martes, 23 de diciembre de 2014

Music video for Tarea Semanal

One thing I love about having students do Tarea Semanal is that, sometimes, I end up getting something that I can use with future classes. I also really like it when students come up with their own ideas for assignments.

As a class, we studied and sang the song "Río Abajo" by Ana Tijoux during our Desafíos Medioambientales unit. One student liked the song so much that she asked if she could make a video to illustrate the lyrics. She did this as her tarea semanal for 3 or 4 weeks. She used WeVideo (similar to iMovie, but maybe better because it is in the cloud) and this is her final product. I can't imagine how many times she must have listened to the song in order to get the lyrics to match so well with the pictures! 

I will definitely be using this video next semester when we do this unit.

On another note, I highly recommend using music by Ana Tijoux. I am a HUGE fan... for so many reasons. Her music is like poetry and her songs often have a social message. She is also a strong female role model who speaks out against the objectification of women in pop culture (teenage girls need more "cool" role models like her!). I have found that students really like her music. Some favorites have been Somos Sur, Shock, and 1977. At first it can be difficult to sing along with her songs, but once students try a few times, they really can sing along.

viernes, 12 de diciembre de 2014

Adding to the resources for El Internado...

Note: These resources fall under Fair Use for Educational Purposes. Click here to learn more.

Many teachers are using El Internado in class, so I finally jumped on the bandwagon and have started showing it in my Cultura y Civilización class. It is something we do on Fridays as a reward for speaking a lot of Spanish during the week. It has been going really well. Students are engaged and they are hearing and reading (subtitles) real Spanish... and they are also having fun! (**Warning** Some scenes might need to be skipped and there are some "romantic situations" and profanity. I recommend a permission slip and probably only for older students.)

As we watch, I pause a lot for explanations and questions. I have created a three post-watching activities (so far). The episodes are long, so we watch 15-20 minutes and then read/answer aloud as a class. The readings are very simple and easy for the students, but all students get something out of it (differentiation!). Watching El Internado is an "easy day" for students, but there is a ton of learning and input happening!

There are lots of resources that other teachers have created (see below for links), but this format of watching a bit and then doing the reading activities aloud together as a class after is working very well for me and my students. Here are the post-watching readings that I have used so far. I created three of them (episodes 2-4 and I am going to start 5 and 6). Thanks to Bethanie Drew for the proofreading and enhancements to these!
Mike PetoDustin WilliamsonKaren Goering, Lindsey Camachothe Reading (MA) Spanish 
department (formerly including Meaghan McSherry), and Allison Wienhold (and others) have created some fantastic resources to use with El Internado. You could keep clicking and go into a maze of El Internado resources! So many creative ideas!

There are also some Kahoots already created. Just search for El Internado, mikepeto, placido or srakjacobs. Students LOVE that game and it is a great way to review.

*Update* 1/3/17 - If you are looking for something similar for Episodio 02X01, here is a link to one that Lisa South made

sábado, 6 de diciembre de 2014

Una película buena para la "food unit" - Canela


Update - 5/18/18 - You can find this movie on Amazon and YouTube (rent or purchase) with automatic English subtitles. You can watch it on Pantaya (paid monthly subscription) with Spanish subtitles.

**Update - 1/1/16 - click here to see updated resources**

Canela is going to be a perfect addition to my (and Cristina Zimmerman's) Diversidad de la Gastronomía unit (or to anyone's "food unit"). It is a sweet movie and totally appropriate for school! It is a bit childish, but I found that if I tell them that ahead of time, they are okay with that. It is a little cursi, but contains some Mexican culture and it is in Spanish, so lots of listening practice* for students. They will definitely know what mole is after the movie. Most of the movies I show are pretty heavy, so this will be a nice change.

I created this movie guide with discussion questions. There are a lot of things that could be done with this movie, so please let me know if you have any ideas. Minutes 33:00-48:00 basically show how to prepare mole (lots of cooking vocabulary there!). If you see any typos or other corrections, please let me know... I share my material freely so don't expect perfection! :)

Also, if you teach AP, or have it in your Spanish program, I have included some pre-AP questions at the end of the guide. I was thinking about the two minute oral "comparación cultural" when I wrote those questions at the end.

This song will be perfect to do before (or during) the movie - La Cumbia del Mole by Lila Downs (wksht.):

Here is a trailer for the movie:

Here is the synopsis taken from the website for the movie:

After her daughter’s death, Tere lost her passion for cooking and stopped working at her traditional Mexican food restaurant, El Molcajete, downtown Mexico City. Trying to save the business, Beatriz, the manager of El Molcajete, hires Rosi, a Cordon Bleu chef educated in France. But Maria, Tere’s sweet and bright grandchild, plans to make Tere go back to cook and run the restaurant, looking to put a smile on her face. Meanwhile, chef Rosi changes the menu, making it a light trendy cuisine, for that Jocelyn, a well known TV food critic, decides to go and pay a visit after she reads a review about it. When finally Tere realises that she needs to go back on business, she learns that chef Rosi is tearing into pieces the restaurant’s reputation. Maria, who loves traditional cuisine, prepares everything to proof that chef Rosi has no place at El Molcajete. The cuisine battle between Tere and chef Rosi is an epic fight not only between long-stablished Mexican food and light food, but also a struggle of family bonds, friendship, cooking secrets, flavor’s passion and more than two hundred ingredients that are needed in order to prepare Mole, a traditional Mexican sauce.
*The movie is available on Netflix. I would prefer to show it with Spanish subtitles, but the subtitles are in English. If anyone has figured out how to get Spanish subtitles on Netflix, please let me know. I also bought the DVD through Amazon, but it does not have Spanish subtitles either.

miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2014

El Salvador: La Guerra Civil y La Mara Salvatrucha


I am continuing to love using the leveled-cultural-novels from TPRS Publishing. This is why I love using them:
  • They tell engaging stories.
  • They include tons of cultural connections.
  • They are comprehensible.
  • There are so many connections that can be made to other authentic resources
  • The Teacher Guides are very useful with pre and post questions, slideshows, and a wide variety of activities to do with the books.
  • Some of my favorites so far are: La Llorona de Mazatlán, Robo en la noche, Noche de Oro, La Hija del Sastre, Esperanza, Felipe Alou, Noches Misteriosas en Granada and La Calaca Alegre (haven't used this one in class yet... but I will!). And I'm looking forward to new ones too!
In our next unit in Cultura y Civilización, we will be using the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. This book is a bit heavy, but I think it will be engaging and students will think about and process a variety of topics. It will also be a great segue to our immigration unit. These are the essential questions for the unit (thanks to Crystal Barragán for some of these):
  1. ¿Cuáles fueron las causas detrás de la guerra civil en El Salvador? ¿Cuáles fueron los dos lados opuestos en la guerra civil en El Salvador? ¿Cuáles son las repercusiones de una guerra así (con niños soldados)? ¿Qué pasó a las personas ordinarias que vivían en el medio del conflicto durante la guerra civil?
  2. ¿Cómo se formó la pandilla Mara Salvatrucha o MS-13? ¿Por qué existen las pandillas? ¿Por qué se juntan algunos jóvenes a las pandillas? ¿Por qué es tan difícil salir de las pandillas?
  3. ¿Por qué a algunos jóvenes les interesan / les fascinan los pandilleros y la cultura de las pandillas? ¿Por qué es la cultura de las pandillas glorificada dentro de la cultura popular? ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de eso?
  4. ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de los conflictos en otros países para los Estados Unidos?
In order to understand how La Mara Salvatrucha formed, we are going to spend a week learning about the civil war in El Salvador. The main resource for doing this is the movie Voces Inocentes. 
I have compiled resources from Spark Your Enthusiasm (including this this movie packet) and I also created discussion questions to go over the movie as we watch it. The movie is a bit heavy, so to break it up, we will be learning some of the songs from the movie soundtrack, including these:  Mi país, Casas de Cartón, La cumbia del brinquito (super-pegajosa!), y la de la mochila azul (super tierna). I particularly love these two:
La cumbia del brinquito
La de la mochila azul

At the end of the week, students will have a speaking assessment. They will have to tell me a summary of what happened in the movie.

After that, we will read the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. The Teacher's Guide is very helpful! To focus on Essential Question #3, we are going to use two songs. One is "Soy Raka" by Los Rakas (idea from Carrie Toth) and in opposition to that song we will study "Adentro" by Calle 13. I might also include "Sueño americano" by Los Rakas (Zachary Jones has a great worksheet to go along with the song).

For the end of unit assessments, this is what I have planned. There are three options and students will choose one of the following. (I may decide to change this as the unit progresses.)
  • Make an infografía or a presentation that shows how the movie "Voces Inocentes" connects with the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. Focus on answering Essential Questions within the context of the resources.
  • Write a an illustrated fictional story (draw or make a presentation) about someone from El Salvador who lived through the guerra civil and eventually immigrated to the United States. Use elements of the movie "Voces Inocentes" and the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha.  Within your story, focus on answering the Essential Questions.
  • Make an infografía or a presentation that focuses on the music of the unit. Use at least two of the songs from the unit and show how lines from the songs relate to the movie "Voces Inocentes" and the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. Focus on answering the Essential Questions.
Have you used this book in class? Do you have any suggestions or ideas? I have also found some great Pinterest boards with resources for the book, including this one from Sharon Birch/

**Update** I created this slideshow that describes in very basic words a bit of El Salvador's history and the civil war. It is a simplified version, but it is comprehensible to my students. We went over it before starting the movie. Also, students listened to this NPR podcast (in English) the night before we started the movie and took notes in Spanish.

**Another Update** I created this vocabulary sheet with vocabulary words for each chapter. We will go over the words and fill in the English before we read each chapter. Many of the words they will know, but because there is a very wide variety of levels in the classroom, this will help to make is comprehensible for all students. The words are in the order that they appear. The Teacher's Guide does include a list too, but this format will make it easier for my students and me.