Tuesday, October 28, 2014

El día de los muertos - Videos & Reading Materials

Three additional resources for El Día de los Muertos:

1. Last weekend I stumbled upon two videos called "Los Thornberrys y El Día de los Muertos". A few days later, Laurie Clarcq, @lclarcq tweeted "we watched the version today w Spanish subtitles. All looked for stereotypes vs actual practices. Blast from their past." 
Here are the links for you & your students to join in the fun too!:
Part 1:  
Part 2:

3. One of the cutest animated short films related to Día de los Muertos is about a little girl that meets her mother when she visits the land of the dead. You can find this video on Vimeo HERE


After I introduce the short film using the MovieTalk method, I distribute a transcript of the short film and read it with the students. I uploaded a copy of the transcript to GoogleDocs, which you can find HERE

Another activity I use for additional comprehensible input is a list of statements about the short film. Students need to find the word(s) in each statement that are not part of the story, cross it out, and replace it with the correct word(s).


I also use a 4x5 storyboard that students use to guide them in a story retell.  (If you want a copy of the storyboard, email me or leave your email in the comments below or send me a tweet @sonrisadelcampo and I'll send it to you.)

UPDATE!!! I received an email by Susann Shultz in which she shared a slideshow that she made to use with the above video. She gave me permission to share it HERE.  THANK YOU Susann!!!

4. For an embedded reading on La Llorona, (a nice choice to follow after El Día de los Muertos) check out Laurie Clarcqs post about Bryce Hedstrom's work on her website Embedded Reading found HERE.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

LARRY EL VAMPIRO - embedded reading & activities in time for Halloween

Some of the activities I use to prepare my Spanish 2 students to read their first novel with past tenses are embedded readings of Larry el vampiro, a MovieTalk the video Vampire's Crown (click here for more resources), and Sr. Wooly's La Dentista song. Embedded readings was developed by Laurie Clarcq and Michele Whaley. Check this BLOG for many examples in several languages.

Below are the activities and materials in my lesson plans that provide comprehensible input of the past tenses based on the Larry el vampiro story.   

The focus words are:  
le dolía la muela = his tooth hurt
quería morder = he wanted to bite
no podía ______r (infinitive) = he wasn't able to ______
1. Use sketches of stick figures with a pain somewhere in the body to provide repetitions of what someone WANTED TO DO, but WASN'T ABLE TO DO, because SOMETHING HURT. I used magnets to put a sketch on the board and then I used the circling technique to ask questions about the "person" and their ailment and what they wanted to do but couldn't do.  On the right is a photo of and write what the person couldn't do.  To the right is a photo of my notebook with the sketches I later drew on construction paper to use in class to give you an idea of how simplistic the sketches can be. After all, we're teachers, not artists.

2.  I made a PowerPoint of photos of people and animals with part of their body that hurt. Discuss what hurt the person or animal and what the person wanted to do but couldn't because of the pain. Last year I tweeted that I needed ideas on how to teach this and the ever creative Martina Bex suggested I search for photos of ridiculous or unbelievable injuries to increase student engagement. It worked! I found some eye-catching injuries!

3. Use TPRS to create the story.  I talk about a vampire that had a problem because his tooth hurt.  The students add the details what he wanted to do but couldn't and what he decided to do.

4. Distribute version #1 of Larry el vampiro.  Read with the students. Ask students to give additional information for the story that goes in between #1 and #2, a sentence to go between #2 and #3, etc.  The students copied the sentences that I wrote on the board.

5. Project version #2 and version #3 on the board. As I read, I asked students to raise their hand when I read a sentence that was not included in the previous version.  Since we have been working with the past tenses for a few weeks, I tried to recycle words we've used thus far this school year as well as vocabulary and structures in the upcoming activities and novel.

To break up the reading, I showed them this powerpoint (pictured above) to verbally review the story and for them to retell it. Sketches in the powerpoint are by a talented student, Anna, that was in Spanish 2 last year.

6. I distributed version #4 and they read it with a partner. I collected version #4 to use next semester, and gave the students version #5 for their story folders.  We did several comprehension and reading activities with version #5 to increase their understanding of the text. 

7.  Students had 3 minutes to draw a sketch of an event or description in version #5 on construction paper.  I collected the sketches and taped the first sketch to the board, and without looking at the story, students had to say a sentence that related to the sketch. 

Then I taped the second sketch to the board UNDER the first sketch.  First students had to decide if it depicted the same thing.  If it did, it was removed from the board.  If it was different, they had to say a sentence that described the sketch.  Then they had to decide if it happened in the story BEFORE or AFTER the first sketch. I taped it to the left or right of the first sketch.

We continued in this manner for the rest of the sketches, pausing at times to retell the story using the sketches that were on the board.

8.  Finally, with all the sketches on the board (in a class of 28 students we ended up with 12 different sketches), the students completed a 10-minute fluency write to retell the story.  The sketches provided the story plot to help them remember the events.
 It's pure coincidence that I'm at this part of my curriculum when it's nearing the end of October.  Of course that doesn't happen in the spring semester. :(

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Conjugation Charts vs Communicating

This image popped into my mind on my drive home on Friday and today the second image followed.  I was going to wait until I had some inspiration to accompany the sketches, but for the time being, I'll let the images express my thoughts.


4 - Part Guided Storytelling Activity

Last week I used Bryan Kandel's story about Viernes Negro (found here and other story scripts by Bryan found HERE), even though I took Black Friday out of the equation and made it more general: someone wanted to buy a present for someone else.  The class helped to create a story, we reviewed it, and then I distributed Bryan's version and we read that together.  We also watched an online story I made a few years ago on the website UtellStory (mentioned on this post), followed by reading the script for the story that was also on the previous handout.

After the class story, the two readings, and the online story, I was tempted to move on with new words, but I decided to give the students yet more exposure to the structures with some small changes.  Plus I wanted to experiment with a new idea I had for a 4-part guided storyasking activity.

Part 1. The target structures that the students copied were:
estaba desilusionado/a = s/he was disappointed
le dio = s/he gave to him/to her
lo compró = s/he bought it
la compró = s/he bought it

Then I projected the chart below onto the white board.

 For this story, I wanted both characters to be students in the class.  The first character, (the one that wanted to buy a gift) was permitted to decide to whom s/he wanted to give a gift and, when students gave suggestions for the other answers, s/he had the right to overrule them and not accept their suggestion.

The story in the guided storyasking format was successful in engaging the students since THEY provided the compelling information.  I think the fact that they could see the entire storyline from the beginning, made it easier for them to organize their suggestions and save their best suggestions for last.

As the students created the story, I wrote their answers directly on the whiteboard creating a reading at the same time. This format also helped remind me to pause for short grammar pop-ups such as asking about the LO or LA answers and the O ending in "desilusionado". When we finished, I read the story to them and added small additional phrases in the TL (such as before the "le dio" sentence I added, Alica fue a la casa de Manuel y....le dio el libro a Manuel). 

Part 2. When I was ready to review the story with the students, I tried a different technique that came to me at that moment. I left the completed grid projected on the board with the information, and I retold the story, but with some misinformation.  I told the students to CLAP their hands ONE TIME if I said something that was not correct information. It worked beautifully.  The unison ONE CLAP when I gave wrong information told me they were listening intently for meaning. Plus...there were receiving more input, more repetitions of the structures.  :-)

Part 3.  Students formed groups of 3 and I gave each group a copy of the blank document that I had projected on the board, as shown above.  (Click HERE to access the document.) Their job was to "write" a story by filling in the information as we had done as a class.  In the bottom right square of the chart, they had to decided how the person felt about the last gift and why.
Example of a completed story grid

I gave them 5 minutes to fill in the information on the chart.  Then I gave each group 4 sheets of paper and they had to decide which four parts of their story they wanted to illustrate on the paper.  They actually could have easily made several more illustrations for their story, but I wanted to limit the time spent sketching. When the students finished they paper-clipped their story grid on top of their illustrations and gave them to me until the next class.

Part 4. The following day, I distributed typed copies of the class story from yesterday for additional reading and to help students become reacquainted with the guided storyasking format grid. Then I randomly chose one of the student stories.  I used their story grid to tell the story verbally, (making on the spot corrections if needed). While I read/told the story, the students revealed their illustrations at the appropriate time to match what I was saying.

I have done something similar to this in the past. I'm convinced that projecting the actual grid onto the board so the students can see it when they help create the class story plays a key role in making parts 3 and parts 4 go smoother.