Monday, November 21, 2011

Using Videos with TPRS

Last week when I was driving home I realized that my students in Spanish 1 knew almost all of the words necessary to understand an interesting animated video that I had used earlier for a conversation activity with my Spanish 4 students. I decided to pre-teach the remaining words and then used TPRS to explain and act out the story.

Update - ALMA continues to gain popularity! Below are links to additional ALMA activities recently created (Dec. 2012-Jan 2013) by other teachers. All updates can be found on Laurie Clarcq's amazing "Embedded Reading" blog.  
a - Click HERE to see @fravan amazing activity on ALMA.
b - Click HERE  for an Embedded Reading (created by Nina)
c - Alma LECTURA (created by Doug Stone)
d - Alma Repasito  (created by Doug Stone)

1. The two stories used to pre-teach some of the vocabulary and the ALMA story are in the document below. For the Osama story, we made the story in class and the following day I distributed the paper so students could fill in the blanks as a review and then we wrote the ending of the story.

2. After the pre-teaching of vocabulary was finished, I told the story about Alma using TPRS, circling technique, w/ some acting. After I told a small part of the story, I paused so students could sketch the scene. They sketched 6 different scenes. Then I showed the movie "Alma" and stopped the movie right before Alma touches the nose of the doll, because, of course, we ran out of time to watch the ending.

3. Since I stopped the video before Alma actually touched the doll's nose, the students' homework for the night was to sketch what they thought happened. The next day, one of the review activities was to put their sketches under the document camera and students had to think of a sentence or sentences to describe what was going to happen. The sketches were also handy as a review of the story - partner work for retelling usually works great.

4. I also made a photo collage of parts of the story. Photo collages or sketches are great for reviewing because I will say a sentence and then the students tell me which picture that action occurred. Or, sometimes as a class we retell the story frame by frame using the photo collage or a student's sketch.

view video at:

5. Tomorrow we will do 3 Cloze activities as another review of the vocabulary and events in the story.

ALMA - Cloze Activity #1

ALMA - Cloze Activity #2

ALMA - Cloze Activity #3

UPDATE: Click HERE to find additional ALMA materials (they're awesome!) that Martina Bex created in December 2011.

I love finding short videos to use in the class. The students like it because it changes things up for the day and I like it because it keeps their attention which means more repetitions with a captive audience.

Next year when I use this story, I'll pre-teach more clothing vocabulary first! That was a missed opportunity.

**Even though many people recommend using past tenses from the start, I am in my first semester of only TPRS with my Spanish 1 students so I'd like to feel a bit more comfortable with the TPRS method before I teach the past tense from Day 1.**


  1. Sra. Hitz,
    Thank you for sharing (now and always) your ideas are wonderful to say the least. I admire your hard work and dedication and aspire to do the same.

  2. Great idea. Thanks for sharing. I routinely use movie clips with my Spanish 3 and 4. Excited about trying it with Spanish 1.

  3. You are all very welcome. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

    Anu - Do you have any favorite movie clips that you would be willing to share the titles with me?

  4. I just came across your blog through the moretprs list-serve. I LOVE your ideas with the Alma clip!
    Your photo collage idea was perfect timing for me. I had a Keynote ready to go along with the Ricitos de Oro/Goldilocks story I'm doing this week but it needed something to break it up....I added collage pages at two different breaks in the story and it was a perfect way to get students to review the details with a partner and then as a whole class. Thanks for sharing - I know I'll come back often for ideas!

  5. Love this idea and used it with my students-- thanks! Question: how did you create the interactive "cloze activities"? Thanks again!

    1. Kami - I'm glad you were able to use the activities. You are not going to believe how easy the Cloze Activities are to make.

      1. Go to Michigan State's CLEAR website and set up a free account.

      (It's one of my favorite sites because it has audio drop boxes, conversation activities, & so much more!)

      2. Go to the RIA (Rich Internet Activities for Language Learners) and click on SMILE.

      3. Then click on CLOZE to make the cloze activities.

      Have FUN! If you ever want to share something you've made, I'm always open for new ideas and activities.

    2. Thank you so much for the reply! (sorry for my late response) I will have to test this out tonight!

  6. Thanks for sharing! This is fabulous!

  7. Sure thing Sonya! Drop me a note sometime to let me know what your students thought of the video. :)

  8. May be a silly question, but I am loving this mini-unit and really want to use the photo collage portion on Friday. Do you give out a copy of yours, an if not, what program/app do you make it in? Thanks!!!

  9. I can email it to you if you leave your email address in a comment on this blog. I won't publish the comment with your email to avoid the possibility of you receiving spam.

    Or...I wrote a blog post last year to explain how I make collages. This is the blog post

    How to Make Digital Collages

    The free site I used is: Photovisi

    Lately I've been using the PicCollage app on my iPad and iPhone because it is quicker when I have the photos on the device.

  10. Awesome resources! Thanks for sharing! Another great 'activity maker' is EDpuzzle (, which is free to use. You can create quizzes, comprehension questions, add your own audio, and so much more! I am starting to use more videos and this one is great!

    1. I agree, EDpuzzle is a good activity maker. I signed up for it several months ago, but last week was the first time I actually created anything on it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. 1. I think I spotted you in a Wooly video today. ;) and I shouted HEY! That is my friend, and it totally spooked all my kids... was that you?!
    2. Super happy to find some of these links as supplemental materials for Alma... THANK YOU
    3. I had a really tough night sleeping and it was AMAZING to not have to write ANYTHING... wanted to share these Kahoot links for you too in case you want them for the future... Kristi made one and I am not sure on another of them and then I made one... (maybe YOU were the other!)

    1. Thank you, Annabelle!
      1. Yes, it was me. I totally believe you that you SHOUTED loud enough to spook your kids! lol
      2. Alma is dee best!
      3. Not good to hear you had tough time sleeping, but glad you found materials to lighten your lesson planning load.
      and 4. Thanks for the Kahoot links!!!

  12. Gracias por compartir!!!! Me siento como si hubiera encontrado una mina de oro!!!!