Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reading to Spanish students

Earlier this summer I bought the elementary reader "Brandon Brown quiere un perro" from TPRS Publishing, Inc.  Later, I read Carrie Toth's comment, @senoraCMT, that she was going to read it to her high school Spanish classes. I decided to try this with my Spanish 2 students.

On day 2 of the school year, after asking many personalized questions using quieres and tienes, I read chapter 1 to the students two times. The first time I read it, I wrote some of the cognates on the board that they might not recognize by sound but could recognize if they read it, such as horribles. The second time I read it, students sketched something that happened in the chapter. I collected the sketches and used the document camera to show them to the class. Students then had to say 1 sentence for each sketch.

On day 3, I reviewed tiene # años, para su cumpleaños, & ¿Qué regalos recibes...  I asked them their age, compared their ages to other classmates, to other teachers in the school, and to me.  We also talked about what certain people got, or usually get, on their birthday. 

Then I distributed this paper: 
and students wrote "c" or "f" for 1-8, and answered 9-13, while I read Chapter 2 to them. I told them to check their answers with another student before we went over the answers together.

After going over the answers, I asked the students to write a number from 1 to 5 at the top of the paper; 5 indicating that they understood almost everything when I was reading; 4 indicating they understood a lot but there were one or two sketchy spots; and so on, and then they turned in the paper. The majority of the students wrote 4s, 4.5s, and 5s.  There were a few 3s and 3.5s.

Even though the book is below my students' reading abilities, using it as a listening activity enables me to provide a huge amount of comprehensible input while improving their listening skills.

Day 4: Before reading chapter 3, I went over the following words: pasa por, pasa, lleva, and llévatalo. Students sat in groups of 3. I read the chapter, pausing after a paragraph or a few sentences, and in their groups, the students retold what happened in English. Then I chose one of the groups to summarize for the class.


  1. You also used many common core objectives. Muy bien!

  2. The comment below was written by Profe. I accidentally deleted it when instead of hitting "Publish" on my smartphone I hit "Delete". (Big fingers and small smartphone screens are not a good combination.) I copied the note that came to my email from Blogger and added it below. Sorry Laurie.

    "I'm a strong believer that no piece is actually below ability. Usually, the "lower" the reading level the higher the comprehension level...and that is what we are all about. (oh I feel my own blog post coming on lol) I think that you have struck upon gold here. The more comprehensible the language, the greater our ability to relate to the characters, the struggles, the humor and everything else that is golden about the book.

    with love,
    and off to write on my blog lol