomedoyporvencido #retos, etc.

Many of the materials above are available, free, on my wiki. I would just ask that you not claim the work as yours when using it, if that is what you choose to do. Several of the files are too large to load on the wikispace, such as the SMART files, but I am willing to share via email if asked. Please do not ask me to share Martina’s fabulous work that I purchased, or Arianne’s creations that she freely shared with me.  You may purchase them or contact them.

We will wrap this unit up tomorrow.  The surprise of the unit was the release of the song by Nicky Jam (El Ganador), which occurred yesterday! I knew as soon as I heard the lyrics that it was going to be an awesome conclusion to the unit.  The song is essentially the life story of Nicky Jam and how he overcame some major obstacles to rise, like the proverbial phoenix, to success.  I had virtually no time to prepare it and went into the lesson today with what I knew about his life, supplemented with the song.  I showed the video first, they were hooked (it is essentially trap music….which is huge in this area right now).  Next, I orally told the story of his life, supplementing it with pictures I pulled up as I was talking and prior Nicky Jam songs that we have studied (Hasta el amanecer won our December bracketology).  I then replayed the video for El Ganador, stopping every few seconds to talk about what he was saying.  The students could understand it so well! Next year I will prepare, probably, a much more formal lesson/reading to go with it, but for today, it was a great success.

One final thing about the unit.  In one of my three sections of Spanish IV we had an intense discussion about school/education versus the joys of learning. For that class I used this video the following day Alike.  I highly recommend it.

Our next unit is Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha and the goals and dreams unit provides a wonderful foundation for the extended vocabulary/rich discussions that we will have as we read the book.  We talk about the goals/dreams of the narrator, the challenges/obstacles that he may overcome, etc. We can compare their goals and dreams with those in the book because their mixed media presentations will be hanging all around the room.

 

 

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.

 

La Copa Mundial 2014

FIFA 2014 official logo   I have been collecting resources for La Copa Mundial 2014 for almost a year on my Pinterest board…..and now it’s almost here.  I’ve also followed the incredible Zachary Jones, as he  has created activities for La Copa, and of course, the fantastic work of Kara Jacobs. I will be starting my World Cup unit in two weeks (really it is a unit on several World Cups and soccer in general), and have created a page on my wikispace with my essential questions (similar to Kara’s) and all of the resources now divided by category: essential questions, informal and formal assessments, videos to support the essential questions and soccer in general, focus songs, additional songs, and useful links to articles, infographics, etc. During the next two weeks, I will be creating activities and worksheets to go with my focus songs and the songs that I will be comparing/contrasting (such as the multiple versions of La Copa de Todos/The World is Ours and Shakira’s 2010 Waka Waka with her 2014 LaLaLa), and also for several of the videos that will support my essential questions.  All of the activities that I will create will be posted on that wikipage as I finish them and get ready to use them.  I’m really looking forward to sharing the excitement with my students, and I welcome any additional material you might like to share!

 

Spanish Music Database UPDATED

music_4_2012

It has taken me the better part of this afternoon to accomplish….here it is, updated again with a total of 1292 songs!!  100 more songs since just January!  Spanish Music Database 2 OFFICIAL-1

In the form of an EXCEL spreadsheet, it is sortable by artist, title, grammar, vocabulary, culture, and country.  It also contains all of the youtube links.  When I started this database more than 4 years ago, I never dreamed that it would become so large.  I definitely need to put it in a new format.  Suggestions?

I welcome your suggestions for additional music, too!!!  Thanks!

“Demanding” the Subjunctive!!! Or…additional ways to use a song to enhance a grammar concept

Songs continue to be one of my favorite authentic resources to introduce, reinforce or enhance a grammatical concept.  While this post is about a song that I used for work with the present subjunctive, the actual activities are applicable across the spectrum.

My three Spanish IV classes are about 8 days into intense work with the present indicative and present subjunctive.  We have used many songs:  Quizas( Enrique Iglesias), De Todo el Mundo (Enrique Bunbury), Azul (Natalia Lafourcade), La llave de mi corazon (Juan Lulis Guerra), Mi Princesa (Victor Cruz), and Inevitable (Samo).  We have used authentic “clippings” from current events, exercises of rote practice, lots of picture prompts of incredible, bizarre or interesting situations, and even more speaking/listening prompts.  Up next: another song, this time, Exigimos (We demand) by Doctor Krapula (from Colombia).

Exigimos was the song that was playing in class on Tuesday when the students were entering.  I had also used it as “background” music while working on other activities last week.  After the bell rang, we took a preliminary look at the lyrics for Exigimos and then quickly moved to something else. On Wednesday, I placed the students in groups of two and gave each group sentence strips (in vibrant colors) for the first verse of the song.  They listened one time to the verse, putting the strips in the correct order.  Next, they quickly discussed the meanings of the lyrics, identified the subjunctive verbs and the reason for the subjunctive verbs, and also the infinitive for each verb.

Exigimos parte 1 verse one in order

photo 6I then gave them verse two with 12 verbs on separate pieces of paper.  The first thing that they did was divide the verbs into two columns: present indicative and present subjunctive.  Again they quickly determined the meaning of the verbs.  I then had them orally change the subjunctive to indicative and vice versa.  I then played the second verse of the song (two times) and they placed the verbs in the correct places on the paper. Once again, they determined what the second verse was singing and the reasons for the subjunctive verbs.

Exigimos parte 2 subjunctive verb in blank

photo 5As a class, we had a discussion about why the group would be singing about “demands” for Colombia.  I taught about two thirds of these students in Spanish III, so they had a good background for discussion based on a big unit we did on Colombia in Spanish III.

The third part of working with this song involved the spoken part of Exigimos.  The students definitely struggled with the first two lines in this part, so I had them determine for everything else first. As a class, we then worked with those first two lines.  Individually, they completed the four questions based on this section.  The last part of this marathon with the song was a Free Write that was completed as the song was playing again.  Prior to beginning the Free Write, I told them that I expected to see subjunctive in their writing…that they could “bullet” items if they wanted to do that, but that subjunctive had to play a role in their writing.  When the song was finished, they exchanged papers and had a peer read it, with the option of circling the subjunctive verbs they saw.  I gave them an additional moment to correct or add anything.  Finally, they completed a shorter Free Write (about 3 minutes) on the reverse side.  This dealt with applying cultural knowledge to the song.  I collected the paper and scored it for content (15 points) as well as subjunctive use (5 points).  As a whole, almost every student scored well with the content assessment, and I was pleased with what they knew and were able to say.  The use of the subjunctive was more uneven, with students who did really well, and others who did not. Below are some of their responses.

Exigimos parte 3 la parte hablada y Free Write

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4There will be another part of this lesson tomorrow as I will ask students (in small groups) to come up with a list of “demands” that they could create as students in our school.  I will then ask them individually to write seven demands:  Exigo que…..

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

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!