Monday, November 16, 2015

Flood of Subjunctive Input w/ Bianca Nieves y los 7 Toritos novel

As I mentioned in a previous post, my Spanish 4 students are reading the novel, Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos written by Carrie Toth, (@senoraCMT on Twitter), and published by TPRS Publishing, Inc.  There is undeniable tension between two of the main characters with their true emotions spilling out in dialogue.  At times, Carrie gives the reader a glimpse into Bianca's thoughts when suspicions and distrust escalate and imminent conflict is on the horizon.

These strong emotions make it is easy to imagine what dialogues could have taken place among the characters that are not recorded in the book, and what characters may be thinking but strategically keeping to themselves. This is a perfect opportunity to "flood" the students with comprehensible input that is packed with examples of the subjunctive used in context!  

After students had read the first five chapters, I knew they had enough information on the characters in the novel to match possible dialogues and thoughts to the characters.  I wrote 25 sentences related to the events in the novel.  Students had to match the dialogues and thoughts with the characters that would have said or thought them. (If you would like a copy of the document to the right, you can find it HERE

Of, if you are a Kahoot fan, I uploaded the above sentences on Kahoot. Have the students choose which person said or thought the sentences by playing Kahoot with THIS GAME. (That saves paper and saves YOU time at the copier machine!)

You can find additional resources, in the Teacher's Guide for this book. It is packed with more activities than you need, which allows you to choose the ones that work best with your students. 
(To be clear, I mention books and materials I use in my class because I want to share what I have found to be useful in my classroom.  I do not receive compensation for mentioning products from companies on my blog.) 


  1. Did your students already know the subjunctive form? If not, how did you introduced it or did a pop-up grammar activity?

  2. I use the subjunctive naturally with them from the start of Spanish 4. By the time we read Bianca, students have heard many, many uses of the subjunctive (hundreds?). Sometimes I do pop up grammar when I use it or when I give a command to them in Spanish I tell them that another way I could say it would be. i.e.Eddie y Terri, apaguen las luces OR quiero que Eddie y Terri apaguen las luces. It takes a long time for them to start using it, but it eventually happens and they actually use it in timed writings even when not required.

    I also use some phrases that they need to complete as Passwords to get into the door, such as Me gusta que... And they have to say a complete sentence to enter the classroom.