Navigating Project-based Learning in Level 1 Spanish Classes


Project-based learning sounds very daunting to do in one’s native language, let alone transferring the principles to a second language classroom. Can project-based learning be accomplished in the world language classroom?  Yes, it can and many teachers engage in this level of learning at the higher level. However, the vexing question for me was: can PBL be accomplished and sustained with my Spanish I, Novice-mid-intermediate students?

Click here for conference documents. Editable Word documents are included.

When I attempted to “solve for x” I was overwhelmed with crushing amount of information that I thought students had to know, in order to “PBL.” At the heart of Project-based learning lies a problem. This was essentially my PBL, and the questions inevitably led to an instructional shift, a “can do” attitude (yes, ACTFL pun!), and a curriculum whose currents intersected at the nucleus of a student-centered curriculum. This nagging question of student ownership, discovery, and design sparked my journey into developing curricula that married language acquisition with inquiry-based practices.

ACTFL Attendees 

So, if you are interested in learning about how to incorporate project-based learning principles into your novice curriculum or wanting to refine the tools already in your toolbox, join me Saturday, 11/18/2017 in Nashville.

The session will take place at the Music City Center, Room 106c at 11:15-12:15. Following the session, I will post all materials referenced during the presentation here in this post. See the agenda for topics below. These questions posed will be answered through the concrete resources that participants will have access to following the presentation.

Materials to be distributed at presentation 

  1.  ACTFL Unit Plan
  2. Guided Inquiry/ Internet Scavenger Hunt
  3. Vocabulary Packet/ideas
  4. Communicative activity
  5. Simple reading connected to topic
  6. Brochure example and rubric
  7. Presentational rubric
  8. Samples of products

Distance-Learning Participants

Not able to make it to ACTFL? No problem! You will have full access to the materials on this page!

Project-based learning materials from ACTFL

Click here for conference documents.

 Novelas para la clase de español

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pzd1SZ

TPT Store!

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

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12 Super Comprehensible Language Learner Novels for your Spanish class

12+ Language Learner Novels (print and paper) for your Spanish class! Guidance materials for novels included.    

La Clase de Confesiones (Spanish 1)

This story is dedicated to anyone who has ever had a class crush

Synopsis: Carlos hates Spanish class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. She is the reason he “tolerates” his boring class. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to “shake things up a bit” in class. A simple writing assignment turns out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Jessica. First, his nosy teacher tries to “set him up with Jessica,” this plan immediately backfires. Then, the unthinkable happens and Carlos is stunned. This turns into one of the most embarrassing moments in his life. But all is not lost. If Carlos plays his cards right, he could have a winning hand.   Carlos invites you to come along on this adventure into “La clase de confesiones” where…”todos tienen una confesión,” even the teacher!

Now available to order at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pIu4VS.   Let the confessions begin!

Order your class set today and save $1.25 per novel! Click here for more details: Class set and save!

Also available at Brycehedstrom.com 

Author’s note: This novel pairs well with a school unit as most of the vocabulary centers around the school and the classroom environment. I wrote this story initially to recycle vocabulary associated with school supplies in addition to basic Spanish verbs in different forms. Therefore you will see a lot of vocabulary words repeated. The unique word count is around 120.  My students loved it (and so did many others). They demanded I write a part 2 (you will see why at the end) and I did. La clase de confesiones 2: La bella mentira is 

Glossary included!


Language:  Mostly present tense

Look for us in the Carlex Fall Catalogue!

The confessions don’t stop there, part 2 is chock full with even more confessions!

La clase de confesiones Part 2: La bella mentira (Spanish 1+)

Carlos is having a bad day, and it’s about to get worse. He leaves Spanish class utterly embarrassed.  He had no idea that the teacher was going to partner him up with Jessica, the girl he actually writes about in his class essay. Adding insult to injury, the teacher reads his essay in front of the class, even the mean-spirited things he wrote about his teacher. After running into a few more problems in math class, he is faced with the big showdown in the lunchroom. Now, Carlos is between *”la espada y la pared.” However, a short story in Spanish class may hold the key to all of his problems, and may ultimately lead to his biggest confession of all.  Find out in part 2! 

Now available on Amazon!

http://amzn.to/2sI5mXt

La espía huérfana by Andrew Snider (New book)


Click here to view on Amazon 

I just purchased my copy of this book for my FVR library. The premise is so compelling. 

La espía huérfana by Andrew Snider 

After the tragic death of her parents, Violeta struggles to adjust to her new life in San Diego. Her life takes an intriguing turn when she receives a mysterious letter warning that she is in grave danger. When she learns that one of the world’s most wanted criminals has escaped from prison and is looking for her, it will take more than courage to survive. This book was written for Spanish language learners and contains a glossary of over 250 words to help keep the text compelling and comprehensible. 

Author’s note: La espía huérfana is written mostly in the present tense, but it does not shelter grammar. There are instances of “advanced” grammar so beginners can begin to see the language in a more complete context. To keep this text engaging and comprehensible for all learners, La espía huérfana includes a gloss of vocabulary considered “likely unfamiliar”. 

Andrew Snider is an author and an avid blogger. His website http://readtospeakspanish.com/ features shorts stories, ideas, and materials for engaging and improving reading in Spanish. 

La vida loca de Marta by Andrew Snider 

La vida loca de Marta is a brief novel written for late beginner or intermediate students of Spanish. It is written almost entirely in present tense and is at a good reading level for most students in Spanish two or above. 

Description: Marta is a single mother who is trying to do it all. She has two kids, is working as a secretary in a law office, and is taking classes at a local college, all while her family is thousands of miles away in Mexico. Will Marta be able to balance everything when she meets a great guy?

Why I love this book? It is refreshingly real and connects to the lives of so many of my students!

Click this link to view on Amazon 
Andrew Snider is an author and an avid blogger. His website http://readtospeakspanish.com/ features shorts stories, ideas, and materials for engaging and improving reading in Spanish. 

Spanish FVR Printable Stories and Mini Novels by Spanishplans.org  

Compelling, comprehensible and convenient!

Author’s note: These stories are from our MovieTalk and TPRS Story products. Instead of the entire lesson, we are offering them as readings to be a part of your classroom library, such a Free Voluntary Reading program (FVR). Each reading comes with a glossary of all the words from the story. These stories were written for novice level students. See the description for the number of total words in the story and the number of unique words.

Available on TPT

Check out more amazing resources by Spanishplans.org. Click here for their website:

Facilitating Aquisition through Comprehensible Input- Spanishplans.org 





A New Short Story for Spanish 2+. Activities included!

Mi abuelita tiene un móvil inteligente

“Mi abuelita tiene un móvil inteligente” is a short story for Spanish 2+ (although, I used this at the end of Spanish 1). This short story can be read individually as part of Free Voluntary Reading, or collectively as a whole classroom as the questions are included. I used this story as part of my technology unit. It includes many relevant terms that students used today to interact with technology such as “descargar una aplicación”, “subir una foto al Instagram”, “chatear con los amigos”, etc. Many of the words are naturally embedded into the context of the story and repeated.

Click here to check out two-chapter preview 

This resource included: 
1. Story ” Mi abuelita tiene un móvil inteligente” 
2. Four sets of chapter questions- there are 4 chapters 
3. Technology Vocabulary list with information gap activity 
4. Pre-reading questions and writing activity 

Topics: Technology, Family Relationships, Online activities, Love 
Grammar: Preterite, Imperfect, Affirmative Commands 

Editable version of story included

Synopsis: Sara enjoys hanging out with her crazy “Primos” and “Tíos” at their weekly “Reunión” at “La casa de abuela.” From listening to her crazy aunt’s tales about the adventures of internet dating to her grandmother’s funny jokes (comprehensible & appropriate), she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on Sunday. However, this Sunday is super special because it is her grandmother’s birthday, and Sara has just made her day by buying her a smart phone. While Sara teaches her “abuelita” how to use the smart phone, her grandmother discovers some “creative uses” for her new smart phone. Abuela Irma realizes even at 75 years old, her best years are ahead of her!

Casi Me Mata El Celular (Spanish 2+)

Federico and his friends have a pretty simple life. They love to play basketball, soccer and go skateboarding at the park. They also love to go to their favorite hangout out, La librería Curioso: the only abandoned building left in an up and coming town. This space gives them the privacy they need to practice pranks and other hilarious stunts to upload to Youtube. But the night of Friday the 13, their jokes go sour. While shooting the breeze and popping firecrackers, they stumble upon an uncanny situation. In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, they witness something will change their lives forever. Now the boys have to try to make it out of this situation, alive.  

Available on TPT (pending)

Click this link to view on TPT  (2 chapter preview)

This book is currently being reformatted with illustrations and a glossary! It will be available at the beginning of August on TPT and Amazon!

 

Superburguesas by Mike Peto 

Click here to view it on Amazon 

This is another CI hit that I have added to my library. Very compelling and funny!

This easy to read short novel in Spanish is designed for learners who want learn Spanish the fun way– by reading interesting stories. Check out Superburguesas!

Enter into Rodney’s World 

Rodney is a smart high school student who has to pay for his own AP tests. Everybody else he knows has parents who actually pay for things, but he has to work at a hamburger restaurant to earn enough for his exam fees. Of course, Rodney doesn’t take the job too seriously. He would rather spend the time studying, so he devises a plan to make sure there are never any customers to interrupt him. Nobody comes to the hamburger joint where the employee never washes his hands… well, almost nobody. Two days later, when Rodney is being pursued by a ruthless drug trafficker, he barely has time to regret his unsanitary ways. The entire story is a little over 4200 words, or 60 pages. It is written at the level of my Spanish 2 students: mostly in the present tense but with a spattering of advanced grammar when needed. Don’t worry about either the grammar or the vocabulary; anything even slightly complicated is translated at the bottom of the page. There is also a complete glossary at the end of the book so that this story is 100% comprehensible to all readers.

Check out Mike’s website here, a repository of activities and strategies for language acquisition instruction. 

What teen hasn’t tried to throw a party while their parents were away? Well, Antonio almost gets away with the big party, if not for a few loose ends. Check out the synopsis below: 


Antonio dreams about throwing the biggest party ever when he finally gets his big break: his parents are taking a short trip to take care of some “family business.”  Armed with the advice of his friend and teen blogger, Lucas, a.k.a. el parrandero (party animal), his weekend fiesta is destined to be unforgettable. Antonio follows Lucas’ five rules of “fiestas inolvidables” and everything is smooth sailing. Even better, Antonio’s love interest shows up; now the pressure is on. Everyone is having a blast when a few unexpected obstacles arise. Antonio has to think quick and then problem-solves in order to have the best party ever. However, will his skills be enough?  Find out in La fiesta inolvidable… a night to remember! His parents will never forget either…especially his mom (¡pobrecita!).

Available on TPT

Click this link to view on TPT 

Language: Preterite, Imperfect and some subjunctive

Themes: Relationships, Love, Friendship, Family, Travel and House related vocabulary  

These novels tell a tantalizing tale of intricate teen relationships and secrets that will hook your students from the first page. Your students wil go on an adventurous ride, deepen their language skills while they solve dark mysteries that lie at the heart of the series: Las apariencias engañan.  Check out 2 chapter previews and reviews! 

*The full series will be re-posted with illustrations and new cover late August!

Las Apariencias Engañan (Part 1) (Spanish 3+)

Camilo is hiding a secret, and it won’t be long until his girlfriend finds out. She sets out to spy on her once romantic poem-writing boyfriend, who is beingincredibly secretive as of late. Between poor grades, his erratic behavior, and her parents’ divorce, Salomé feels like she is going to implode. Her new discovery of a chica who is colada with her boyfriend puts her over the edge even más. Seeking help and sanity, she decides to visit a popular town psychiatrist; he forces her to change her perspective, and with that comes a cost. His advice ultimately leads her to discover a much greater truth about Camilo, his father and the town in which they live. She goes on a quest for truth but then gets more than she bargained for. Every chapter is a twisty rollercoaster that abruptly stops at a cliffhanger, right before it pushes you over the edge. Las Apariencias Engañan reveals thetimeless truths that: things are never what they seem to be.

Tons of dialogue and easily adaptable to classroom skits and reader’s theater.

 Language: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect

Themes: Relationships, Betrayal, Friendship, Family 

The second installment in the series El Muerto en el Armario ups the stakes for all the players involved. “Las cartas están sobre la mesa” as Salomé (Camilo’s girlfriend) holds all the players hostage to their secrets. Through a series of

 clever maneuvers, Camilo (Juan’s best friend) and Liliana (Juan’s girlfriend) are still able to evade the truth; but the time is running out. Situational “close calls, will put readers’ “pelos de punta” especially when Juan confronts Camilo on his secretive behavior and the steamy text messages found on his phone (nothing inappropriate). Liliana adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret belonging to one of Camilo’s parents; this secret is the just tip of the iceberg. The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center of the drama in the third installment ” Las sombras.” How will Camilo’s parents handle her knowing sensitive information? What price will she pay for this secret? Will Juan discover the truth about his friends? How will Salomé exact revenge? Find out in part 2!

Language: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect

Themes: Relationships, Betrayal, Friendship, Family 

Las sombras: corre y no mires atrás (parte 3)

The much anticipated third installment, coming soon, real soon. 

There is something weird happening in Buena Vista.

 Did your students

enjoy Las apariencias engañan and El muerto en el armario? Well, they will love Las sombras! Originally the third and last installment of the series, but it just could not stop there. The fourth book La esfera tops off this teen-centered series.

Don’t have time to read all four? No problem! The good news is that there is enough information from the previous series for students to start with Las sombras and finish with La esfera; I am calling this a four-part split series. The teachers whose classes beta-read the last two installments loved it!  Check out the synopsis below:

Andrés throws the party of the century, as it is quickly upstaged by the weird, mysterious and threatening events that take place in the surrounding forest. As a dark cloud blankets the sky and an ominous atmosphere start to imbue the air, the towns’ secrets are peeled back layer by layer, exposing sinister murder plots and paranormal activity. An investigation into the murder of a high school student uncovers secrets that have haunted the town for centuries that an ancient book may contain the answers that everyone is seeking.  Can the teens overcome their social conflicts, backstabbing and disloyalty (okay, that’s a lot, but like my students say- it’s so juicy) to save the town? Corre y no mires atrás is a page by page supernatural thrill-seeking adventure that will intrigue, entertain and keep readers begging for more!

La Nueva Alumna (Spanish 3+)  -Freebie – Activities included!- 

La Nueva Alumna is a fictionalized account of Vicky’s journey to the prestigious boarding school: El Internado. It gives a bit of a back story highlighting her working class roots, and her major crush on Iván, another pivotal character from the series. This story was originally written as a cloze text practice of language structures such as the present and past subjunctive and the preterite and imperfect. Said formative assessment was administered to students after viewing episode 5 of El Internado when it became clear that Vicky was colada con Iván. The story presents a mix of narration and dialogue, which could be easily acted out in class or in groups!

Available on TPT 

Click here to check out additional resources for all levels of Spanish!

El Cine Colombiano: 11 Activities for Teaching Film- ¡Qué Chévere!

Cine Colombiano- ¡Qué chévere! 

This year’s film unit is taking even a steeper climb through the South American Continent.( Click here to see the post about 5 film activities for your class. Most activities are free! ) I’ve added two films to explore cultural themes and social issues while conversing in the target language.  

On a personal/pedagogical note, this year I have been learning about MovieTalk, a TPRS strategy for enhancing listening comprehension and focusing on structures. I am still learning about this key strategy in facilitating conversation using film, I am no way an expert, but I have incorporated some of those practices in my class (Check out my Wanna-be-Movietalk activity: Eight free engaging activities for teaching the preterit and imperfect tenses). I am slowing incorporating these strategies as I go.  


Shall we take a peek? ¡Dale!

Film unit vocabulary and activities– absolutely free. Engage your students in the following activities: 


1. Vocabulary matching- in the target language


2. Writing about their favorite movie, using the vocabulary. 


3. Pique their interest in Hispanic movies by allowing them to view images of movies and read summaries/ respond to questions (I have used this activity in Spanish Club). 


4. A short activity of films shots, I go all out in my film unit!




I used the Free Film Unit to introduce vocabulary and get students discussing movies in Spanish. The movie images come with summaries (upgrade from last year, if you downloaded this activity) and the narratives really pull students in. This can be used as part of a film unit or as a teaser or cultural assignment… or even sub plans (I’m just saying).

Check out this teacher’s Movie Packet. I purchased it and use it every time I watch a movie. This resource is really my go-to for anytime I have found a great resource, but have not either created materials or found them online. It is very simple and I have used it mostly with series or in Spanish Club.

Now on to the films!

El Almuerzo 

This short eight-minute film highlights the challenges that poor families, especially children face in Colombia. It is about two young girls trying to get a meal. They face a few difficulties, which force them to be creative in solving their problem.  The resource below gives an overview of the film for students, vocabulary activities, especially Colombian regionalisms. It also gives students an opportunity to think about the broader themes touched upon in the Cortometraje. We had a great discussion and then went around the class greeting each other with “Qué hubo” a particularly Colombian expression. See the activities outlined below. Check out the preview on TPT! 

– Short introduction to the film in the target language 
– Vocabulary from the film and information gap activity using the vocabulary

– Watch and pause questions (freeze frame- paying homage to the Movietalk strategy).

– Discussion questions

– Deep Dive (more in-depth) questions

– Writing prompt

Maria, Llena Eres de Gracia 

This film has become a staple in my Cine Latino Series. It highlights the life of “mules” or people who transport drugs. I used the SparkEnthusiasm’s packet, click here for the link. I also created some of my own resources to widen the snapshot of this issue. You can see those resources below. They are totally free and were compiled by online resources and made more comprehensible for students. With the SparkEnthusiasm Kit, I was able to do a gallery walk around the class and have students jot down information about the movie. Also, this packet comes with tons of activities that could be used for pre, during and post. In fact, my summative assessment will consist of the viewing questions, listening, and summary. Had I more time, I would have organized stations. 


Current Event: Model turned Mule 

The featured article below is a sad but true event that occurred a few years ago. A model from Medellín, Colombia made the regretfully dreadful decision of becoming a mule. We read this article right after seeing the movie María, Llena Eres de Gracia. 


This news article sheds light on this issue and the kids were every surprised, even after watching the movie. Click on the original news article here, for your native speakers! Click here for the “Comprehensible Input Version.” I have to say that I only added a few things. I thought that most of the words used were cognates or easily identifiable. I might have changed phrases such as ” le cayeron veiente años” for “recibió veinte años.” 


After reading this article with two classes, I decided to change things up for the third class. Turns out that the students in my second class actually googled her and found out that she was sentenced to 15 years; hence my notation in the article. Also, they found a video of her modeling days.


Prior to giving the last class the article, we watched the modeling video. I told them that the video was about an up and coming model from Colombia. After the video, we read the article and, boy, were they surprised. This had more of an impact because this girl is young, beautiful, obviously not poor, had a youtube presence and was blossoming as a model. We then read the article and responded to questions.  Click below for the video, and it is totally appropriate.


Check out the film resources below!

La fiesta inolvidable- A Short Story for Spanish 3+; the 5 golden rules of throwing the best party…gone awry.

 

La fiesta inolvidable: Unforgettable Spanish 2 Novel- activities included!

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This story is dedicated to all the wanna-a-be party animals! Antonio learns a powerful lesson about throwing parties and following instructions… al pie de la letra. Check out the two chapter preview below. This story comes with a glossary and 5 reading comprehension activities. 


Lighten the mood with this short, funny and crazy story,”La fiesta inolvidable for level 2+. This story about an unsuspecting teen and his experience in throwing a party, albeit with a few hiccups, like his bratty sister who’s smart as a whip, his crush with an overprotective father (her story is coming out) and is forgetful mother, well, her and Antonio might have this in common. La fiesta inolvidable will definitely lighten the mood in class as it is filled with funny situations, close calls, hilarious characters, and scenarios totally relatable to teens. Some of the thematic vocabulary includes: 


Click here to view on TPT

See two chapter preview below!

  • Family
  • House 
  • Travel
  • Relationships   

Prevalent Structures include: 

  • Preterite
  • Imperfect
  • Past perfect 
  • Some subjunctive

Students will definitely relate to the bothersome but crafty little sister (I think this character was inspired by my brother), the helicopter mom, impatient dad and, the cougar grandmother (okay, this one may be a little crazy, I”ll admit) and a host of friends who think they have all their bases covered (the youth these days!). The story also sprinkled with a few common Spanish saying such as “Ni papa”Lo pasado, pasado está,” and “Llevar la fiesta en paz” (well, this literally). If your students have ever tried to get away with something, which I sure they have, then this story will have them laughing at themselves and at the characters attempt to pull this party off (confession, my brothers and I threw parties all the time!). 

The story includes a glossary. Furthermore, unfamiliar “critical” words are also footnoted so students don’t skip a beat. If you using this a quick class read, then great! You will definitely benefit from the student activities included in the packet.  It entails several activities for deeper engagement such as: 

  • Pre-reading questions 
  • Post-comprehension questions 
  • Preterite v.s. Imperfect activity 
  • Planning the perfect party activity 

Synopsis 

Antonio follows a teen blogger who writes about throwing bang-up parties, of course in the absence of parents. Lucas, alias, el parrandero has a few “secret” parties under his belt. Antonio’s big break comes when his parents have to take a short trip to check up on his grandmother. Turns out that the widowed grandma is now back on the dating scene, dating a man that almost half her age. Antonio’s dad resolves to go visit her and “set” the potential boyfriend straight. This is Antonio’s chance to put into effect the 5 golden rules of throwing a “fiesta inolvidable.” 


However,  Antonio a few snags in his plan could possible thwart his efforts.   First, his sweet-angel-faced sister blackmails him and swindles him out of some much-needed cash. Then his mom refuses to leave him alone- his anxious friends are blowing up his Snapchat ready to invade his house. Then, the dust settles and now, his party plans are in full effect. He follows the 5 golden rules of throwing a party, and everything pays off, well almost.  His love interest is present in the midst of all his friends, he couldn’t ask for more. Then suddenly, things take a turn for the worst.  When he least expects it, several obstacles arise, putting at risk his hard work. He and his friends work freaky fast to make everything perfect, but they forget some very vital details. Check out the 3 chapter preview below:  

Synopsis for students (This is what students have in their packet).

Antonio dreams about throwing the biggest party ever when he finally gets his big break: his parents are taking a short trip to take care of some “family business.”  Armed with the advice of his friend and teen blogger, Lucas, a.k.a. el parrandero (party animal), his weekend fiesta is destined to be unforgettable. Antonio follows Lucas’ five rules of “fiestas inolvidables” and everything is smooth sailing. Even better, Antonio’s love interest shows up; now the pressure is on. Everyone is having a blast when a few unexpected obstacles arise. Antonio has to think quick on his feet in order to have the best party ever.  However, will his skills be enough?  Find out in La fiesta inolvidable… a night to remember!

————————————————————————————————————————–

 La fiesta inolvidable- comprehensible, funny short story for Spanish class. 

                                                      

   Capítulo 1                         

                  Cómo echar una fiesta inolvidable 

          Antonio acabó de leer la entrada del blog “las cinco reglas de cómo echar una fiesta inolvidable.” El autor era Lucas, conocido como “El parrandero.” Él no sólo daba consejos a otros estudiantes de cómo echar fiestas inolvidables, pero era un ejemplo máximo de sus consejos. Antonio pensaba en la fiesta que iba a echar pronto y los consejos de Lucas eran muy necesarios. Además, Lucas estaría en la fiesta para guiarlo.  

Dentro de poco, sus padres viajarán a Canadá para pasar tiempo con la abuela…y a conocer su nuevo novio. La abuela tenía 70 años y su nuevo novio tenía sólo 40. El padre de Antonio vio unas fotos de él en Facebook y tenía sus sospechas. «Es un hombre demasiado joven y guapo para querer estar con una mujer tan vieja» decía su padre. La madre de Antonio siempre defendía la decisión de su suegra, diciendo que ella tenía derecho de estar con quién quisiera, pero su padre no pensaba así.  Su madre había heredado mucho dinero después de la muerte de su padre y él no iba a dejar que un “cazafortunas oportuno” se lo robara. Sin embargo, a Antonio no le importaba la razón del viaje porque fue justo lo que necesitaba para poner en práctica los consejos de Lucas. 

         El vuelo era a las diez y sus padres iban a salir a las siete y media. Antonio les dijo a todos sobre la fiesta por Snapchat y no pudo creer su suerte: Fabiola respondió diciendo que estaría allí. Ahora, más que nunca, todo tendría que salir bien. <<Qué fenomenal, ella va a estar en la fiesta>>.

Antonio pensaba en Fabiola cuando su madre interrumpió su trance:

-Hijo, ¿qué haces? Estás muy concentrado– dijo, Elena, la madre de Antonio.

  • Estoy buscando una solución de matemáticas– mintió Antonio, mientras cerraba la computadora

Pues, te estoy llamando hace rato– dijo Elena, en un tono irritado. 

-Perdón, estuve pensando en la prueba de cálculo… es que quiero sacar una buena nota- mintió Antonio, tratando de impresionar a su madre.

Eres un buen hijo. ¡Vas a ser un buen ingeniero! ¿Me puedes ayudar con…. Antonio respondió antes que su madre terminara la frase.

Sí, te ayudo, ¿qué necesitas, ma?

-Tráeme los suéteres sobre la cama- pidió Elena, juntando todos sus papeles para el viaje.

Mientras ayudaba a su madre, Antonio pensó en los consejos de Lucas, en la regla número uno de cómo echar una fiesta inolvidable:

Regla#1: Ser el hijo modelo.                                

————————————————————————————-

                                                                                                                                                                 Capítulo 2                                              

                                                 El hijo modelo                                                       

         Antonio subió a la habitación de su madre y recogió sus cosas cuando escuchó la conversación entre su hermana y su padre. En este instante Antonio recordó un detalle muy importante para su fiesta: Mariana, su hermana menor.

Su padre le preguntó a Mariana si ella quería que la niñera viniera a cuidarla. 

No, papá, mi hermano ya tiene 16 años. Voy a estar bien. Él es responsable- dijo Mariana. 

El padre le sonrió:

Hija, eres una chica muy madura para tu edad. ¿Seguro que tienes 13 años?– preguntó el padre, abrazando a su hija. Su padre notó la presencia de Antonio en la habitación. 

Hijo, ¿vas a estar bien aquí solo?– le preguntó cerrando la maleta.  

Sí, ustedes solamente se van por tres días. Lo he hecho en el pasado- respondió Antonio.

Sí hijo, pero no fue por tres días. Fue por una noche solamente- respondió el padre. 

-Son dos días más, no te preocupes. Además, Mariana es muy responsable, sé que no me va a dar problemas, ¿verdad Mariana?- preguntó Antonio, mirando a Mariana. 

Claro, yo soy un ángel e incapaz de darte problemas -respondió Mariana.

Es verdad hijo, pero ¿no quieren venir a la casa de tu abuela?… ella tiene 70 años¿Seguro que quieres esperar hasta el verano para verla? – interrogó su padre.

Antonio pensó en su oportunidad de poner en práctica la segunda regla de Lucas:  

Regla #2: Usar la psicología inversa. 

-Pues, tengo un examen de cálculo y creo que es mejor que me quede aquí en casa. Pero si tú piensas que yo debería irme…voy con ustedes.  Tal vez, no me vaya bien en el examen de cálculo, y no iré a la universidad prestigiosa, pero puedo ver a la abuela – dijo Antonio.

Su padre quería lo mejor para su hijo y razonó «Son tres días, él es maduro, ¿qué puede pasar?».

Hijo, tienes razón. Te puedes quedar aquí- es mejor que estudies. Además, mi madre goza de una buena salud. Puedes venir con nosotros durante el verano- anunció su padre.

Bueno, pa. Todo va a estar bien. No te preocupes– dijo Antonio, dándole palmadas a su padre. 

Antonio miró a su próximo desafío: Mariana y pensó en la regla número tres, que era la más difícil según Lucas:

Regla #3 Reclutar a los hermanos para “llevar la fiesta en paz.”

*Unfamiliar words, such as “Consejos” and “Cazafortunas” are footnoted in the story.

                                                          


Check out my novel’s page for more exciting funny, creative, comprehensible short stories;  your students will be begging for more!

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Check out my TPT Store for additional materials curriculum activities!

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Teacher Appreciation Sale! Save up to 28% on resources for class!

Teaching Spanish Made Easy

Click here for your curriculum companions! 

Check out the reading materials for class: comprehensible, creative and fun!

Click on titles to see preview and reviews!

La Clase de Confesiones (Spanish 1)

Carlos hates Spanish class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. 86dcf-clase2bde2bconfesiones2bHer presence is both distracting and motivating. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to “shake things up” in class. A simple writing assignment allows Carlos the creativity, which he has never had before in this class, and is a break from the teacher’s lecture teaching style. But the assignment is turning out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Jessica. From the nosy teacher inadvertently trying to help him “to get his beloved’s attention” to one of the most embarrassing things that have every happens to him, he sees that all is not lost… but the adventures doesn’t stop here. La Bella Mentira, part 2, will have students on the edge of their seats. Want this in paperback? Check out the links below: 

Targeted structures: Present tense -Ar, -Er and -Ir verbs.

La Clase de Confesiones Part 2: La Bella Mentira (Spanish 1)

Carlos leaves Spanish class embarrassed. He had no idea that the teacher was going to pair him up with Jessica, the girls he writes about in his short essay. Adding insult to injury, the teacher reads his essay in from the class; e1efc-cover2bthe2bla2bbella2bmentira2beven the mean-spirited things he wrote about his teacher. Carlos goes to Math class and get’s his phone taken by the teacher: he never receives the redemptive text message from Jessica. When they meet in the lunchroom, his embarrassment, ignorance, and fear get the best of him. Now, he has to win Jessica back. Carlos learns that the truth always prevails over a lie. He learns how, to be honest, vulnerable and to take responsibilities for his actions. Will this be enough for Jessica?  Targeted structures: Present tense -Ar, -Er and -Ir verbs.

Casi Me Mata El Celular (Spanish 2+)

1Casi Me Mata El Celular  Spanish 2/3 (Preterite, Imperfect, some subjunctive) Federico and his friends learn that technology can prove to be deadly when abused. While hanging out at their favorite hideout in the abandoned building in an up and coming part of town, they stumble upon an uncanny situation. In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, they witness something will change their lives forever. Now the boys have to try to make it out of this situation, alive.

Las Apariencias Engañan (Part 1) (Spanish 3+)

Las apariencias engañan .pngCamilo is hiding a secret, and it won’t be long until his girlfriend finds out. She sets out to spy on her once romantic poem-writing boyfriend, who is being incredibly secretive as of late. Between poor grades, his erratic behavior, and her parents’ divorce, Salomé feels like she is going to implode. Her new discovery of a chica who is colada with her boyfriend puts her over the edge even más. Seeking help and sanity, she decides to visit a popular town psychiatrist; he forces her to change her perspective, and with that comes a cost. His advice ultimately leads her to discover a much greater truth about Camilo, his father and the town in which they live. She goes on a quest for truth but then gets more than she bargained for. Every chapter is a twisty rollercoaster that abruptly at a cliffhanger, right before it pushes you over the edge. Las Apariencias Engañan reveals the timeless truths that: things are never what they seem to be.

Tons of dialogue and easily adaptable to classroom skits and reader’s theater.

 Target Structures: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect

El muerto cover- closet doorEl muerto en el armario (Part 2 of “Las apariencias”)

The second installment in the series El Muerto en el Armario ups the stakes for all the players involved. “Las cartas están sobre la mesa” as Salomé (Camilo’s girlfriend) holds all the players hostage to their secrets. Through a series of clever maneuvers, Camilo (Juan’s best friend) and Liliana (Juan’s girlfriend) are still able to evade the truth; but the time is running out. Situational “close calls, will put readers’ “pelos de punta” especially when Juan confronts Camilo on his secretive behavior and the steamy text messages found on his phone (nothing inappropriate). Liliana adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret belonging to one of Camilo’s parents; this secret is the just tip of the iceberg. The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center of the drama in the third installment ” Las sombras.” How will Camilo’s parents handle her knowing sensitive information? What price will she pay for this secret? Will Juan discover truth about his friends? How will Salomé exact revenge? Find out in part 2!

Target Structures: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect

La fiesta inolvidableLa Fiesta Inolvidable (Spanish 2+) New Short Story/ Teacher’s materials included!

Antonio dreams about throwing the biggest party ever when he finally gets his big break: his parents are taking a short trip to take care of some “family business.”  Armed with the advice of his friend and teen blogger, Lucas, a.k.a. el parrandero (party animal), his weekend fiesta is destined to be unforgettable. Antonio follows Lucas’ five rules of “fiestas inolvidables” and everything is smooth sailing. Even better, Antonio’s love interest shows up; now the pressure is on. Everyone is having a blast when a few unexpected obstacles arise. Antonio has to think quick and problem-solve in order to have the best party ever. However, will his skills be enough?  Find out in La fiesta inolvidable… a night to remember!

Targeted structures: Imperfect, preterite and some past and present subjunctive.

La Nueva Alumna (Spanish 3+)  -Freebie – Activities included!

La Nueva Alumna is a fictionalized account of Vicky’s journey to the prestigious boarding school: El Internado. It gives a bit of a back story highlighting her working class roots, and her major crush on Iván, another pivotal character from the series. This story was originally written as a cloze text practice of language structures such as the present and past subjunctive and the preterite and imperfect. Said formative assessment was administered to students after viewing episode 5 of El Internado when it became clear that Vicky was colada con Iván. The story presents a mix of narration and dialogue, which could be easily acted out in class or in groups!

Informational Text Resources for enriching your curriculum; reading level appropriate materials in Spanish!

23 activities for teaching and discussion technology in Spanish

Franco, Picasso and Guernica: La guerra civil (Spanish 1+)

Inquiry-based activities and cultural readings on Spain (25 activities)

La breve historia de España (Spanish 1+ present tense)

La vida sana- reading and activities on healthy lifesyle- Spanish 1+ (Freebie)

Reflexive verbs reading and activities – 11 activities (Spanish 1+) 

¿Qué te gusta?- Activities with Gustar, speaking, reading, viewing and writing (Spanish 1+) Freebie 

Spanish class activity book- 30+ activities for class

Exploring Identity- reading on the politics of Identity in Latin America (16 activities)

Bull-fighting controversy: Debate (Spanish 1+)

Short Film “El Almuerzo” Colombia + viewing and comprehension activities 

Freebie-Internado aficionados: The Untold Story of Vicky- Target structures, Spanish Idioms and a whole lot of Scaffolding!

La Chica Nueva: Short story for Spanish class

Edición Internado 

Free Resource 

I want my students to read, be intrigued, acquire vocabulary in new ways and conceptually understand the interplay grammatical structures- all while having fun! I love it when their eyes roll across the pages and a smile slowly cracks across their faces, their eyes light up and it’s obvious; they are caught up in the gravitational pull of a good novel or story. I was attempting to recreate those moments with La Nueva Alumna. 


This short story started out essentially as a review piece. My plan was for students to review structures and vocabulary prior to a writing assessment. But then, I soon realized that students really liked the story (this happened with a few other stories), so the original one-page review activity blossomed to a short story about one of the characters in El Internado. 

Although La Nueva Alumna is loosely based on one of the characters of the Internado series (which is available on Netflix), rest assured that your students don’t have to be familiar with the series to understand the storyline (See the synopsis below). 

However, on the flipside, if your students are engrossed in the drama of El Internado, then this story will be perfect for them (after episode 5) for a number of reasons: 

  • It houses many of the expressions used in the series, along with some common ones used in everyday language. 
  • The text gives ample opportunity to practice core structures such as the preterit, imperfect, subjunctive and conditional (more subjunctive than anything, that was our target structure). 
  • It sheds light on Vicky’s socio-economic status and leaving her other friends behind (little back story) 
  • Touches on her being colada y enamorada hasta las trancas de Iván (pobrecita, ¿verdad?) 
  • Contains dialogue that approximates native speakers’ vernacular and idiosyncrasies (my students love dialogue) and it’s not overbearing. In fact, many words and expressions are detailed in the footnotes. 

Students always ask me, so, do you have a story for everything? Yes, I do!


We were just about the review our target structures prior to an extended response writing assessment. Instead of the regular grammar review, which is sometimes the necessary evil, I  created this story to include the structures, the idioms and the backstory of one of the characters in our beloved series: El Internado. 

 Once I witnessed how students reacted with reading some of the other dialogues in stories in the class, I couldn’t resist.We’ve done similar activities in the past, but not his in-depth. If you are an Internadista,  Click here for more Episode 4 Internado summary dialogue.  If you are more of a watch and creative writing type,  there is something for you, click here.  If your class loves to debate, you have to click here for the Amelia and Elsa faceoff (both resources are free).  If you are looking other interesting compelling reading drenched with drama and laced with your favorite-no-matter-how-much-I-teach-they-still-don’t-get-it structures(kinda long, I know), then click here for the well-reviewed series: Skeletons in the closet (El muerto en el armario). Now that we got all of that out of the way, shall we dive into our short story?

Synopsis 

La Nueva Alumna is a fictionalized account of Vicky’s journey to the prestigious boarding school: El Internado. It gives a bit of a back story highlighting her working class roots, and her major crush on Iván, another pivotal character from the series.  This story was originally written as a cloze-text practice of language structures such as the present and past subjunctive and the preterite and imperfect. Said formative assessment was administered to students after viewing episode 5 of El Internado, when it became clear that Vicky was colada con Iván. The story presents a mix of narration and dialogue, which could be easily acted out in class or in groups!


La Nueva Alumna has five short sections: 

1. La hija de la frutera 

2. La gran noticia

3. El primer día 

4. Cómo salir de la zona de amigos

5. La chica de mis sueños 

This story packet has the following activities and resources

  1. Short Story: La Nueva Alumna
  2. Unfamiliar vocabulary is footnoted in the text. 
  3. Pre-reading vocabulary and Spanish Idiom activity (some expressions are used in the series El Internado and other are common expressions).  
  4. Comprehension questions 
  5. Pre-reading grammar subjunctive activity 
  6. Cloze-text fill in the blank abridged version of the story to practice the subjunctive (mood), preterit and imperfect tenses. 

Please enjoy and consider giving it a rating on TPT!

3 Part Short Story Series for Spanish Class -Skeletons in the Closet

Las Apariencias Engañan

Scroll down for the synopsis, free Teacher’s Manual and the preview of first two chapters!

I was thrilled by the concept of Novelas por Entregas such as those you’d read in Vanidades Magazine. You’d flip to the back, and there was always an intriguing story: short, but sweet. This was the same method used by 19th authors who published chapters of their work prior to publishing a novel. I started with this method and now las entregas constitute a Spanish 3-part language-learning mini-series for Teens, with dynamic and relatable characters, complex scenarios and drama-drenched encounters. 

 

Be sure to check out the quizlet sets!

  I created El Muerto en el Armario series for my Spanish IV class. I started by trying to write a simple story that would include the different facets of the subjunctive tense, which was the structure for our unit on Identity and Relationships.  I know there is a lot of good TPRS books and shorts out there, but as an on-the-go teacher, it was virtually impossible for me to curate materials (that would include both vocabulary and grammar) and control for many other variables, so I solved for X and created my own. 

          It started out as one story about friends with different types of issues and has now blossomed into a full-blown series. After the first chapter, El Psicólogo (the original name of the cuento) students were asking for more. They thought the story was “beast” and wondered if the author (I did not tell them it was me) had more chapters.  I started writing during my weekends to keep up with the demand. Now that I have finished and perfected the novel, I am sharing with you!

       Since my students really enjoy reading the story and acting it out in class, I made sure to quite a bit of purposeful dialogue. The dialogue in the story is replete with witty remarks, idiomatic expressions and real reactions to problems. No worries about teaching the vocabulary, most of the expressions and vocabulary are included in the footnotes in addition to being scaffolded through the tons of activities in the Teacher’s Manual.  The footnotes, which are bountiful, ensured that my students did not miss a beat with this engrossing story. The story has received good reviews, so I hope you and your students enjoy it as well. It would be a great asset to any FVR/SSR program or could be read as a class with reading, speaking, grammar,  and creative writing activities.

Synopsis for part 1 of the series

 

        Camilo is hiding a secret, and it won’t be long until his girlfriend finds out. She sets out to spy on her once romantic poem-writing boyfriend, who is being incredibly secretive as of late. Between poor grades, his erratic behavior, and her parents’ divorce, Salomé feels like she is going to implode. Her new discovery of chica who is colada with her boyfriend puts her over the edge even más. Seeking help and sanity, she decides to visit a popular town psychiatrist. He changes her perspective on things, and with that comes a cost.  His advice ultimately leads her to discover a much greater truth about Camilo, his father and the town in which they live. She goes on a quest for the truth but then gets more than she bargained for. …Every chapter is a twisty rollercoaster that abruptly stops at a cliffhanger, right before it pushes you over the edge. Las Apariencias Engañan reveals the timeless truths that things are never what they seem to be.

Click below for the two-chapter preview!

Las Apariencias Engañan (Part 1)

Click the link below to access the free Teacher’s Manual for this Series

Teacher’s Manual of Activities 

El Muerto en el Armario: Las mentiras tienen patas cortas 

The second installment in the series El Muerto en el Armario ups the stakes for all the players involved. “Las cartas están sobre la mesa” as Salomé (Camilo’s girlfriend) holds all the players hostage to their secrets.   Through a series of clever maneuvers, Camilo (Juan’s best friend) and Liliana (Juan’s girlfriend) are still able to evade the truth; but the time is quickly running out. Situational “close calls, will put readers’ “pelos de punta” especially when Juan confronts Camilo on his secretive behavior and the steamy text messages (nothing inappropriate) found on his phone. Liliana adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret belonging to one of Camilo’s parents; this secret is the just tip of the iceberg.  The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center of the drama in the third installment La Nube: Corre y No Mires Atrás.  How will Camilo’s parents handle her knowing sensitive information?  What price will she pay for this secret? Will Juan discover the truth about his friends? How will Salomé exact revenge? Find out in part 2! 

Audience

This story may be best suited for Spanish 3 and above. There are a few kissing scenes, romantic talk and threats such as ” Me las vas a pagar, te lo juro.” There is some back-stabbing, betrayal, espionage.

Activities for using the story in class 

Most activities cater to the present subjunctive. Many questions require students to respond to the story in a way that evokes the subjunctives. There are also tasks wherein they take the role of the psychiatrist to recommend how the people in the story could solve their problems. The activity below, included in the story bundle, is one such activity. A list of the activities are included below:

Resources for this series

Please Make a copy of the editable version of conversation cards

Conversation Cards for El Muerto en el Armario Series 

Enjoy, books in print coming soon!

New Year Tradition in Colombia and Venezuela

New Year Celebrations in Spanish-Speaking Countries

This year, my goal is to better immerse my students in the traditions and celebrations of the rich cultures of Spanish speaking countries. I say “cultures” to honor the wide range of traditions from Latin America, Spain and Spanish Africa.  We are a few days out until Winter Break and these activities were an attempt to bring in meaningful, comprehensible and fun activities. I have outlined my lessons plans below at the end of this post.  

For both classes, I will be doing the “Maleta” activity. I have seen this ritual in action and it’s pretty fun. My husband is from Colombia and last year, at the brink of the New year, many people were running around Cedritos, the neighborhood in which his family lives in Bogotá, the capital.  The activity is pretty simple; you take an empty suitcase (although I would pack it with clothes) and you run around the block. Running about the back is called “dar una vuelta a la manzana.” You do this in hopes that you will travel the following year.  ¡Me encanta!



For my Spanish 1 students, they will read the blurb about the tradition and then use the construction “querer” ir “or “quiero ir, quiero visitar” to say where they would like to go. 


Examples: 

Yo quiero viajar a Australia. 

Yo quiero ir a Panamá. 


We just finished reading a short story La clase de confesiones, where many of these verbs were emphasized, so they should have a good handle on them. Even if your students are not familiar with this construction, they could use it for this activity. 

New Year Celebrations in Spanish-Speaking Countries- Upper grades 

For my Spanish IV class, I am basically implementing the same activity, however with a twist. Students will use the imperfect subjunctive and the conditional to say where they’d like to travel, if they could. 


Dando la vuelta por la manzana… en la escuela. 

The last part of the “Maleta” activity will be actually going around the block… or the pasillo.  I am actually going to take my students to the hallway in our school for us to walk around a few times. This will be a good activity for them and also for our school community. 

With my upper grades, we will to the Maleta activity and the Monigotes- ridding- ourselves- of- bad habits- activity. See my previous post about the Monigotes. Instead of burning them… we’ll just snowball them into the garbage. 

I am actually looking forward to work these next few days. 


Free Reading Card 


To accommodate for all the traditions and celebrations, I am having my students do Free Reading of holiday celebrations. I am printing out some articles I got from MaryGlasgow- we have a subscription (there are also some good ones on TPT). 


Students will use this “Tarjeta Bibliotecaria” that I created for quick reads. 

Please share your holiday lesson plans!


Check our more celebrations below!

Las tradiciones de habla hispana- Activities for Spanish 1-4

This is our last week before break and I wanted to share some short but sweet activities for teaching holiday celebrations at this time.

Resource for Spanish 3 and beyond.

Navidad Hispana and Lotería resource- Spanish 3/4

Resource for Spanish 1

Navidad Hispana and Lotería Short film

The Navidad Hispana resource is by Sergi Martin, the video link is included in the documents. Click here to see the video.  I stumbled upon it this past week and quickly developed some activities that my students could connect to in addition to providing them with an overview of important cultural practices. The video is 14 minutes long,  but I only created resources for the first three minutes.  In an attempt to streamline,  the activity has the same formatting but is differentiated to suit the different levels of students.

Celebraciones de América Latina Videos and resources.

Resource for Spanish 3 and beyond.

Navidad Hispana and Lotería resource- Spanish 3/4 

Resource for Spanish 1

Navidad Hispana and Lotería Short film 

Activity 2: Short Film about “La Loteria Española” (3 minutes)

Anuncio de la lotería

for Spanish 3 and beyond.

Navidad Hispana and Lotería resource- Spanish 3/4 

Resource for Spanish 1

Navidad Hispana and Lotería Short film 

This film is very heart-warming. The Abuela, has dementia (at least that is what it seems like) and thinks she has won the lottery. Her family and townspeople go along with the script to make her happy. In my view, this film shows how we must engage sometimes in “La Bella Mentira” to preserve the dignity of others.  If you do this activity for Spanish 1, you will see a question about La Bella Mentira. They just finished the short story, La clase de confesiones, around that topic (hence the question at the lower level).

¡Más Recursos!

El Regalo: Short Film (2 minutes)

El regalo cortometraje

This video is super short about a granddaughter giving a gift to her grandfather. The vocabulary for the Navidad Hispana and La Lotería Spanish 1 activity dovetails perfectly.

Los Monigotes

I love this activity, we do it every year. We watch videos, discuss the traditions and then students engage in a New Year/ Leaving Monigotes behind. Click here for the video.

Click here for the PPT 

Click here for the New Year Activity

Click here for the New Year activity

Internado Episodio 4:10 Freebies (you can’t miss) Edición Escándalo- Gossip Column, Expression Placemat and Dialogue review

5 Activities for processing chapter 4 of El Internado 

Chapter 4 of El Internado is one of the craziest and most scandalous in the fist suite of episodes. We learn the deeper secrets about the characters. We learn about el descaro de Elsa, la conflictividad sentimental de Carolina and, well, a fin de cuentas, somos de barro y no de hierro, en otras palabras, Iván as feelings too.

I created these resources for my students (free to you) because, I wanted to capitalize on four things, hence this post: Discouraging students from speaking in English, Keeping them accountable for what they watch, Writing a Gossip Column about events, but with their own unique twists, reviewing by way of dialogue (I created a dialogue of two students talking about the steamy Internado episode). I found the dialogue to be a much better way of reviewing!

1. I was so irritated that students kept talking in English during the episode, so I gave them this

Expressions placemat sheet.”  It can be used with any episode. As I listened to them shout out in class, I jotted down some useful expressions they could integrate naturally. I am old-school, so I had a clipboard taking notes, giving a point or two to those who used them. They all did at the end!

Students had to use these, instead of English, while watching. It was pretty fun and it kept them in the language.

2. Accountability sheet. Every 15 minutes (90-minute class sessions) I’d stop and they would do the following:

1. Record new words

2. Write about something they liked, or did not like using ” me choca que + subjunctive and me preocupa que+ subjunctive

3. Something  “Escandaloso”… plent there.

The accountability sheet helped them to contextualize and understand more deeply this awesome and regarded part of speech. I thought they were more motivated to engage in discussion.

3. Students wrote a Gossip Column (in pairs)  using the words highlighted below in the Quizlet link. They could take any event that happened at El Internado and expand on it. It was more like Enquirer style writing.  They had the liciencia artística to do so.  Instructions, rubric and example are all included.

4.  I also had so many students missing from class when we saw the first part of the episode (election trauma), so I created this dialogue sprinkled with expressions such as Ni te cuento, ect (and questions) between two students talking about what happened. The dialogue uses vocabulary from our unit.  This could be a good review, especially if you are watching every other week.

Vocabulary from unit  (I am sharing this por si acaso, eh) 

Previous Post on El Internado (Chapter 2)

Reading Passage and Grammar Activity: Killing Two Birds with One Stone! 


This month in my Spanish IV class we are exploring the Relationships. I deviated from my usual Art unit a bit since we started El Internado in the beginning of the year. Turns out that the next few episodes of the Spanish series (Mar de plástico is by the same creator) are centered on relationships. What a juicy coincidence that my students get to discuss relationships and to see some of those complications play out on screen with their most adored characters.

Reading passage for El Internado and Subjunctive Activity 

So I have been trying to incorporate more reading that would have the dual function of highlighting the nuances of language while promoting interest. I created this synopsis, marrying the two that sheds light on the complicated world of relationships, expresses how we feel about relationships (subjunctive) in the midst of a high-interest context (El Internado).


Click here for the synopsis and five activities

Here is how you can implement this free resource:

1. Invite students read the one-page summary.

2. Activity 1: Ask them to reread and highlight the subjunctive tense. 

3. Activity 2: Write the sentences with the subjunctive and determine which function of WEIRDOS is being applied.  

4. Activity 3: Respond to subjunctive triggering questions. 

5. Activity 4: Use subjunctive sentence stems in order to write about the characters.

6. Activity 5: Respond to general questions about the episode.

Every year that I have used this series, I have a slightly different focus. This resource fits right into the unit we are doing on relationships.   Since this time around we are discussing what is the key to a good relationship in addition to complications that may arise, this episode of the Internado was perfect.


How to increase input, output and “enchular” tu clase de Español!

I am a true Telenovelera y de pura cepa. Despite having a packed schedule and busy life like most of my fellow soldiers out in the  trenches of academia, I still make time for my most beloved pastime- Telenovelas. While washing dishes or preparing meals, I have my iPad tuned to Netflix where I have access to the vast array of drama-land. Consistent with the Comprehensible Input theory, I realized that watching these 40 minute drama-drenched conundrums my vocabulary had improved both dramatically and incidentally. I learned a host of new expressions from other countries and now I am “weird” one speaking at home (Spanish is my second language but my husband’s family is from Colombia).  I often have slip ups of rarely used word and phrases and I am puzzled as to “where did that come from”. So, this got me to thinking more seriously about the relationship between the use of media and one’s receptive and productive vocabularies. Furthermore, if these content rich series have produced this native-like outpouring of language in my own life, couldn’t the result be same for my students?   I put this theory to the test!

Everyone is watching El Internado and so should you!


Every one is watching the Internado nowadays. If you are not, then you should be! The boarding school series laced with drama was hook, line and sinker for my Spanish 4s this past year. I actually stumbled upon it on Pinterest and decided to check it out the summer before presenting and then- I was hopelessly hooked. I was going to bed thinking “Pobrecitos, que serán de Marcos y su hermana.” This series had me on the edge.  I started showing it in class, having given students a peep at the Gran Hotel the semester before. They were immediately enamored with the plot and its Ronan like twists and turns. However, I did not know quite what to do with this.  I swam in the vast ocean of the internet and found some very promising blogs. To my surprise, there where other Internado life forms out in the blogosphere. I’d like to share a few blogs I consulted and then one way in which I have totally absorb this new resource into my curriculum.

The Internado Specialist 

My Generation of Polygots a fellow educator, Mike Peto, has spent quite a lot of time crafting activities the first season of the Internado. The vocabulary along with other worthwhile activities can be found on TeacherPayTeachers.  Although the bundle is approximately $7. It is totally worth it for the first episode as it sets the tone and primes students to engaging in this cultural phenomena. Click here to see his product.  He has up to season 4. Interested in Mike’s insights about the series, you can also click here for his blog.

*Please note that  I will be uploading more bits and pieces throughout the year. The bulk of the content created really came later in the year once I realized its potential. I am still formatting (to make if better for you) the vocabulary lists, expressions list, PPT and dynamic Chat Stations that revolutionize my class and my relationship with my students.

Internado- This Is How I roll 

So to fully integrate the Internado into my class, I made sure to align the episode with our thematic lessons and grammar focus for the unit.  Here is the run down:

1. First I show them this PPT of the main characters. We talk about where they live and the students make predictions of that they think the show is going to be about. I got this PPT online at some point, but cannot remember where. Since I start in the beginning of the year, this is a pivotal time to lightly review descriptive adjectives and all of the indicative tenses. There is a lot here you can do in the first viewing of the characters:

– Compare and contrast the groups of friends with your group

-Compare and contrast the school setting with yours

-Judge a book by its cover- based on the character’s appearance determine a list of personality traits.

Reparto del Internado

2. Then I pass out this Character Grid for watching the Trailer. It has the main reparto of characters. I cooked up really quickly before one of my classes. As students watch they have to make annotations about the relationships between the characters. They use this as we view the trailer. Click here for the Internado trailer.

Character grid.

After whetting their appetites with the  Internado trailer, I have them get into small groups and discuss the questions below:

Few ideas to do with the questions: 

  • Students can respond individually and then get into groups
  • Place questions throughout the class and have students walk around. When the music stops they have to sit and speak with a partner.
  • Chat Stations- I got this idea in general from the Cult of Pedagogy.  I type out the questions 1 by 1 in 70 size font. I print those copies and then each one is taped to a  8X16 piece of construction paper and spread throughout the room.
  • Power Point- I also just enlarge the questions and flip through the PPT. They can move around or sit in a group and discuss. At the end, I also cut the questions (regular size additional copy) into strips and then these are exit tickets. Each student has a different question.

Internado Preliminary Questions 

1. ¿Te gustaría vivir en un Internado?  


2. ¿Cuáles son las ventajas y desventajas de vivir en un Internado?  ¿Para los estudiantes? ¿Para los profesores?


3. ¿Cómo serían las relaciones entre los estudiantes y profesores?


4. ¿Por qué crees que los padres ponen sus hijos en Internados? ¿Crees que son familias con medios o personas de clase media?  


5. ¿Cómo serían las relaciones entre los estudiantes?


6. ¿Por qué crees que los Internados están muy apartados de la sociedad?


7. ¿Cuáles son algunas situaciones locas que podrían pasar en Internado que no podría pasar en una escuela regular?


8. Las drogas hoy en día es un gran problema en las preparatorias y las universidades. ¿Crees que este problema sería más controlado en un Internado?

Critical Thinking and Making Predictions 

Questions and those similar to these get students to think about implications of attending a boarding school and prepare them for the input.

I’d love to have a whole year dedicated to watching and analyzing El Internado as the content definitively stretches. One of the most important things I do is to bend its content to fit with our thematic unit. This makes watching a movie fun but still feels like school. It also helps them to make connections.  During the first viewing, we were working on our Las Relaciones unit so naturally, the first two episodes centered on Relaciones.  We used the content of the Internado to:

1. Describe relationships and people

2. Discuss love and relationships

3. Jealousy (Ivan and Marcos)

The grammar point emphasized throughout this unit was the present subjunctive so many of the questions and how they engaged gave them an opportunity to use this language function. This function was a good fit.  I created this contextualized activity for chapter 2.

Part of the chapter 2 activity
Students use the subjunctive to describe how everyone wants life to be.

The use impersonal phrases as well.

Students used the questions in groups. Although the activity is in the form of a worksheet, I usually write the questions in big form, spread them throughout the room and students engage in a 1 minute speed dating activity. This last class I had loved it. They could not wait to get to the Internado. In fact, I had one student who had missed a unit assessment. The only day she could take it was the day we’d watch El Internado and she decided to come after school. She said “There is no way I am missing the Internado.”

Check out the series. It is available on Netflix. Until we meet again!

 More to come- stay tuned!