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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Storybird to teach the Imperfect

There is a public community library 10 minutes from my house with a huge Spanish section.  I have found many books there to use in class, but one problem that I encounter when looking for books for my lower level Spanish classes is that there are not many that limit the vocabulary.  

Over a year ago I was looking for a book that used the verb GUSTAR so my students could see GUSTAR used in context, with illustrations.  I looked through their huge collection, but came up empty.  I went to the Storybird site and created my own story that used gustar.

For the first time in many years, I am teaching a Spanish 2 class this semester. I started my Spanish 2 students with the present tense because I thought I needed to get them all to the same "place" with their abilities.  After a week or two, I gave up on that idea and decided to jump in and start telling stories using past tenses.  I did as the experts say - I chose 3 structures (quería, fue, no lo encontró) and started asking a story.  We've had 2 more stories with the past tense since then so the students are getting used to hearing the new endings on the verbs.  This week, I'd like to read a story to them that has illustrations and uses a lot of imperfect tense, but has limited vocabulary.  Instead of making the trip to the library, I turned to Storybird again and wrote "El mejor regalo para Pablo"
(The storybird site does not allow teachers to make stories public if they are not in English.  Therefore, links to stories that are public in another languages are sometimes deleted. Try THIS LINK to view "El mejor regalo para Pablo".  If that still does not work, send me an e-mail or leave a comment with your e-mail address and I can send it to you.)

UPDATE 9-30-12:  I made a PowerPoint quiz based on this Storybird book. 
HERE is the 15-pt quiz I gave me students.

If you have a few spare minutes, please do me the favor of reading the story and leaving your suggestions or ideas in ways to improve it.  I'm not happy with the title, but I haven't had any inspirations yet on how to change it. And, by all means, if there is a grammar error that I overlooked, I ask that you point that out to me so there are no errors when I read it to my students later this week.

Thanks for your help!

34 comments:

  1. Genial! Your book is fantastic and will see action in my classroom. How long did it take you to make it?

    Pura vida,
    Noah Geisel
    www.twitter.com/senorg

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  2. Thanks, Noah! Glad to hear that you'll be able to use the book.

    I did it one night while watching a TV program. Typing the words on each page goes quickly, but the pictures are layered on top of each other so you have to drag them to the side to be able to see what is hidden underneath them. What takes the most time for me is creating and matching/fitting a story with the artwork that is available. (Creative thinking time)

    Cynthia

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  3. I love it! Thanks for the introduction to Storybird as it's the perfect way for my students to do the story project we've got lined up for next week. I created one as an example and you're right that it takes some time to sift through artwork and creative thinking, I'm impressed with yours!

    May I use it in my class as well? :) Gracias, Kristin

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  4. Thanks Kristin and you may certainly use it in class. If you or your students are willing to share you Storybirds with me, I'd love to read them. :)

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  5. Thank you for creating this! This will be perfect for going over the imperfect with my class. It is very creative and an interesting story :-) Is it okay if I use it in my class? If so, can you please email it to me? The link doesn't always work for me :-/

    Thanks!

    Christina (favelac@esuhsd.org)

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    Replies
    1. You may CERTAINLY use it in class with your students. If it helps them, then BRAVO! I will email it to you.

      Thanks for the kind words, Cristina.

      Delete
  6. This is a great book that you have written! I have been searching for simple Spanish books and didn't find many. But this is exactly what I've been looking for! The vocabulary is perfect for beginner/intermediates. May I print it for my classroom? Could you email it to me? ( We don't have the fancy pro boards at our little school.)

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    Replies
    1. Señora Martin,
      Sometimes it's actually easier for me to make my own materials than find exactly what I want. But, that takes time, so I'm glad you have use for it too. :-)
      Please feel free to print it for your classroom. Do you still want me to send it to you? If so, I'll need your email address.

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    2. This is just beautiful! We are hoping to use it in our Spanish II class. Could you also send it to me? I would be very appreciative.
      Thanks
      Jenna
      jbryant@ms.k12.il.us

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  7. Hola!
    I think that the storybird is such a neat idea but I can't open it! Could you send it to me?
    Gracias
    Casey

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    Replies
    1. Hi Clancy
      Copy and paste this link to see if it works: http://storybird.com/books/el-mejor-regalo-para-pablo/?token=akxjdxh7vv
      OR...click on Storybird to see if that works:
      Storybird
      If the link doesn't work, let me know in this comment section and include your email address. I can send the Storybird directly from the website if I have your email. I will not publish your comment so your email will not be posted on this blog if you want to keep it private.

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    2. Clancy - Are you clicking on the words THIS LINK? I tried it again when I was logged out of Storybird and it worked.

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  8. Hi, great activities, but I am trying to find the story in Storybird and it says it doesn't exist. Could you send me the link? I would like to use with my students.Thanks a lot
    Esther Vieira

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  9. I just found one answer and got the This Link. Thanks

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  10. Hola senora,

    Me gusta el cuento mucho... gracias por "publicarlo." Una pregunta: on the last page, you wrote "vivieron felices para siempre." Why "vivieron" and not "vivian?"

    Gracias,
    Lynn Martin

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  11. Me gusta el libro mucho!! ? Puede mandarmelo? Quiero usarlo en mi clase.
    Muchas gracias,
    Anne
    acabal@cbasyracuse.org

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  12. Solo tengo que hacer una corrección. La frase que dice "Su abuela le contaba cuentos de cuando ella era niña." Debería ser..."...cuando él era niño.", porque es Pablo quién la abuela se los contaba. Aparte de eso....es perfecto. Gracias por compartir este sitio con nosotros.
    Señora Shaw

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    Replies
    1. Hi Christina - to clarify...
      The grandmother used to tell stories to him about when SHE was a little girl; therefore I used "cuando ella era niña".

      Delete
  13. Hola Señora Hitz,

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your work and your resources. I am a 1st year teacher in a rural setting with very few resources. This story is a great reading level for my Spanish II classes, and a great way to introduce the imperfect (the last concept we are covering this year). I like the story line and the simple nature of the story because it is easy for the students to understand the characters and what is taking place. Thank you for being willing to share and open to suggestions!
    Montón de gracias,

    Lydia

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  14. Felicitaciones! Es un libro bellísimo con el vocabulario adecuado para los estudiantes que hasta ahora empiezan a trabajar con el imperfecto.
    Gracias por compartir.

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  15. Hola, el libro es genial:) Muchas gracias por compartirlo con nosotros. Hoy he empezado a utilizar esta herramienta para mis clases de español y estoy planeando contar una historia sobre las memorias de la infancia para enseñar Imperfecto. Pero tengo una pregunta importante : ¿cómo puedo elegir los imagenes adecuados para mi historia? He visto que hay muchas categorías y etiquetas pero no he podido hacerlo.

    Gracias de antemano:)

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  16. This is fantastic!! Thank you for sharing your hard work with fellow teachers! I would love to use this with my Spanish II class. Would you be able to send me the link?

    Muchas gracias,
    Amy
    aspoth@fcsd.wnyric.org

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    Replies
    1. copy and paste this link: http://storybird.com/books/el-mejor-regalo-para-pablo/?token=akxjdxh7vv

      OR scroll up and you'll see a comment in which I replied to "Clancy". Look for "storybird" in grey type and click on it and it will take you to the book.

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  17. THANK YOU! I love storybird and have been using it as my final project in Spanish II (pret v. imperfect) for a few years now. My only questions is do you know any way to make/insert accents on storybird.com. My students are working in chromebook so they don't have microsoft word available to type in first. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. We have Macs at our school and adding accents is not a problem. Sorry, I have never used a Chromebook.
      There used to be a website that you could type accents on because the vowels with accents were in a box to the side that you could click in when you needed them, but I don't remember the name of that site.

      Have you googled for information on typing accents with Chromebooks?

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  18. I love this story! Is there anyway to make it full screen? thanks so much for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Click on the words "THIS LINK" in the blog post above at the end of the 3rd paragraph. Then look for the 4 arrows icon on the bottom right of the book and it will make it full screen.

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  19. Muchas gracias. I used this today in class with my Spanish II students. Great addition to class! :)

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  20. How do you get the accent marks in Storybird ? I can't seem to find a way to put them in.

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    Replies
    1. Jenny,
      It's been years since I created this story on Storybird so I honestly don't remember if I did anything special to get the accents. I have a MacBook Pro so I usually type OPTION E and the next vowel will be placed under the accent mark.
      Have you tried typing your script on a document and then copying and pasting it? Maybe that will work.
      Cynthia

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  21. ¡Qué chévere! Me encantó tu historia. Es magnífica para repasar el imperfecto. Gracias por tu creatividad, tiempo y generosidad.
    ¡Dios le bendiga!

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