Saturday, March 21, 2015

Esperanza - A Verbal Book Report

Student sketches for Esperanza novel
My Spanish 4 students recently completed reading Esperanza by Carol Gaab, TPRS Publishing, Inc. I use this book in my Immigration/Guatemala unit of the curriculum.  The story opens up many opportunities to talk about immigration and why people are so desperate to enter the U.S.  I also like the book because the students learn about Guatemala.  There are so many interesting mini-lessons on the culture of Guatemala, the geography, the currency, the civil war, that can be explored while reading the novel. My recommendation, buy the Teacher's CD and a lot of that work is already completed for you.

For the final assessment on the book, I wanted a project that gave them the opportunity to explain what they thought were the key events in the story.  

For the final assessment on the book, I decided on a verbal book report in which students choose events key events of the story, sketch them, and then record their verbal book report.  Students chose to work alone or with a partner to sketch 10 events in the story on a long strip of white butcher paper. Then they   videotaped their verbal book report using a flip camera.  

The day the students recorded the videos, the class went to the atrium in order to have room so they could record without being really close to another group that was recording.  They taped their sketches to the wall and took turns filming each other. 

Below is a screenshot of the rubric.  I designed the rubric so that the sketches and events are worth 10 points, providing base points that all students should earn if they followed the requirements on the rubric.  The remaining 23 points focus on the actual verbal presentation.  With the first 10 points as a base points, I could more fairly assess the verbal presentation. (Find the pdf of the rubric HERE.)

I strongly dislike the traditional 100 point grading scale with A-90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, and F=0-59. The rubric is my attempt to offset more points dedicated to a failing grade than a passing grade (59% failing and 41% passing).   

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