La Monumental Rosca de Reyes de Zacatecas: Story and Activities (preterite versus imperfect) (culture: holiday celebrations)

rosca title page imageMain 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!

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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!

“Calaverita” by La Santa Cecilia: Día de muertos themed song activity

calaverita-activity-imageThis song activity is great for a Día de muertos unit! Also, for my more advanced students in a Spanish Conversation and Composition course, I used this activity together with the story “El otro círculo” by Luis R. Santos (as featured in our textbook, Revista). We compared our analyses of both the story and the song to discuss different cultural perspectives about death presented through literature, art, music, etc.

Click here for  the free PDF activity sheet

Enjoy the video below!

As always, I would love to hear about it in the comments if you use this activity in your classroom!

Here are some links to my other Día de muertos themed activities:

Actividad con infografías: Los comparativos – Día de los muertos versus Halloween
Cortometraje: “Día de los muertos” con actividad de escritura para practicar el pretérito vs. imperfecto

Modales en la mesa a nivel internacional: Actividad cultural para practicar los mandatos informales

Modales EspañaLos mandatos informales, informal “tú” commands, can be a bit challenging at first because you must remember to conjugate the verb differently depending on whether the command is affirmative (Yes! Do it! ¡Sí! ¡Hazlo!) or negative (No! Don´t do it! ¡No! ¡No lo hagas!) This cultural presentation will take you on a journey of table manners around the world while practicing affirmative versus negative tú commands.

Objectives: 

  • Practice conjugating affirmative and negative tú commands
  • Practice vocabulary about food & the table
  • Make cultural connections about table manners

First, conjugate the verbs in this handout: Modales Internacionales Handout

Next, check your answers and discuss the cultural customs in more detail in this Powerpoint presentation: Modales Internacionales Powerpoint

Share your reflections and what you´ve learned in the questions at the bottom of the handout. Do you think any of these tips for international table manners will come in handy someday?

Modales México

The images in the presentation were adapted for educational purposes from an infographic & article by Huffingtion Post España.

Also, thank you to the Teaching & Learning Spanish Blog Facebook Page for sharing the Huffington Post article.

If you would like to share these materials, please do so by providing a link to this blog post. Thank you!

Actividad con infografías: Los comparativos – Día de los muertos versus Halloween

Revise los siguientes infografías.

Escriba 6-8 frases comparativas que comparan y contrastan las dos tradiciones del Día de los muertos y Halloween (Día de las brujas).

Review the following infographics.
Write 6-8 comparative sentences that compare and contrast two traditions of Día de los muertos and Halloween.
comparativos infographic
 
día de muertos Halloween pinterest

Día de los muertos vs. Halloween estadísticasClick here for fun examples (memes) of comparisons!

La Semana Santa en Guatemala: Un cuento para practicar el pretérito y el imperfecto

semana santa guatemala cover image

In keeping with my TPRS challenge for the semester, here is the short story I made for ch. 8 of the textbook Unidos. (Click here for ch. 7’s story!) This (very) short story is for practicing preterit vs. imperfect as well as vocabulary based on Semana Santa in Guatemala.

Here are links to the materials I made based on the story:

semana santa guatemala hoja

Hoja de actividades: “La Semana Santa” (PDF)

Clave de respuestas: “La Semana Santa” (PDF)

Powerpoint: “La Semana Santa en Guatemala

Here’s a video of me reading the story. I make these to give my students (and a small number of youtube subscribers!) the option to read along with me at home.

Also, it is important to note that this story does not provide in-depth details of Semana Santa en Guatemala. My students already watched videos about it, so this story and activity sheet serve to reinforce and practice key concepts. Here are some other video resources about Semana Santa in Guatemala.

República Dominicana: Introductory culture presentation & activity packet

DR flag mapThe Dominican Republic holds a very special place in my heart, so I was giddy with excitement while I made this presentation to introduce my high school Spanish 1 students to Dominican culture! Please see the slideshow below (featuring many videos, made in Google drive) and free accompanying activity packet.

The activities include a beginning warm-up to activate background knowledge, content & vocabulary comprehension questions, a Venn Diagram to compare/contrast bachata & merengue, analyses of music videos to explore themes of Dominican culture, and a final discussion mini-essay.

I´d like to make a brief note about cultural presentations in general. Whenever I teach culture I do make an effort to make it as authentic as possible, but sometimes I find it quite challenging! How can I portray an entire culture in a few class sessions? Well, of course it’s not possible to cover everything. That’s why I emphasize that this is an introductory presentation and invite students to explore other themes further with questions and follow-up lessons and projects.

visa para un sueñoIt took our class one 90 minute class period (block scheduling) to cover the presentation and activity sheet (some students took the packet home to finish the final discussion question). My students were very engaged and full of questions, so I’d say it was a success!

One important topic that this presentation does not cover is the story of the Mirabal sisters and the Trujillo regime. We covered this topic later in a lesson based around the film adaptation of Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies. Please follow this link to see my post about it with a free movie guide question packet!

We also watched the movie Pelotero. It’s a really fun movie, and we watched it as a reward in the last 20-30 minutes of a few class periods. Please follow this link for a post & free movie guide. (Coming soon!)

Here’s a link to the Activity Packet, and you can watch the presentation right here!

Any feedback is appreciated. Keep the comments coming! 🙂

Consejo cultural #1 / Culture Tip #1: How to receive/respond to compliments

“Hablas muy bien el español” – How would you respond to that compliment in Spanish? Check out my latest video to see what I learned about responding to compliments while I was in Mexico. What have you learned about responding to compliments in Spanish? Let me know in a comment!

Tasked-Based Cultural Enrichment Song Activity: “Latinoamérica” – Calle 13

The lyrics to the song “Latinoamérica” by the Puerto Rican musical duo Calle 13 are replete with cultural and historical references, so much so that this song could inspire a semester´s worth of classroom discussion! Furthermore, the music video [see below] is a sequence of stunningly beautiful clips depicting the people and land of Latin America. This blog post describes how I use this song as the base of a task-based cultural enrichment activity with my students and provides you with the materials to do so as well. This activity would go over best with intermediate-advanced, advanced, and heritage learners.

This pdf document: PDF “Latinoamérica” Lyrics contains a handout with the lyrics to the song. There are 7 verses which are underlined, in bold, and color-coded. First watch the video as a class and ask the students their thoughts. I begin discussion by asking for students’ interpretations of the chorus. Now the task-based part. The selected color-coded verses are seven different references to Latin American culture and/or history, as follows:

  • “el amor en los tiempos del cólera” – The novel by Gabriel García Márquez. You may have students research just this novel, or a more broader presentation on the autor and his works.
  • soy la fotografía de un desaparecido” – Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo who began their protest during the Guerra Sucia (1976 – 1983) in Argentina in hopes of finding their children, who the Argentine government claimed had “disappeared.” These brave women continue their protest to this day. Their white shawls have become a symbol for the fight for human rights, the denunciation of the barbarities committed during the many dictatorships of Latin America, and the remembrance of all those who suffered during such times of political injustice.
  • “soy Maradona contra Inglaterra anotándote dos goles” – The 1986 World Cup. Follow link for more information: Info about 1986 World Cup
  • “la espina dorsal del planeta es mi cordillera” – The Andes Mountains – Students can research not only the mountains themselves, but also the ways of life of the people who inhabit this región.
  • “Los versos escritos bajo la noche estrellada” – “Poema XX” de Pablo Neruda
  • Haciendo rituales de agua bendita.
    El viento que peina mi cabello.
    Soy todos los santos que cuelgan de mi cuello. – Religions practiced in Latin America. Not only Catholicism, but also syncretic religions such as Santería.
  • “La operación cóndor invadiendo mi nido” – Operación Condor

Divide the class into 7 groups and have each group pick a selected verse to research and present to the class. I give my students one class period to work on this in class in the computer lab as well as additional days outside of class to prepare the presentation. The students use Powerpoint or Prezi to create a visual.

This is my first blog post of this nature, so I’d love to hear your thoughts or suggestions. For now, enjoy this breath-taking music video!

[UPDATE]: I would like to give a huge thank you to all of you who have commented! I really appreciate your feedback, and your suggestions have helped me to greatly improve this activity! The activity sheet is now in its third version.

Una vista de la Alhambra (Granada, España)

Video: Vista de la Alhambra desde el Mirador de San Nicolás: Granada, España.

No pude capturar el encanto de este lugar en una foto, así que grabé este video.

Aquí están las fotos que saqué durante el tur de la Alhambra.

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