If you're a Spanish teacher and you haven't heard about Revista Literal yet, then I'm here to introduce you to this incredible resource. Revista Literal is the brainchild of Martina Bex, a language curriculum specialist and also the founder of The Comprehensible Classroom, the SOMOS curriculum, Garbanzo language website, and creator/writer of endless resources on TeachersPayTeachers (not to mention a national presenter and keynote speaker. I stated above, it is a FREE resource. According to the Revista Literal website, "Revista Literal is a monthly publication for beginning Spanish language learners written by Spanish language learners. Each month, readers submit short, original stories for publication."
After students submit their stories, Martina invites native Spanish speakers to proof the stories and then she adds glossaries for the stories and volunteers add the English translations to the glossaries. After the stories are proofed and have glossaries, Martina places the stories in an online format, creates a title page listing the stories for the month, and adds graphics to the stories. She credits the writers of the stories using the students' first name and town and state, and credits the volunteer proofers and glossary writers. Then she publishes the stories online as a free resource for Spanish teachers.
Then, voila, you have a free resource that comes to you each month to use with your students. Some of the stories are written in the present tense and others in the past.
Here are 10 ways to add the stories to your lesson plans.
1. Partner Reading. Students pair up with a partner and read the stories to each other for X number of minutes. This even works for your novice readers because of those beautiful glossaries for each story.
2. Extra Reading Resources. If you have students or parents asking what is available for a student that is struggling, or on the other end of the spectrum, a student that wants to continue learning beyond the classroom, tell them about Revista Literal. I download the resource (yes, you can download it if you prefer to read it on paper) and add it to our learning managagement system so it is always available to students.
3. Bell-ringer. Project a story from Revista Literal and ask comprehension questions for students to answer. Last week I projected the story "EL LABORATORIO" and alongside where it was projected I wrote the following questions for my Spanish 1 students to answer in English.
ANSWER IN ENGLISH:
1. Write 2 descriptions for Dave.
2. Write 3 facts about his job.
3. List 4 things about Karen.
Although I only asked for 2 descriptions for Dave, when I went over the answers with the class and a student responded with 2 of the descriptions, I asked what other descriptions were mentioned. I did the same with #2 and #2, Then we read the end of the story together.
4. Sub Plans! Use your imagination on how you can make your life easier when you need to be absent from work. Revista Literal will continue to provide comprehensible input to your students during your absence.
5. Running Dictation. Read Martina's explanation of Running Dictation here. If you want to put a new spin onto running dictation, use an online crossword puzzle creator and make a crossword puzzle of information from the story. You'll get double-whammy of reading out of the story because students read the story from Revista Literal (in the hall or wherever you have it posted) and then have to read the crossword clues at their "home base" in the classroom.
6. Chronological Order. Pull some sentences out of the story that can easily conform to a timeline and have the students predict the order of the story. Obviously, do not read the story with the students before this. If you want to do this as a group, show (tape to the board) 2 of the sentences and ask students which one is first in the story, then add another sentence and students decide the placement of the third sentence. Add another and continue; students can change the order as new sentences are added and the story order becomes clearer (or they think it becomes clearer).
7. Find It. Project the story, read it together with the students, then play Find It with flyswatters as explained here.
8. Mosaic Story(a). Do this before reading the stories with the students. Pull sentences from 3 different stories from Revista Literal and list the sentences on one paper in random order. Write a brief description of each of the stories (brief!-brief!-brief!) in English (don't mention any of the characters in the story by their name in the story), and the students' task is to determine which sentences go with which story.
9. Mosaic Story (b). Again, do not read the story with the students before completing this task. Pull sentences from several stories and have the students create a story using the sentences. You could tell students they can omit X number of sentences and/or you can tell students to add sentences to make the story flow. The Mosaic Story (b) activity will provide your novice high and intermediate students an opportunity to create with the language.
10. Go crazy! Students use any sentences from the entire monthly issue to create a short story. Limit the students to 10 sentences or whatever number works best for you. Come to think of it, THIS would be a good emergency sub plan to have available when you need it.
Obviously, since Revista Literal has stories, there are a boatload of possibilities.
Thank you Martina for making teaching a bit easier. ❤️