Thursday, November 24, 2011

Los Ancianos (a video-related activity)

This post was originally on another blog that I had started this fall (called Communicating in the TL) because these activities aren't specifically the TPRS method. However, it could easily be changed into that format. In an effort to consolidate the two blogs (the other blog was definitely neglected), I changed the description under the title of this blog to include activities such as the one listed here.

Last week (the 1st week in October) I completed the following activities with my students in Spanish 4. I make a special effort to dedicate Fridays to activities that are connected to short video clips. Sometimes the students watch the video and explain it to others that haven't seen it. Other times I show the video clips to students at the same time and pause it for discussion throughout the video. The activity below is on the topic "Los Ancianos" the elderly. I did these activities with two of my Spanish 4 level classes. One class was able to finish the three videos and discussion within the 70 minute class period. The other class did not have time to watch the 3rd video because their class discussion was lively and all participated.

Lesson Plan Outline
Level – Spanish IV
Topic: Los Ancianos (the elderly)

When I have pre-selected topics for class activities, I keep a notepad handy to jot down vocabulary words. Whenever a student does not know how to say a word that is related to the topic and if none or most of the other students do not know the word, I tell them the word and add it to the list. The next day I give them the list of Spanish words to use as we refer back to the previous day’s topic. Sometimes I make a short story using the vocabulary words, but the words are listed in a word bank and the students choose the write word for each blank.

FIRST VIDEO “Rose” ("Home")

1. Ask students who is the oldest person they know. How old are they? Describe the person. If it is a relative, how often do they visit them?
2. Discuss common stereotypes of elderly people. What are the differences in cultures on how the elderly are treated and cared for?
3. Play video. Pause the video before Rose drips any soup on her blouse. I ask students to describe the scene (the dining room, description of Rose, why they think they aren’t others dining, her age, her family, where she used to live/past occupation, etc) as if they were explaining to their friend the next day what they saw when they entered the dining room.
4. Restart video and play to end. Discuss the worker’s reaction to the spilled soup, Rose’s reaction, the desire to hold onto one’s independence, etc.


5. If not mentioned in previous discussion, ask students what activities they think retired people like to do, such as hobbies, outdoor activities, part-time jobs, travel, etc.
6. Play video. Pause the video after a few seconds so students can describe the setting again (Where are the two men? Does their clothing give an indication as to what part of the world they may be? How do they know each other? Etc.
7. Restart video, pause after the teeth fall in the water. What will the man that sneezed do?
Continue to pause after short clips so students can guess what happens next.

(This movie is available without subtitles also.)

8. Play video. Stop to describe and discuss: the setting; the relationship of the two people on the bench; location; what day of the week or time of the day it could be; occupation of the man on the right; etc.
9. Restart video. Pause after the younger man yells at the older man and the older man walks away. What is the problem? How would you react if you were the man on the right? What does his repetition of the question remind you of?
10. Restart video. Pause after older man returns with a book. Why does he have a book?
11. Restart and watch to the end. Discuss: What is the video saying to them? Compare relationship of a young parent caring for their child to an older child caring for their elderly parent.


The following class, distribute the list of words that students did not know when discussing the video. Retell what happened in the video, and students may use the paper while retelling.
Choose one of the videos and write a different ending or continue the story.
Write about a past experience or encounter that you had with an elderly person – either a relative, an acquaintance, an event that you witnessed at a store (ex: an elderly person that needs help reaching for something at the grocery store; an elderly person using public transportation during peak hours, etc.)
This activity could serve as an introduction to a unit on the elderly.

Poner vs. Ponerse

I am gradually adding TPRS activities to Spanish 3. Last week we reviewed PONER vs. PONERSE with a story.

1. I partially told/partially asked the story. I wanted it to go in a certain direction because I wanted as many examples of PONER and PONERSE in the story.

2. After we reviewed the story with retellings, as a class and to partners, I told the students what I wanted them to sketch for each numbered section of their paper. I don't allow much time for them to sketch in class because I don't want to lose those precious minutes to drawing.

3. I said a sentence from the story and the students told me to which frame that sentence belonged.

4. I wanted to hear each of them retell the story, so I chose the GoogleVoice option. Students had to call the GoogleVoice number that evening and retell the story to me.

5. As a follow-up activity in class, I met individually with each student and we listened to their recording together.

The sketches below were made by the talented "Pepito". The basic frame of the story follows the sketches.

La hija de Sra. Hitz se llama Elisa. el lunes, ella se despertó y se levantó a las siete. Se duchó y se puso la ropa.

Fue a la cocina y buscó los ingredientes para panqueques. Encontró los ingredientes y los puso en la mesa. Ella puso un tazón en la mesa y mezcló los ingredientes en el taxón. Después de mezclar los ingredientes, ella puso la masa en un sartén en la estufa. Esperó y esperó. Ella se puso impaciente porque quería comer los panqueques. Después de esperar dos minutos más, los panqueques estaban listos. Ella los puso en un plato y comió cuatro panqueques.

Luego, ella se cepilló los dientes y buscó sus llaves de su coche. Pero no pudo encontrarlas. Buscó en su mochila, en su dormitorio, y en el sótano. Ella se puso enojada porque no quería llegar tarde a la escuela.

Finalmente, ella le gritó a su madre, "Mamá, ¿Dónde pusiste tú las llaves después de regresar del mercado anoche?" La madre respondió, "Elisa, yo las puse en la guantera (glove box)." Ella le dijo, "¿Por qué los pusiste allí en vez de mi mochila? ¿Qué estabas pensando?" y ella salió de la casa sin besar a su madre.

La madre, la Sra. Hitz, se puso triste. Su hija estaba enojada con ella otra vez. Luego, la Sra. Hitz se puso la chaqueta y condujo a su trabajo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Additional Activity for Alma Video

This is a hard copy of the on-line CLOZE activity to review the Alma video. When we did this activity in class, I first gave the handout of the cloze activity for them to complete. To go over the paper, the students read their answers as I used the drag and drop on the online site to insert the correct answers.

Hard-Copy of Cloze activity to distribute to students

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.**

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Felipe y sus Problemas en la Competición Internacional

On Monday, my students learned new words including mastica, toma, regresa and el chicle. However, the direction that the story went didn't lend itself very much to the words toma and regresa. What happened was after I asked the class if there were good-looking guys at our school and one of the freshman girls named a senior that plays golf, the story quickly moved in another direction. Fortunately, the guy mentioned is a Spanish 4 student and also plays golf, vocabulary that we just learned last week.

That night I chatted with the older student on Twitter and we planned that he would come into the class for part of the class period to act out the story. Needless to say, when he came to our class, the students showed more interest in the story and we could have gone on for another class period adding to the story.

In class we used Eggspert for 15 minutes with questions relating to the Felipe story as a review. Below is the story from 11/15.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cloze Activity

I posted this exercise on Edmodo for my students tonight. Hopefully they will experiment with the website and let me know if they thought it was helpful or not. It was super easy to make and there are several activities you can make with the website.

What is your opinion of the website?

Comprehension Check on written materials

Today was the 2nd time that I used this type of comprehension check. I distributed a copy of a story that we had worked on in class (acting, reading, circling, etc. - the usual) to each student along with a highlighter and told the students to highlight any words that they did not understand. This helps me to see if the students are highlighting many of the same words, and if so, then I know which words I need to review and insert in the next story.

Keep in mind that when I use a word in a story that we haven't used before in class but I think it is vital for the story or is a good way to gradually introduce the word without holding them accountable for it yet, I put the word in italics followed by the English translation. Therefore, there are a few words or phrases that the students would not have known had they not been followed by the English translation.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sports and Places vocabulary

On Friday the class started learning vocabulary related to different sports and places. For homework, they are using the website to read my version of the story started in class and to answer short comprehension questions.

Friday, November 4, 2011

El Cuervo y la Manzana

The story below pulls together several new vocabulary words and new grammar structures. For example: deja,empieza + a + infinitivo, le ofrece, etc. I distributed the story on Thursday, November 3. On Friday, November 4, after taking the advice of Angel Benito (gracias Angel), I gave the students crosswords to review the story and the vocabulary and grammar.

After our break for lunch, we took out the Cuéntame Más® textbooks and read some of the mini-stories. The students had so much previous practice with the words that most of them understood the stories without any additional introduction.

(Sra. Story 11/3/11)

En el parque de diversiones de Hershey hay un cuervo.

Al cuervo le gusta comer manzanas.

Él quiere comer manzanas todos los días porque es su comida favoritas.

El cuervo vive detrás de la tienda "Manzanas Manzanas" dentro de un cacto plástico.

Todos los días muchas personas vienen al parque de diversiones.

El cuervo se esconde detrás de una roca, cerca de la tienda "Manzanas Manzanas" y mira a la gente. (gente = people)

Cuando una persona compra una manzana, el cuervo mira a la persona con interés.

Si la persona tira parte de la manzana en el basurero, él va rápidamente al basurero, recoge la manzana, y regresa a su casa, dentro del cacto, y come el resto de la manzana.

Un día, el cuervo tiene hambre, así que mira a las personas.

El cuervo ve a un chico rubio de quince o dieciséis años.

El chico va a la tienda "Manzanas Manzanas" y compra una manzana.

El chico sale de la tienda y camina por el parque de diversiones.

No come la manzana pero tiene la manzana en su mano.

El cuervo sigue (follows) al chico porque quiere comer la manzana.

El cuervo se esconde detrás de una roca, y luego va a otra roca, y se esconde detrás de la otra roca y continúa mirando al chico.

Se esconde detrás de las tiendas, detrás de los árbles, detrás de los bancos (benches) y detrás de otros chicos.

Después de cinco minutos, el chico ve a su amiga sentada (seated) en un banco.

Él quiere hablar con ella porque ella es guapa.

Camina hacia la chica y se sienta en el banco con ella.

Luego, él pone su manzana en el banco y empieza a hablar con la chica.

EL cuervo ve una oportunidad.

Corre hacia al banco y se esconde detrás del banco y espera.

Escucha la conversación de la chica y el chico.

Ellos hablan de la escuela, de sus profesores, de sus familias, y de otras cosas (things).

EL cuervo espera y escucha.

Después de once minutos, el chico recoge la manzana y le ofrece la manzana a la chica.

La chica toma la manzana y empieza a comerla.

El cuervo está desilusionado. Él quiere la manana pero ahora la chica está comiéndola.

Pobrecito cuervo. No puede comer la manzana.

El camina despacio a su casa dentro del cacto.

El cuervo está trists porque no tiene nade que comer.

Llora por veinte minutos y aunque (although) su estómgo está vacío (empty) se duerme.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sentence Strips

To review the story "El Robo del Chocolate" I used sentence strips.

1. I pulled several sentences from the story and put them on a strip of paper in the i
ncorrect order. I gave each sentence a letter so it would be easier to refer to it for the class activity. Then I cut the paper into strips. (The students could do this since they are not in the correct order, but for the first time, I cut them so they'll know what to do next time.)

2. The students had to put the sentence strips in order. After they thought they were correct, I told them to check with the person next to them to see if their
answers were identical. If so, they stood up so I could see who was finished. If their answers were different, they needed to work together to come up with the same answers.

3. Then we read through the sentence strips together to make sure everyone had them in the correct order.

4. I continued to review by writing a sentence on the board. Students moved their strips apart to make space for where they thought was the most logical place for the new sentence.

5. Finally, I distributed 3 pink strips of paper to each student and students wrote their own 3 sentences on the pink slips and then added them at the appropriate place.

6. The last activity with the strips was for the students to remove their pink slips and hand them to another student who had to put them in their own set of sentence slips.

After doing all the sentence strip activities, I'm fairly certain that the students understand the story and all the vocabulary.

If you have other ideas on how to use the sentence strips, please share them with me and I'll give it a try with my students.

The story script is embedded below: