I thought I would share a few of the ways I take ONE video or ONE song and make it “fit” into the various levels that I teach. In my last blog, I talked about how overwhelmed I have been feeling and how for December I planned to use Dustin Williamson’s brilliant unit for Navidad Madness in my classes! I have had fun figuring out ways to do the exact same commercial in every class but vary the activities I do with each level.
For his first commercial, we movie talked the whole thing. It is by far their favorite anuncio so far (we’ve seen four). They love the love story. 🙂 I did a movie talk in EVERY class just varying the language I used. Since I am “non-targeted” I just stuck to using whatever vocabulary each class has been acquiring this year. Our out of bounds vocabulary was the same in every class. Gas station, hair-tie, and for my lower levels: cousin. In some classes this took two days, in others it took one.
Next, we watched Suchard in its entirety without stopping.
In my advanced classes (Spanish 2a): I gave students 10 minutes with a partner to complete this Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the two in Spanish. Next, we did a running dictation using some of these sentences. Some of them were from Dustin’s supplementary materials and some were sentences I wrote about Repsol, the first commercial.
In my mid-level classes (Spanish 1b): I had students sort all of these sentences (same as the ones above) into two piles depending on whether they belonged to Repsol or Suchard, then they completed the Venn Diagram using their favorites of the sentences.
In my lower- level classes (Spanish 1a) I wrote my own simple sentences into the boxes to the right of the pictures in Dustin’s supplementary materials for the first commercial, and I made 6 simple boxes of sentences to match the pictures in his supplementary page for Suchard. Next, I copied them and cut them up. In groups of three, students matched the pictures in the boxes with the writing in the boxes.
I switched Dustin’s order of the 3rd and 4th commercials. I did the San Fernando commercial first. With each class, they came in and I asked them where they thought San Fernando was. In most classes, at least one student had heard of San Fernando, California, then we used Google Maps and figured out that there are at least 5 more “major” San Fernandos in the world. Then, we used the street view feature in Google Maps as we paused the commercial throughout, to try and determine WHICH San Fernando was the city used for filming. My more advanced classes were able to go into great detail as they debated WHICH city they thought was most likely to be the correct location.
Today, I taught the fourth commercial, which was my favorite so far.
In my advanced classes, students started by just watching it the whole way through the first time. Then, they listened the second time as they quickly jotted down any words they heard and recognized. Then they added those words to a big chart paper (my next advanced class used the other side of that paper, less paper=less prep+ we save the planet!). Next, I gave them these sentence strips of the song all cut up, and they put the entire song in order. I just took the lyrics from Dustin’s materials again. It required some encouragement and reassuring (as per usual) from me and a lot of me rewinding every 20 seconds or so. After the first 10 times though, they become really confident and it was easy. We do this ALL the time when I teach my song of the month, so they were familiar with the activity. Then I passed out this paper, and we went sentence by sentence and explained the “meaning” (not the direct translation) by circumlocuting it in a different way. If there was anything that was really confusing I would ask one of my higher students to translate the meaning for the class in English. I am always so proud when we do things like this and they find ways to circumlocute so creatively! In my other advanced class, instead of the last activity we did a running dictation using the same sentences.
In my mid-level class, students used this word cloud and circled words as they heard them in the song (the second time hearing it). Next, we talked about what types of scenery were in the commercial and compared Louisiana with the different city and landscapes. We used Google Maps to look at Colombia, too. Then they worked to put the first half of the song together from the sentence strip format.
In my lower classes, I pulled out the big poster from my advanced classes. The kids put a checkmark next to the words that the other students had written as they heard the word. (LESS PREP!!!!!) Next, we used Dustin’s supplementary sheet for the song and I asked the students what they were hoping for for Christmas. Then we talked about how all of their “wants” differed from the “wants” of the children in the video. It was one of those, eye opening moments for them, as they reflected on what is most important. I have found it SO crucial to constantly remind the students I teach in this independent school just how fortunate they are to have what they do and live how they live, and go to school where they go to school. I love that I can do ALL of this without leaving the target language! YAY Comprehensible Input!!!
Here’s a video of some of these activities from today:
I plan to continue going through all of Dustin’s incredible materials and finding ways to tweak them and make them work for ALL of the levels I teach! Get creative and do the same! I love him (my sweet work hubby) for making December easy for me.
P.S. (Have y’all been playing/reading/participating in Fluency Matter’s 12 Days of Christmas give away??!?! You could win a iFLT registration and come hug me in Ohio this summer!!!!!! All the other prizes are ridiculously cool too!)
Until next time,