El desfile de los alebrijes: A Story in Spanish for Beginners (Video & Text)

3 alebrijes

     Many of our students have gotten to know the fantastically colorful and imaginative alebrijes of Mexican folk art through the film Coco. This video-story allows students to build upon that background knowledge and acquire new language while watching compelling film coverage from the Desfile de los alebrijes, an annual parade sponsored by the Museo de Arte Popular in which hundreds of alebrijes come to life throughout the streets of Mexico City.

     I play this video first with no volume and lead students in identifying what they see. After watching and discusisng the video, students design their own alebrijes by drawing and writing a detailed description. Finally, students share their unique alebrijes with their classmates in lively, small group discussions.

     You can click “CC” in the lower right corner of the video to turn on accurate Spanish subtitles. Also, here is a full transcript of the story if you would like to use it for reading activities: El desfile de los alebrijes Full Text Transcript (PDF)

     Enjoy the video! Any comments are welcome and appreciated. I’d love to know if you share this video with your students!

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“Un día típico de un estudiante” Read-along story (video & free activity sheet)

un día t“Un día típico de un estudiante universitario” is a read-along story for beginner-level students. There’s a special focus on “yo-go” verbs, por versus para, and food vocabulary, my class’ learning objectives for this unit.

There’s one notable absence: reflexive verbs! Usually ubiquitous in any daily routine story, I have left them out of this sequence because my total-beginner students haven’t learned about them yet. My goal is for students to become comfortable with writing and talking about daily routines and sequences of events in a contextual narrative before we reach the next unit in which the main focus is daily routines with reflexive verbs!

Download the free PDF activity sheet here:  Un día típico PDF HANDOUT

And here is the video narration of the story!

Any comments or suggestions are welcome. If you use this activity with your students, I’d love to hear about it!

Learn Spanish with Family Guy! Video & Activity (Free PDF)

Family Guy THUMBNAILBefore making this activity a few years ago, I polled my beginner Spanish students about the most well-known families from a TV show or movie. The Kardashians won, but Family Guy consistently took second, ¡so I went with la familia Griffin!

First, we watch the video below together to provide comprehensible input for introducing family vocabulary.  I pause frequently to ask “circling” style questions, all in the target language, Spanish. (Click here for a great video on circling by Kaizen Teaching).

Next, students work together to fill in the blanks with the target vocabulary. Click here for a free, printable PDF of the handout!

Finally, students put what they learned into production by writing a similar description of a family on the back of the handout. Here are the instructions I project on the board:

¡A escribir! Descripción de una familia
Use the Family Guy presentation as a model

  • Describe una familia famosa (de la televisión, el cine, un libro, la historia, etc.)

  • Usa el vocabulario para expresar las relaciones entre los miembros de la familia.

  • ¿Qué hacen los miembros de la familia?

    • –Escribe 1-3 frases sobre cada persona.

  • Dibuja (draw) un árbol familiar.

I instruct the students who finish writing early swap papers to do peer editing.

Any feedback welcome in the comments! I´d love to know if you use this activity in your classroom or have any suggestions for expansion/improvement!

Video: Spanish Formal Commands: Practice with Memes!

Formal Commands THUMBNAILHere is the latest video in the “Practice Spanish with Memes” series! In this video we start with a quick review of how to conjugate formal (USTED y USTEDES) commands & where to place the pronouns. Then it’s on to the memes!

Here’s  a link to all of the memes categorized to “formal commands” on this site if you’d like more practice! Which one is your favorite? https://estudiafeliz.com/tag/mandatos-formales/

Thanks so much for watching. Any feedback is welcome!

If you would like to subscribe to the YouTube channel, we’d really appreciate it!!

Video: Spanish stem-changing verbs: Practice with memes!

Stem changing verbs memes THUMBNAILLast week, a student emailed me that she was watching our “Direct Object Pronouns: Practice with Memes” video with her 11-year-old son, and he wanted to know what my very favorite meme in Spanish was! Our email exchange got me excited to make another video with more memes!

Here’s the latest video in the “Practice with Memes” series! It is meant to be a fun way to help students practice with stem-changing verbs, expand vocabulary, and especially to invite them to explore the Spanish-speaking world through the internet!

Many students are surprised to see that there are memes and YouTube videos in Spanish just like the ones they like in English. I hope that the memes video series can be just one way to encourage these sorts of connections between students’ interests and Spanish language learning!

And here’s a link to see all the memes and posts on this site categorized to stem-changing verbs! Stem-changing verbs posts

Enjoy the video! Any feedback is welcome!

Video: The hundreds in Spanish, step-by-step (with worksheet)

I have observed that many students in my most advanced courses still struggle with numbers above one hundred. Here is a video I made to go over things step-by-step.

This first video covers 100s through 900s, and the next one will be practice (with memes!) with the thousands up to the millions!

Here´s a PDF activity sheet for a comprehension check after the video! Los números 100 – 999 PDF Activity Sheet

Here´s the answer key! Los números 100 – 999 Answer Key

Enjoy the video! Any feedback welcome in the comments!

Practice informal (Tú) commands with memes! (video)

Tú commands negafirm THUMBNAILIn 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!

Yo soñaba: Un cuento para practicar la narración en el pasado (video & activity sheet)

Yo soñaba thumbnail image.png

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).

Yo soñaba: Hoja de actividades (activity sheet)Yo soñaba handout image

Yo soñaba. Clave de respuestas (answer key)

Thank you to Samuel García for writing and narrating the story. Samuel is an author and teacher from Zacatecas, Mexico.

¡Que disfruten el video!

Video. Spanish direct object pronouns: Practice with memes!

direct object pronouns memes image thumbnailMemes 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!

Click here to filter for all of the posts on this site categorized to “objeto directo”to find more memes!

Enjoy the video!

Video: Different ways to say “time” in Spanish

time video thumbnail.pngThe 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!