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!

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La clase de confesiones -Spanish Level 1+ Reader: Glossary and TM included!

                                        La clase de confesiones

A Spanish 1+ novel written mostly in the present tense novel with under 150 new words (non-cognates, basic level 1 vocabulary with a few other gems). 

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

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!

Excerpt from chapter 2: El profesor Martín (Free Teacher’s Manual of Confesiones)

...Carlos mira a Jessica. Ella saca su cuaderno, una pluma rosada y su móvil. Él piensa que Jessica es muy hermosa. Le gusta su cara. Le gustan sus zapatos y su ropa.  Pero, lo que más le gustan, son sus ojos. Le gustan los ojos de Jessica. Sus ojos son grandes y cafés. Carlos ya no mira a Jessica porque alguien está bloqueando su vista.

Carlos- no la mires tanto– dice el profesor Martín. 


El profesor Martín mira a Carlos mientras él mira a Jessica.  


¿Tienes la tarea? – dice el profesor. 


No, no la tengo. ¿La puedo traer mañana?– pregunta Carlos


Si no miras a Jessica tal vez puedes hacer tu tarea- dice el profesor. 

Carlos mira al profesor. 


Yo no acepto el trabajo tardío– dice el profesor


-¿Puede usted hacer una excepción? Yo tuve práctica de beisbol. ¿Puedo traer la tarea mañana? – pregunta Carlos, otra vez.  

-Más te vale- dice el profesor. 


Preview


This is just the tip of the iceberg for Carlos. Not only does the teacher shakes things up in class, but a normal run-of-mill- writing assignment turns fatal for Carlos’ social life. In an attempt to “pair” Carlos with the girl he has been crushing on, the teacher makes a critical move that backfires and throws Carlos’ life into a tailspin. As Carlos tries to dig himself out of this hole, he actually digs it deeper! He endures endless teasing and gossipy teachers as everyone discovers his secret. He is literally in a “camiseta de once varas.” Carlos soon realizes that his mentiras can only get his so much mileage and that only can the truth set him free….but will it be enough for Jessica?


Themes: Friendship, Love, Bullying, Decisions, and Character.

The story features most vocabulary associated with the classroom such as school supplies, classes, class furniture, prepositional phrases and activities related to the classroom activities. Stretching their vocabulary a bit, there is a little bit of poetry from one of the characters such as “ ella es el sol que ilumina mi día” in addition to common idiomatic expressions such as más te vale, no lo aguanto ni en pintura.  Phrases such as these are footnoted, listed in the pre-reading vocabulary and practiced in pre-reading exercises.  My student also used some of this vocabulary to talk about their other teachers (what happens in Spanish class stays in Spanish class!).

 

 As students read this story, they were on the edge of their seats (they wanted to read aloud because it was fun. I was the narrator to keep the flow). There is a considerable dialogue for it to be read aloud. There are also some lines for the whole class such as “¡Vaya!” and “!Ohhhhhh!” during an intense debate in chapter 10 of the sequel; La bella mentira.  The boys were rooting for Carlos the whole time (Dude, why did you do that?- Jamal), and the girls fell in love with his attempts to woe Jessica (and other funny characters- Rubén is a riot). I had originally written only 5 chapters, but they wanted to know what ever happened with Carlos and Jessica, so I finished with La Bella Mentira. The ending will not disappoint. 

La clase de confesiones partes 1 &2 Novel Bundle! Twice the fun… after reading part 1, your students will be begging for more…¡ te lo garantizo! 

Click here for Confessions Bundle 

Amazing Side Note 

As a post-reading assignment, they begged to write a sequel and prequel so I have them class time to do this (We were at the end of the unit and it was time to assess and move on). One of my students, who came with no experience whatsoever in Spanish, wrote one of the best alternative endings. I included the brief synopsis below. 


The students were asking me the feminine version of Patán (jerk), the name Jessica calls Carlos in the story (intense scene, but funny). So I could only think of mosquita muerta. Well, Hannah ended up using it in her story. Also, one of the motivations of Carlos’ lie was that he had been rejected. She included this, the past tense phrase (not many) in the story into her narrative. It was beautiful and made me think of how students really are sponges. 

I wish I could say that was the end but..Carlos’ adventures don’t stop here… Carlos mete la pata otra vez

Part 2, takes the adventure up a notch.

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! 

Excerpt from chapter 2: La Bella Mentira 

Es jueves y Carlos está triste. Está triste porque tiene la clase de español. La clase de español ya no es su clase favorita. No es su clase favorita porque Carlos escribe sobre Jessica y todos los estudiantes escuchan el reporte de Carlos. La clase de español ya no es su clase favorita porque Carlos dice comentarios muy malos del profesor. Ahora Carlos está triste porque Jessica está en la clase de español. Carlos piensa en el mensaje de texto de Jessica << Eres un patán.>>


Antes de la clase, Carlos ve a Lucas, su amigo en el pasillo: 


Hola Carlos, ¿cómo andas? hermano- dice Lucas. 


Bastante mal, lee esto- dice Carlos. Carlos le enseña a Lucas el texto de Jessica.  


Lucas lee el primero texto de Jessica 


<<Tengo una confesión: tú eres el chico de la clase de español.  También me gustas.>>

Lucas responde: 

-Enhorabuena, ¡Jessica te gusta!


No exactamente. -Ahora, lee el otro mensaje- dice Carlos


<<Carlos, yo pienso que te gusto pero veo que no. Eres un mentiroso y todo que escribes en la clase de español es una mentira. No me gustan los mentirosos. Yo soy alérgica a los mentirosos.  Yo no quiero hablar contigo… y otra cosa… Eres un patán- Jessy.>>


Lucas lee el segundo mensaje de texto y responde:


 ¡Caray! Esto no es bueno. 


Sí, yo sé- dice Carlos con un tono triste. –Y ahora tengo la clase de español. 


Jessica está en la clase. Carlos le explica la situación a Lucas. Después, Lucas dice:


-Carlos, ánimo. Yo te ayudo. Tú tienes que ser honesto con ella.  


-¿Honesto?… pero ¿cómo?- pregunta Carlos.  


Pues, habla con ella. Dile que tú eres un chico estúpido y que todos necesitamos  una segunda oportunidad.  


-¿Eso es todo?- pregunta Carlos.  

-Sí, no es muy complicado- dice Lucas. 

Pero, ¡Carlos mete la pata otra vez! Find out in part 2!

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pzd1SZ

Check out my TPT Store activities, informational historical texts, and video activities for class 

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

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!

7 authentic activities to increase communication in the TL!

7 authentic activities to increase communication in the TL! 

This week,  I’d like to share a few activities surrounding the structure gustar that helped my students stay in the target language, engage with authentic resources and stimulate ongoing conversation in the class. I implemented the lesson referenced in this post with my Spanish I students, who truly were novice-low at the beginning of the year (I am used to having a novice-mid first year).  Since my students were starting from scratch (pronouncing “que” as “qwe”),  I have had to retrofit my curriculum, to account for the needs of my present class. If you are like me, in need to some quick curriculum overalls, check out previous posts below, otherwise, enjoy the free Gustar activities!

These posts outline ideas, activities maps (most are free) for reshaping the novice- level experience and putting them on track for mastery.

7- Gustar Activities to guarantee fun in the class!
We are well into our school unit, but prior to the unit, my first stop or preferred language structure is the verb gustar, similar to querer, tener and poder, I like to call them, “gateway verbs.”  After learning this verb, conversation skyrocketed to all new heights in my class. I believed the carefully crafted materials helped.  

We practiced discussing likes and dislikes without having had a proper “ introduction” but then the question arose and we dove right in. These seven activities afforded a combination of most learning styles and really pumped up my class. 

1. Activity 1: Rafael Nadal 

Authentic Video Activities for Novice Level Students 

Rafael Nadal: Power Commercial 

 Rafael Nadal: Power Commercial 
Gustar Resource- Video-Listening- Speed dating activity and more!

1. I created a quick blurb about the tennis star so that students were familiar with him. Here is how it all went down: 

  •  First, they read a blurb about the tennis star (in the suite of docs above).
  • After they are introduced to him, I played the video with the audio only. I froze the screen and had them write down the words they heard.
  • Then, I posted the words (in the activity) on the board. Students took another listen and they wrote the words they heard for the second time (I had added some distractor words to get a true test to their discriminative listening skills).
  • Then, I played the video and they were able to confirm. They then spoke about this likes and dislikes. Since the words flash across the screen, they were able to make an immediate connection.

Activity 2-6: María Fernanda, Video and Activities

Click the link below for her Youtube Video 

María una niña colombiana 

Click this link for free resources: Gustar Resource- Video-Listening- Speed dating activity and more!

I really liked this short video of a Colombian girl who talks about her likes and dislikes. Just like the first video, they listened and jotted down what they heard. 

I created 4 activities to accompany this video. They are in the above-referenced suite of documents.

  • Basic question activity. Students listen once and then circle the correct answer (name, age, etc).
  • Students listen again and then check off the things she likes and likes to do (list provided)
  • Write sentences using the structure
  • Extension activity. I gave them several options and they had to choose which event or class María would like or like to attend based on what she said in the video. Students are given a stem sentence/template for citing visual evidence.

Speed Dating: Multiple forms activity (included in Free Gustar Resource Suite)

I gave students a 16 grid interview chart containing questions related to gustar and school.  First, we went over what each verb meant, for my nervous Nellies. They had this Quizlet set to study before hand because we are in our La educación, la tecnología y los desafíos globales Unit.  They went around, interviewed all 16 students and then they had to report out using the third person of the verb who likes what (this exercise is included as well).  Those who were up for a challenge used the plural forms of the verb Gustar. The reporting sheet is included as well. This was very energizing. 

 

Looking for classroom novels or stories that are compelling, creative and crazy! Check o out La clase de confesiones, where everyone has a confessiones, even the teacher!

Reading: La clase de confesiones

 Click here for the story: La clase de confesiones  or order it on Amazon by clicking the link below: 

 

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

Carlos hates his English class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays ecropped-clase-de-confesiones.jpgyes on Jessica. Her 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.  This story proves that No hay mal del que por bien no venga.

“Si juegas con fuego, te vas a quemar;” Camilo learns the hard way that he can’t have his cake, and eat it too! This novel will engage your students as they discover that some secrets, should not come out the closet!

El Muerto en el Armario- Skeletons in the Closet

Target structures: Present/Past Subjunctive

¡Ojalá que lo disfrutes!

Segunda Parte: Damage Control  

El muerto cover- closet door

The installment part of the story “Las apariencias”  ups the stakes, Liliana and Camilo. Their little secret is out: and there will be consequences. Through a series of clever maneuvers, they are still able to evade the truth; but the time is running out. A very close encounter with Juan, that will put students “pelos de punta” builds suspense as our friend Liliana is hiding the closet. Not only does Juan have Camilo’s cell phone, that was left at school, but he also has his contraseña.  The interaction between Juan and Camilo heightens senses as Juan revealed that he has read some of those steamy (nothing inappropriate) messages.  Liliana, who is mired “frenemy” behavior, adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret, belonging to one of Camilo’s parents. The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center book dramatic close, and then dramatic open of “Las sombras.”  How will Camilo’s parents handle her knowing sensitive information? Will Juan find out she is a traitor? How will Salomé exact revenge… find out in part 2! 

Interested in doing this a fun class novel read? No problem, download the Free Teacher’s Manual.

Click here for the first installment of the story

El Muerto en el Armario- Segunda Parte 

Las apariencias engañan: where the drama begins!

62188-las2bapariencias2bengan25cc2583an-tiff

I was thrilled by the concept of Novelas por Entregas such as those you read in Vanidades Magazine. I took a Hispanic American Literature class years ago and learned that authors in the 19th century published chapters of their work prior to publishing a novel.

Inspired by this idea, I created this series for my Spanish IV class. I started by trying to write a simple story that would include the subjunctive. As an on-the-go teacher, it was virtually impossible for me to curate materials (that included both vocabulary and grammar) and control for many other variables, so I create my own. It started out as one story and now it is a full-blown series. After the first chapter, El Psicólogo (the original name of the cuento) students were asking for more. I started writing during my weekends to keep up with the demand. Now, I am working on the last installment, “Las sombras” which could stand alone as it’s own novel or 2 part series. These stories were fun to read as class, as students were freaking out as the plot twists developed- there are some unexpected turns with the first one and everyone had to go back to read the chapter to see the twist. This was exciting as a writer, but even more thrilling as a teacher!

The story starts with a group of close friends who have some pretty deep secrets. The main character Salomé (which students kept calling Salami- so irritating!) is going through a mala racha. With family problems, slipping grades and an ever-so-distant boyfriend, she begins to suspect the worst.  Her best friend helps her to discover that her goody-two-shoe boyfriend has some serious skeletons in the closet; this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The story is dialogue-based is replete with phrases that help students to practice the subjunctive and authentic expressions. No worries about teaching vocabulary,  most of the expressions and vocabulary are included in the footnote! I am working on a glossary, but am also in the process of publishing my limited series books first such as La clase de confesiones, La bella mentira y Casi me mata el celular. The glossary and then print version of this series should be ready soon. Both ebooks are one TPT.  My students did not miss a beat with the vocabulary accessible to them. Click here for the sample. 

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 and eventually a mysterious murder involved. I was surprised that the boys in my class rivaled the girls in their interest in the storyline.

Click here for the first installment of the story

Enjoy, both books have great reviews!

El Internado- Killing two birds with one stone: Free Reading Passage and Grammar Activity

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.

Teaching Culture and controversy: Bullfighting debate (reading) and interview (audio)- Bonus project

 

Teaching culture and controversy 

While teaching a group of illustrious 7th graders a few years back, I had a goal of getting them to engage in discourse about real world topics and events.  During this time, the wealth of resources for input, project-based and design thinking in the WL were very scarce (or I just did not know). Like most problem-solving oriented teachers: I created texts and resources for my students so that they could tomar cartas en el asunto.   I was determined to have them chime in on the  controversy of Bullfighting in Spain and the plight of girl’s education around the world.  even with limited vocabulary. It was awesome!

Quick links: Activities referenced on this blog post can be accessed by clicking the links below. If you’d like to get ideas about how to use these activities just scroll down to the letter designated section for context.

Bull-fighting in Spain Mini lesson with text: Culture or controversy (featured on Mary Glasgow) 

Interview with Ainhoa (Interview with a girl from Pamplona on the Running of the Bulls, school, Teens and Pamplona and her interest) 


Questions for Interview  (These questions span all levels. A little bit of novice in the beginning but she takes off. Listen to the recording to see if it is something you students would like)

Bonus Project

Creating shared background knowledge 

Teaching with any group of students means that their exposure to a topic varies greatly. In order to tap into background knowledge and create our own working template of experiences, my students conducted a scavenger hunt on Spain, read about the country and regions and engaged in other activities that contextualized the vocabulary and culture. Having students who have traveled the world and those who have not step foot outside of their neighbors, having an “equalizing” exposure to texts adds balance. We used this resource, which includes:

1. Internet Scavenger Hunt Activity to familiarize them with the people, places and culture 

2. KWL activity to assess pre-knowledge 

3. Read a basic cognate laden text on Spain and answer questions. 

These sequenced activities set students up for reading about the Running of the Bulls- and their upcoming debate. For the debate they had to read both sides of the argument in this text and figure out, based on the language, attitude and claim who was for and who was against the practice. The first iteration of this article was all in the present tense. I have revised it to fit more of an Novice-Mid-High / Intermediate low. That said text below is slighter higher than the one figured in MaryGlasgow in 2011.

 The purpose of his resource was to engage students in both Common Core and IB standards/strands, so they would use the same strategies for engaging in text. This activity allowed students to:

Link to resource

  • Compare different perspectives (ACTFL: 21st century standards) 
  • Cite textual information (in a basic non-intimidating form) 
  • Compare and contrast cultures
  • For me, to be able to collect ideas, process them and debate in the target language

At my previous school they had PYP Spanish from Kindergarten. I saw them 4 days a week, so it makes since that a 7th grader was able to read and debate a slightly softer version of this text.  If you’d like to see how they slammed the International Educational Unit. They wrote papers on women rights. This was my “Malala Unit.”  Check out this post with examples of student writing.

Added Listening Activity for Running of the Bulls 

    This year I had the opportunity to interview a girl from Pamplona. I included this interview and  activity as part the Bullfighting debate activity.  Listen here for her Los Jóvenes Opinan interview below:

Interview with Ainhoa

The good, the bad and the ugly 

The interview is long- 4 minutes, but the activities are divided into different sections. Only the first 1.5 minutes  is comprehensible input for Novice students, after that her pace picks up. Here is how I am planning on using this resource:

  • My Spanish 1 Novice students will be doing this All about me activity next week (we are three weeks overdue). The will read the interview about Ainhoa and then listen to the first couple of minutes of the audio.

Interview with Ainhoa

For my Spanish IV class, we are finishing up our Teen Identity Unit. Since Ainhoa is soooo passionate about the Running of the Bulls (she was a perfect complement to the debate article), they will listen to her and compare their lives to hers. Here are a list of the themes for the audio:

  • Introductions
  • Favorite TV shows
  • School in Spain
  • Teens in Pamplona
  • Running of the Bulls

Click here for the preview questions.

Listen to the first edition of Los Jóvenes Opinan here to  make sure it is suitable for your students.

Upcoming resource!

I also had the opportunity to interview an award-winning photojournalist from Colombia this summer. The interview, which goes from Novice to Advanced will be posted in October.

If you use this resource, feedback is welcomed!!