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:
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.
Before 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.
Welcome to the first post of my personal TRPS challenge! I am teaching SPAN 1002 at the university level this semester, and it is my goal to make at least one story for each chapter of an appropriate length that incorporates as much of the target vocabulary and grammar for the chapter as possible. (We begin with chapter 7 of the Unidos textbook by Pearson.) Where’s the challenge? To create one coherent story that includes all (or most) of the target elements for the chapter. As you will see, in order to include everything my first story turned out pretty strange, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. (I hope not! What do you think?) I’m hoping that the unusual elements will help the story “stick.” My classes always go better when the students get a chance to laugh.
I also plan to make a Youtube video reading each story so students can read along at home if they’d like. I hope this might be a fun way to review for the final at the end of the semester.
In class, first we read the story together. I teach a hybrid course, so students have already seen the vocabulary and practiced verb conjugations in their assigned online activities. Next, students got in groups of 2-3 (in which at least one person had a laptop to view the powerpoint) and read the story together at their own pace. Finally, for the comprehension and written output component I gave them a handout of questions to be answered in complete sentences. They could choose to continue to collaborate with their small group (most did) or to work individually.
Here are all of the materials:
Thanks to a friend and fellow Spanish teacher, I have found the music of Kevin, Karla y la Banda (KKLB). They have dozens of OUTSTANDING Spanish versions of today´s top pop songs. They cover many artists that our students are listening to, such as Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, One Direction, Selena Gomez, etc. Since our students are already familiar with the tune and basic messages of the songs, it will facilitate comprehension of the lyrics in Spanish! For this reason, I am planning to make several activities with KKLB songs. Here´s the first one! Below you will find links to an activity sheet and answer key for this excellent rendition of Katy Perry´s “Wide Awake” for practicing the preterit. Also, I included the following introductory explanation to use the message of the song to help students understand why the verbs are in the preterit:
“In this song, the singer declares that she has “woken up.” She has decided to put an end to a difficult period in her life and to move on.
All of the preterit verbs in the song express actions that were completed at a specific point in the past.”