Friday, March 29, 2013

Short Films & CI: MFL Teacher Collaboration

Last summer at NTPRS12 I met Marta Yedinak, (@mryedinak on Twitter), a Spanish teacher in Wisconsin. Since then, Marta and I have been communicating through emails, phone calls, texts, twitter messages, etc. and sharing our Spanish lesson plans and activities.  Marta had an awesome lesson last week and I invited her to write about it on my blog.  Due to technical difficulties, (on my part, I'm sure), I'm writing the post in her place, but I look forward to having Marta as a guest writer on this blog in the near future!

Marta's Lesson Plan for MFL: Sheep in the Island

1.  Preteach any vocabulary that your students will need to know in order to discuss the video.  Beginning level students should already know basic words such as: corre, grita, se sube, se baja, está furiosa, tiene hambre, but you may need to preteach words such as "chocaron" (they crashed), to describe what happens with the two ships. (Use whatever level of grammar/verbs that is suitable to your class.)

2. Show the video to the students.


3. Story Sequence. Instead of writing a paragraph, students write a list of the events in chronological order in complete thoughts with a partner.

4. Group retell. Students take turns dictating the story as the teacher writes their sentences on the board.  This is the ideal time for pop-up grammar and circling the structures. Students WERE NOT required to copy the story into their notebooks.

5. Class Debate.  Students decide "¿Quién tiene la razón?" which is also the name of a show in Univisión.  Students had to present arguments to defend the sheep or the monster.  Marta said she wished she had videotaped the debate because it was "great" because the students were engaged and responding well.  Several students were using phrases such as "Protesto..." and they ended up having a trial!  

Marta said the next time that she does this activity she will have the students impersonate the characters so they can "interrogate them" as witnesses in a structured trial format.

6. Timed Writing.  Allow 5 minutes of class time for students to retell the story in written format.  (If the students heard a sufficient amount of repetitions of the structures throughout the lesson, this exercise will come naturally to them because it will "sound right" to them as they write.)  The Timed Writing file can be found HERE. Note on the form that the Timed Writing is not for accuracy, but rather to encourage writing.

7. Additional segments.  There are Part 2 and Part 3 segments of this video that can be used for additional activities.

Extra activities that may be added to Marta's activities as time permits:

8. Name who did the action (I have a worksheet for this available that you can find HERE.)
9. Story script (for upper levels).

10. Word Cloud. Show the word cloud to the students either before or after viewing the video.  If before, students read the word cloud and decide on possible story lines based on the words in the word cloud.  If after, students take turns saying a sentence that uses one of the words to describe an action in the video.  Another option, the teacher gives a definition in the TL and students look at the word cloud to find the word that the teacher defined. 

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Update: There is no longer a free version of Textivate in which you can upload your own materials. 
 11. Textivate activities. The free version of this site allows you to upload your text and make your own vocabulary and matching activities, but you can only embed and share those activities if upgrade to a paid subscription.  However, if you paste the text below into the text box on the textivate website, you will be able to do a variety of activities with your students. Thanks to Martin Lapworth, the creator of Textivate, for making tutorial videos (found HERE) to explain how this website works!
screenshot from Textivate website

the claws of a monster==las garras de un monstruo
went to investigate==fue a investigar
she tied the foot==ató el pie
she pushed the other box==empujó la otra caja
she flew across==voló a través de
the sheep escaped==la oveja se escapó
lit a fire==encendió un fuego
she fell to the sand==se cayó a la arena
looked at a frog==miró una rana
inside the box==dentro de la caja
she closed the lid==cerró la tapa
there was lightning==hubo relámpago
she became very aggressive==se puso muy agresiva
she imagined that the monster was a chicken==imaginó que el monstruo fuera un pollo
trying to escape==tratando de escaparse
the waves pushed the box==las olas empujaron la caja
a chain==una cadena
he grabbed the fork==agarró el tenedor
he hit the box with a tree==pegó la caja con un árbol
he wanted to eat it==quería comerlo
was floating in the ocean==estaba flotando en el océano

Also, if you paste the typed text of "Sheep in the Island" from #9 above, you will be able to do additional activities in story form.


  1. I am new to blogging but also just posted my own about using videos to enhance speaking & writing :)

  2. Hi, I would like a copy of your activity Who did the Action for sheep in the island, if it's not too much trouble.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sra. Evans
      I added the link to the activity for Who did the Action to the blog post above. See #8. If you have any problems accessing the activity on my Google Drive, you can leave another comment here on blogger with you email and I will email it to you. (But I won't publish the post with your email to prevent spam.)
      or connect with me on Twitter - @sonrisadelcampo, with your email and I can send it to you.