The month of December is filled with opportunities for Spanish teachers to include culture. These celebrations include:
- Dec. 8 The Immaculate Conception
- Dec. 12 Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe
- Dec. 16-24 Las Posadas
- Dec. 22 The Winter Solstice
- Dec. 24025 La Noche Buena y la Navidad
One celebration that is HUGE in Spain, in fact it's "fat", is "El Gordo", el Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad. It is Spain's, and the world's, largest lottery when you take into account the number and amount of prizes that are distributed.
In order to help the students experience (in a very small way) the excitement of El Gordo, I created billetes from an image of the lottery ticket from 2011. At the bottom of the ticket, I added spaces for the students to write a number and their name.
Today, as students entered the classroom, I gave each student a ticket. I explained the lottery system and that the tickets were sold as décimos. At the bottom, the students had to write 5 numbers, and they were not allowed to write the same number twice, and their name. They had to record the number they wrote on their tablet or on their phone because they will need to know that later. (This will be my way of practicing numbers later in December - sneaky, I know.) Each class had their own container in which they put their billetes.
From now until December 21, the students will have to "buy" additional billetes by...suggesting cute answers to class stories, exceptional participation, showing kindness to another student, helping me distribute papers, or anything that deserves an extra billete. When they receive additional billetes they will write a 5 digit number (not the same as before), their name, and then place it in their class container.
On December 22, the day that Spain holds the drawing for El Gordo, we will hold our drawing. Either I, or a student, will draw a ticket, and then s-i-n-g the number, in Spanish of course. Students will look at their list of numbers and if they hear their number, they will have to repeat the number in order to claim their prize. (The reason I have them write their name on the bottom of the ticket is in case they don't recognize the number, I will know whose ticket it is.)
The prizes consist of Spanish pens, homework passes, a small jar of my homemade jelly, baked goods (oatmeal cookies with cream are one of my students' favorites), free choice to sit where you want or to sit on the cushioned chair, small gift certificate to Dairy Queen, etc.
We will also watch several of Spain's great advertisements and film shorts on the national lottery. Below are links to the clips from 2014 and 2015:
Anuncio Lotería de Navidad 2015 - Justino
Check Martina Bex's blog HERE for amazing & free materials for this short film.
Anuncio Lotería de Navidad 2014 - El Mayor Premio es Compartirlo
Another gem for Christmas: Mejor anuncio Navideño 2014/15 - Sainsbury's Christmas.
I plan to be generous with handing out additional billetes to build the excitement and to give some extra encouragement for class participation.
I'm looking forward to December 22!