Main Street is closed for the whole city to enjoy 2 kilometers of cakes! Yes, this really happened! I came upon this scene January 7th of last year in Zacatecas, Mexico, and have been wanting to share this fun celebration the day after Día de Reyes with my students ever since. The result: this read-along video story (narrated by a native speaker from Zacatecas) and accompanying handout for story-based activities. I hope you will find it useful to incorporate into a unit on holidays, for targeted practice for preterite versus imperfect, and/or as a reading comprehension activity.
The following activity sheet features 5 components:
Vocabulario – quick prep for understanding key words in the story
Comprehensión de lectura
Conversación y escritura– retelling the narration to solidify comprehension and practice narration in the past tense
Gramática – Preterite versus imperfect cloze activity
Conexiones y culturas – internet search for other celebrations and written description of other ways Día de Reyes is celebrated
Download the PDF here! Rosca story activity sheets (2 pages)
Here´s the video…
And here´s a PDF with just the text of the story: La Monumental Rosca de Reyes de Zacatecas Printable Story
Also, teachers, if you would like to download this story as a Powerpoint or a PDF for a printable book for your classroom, I have uploaded a bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers! Click here!
Any feedback is welcome in the comments!
In this video, we change the affirmative tú commands in memes to negative ones and vice versa to review and practice step by step with funny examples.
It is the second video of the “Practice Spanish with Memes” video series!
Use this link to see all of the posts categorized to “informal (tú) commands” here on this website: https://estudiafeliz.com/tag/mandatos-informales/
Enjoy the video and thank you for watching!
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.
Access the PDF activity sheet and answer key with the links below:
¡Qué disfruten el video y el son!
This relaxing story is a great way to practice narration in the past (preterite and imperfect) and calm down a rowdy classroom!
You can download PDFs of the free activity sheet and answer key below. The writing prompt on the handout can also be modified as a conversation activity (or as both).
Thank you to Samuel García for writing and narrating the story. Samuel is an author and teacher from Zacatecas, Mexico.
¡Que disfruten el video!
Memes are a great way to illustrate/review grammatical concepts and expand vocabulary!
One of the first goals of this website was to provide an organized site that I could refer to my students to find memes for fun practice on their own. I was not comfortable referring them to the original sites where I find the memes because there is a lot of inappropriate/offensive content. Furthermore, here I can narrow the selection to what will be most helpful for students and categorize them by topic.
Students respond very well to the incorporation of memes into the classroom. I use memes as a basis for quick conversation/analysis while illustrating target grammatical concepts. Since my goal in the classroom is to maximize communicative activities and maintain conversation in Spanish-only, I am working on a video series that has more slow-paced, English-based explanations of how these memes illustrate the grammatical concepts. My hope is that it will be an interesting way to review and/or present the material in a different way.
I am working on making more videos this summer because in Fall I will be teaching more “blended” classes with less time in the classroom and more time in online learning. The goal is not to assign my videos to students, but to offer them as a resource for further explanation/exploration/review that will complement our in-class communicative activities. This is the first “meme-based” video, so feel free to give me any constructive criticism!
Enjoy the video!
The word “time” in Spanish can be translated to Spanish in several different ways! This is a source of confusion for many of my students, so I made this video to explain which words to use depending on the intended meaning of “time” in different contexts.
Enjoy the video!
Who’s that present for? Who did you go to the movies with? Sure, grammar rules tell us not to end sentences with prepositions in English, but we hear it all of the time!
Spanish, on the other hand, is a different story. This contrast leads us to such mistakes as “*Quién es este regalo para?”
In this video lesson, I explain how to understand and fix the common error of ending phrases with prepositions in Spanish.
Want to test your knowledge before you get started? Here is a free handout:
Try it before watching the video, try again after the lesson is finished, and then check the answer key!
Enjoy the video!
Also, here is the lyric video for the song I mention in the video, “¿Con quién se queda el perro?” by Jesse &Joy.
In this video I share the 3 tips I use to explain Spanish vowel pronunciation.
Follow up comprehension questions:
(1)What are the 5 vowels in Spanish?
(2) What is a tense vowel? Which vowels are tense in Spanish?
(3) What is an example of a vowel sound that we use in English but not in Spanish?
See below for answers.
1. A, E, I, O, U
2. Our muscles are more tense and engaged when we pronounce tense vowels. All vowels in Spanish are tense vowels (A, E, I, O, U).
3. Answers will very. Some include the “A” in “cAt,” the “I” in “kId” or “fIt,” the “uh” in “bUg” or a relaxed pronunciation of “edUcation.”
I have found that when students are able to answer these questions about Spanish vowel pronunciation, they are able to analyze and self-correct their own pronunciation.
By answering these questions, students demonstrate that they know which vowels to stick to, which vowel sounds to avoid, and physically how Spanish vowels are pronounced in contrast with the lax vowels in English pronunciation that so often interfere with their Spanish pronunciation.
This tense vs. lax distinction is superior to the “short” versus “long” vowel explanation commonly found in textbooks because it allows students to make a physical connection to the vowel pronunciation (by placing the hand on the cheek to feel the tense cheek muscles.)
Furthermore, vowel length is variable, so the “short” versus “long” distinction can be unclear and cause confusion.
Do you have any other tips you think should be included in Spanish vowel pronunciation instruction?
¡PTK! The tip I share in the video below is my favorite pronunciation tip because it was SUCH a “light bulb moment” for me when I finally learned about /ptk/ in my first Spanish linguistics class. The thing is, I had already been learning Spanish for SIX years!
I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated that none of my previous Spanish teachers had taught me this and other pronunciation tips, but it also motivated me to continue studying linguistics! Now I teach my students pronunciation throughout beginning level courses, and I am (slowly…very slowly) making these YouTube videos for students to keep practicing at home.
What are your thoughts on teaching pronunciation? How important is it for Spanish language-learners, and when/how should it be taught? I´d love to read your ideas in the comments!