Last weekend I took some time to look over the curriculum in an effort to find areas that my Spanish 2 students needed additional emphasis or exposure. The obvious answer was irregular preterit verbs, especially in the nosotros form, but I wanted to add cultural information that enabled me to teach those forms. We had just finished reading El Nuevo Houdini and in the teacher's guide, there are two cultural readings on Mexico. My students had read one of them, but the day I had planned to read the second one we ran out of time. (Both of the readings were written by Kristy Placido.)
My goal was set: create a lesson with a story and other materials on
- irregular preterit verbs in the nosotros form
- continued use of the imperfect
- recycle the "mientras...on-going action = imperfect" structure
- include cultural information about Mexico
I missed one day of school, but even with that missed day, the students had a good dose of CI on the above structures throughout the week with a variety of methods. Here is a brief listing of what we worked on:
Previous Week: See structures and vocabulary at this post. I wanted to make a concentrated effort to include at least some of those structures in the stories.
Powerpoint on Mexico: Since the powerpoint is not in story format, but rather pieces of cultural information that most of the students had little or no knowledge of beforehand, I used PQA (Personalized Questions and Answers) while introducing the new material. It was interesting to learn which students had eaten mole and ensalada de nopales, to watch their reactions when they saw the Lucha libre slide, to survey their opinions on the different types of music, and to share a short video on the serpent, in shadow form, descending from El Castillo en Chichén Itzá. I had to stay focused on either/or questions, and comparing students' answers to each other to keep the information personalized, the students engaged, and to avoid slipping into a dry presentation of a powerpoint. (We've all suffered through quite enough of them in our past.)
TPRS: Find the story that I wrote HERE.
The focus words were:
- fuimos-we went (we've had this before, but it was needed)
- no quisimos pagar-we refused/didn't want to pay
- le dijimos a (name)-we said to (name of person);
- vimos-we saw.
Each class created their own story, as I guided it along to keep it going in the direction to work in the grammar and vocabulary above.
The first page of the file is the story I wrote before the students created a story. The following day we read the students' story and the story I had made.
We did several review activities to keep the information about Mexico fresh in our minds. To add a little variety, my plan was to buy green, white, and red balloons, blow them up and work them into one of the review activities, but alas, I forgot to pick them up at the store. Next time....
Imperfect Review: A story of a boy and what he liked to do when he was little; made for 2nd language learners.
Short Story on Gustar Another story on Storybird about "Tomi" and what he likes and doesn't like; in the present tense. IMO there is no danger of repeating this verb too much. For some reason, it continues to be one of the trickiest structures for my students to acquire. Find it HERE.
Mexico Story Chart. The last activity of the week, was to complete the chart
below. It is set up so it creates a story as you fill in the information. Students had to pick a place or event listed on the powerpoint and then write what "we" saw there, what "we" did, what "we" refused to do; whom "we saw", etc. We worked as a group to complete the information for the first two columns, and then students worked with a partner to fill in the last column. I encouraged creativity!
For the last 5-10 minutes of class, students handed their charts to me and I told them who went to Mexico, where they went, what they did, etc. and then asked short answer, true/false, either/or questions in the TL and compare one groups' answer to another groups'. On Monday, I'll do the same activity in a quiz format.
An extended writing idea is to have students choose one of the 3 sets of information and write it in story form, adding more details (descriptions using past tense, conversation/dialogues, or a problem that needs to be solved).