miércoles, 20 de marzo de 2013

Three Activities for a TV unit


In my Spanish 3 class, we just finished a unit titled "¿Viste el partido en la televisión?" If you use the Realidades level 2 textbook, you might know it as chapter 6A :) The chapter vocabulary focuses on sporting events, contests, and verbs of emotion. I am tied to the textboo, but trying to incorporate authentic resources, so I developed three tasks/assessments related to the chapter, two of which incorporate authentic resources.

The first was a presentational task/assessment (full description and rubric here)Students had to write a description of their favorite television show, record themselves and make a video with images illustrating what they said. After they made the video, they put it on their blog and then viewed 2-3 other students' videos and answered the following questions:
  1. ¿Qué es su programa favorito?
  2. ¿De qué se trata? ¿Cómo es?
  3. ¿Qué pasó en un episodio recién?
  4. ¿Cómo es similar y/o diferente de tu programa favorito?
I will share some examples here when I get permission :)



The second task was an interpretive task/assessment. Students watched this segment of an episode of¿Qué dice la gente? (la versión de Uruguay, love the way she says "toalla" - great to point out that accent to students). They had to watch it 2-3 times and did this worksheet. First they had to watch and fill in a form with10-15 words that they heard. Then, with a partner, they read aloud the clues, so that they knew what they would be hearing. They listened to it on individual computers with headphones, so they were able to rewind and listen as many times as they needed in order to fill in the worksheet. This program is excellent because there is so much repetition and their answers are also shown on the board so students can read it too. I was absent the day students did this, but the results were good. (Here is another worksheet for another episode of ¿Qué dice la gente?)



The third task was another interpretive task/assessment. This one involved using a very engaging authentic resource - the Univisión website. Students worked on this for an hour in class and they were very engaged. I like this activity (and so did the students) because it is scaffolded and there is lots of comprehensible input. Each student had a computer and some had headphones, and here is what students had to do:

  1. Look for cognates (there are many) and write down 10 of them. This gives them a way to ease into the authentic resource without being intimidated. By doing this, they will learn new words and make connections.
  2. Look for people and things and write down 5 that they see. This is also easy, and they will be able to see lots of similarities to what they would see on an English speaking television website.
  3. Click on any link, look, read, listen and write a short description of what they is there. This is a great thing to do because students might click on more than one thing and usually they are looking at things that they areinterested in = engagement.
  4. Explore the shows (in bar at the top all the way to the write), click on 3-4 different shows, watch some clips, read some captions, read the description  do the following for each show:
    1. write the name of the program
    2. write what type of program it is
    3. write a short description of what is on the program
    4. write three adjectives that describe it
    5. write if it interests you, fascinates you, bores you or if you love it.
    6. write if it is similar to a program in English.
  5. And finally, (I didn't actually have them do this this time, but will next time), students can compare and contrast the Univisión website to a similar one in English.
This third activity was excellent. Students were watching shows, listening to Spanish, reading and making connections. They were also able to explore what was interesting to them since they were working individually.

These three activities were fairly simple (and nothing revolutionary), but they were very successful. Student effort and engagement were high and they Spanish that they produced was very good!

And, just as a reminder of the standards, these are the ones that these activities touched upon










Communication
  • Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions
  • Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics
Cultures
  • Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied
  • Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied
Connections
  • Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures
Comparisons
  • Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own
  • Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own
Communities
  • Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
  • Standard 5.2: Students who evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment

lunes, 18 de marzo de 2013

Unidad Didáctica: Narcoviolencia en México

In my Cultura y Civilzación (Spanish 4 CTP) class we are finishing a unit called Narcoviolencia en México (website & unit packet). The unit will take us about 15 days to complete (88 minutes everyday). I was able to piece together this unit last year by using lots of authentic resources from Zachary Jones, and I revised it a little this year (with the help of the amazing Crisina Zimmerman, @cristinazimmer4, who was doing it at the same time). This is an excellent unit, a bit heavy at times, but relevant, cross-curricula, engaging, and important. Through the use of songs (with engaging videos) and other authentic resources, students were able to delve into a rather complex topic. 

These are the "Preguntas Esenciales" for the unit:

  1. ¿Qué está pasando en México ahora?  ¿Cuándo, por qué y cómo empezó toda la violencia? En tu opinión, ¿cuáles son las consecuencias (sociales y políticas) en México?  ¿Y hay consecuencias para nuestro país? ¿Hay una posible solución?
  2. ¿Cómo se retratan los "narcos" dentro de la cultura popular? ¿Es una imagen positiva, negativa o las dos? (Refiere a las canciones “La Reina del Sur,” “México,” y “Have you heard?”) En tu opinión, ¿qué consecuencias sociales tienen estas imágenes en una sociedad?
  3. ¿Cómo reflejan todas las canciones la realidad en México? ¿Cómo son similares y diferentes los mensajes de las varias canciones y/o los videos que hemos escuchado y estudiado?
  4. ¿Por qué son tan importantes las viñetas políticas en México?
  5. ¿Por qué es importante que las personas tengan la esperanza que se ve en el anuncio de Coca-Cola y en otras canciones?

These are the two exams:
  • Speaking (presentational) exam (given midway through the unit)
  • Written (interpretive) exam (given at the end of the unit)
  • Something I need to create is an interpersonal assessment... ideas? Perhaps a written response in the form of a letter to the narco portrayed in Have you Heard?
During this unit, students have seen, listened to, analyzed, written about and discussed a wide variety of authentic resources to better understand the situation and to answer the essential questions.

These are the authentic resources that were used in this unit (all linked on the unit post of class website (scroll to bottom of post for links), some in my delicous bookmarks, and some at Zambombazo/narco):
  • Four (maybe five) songs, which we listened to, watched, and sang a lot:
    • México by Instituto Mexicano del Sonido (I don't recommend the video for the song, as it contains graphic images)
    • Have you heard? by Ceci Bastida ft. Rye Rye - excellent video with lots to talk about (Zachary Jones has the video with an edited version of this song here)
    • La Reina del Sur by Los Tigres del Norte or by Los Cuates de Sinaloa - the second video shows scenes from the telenovela and tells the story of the narcocorrido
    • Tuve para dar by Julieta Venegas - another excellent video that will have students engaged.
    • (El corrido del cuidadano by various artists) - good video here too
  • Various articles (some in English) to better understand the current situation
  • One commercial by Coca-Cola (positive image of Mexico)
  • A lot of political cartoons
  • An interview about narcocorridos being censored
  • An interview with the president of Guatemala with his views of how to improve the situation
Some other random things that they were exposed to (and maybe learned) during the unit:
  • What the Mexican flag looks like and what it symbolizes. The songs "México" and "Have you heard?" mention red and green, and the video for "Tuve para dar" has red, green and white prominently featured in it.
  • How many Mexican states there are
  • Twitter is being used to share information and help people find information about dangers in Mexico
  • What a corrido/narcocorrido is





This unit is excellent. I feel like I seamlessly integrated and addressed the following standards:





Communication
  • Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions
    • Students wrote and talked about the songs, the videos, the interviews, the political cartoons, and other resources.
  • Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics
    • Students understood all of the songs, interviews, articles and other information.
  • Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics
    • Students answered questions about the current situation in Mexico and also talked about the songs México and Have you heard?
Cultures
  • Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied
    • Students were able to see cultural perspectives of the current situation in México by listening to the songs.
  • Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied
    • The songs in this unit are products of the culture with cultural perspectives about the narcoviolence in Mexico.
Connections
  • Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language
    • Government, geograhpy, economics, and health were some of the other disciplines that this unit touched upon.
  • Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures
    • The viewpoints expressed in the songs and other resources are distinctive and could not be expressed as effectively in English.
Comparisons
  • Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own
    • By translating the songs, students made comparisons with Spanish and English.
  • Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own
    • Students compared the glorification of narcos within pop culture and compared it to our culture.
Communities
  • Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
    • Hopefully, students listened to some of the songs outside of class.
  • Standard 5.2: Students who evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment
    • Because there are a lot of connections with popular television shows in the U.S., some students may be more interested and more driven to understand the Spanish language and culture of some Spanish-speaking countries.
This unit could also be used for an AP class, as it touched upon many of the new recommended AP Themes.