jueves, 7 de mayo de 2015

Using "Alma" to introduce the past tenses

This post may seem somewhat obvious to many, but this is the first time I have taught (more introduced) the preterite and the imperfect this way. I am continuing to use resources and ideas from Elena López (she shares SO MANY amazing resources to use cortometrajes) and Martina Bex as I change what I do in Spanish 2 (see last post) and it has been going well, mainly because there is a lot more Spanish being spoken by me and the students as the focus has been more on communicating and less on conjugating.

I still do have to teach certain vocabulary that is tied to the textbook, but I am now putting that "on the side" and focusing on communication and lots of CI through reading and listening. My main resources for the past month have been cortometrajes. The current one that I am using to introduce is one that many Spanish teachers use (see Cynthia Hitz's blog with lots of links to other resources). So, although there are tons of fantastic resources out there to use with this, I am going to share some more :)

This is the Essential Question for the unit: How do I describe events in the past, including what happened in the cortometraje "Alma" and doing errands downtown (Realidades 3A vocab that I have to teach)? The slideshow below is the main resource for the first part of the unit. (Thanks to Elena López for the screenshots and the idea - my version is a simplified version of hers. Her version is in the present tense):

To start this unit, I emphasized that we will be learning the preterite tense and that the verbs will have different endings. But, instead of giving them the endings to start (and conjugating 20 verbs out of context), we started with the words on slide 2. Before students see the cortometraje, we go through the slideshow and I tell the story. The "Target Structures" are on the board and in their notebooks so that they can reference them. I ask a lot of questions and students answer. There are also questions throughout the slideshow that students will answer. After we have gone through part of the slideshow, we watched that part of the cortometraje. I love using the cortometrajes this way! The students are very engaged and they are getting tons of CI with lots of past tense verbs.

We have done many different activities, including:
  • Put the story in order (see this doc)
  • Read aloud with a partner and translate
  • Read, summarize and draw (see this doc)
  • A textivate activity with a simplified summary - click here
  • Another textivate activity with quesitons (the same ones on the assessment) - click here
  • Quizlet 

After the first day, I formally introduced the preterite with Martina Bex's -ar preterite packet and this catchy song from the Realidades text. We have also used her -er/-ir preterite note packet. And we will be using her irregular preterite packet. This has been the smoothest introduction of the preterite that I have ever done! It makes so much sense to just start using the preterite (along with some imperfect too!).

Here is the evaluación that students will do.

Students are engaged and they are communicating using the past tenses! I still have to teach the vocabulary from chapter 3A of Realidades - here is the Quizlet link.

I am hoping to use the cortometraje "Runaway" next week. My student aid made the slideshow below: