Song activity: “Sembrando flores” de Los cojolites (imperfecto del subjuntivo) (cultura y música: el son jarocho)

HB_CO_Ilustracion_SF_02 In this activity, students practice using the imperfect subjunctive in indirect speech, including a writing prompt to add verses to the song.

Also, conversation prompts based on the video and music are a great jump start for cultural discussion of the son jarocho.

For more information about the son jarocho, NPR´s All Things Considered has a great 8 minute episode on the topic. Also, www.sonjarocho.com provides detailed readings in both English and Spanish about this musical genre from Veracruz, Mexico.handout image sembrando flores

Access the PDF activity sheet and answer key with the links below:

Sembrando flores. Hoja de Actividades (activity sheet)

Sembrando flores. Clave de respuestas (answer key)

¡Qué disfruten el video y el son!

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El panda inteligente: Mini-lectura interesante con preguntas de pensamiento crítico

Antes de leer:

¿Conoces estas palabras?:

(Haz clic para ver la definición en el dicciónario)

darse cuenta

embarazada

engañar

el comportamiento

Después de leer:

Responde a las siguientes preguntas con frases completas.

1. ¿Crees que este panda es inteligente o tramposo (o los dos)?

2. ¿Conoces una historia de un animal muy listo? ¿Qué hizo este animal? (Si no conoces una historia verdadera, ¡puedes inventar una historia creativa!)

Panda inteligente

¡Más!: Haz clic aquí para ver otro chiste sobre un guepardo listo…

 

Actividad: Diseñar un mensaje de cumpleaños atrasado (el “se” accidental) (el pretérito)

excusa_perfecta pret

Esta es la excusa perfecta para cuando se te olvida el cumpleaños de un amigo.

¿Puedes pensar en otros mensajes de cumpleaños atrasados creativos?

¡Diseña una carta, un meme, o un mensaje creativo!

Aquí hay unos ejemplos más…

cumpleaños mejor tardecumpleaños mono

tarjeta de cumpleañoscumpleanos ms piggyfeliz cumple mejor tarde que nunca

 

La rana y el sobre: Quick writing prompt (pretérito)

Escribe una leyenda por cada imágen de la tira cómica.

Write a caption for each image of the comic.

Usa el pretérito para narrar eventos que ocurrieron en el pasado.

Use the preterite form of verbs to narrate events that occurred in the past.

ranas. pret. writing

Algunas palabras útiles:

la ranafrog

el sobreenvelope

la lenguatongue

pegajoso/asticky

escribirto write

cerrarto close

la cartaletter (written correspondence)

Cortometraje: “Día de los muertos” con actividad de escritura para practicar el pretérito vs. imperfecto

 día de los muertos hoja imageBefore you enjoy this enchanting short film, I´d like to share a wonderful article that has helped me tremendously in teaching the preterit/imperfect. I read it in an applied linguistics class with an amazing professor! Here´s a link to the article, “Preterite/Imperfect Half-Truths: Problems with Spanish Textbook Rules for Usage” by Diana Frantzen.

 I also use timelines visually reinforce the concept because that´s what helped me finally understand it. Although, also based on my experience, I think the real key to mastering preterit/imperfect is through authentic communication. Well, that´s true for most everything in language learning actually!

Here´s a link to a PDF worksheet for a writing activity based on the short film: Hoja de actividades: Cortometraje: “Día de los muertos” 

¡Y ahora al cortometraje! The vivid imagery is perfect to inspire students to write descriptions using the imperfect, and although only 3 minutes, there are plenty of events to list to practice the preterit. Once students have time to brainstorm their own ideas, we go over them together. I draw a timeline on the board and mark the events as specific points. As students describe the settings/characters, I make squiggly lines in different colors along the timeline. Finally, students combine the descriptions with the narration of events to write a short story based on the short film.

I also recommend this video by the Travel Channel.

Descripción de una foto: A fun creative writing/drawing activity (descripciones) (ser/estar) (el presente)

IMG_0021This activity is a simple one, but it goes over very well with my students. Yes, even college students like to break out the crayons & markers every once and a while! The idea is that drawing their ideas in Spanish will help enforce their language learning and develop the skill of thinking in Spanish. I use this activity as a review before a quiz that covers vocabulary for descriptions, the present tense verbs, different verbs for expressing “to be,” and comparisons. As you can see in the paragraph depicted to the left, it is pretty manageable to fit in all of these elements.

Here’s the lesson plan:

1. Introduction: Display sample. Read the paragraph together as a class. Ask students to find examples different elements in the paragraph that we are studying. For example, ” ‘Ella es rubia’ es un ejemplo del uso del verbo ser para describir un rasgo físico. ´La montaña más alta del país´ es un ejemplo del superlativo.”

2. Instructions: Challenge students to think in Spanish while they draw. They may prefer to write the paragraph first so that they can have their vision clearly in mind once they begin drawing. Almost all of my students choose this option. While they are drawing, I remind them to, “¡Piensa en español!”

3. Peer editing: Students swap papers with one or two classmates.

4. Visually reinforcing the grammar: Students highlight or circle the  different verbs using different colors to reinforce the grammar aspect of the lesson. For example, highlight all forms of the verb ser in orange and all forms of the verb estar in blue. Now, the paper may be a more helpful study tool for visual learners.

The sample pictured here is the one I use as a model while introducing the activity. Here´s the PDF worksheet you can print!

Hoja de actividades: Descripción de una foto (PDF)

If you use this activity in your classroom, please leave a comment because I´d love to hear how it goes! Also, suggestions are always welcome!

Here are some samples of my students´work!

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¡Nombrar/crear/describir animales híbridos! A creative & fun activity for practicing descriptions! (ser) (tiempo presente) (vocabulario: animales)

How cool are these photoshopped pictures of hybrid animals? They could kick-off some really interesting activities for practicing descriptions and/or learning animal vocabulary words (not just the names of the animals, but also their features, body parts, behaviors, habitat)! Students could name and write descriptions of these animals, or even better, draw their own!

nombrar los animales_photoshop

Leer la mano: A fun activity for practicing descriptions! (tiempo presente) (ser)

I came across this guide for palm reading, and thought it could make an interesting activity for students to practice descriptions, the verb ser, and the present tense (what we’re working on this unit)! Here’s a possible way of giving the lesson:

1. Discuss the guide:

  • vocabulary expansion

  • present tense verbs & present tense conjugations of ser for describing personality traits

  • gender of the adjectives must agree with the person being described

2. In pairs, students read each other’s palms and compare what the palm tells about their personality with how they really are.

3. Students get a new partner and describe their first partner based on what the palm-reading revealed and the discussion that followed OR that could be the writing prompt:

¿Qué aprendiste sobre tu compañero al leer su mano? ¿Es así de verdad?

descripciones_leer_la_mano

Creative-writing song activity: “Esta soy yo” – Francisca Valenzuela (Ser, Descripciones)

This fun, creative music video by Chilean singer-songwriter Francisca Valenzuela, who has been dubbed “la princesa del rock chileno,” is sure to be a hit with your students! Here you will find a free PDF worksheet with which your students can get creative as well! I would recommend this activity for beginner and intermediate-beginner levels. It could be used at the beginning of the semester, which from my experience usually features a unit on the verb ser and descriptions. The activity begins with simply watching the video. I show it twice (or three times if requested) to give the students time to both enjoy the video and follow along with the lyrics, which are provided on the worksheet. As you can see, the lyrics have plenty of cognates, and I´ve provided translations of some other words verse by verse. After discussing the video and lyrics, the students fill out the bottom part of the worksheet in which they rewrite the first verse to describe their own personality. Special attention is drawn to agreement between possessive adjectives and the nouns they describe.

One thing to mention in the class discussion is that the singer´s description of herself is quite candid and includes some negative traits. She states that she feels she needs to change, while in the end we hear that the recipient of the song does not think she needs to change at all. Here we find the message of the song, that it is dedicated to someone who loves the singer for just who she is, the good and the bad. Students may want to take this angle to writing their own verses, but it´s just one option. Any sort of description will be fine!

As always, feel free to leave a comment with any suggestions. I love getting comments! Also, if you try this activity in your class I´d love to know how it goes!

Hoja de actividades: “Esta soy yo” – Francisca Valenzuela

Note: Currently on the video there is a pop-up annotation that takes you to another music video for the song “Buen Soldado.” Just a heads up, that video is not school-appropriate!

Here’s a gallery of some examples of my students’ work. We did this activity on the second day of class, so while checking them I got to know a little bit of each student’s personality. The students participated really well, and we got the semester off to a great start!

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Flujogramas chistosos: Una actividad divertida para practicar el tiempo presente y los mandatos

Diagrama de flujo No te preocupes

Funny flowcharts (flujogramas o diagramas de flujo) have been a huge hit on the internet lately, so my students have really liked to see them in Spanish. Making flowcharts is a fun way for students to use their wit and creativity while practicing the present tense and commands. I made the flowchart pictured above using Powerpoint, but of course your students could also draw them and hang them about the classroom. If any of you use this activity in class, I’d love to hear about what your students come up with in a comment, or if you´re willing I would love to see the image! You could post it on our Facebook page: EstudiaFeliz en Facebook.