sábado, 25 de marzo de 2017

Movie slideshows as CI illustrated "books"

There are so many good movies out there for us Spanish teachers! Students (and teachers!) get so much from watching movies:
  • Engagement is high! Everyone loves watching movies.
  • Students see people, places and things of the Spanish speaking world. I teach in rural New Hampshire, so this is important!
  • Students get to see the diversity from the Spanish speaking world.
  • Students see tons of authentic cultural products, practices, and perspectives
  • Students hear authentic Spanish with a wide variety of accents.
  • Sometimes, students are reading authentic Spanish as well if the subtitles are in Spanish
In the past, I have always done comprehension questions. Students would watch parts of a movie and then answer questions for homework; and that always went well. But during the last two years, I have started to do much more with the movie and students are getting a lot more comprehensible input this way.

I (along with Elena López for Canela (sadly not available anywhere anymore) and Arianne Dowd for Diamantes Negros and 3 Bellezas) have created slideshows with screenshots and written what happens in each scene in comprehensible Spanish.

I view these big slideshows as "illustrated books" with comprehensible Spanish... but, instead of just reading and seeing images, students get the reward of seeing the video and hearing the authentic language! 

Here is part of the slideshow for Diamantes Negros:


Is this a lot of work? Heck yeah!! But if you get someone to help you, it is much easier. (Thanks Arianne and Elena!)

So far, I have done this for four movies. I have also done it for some cortometrajes, commercials, and songs, but here are the movies:

So, what does a unit like this look like? To start the unit, we go over the Essential Questions of the unit and I explain what the evaluaciones will be. During the unit, students will do lot of activities related to the theme of the movie, including: vocabulary related activities, singing songs or doing song-related activities, reading articles about related real-world issues (immigration, human trafficking in soccer, or la escasez in Venezuela), and/or watching real videos related to the movie.

Here is what we do with the slideshow and the text from the slideshow (it is pretty basic and not that revolutionary):
  • In my class, students sit in groups of 3-4. (I decide on the groupings and change them every 2 weeks.)
  • I project the slideshow on the big screen and designate one student to be the slide changer. S/he clicks when the talking stops or when I say, "clic."
  • Each day, in their groups, students take turns reading the "story" aloud. 15-20 (sometimes more) slides. This is really good, particularly for upper level students, because I want them talking a lot! 
  • For my lower level students, I start by reading the slideshow to them and then might gradually have them read in groups, depending on the level and the culture of the class.
  • There are also discussion questions embedded in the slideshows, so they talk about those. 
  • As they read, I might check for comprehension and/or ask questions that are not on the slideshow.
  • If there is new vocabulary and/or grammatical structures, I talk about those to make sure everyone understands. Some would call this pop-up grammar (still teaching grammar, just in a different way).
  • Then we watch that segment of the movie. Subtitles would be in English or Spanish, depending on the level and the movie.
  • We continue to do this over the course of 5-7 (or more) days until we finish the movie. I should mention that I have 84 minutes classes.
  • For homework, students have to reread what we read in class, but have to fill in the blanks (see pages 27-35 of this También la lluvia unit packet for an example). The point of this is to review what we read and to acquire and/or review vocabulary and/or grammatical structures.
I have had a lot of success with this style unit and I hope to create more... or use similar units created by other teachers, like Arianne's También la lluvia unit! Here is my unit packet for my AP class. I compiled some of her resources, along with some from Karen Goering and Lindsey Camacho, and I created some interpretive reading activities with related articles.

So, if anyone else is interested in collaborating on taking screenshots ("command + control + shift + 4" on a mac copies a screenshot right to your clipboard and then you can paste it into the slideshow), I recommend reaching out to other teachers and sharing the work! I hope to create something for my level 2 class in the future. I tried to do that with Diamantes Negros, but the language got too complex.

One more thing... a Seminario Socrático has been a fantastic end of unit speaking evaluation. Arianne Dowd also shared some ideas about how she does it on her blog.


sábado, 11 de marzo de 2017

Recursos para 3 Bellezas

Image result for 3 bellezasAs I wrote in a recent post, I am very excited to use the movie 3 Bellezas in my AP class to touch on the theme of Belleza y Estética. I created a 95 slide presentation that summarizes the movie with screenshots (see below) over a period of 5-6 days. I think of the the presentation as a basic "picture book" that summarizes the movie. Students read it aloud in groups (they sit in groups of 3) and then they get to watch and listen to the authentic resource. There are also some personalized questions that students will discuss in their grupitos. Thanks to Arianne Dowd for adding some of those! I did something very similar with the movie Diamantes Negros and that unit went very well! 

The slideshow is written in very comprehensible Spanish; it could probably be used in a level 3 class, but I am not sure if I would use this movie with sophomores. I am sharing it for free here. I also created this doc with the text of the slideshow that students will go over and fill in for homework after watching parts of the movie. 

This is my plan for what I will do with this movie:
  • Ongoing throughout unit- interpretive reading activities for authentic articles (these can be found in the unit packet on TPT). These are the articles:
    • La película que satiriza la "obsesión" de los venezolanos con la belleza
    • ¿Por qué las venezolanas se hacen tanto la cirugía estética?  
    • Venezuela, el país de las reinas de belleza donde escasea hasta el maquillaje
    • Artículo de La Nación (Argentina): Sin corona: los concursos de belleza, cada vez más resistidos
  • Watch some clips of two documentaries (BBC: Extreme Beauty Queens, Netflix: To Be a Miss and Viceland Venezuela) 
  • Do one question a day from this video (the fourth woman gets asked the same question that Estefanía gets in the contest, might be good to watch that right before that scene)
  • Ongoing: In groups of 3-4, students read slideshow aloud (as a preview). Then, we watch segments of movie. Then, students do segments of this doc for homework.
  • Seminario Socrático (this can be found in the unit packet on TPT) as final assessment
  • I also have some resources from our Temas textbook
  • I might use 2-3 songs: Mantra by Pamela Rodríguez, and either Caótica Belleza by Esteman ft. Natalia Lafourcade, Antipatriarca by Ana Tijoux by Ana Tijoux, or Soy yo by Bomba Estéreo. These songs present different perspectives about la belleza than that of the movie. 
Click here to make a copy of the slideshow. If you find this useful, please consider giving back in a Radiohead style way.

Arianne Dowd also made this slideshow that will be  good accompaniment (click here to make a copy):


sábado, 4 de marzo de 2017

La Belleza y La Estética: 3 Bellezas

Image result for 3 bellezasI love it when I find a good movie that fits perfectly into an upcoming unit! I just watched the movie "3 Bellezas" and I am definitely going to use it in my AP class for the "La Belleza y La Estética" unit. It is available for free if you have Amazon Prime. Unfortunately the only subtitles are in English, but I still think there is value in watching it with those subtitles. I am considering watching some segments without any subtitles, but I need to rewatch and choose those carefully.

I bought this guía de preguntas that I will use for class discussion. And I am also coming up with some of my own materials to use with the movie. We will definitely do a Seminario Socrático after watching this movie, because I think my students will have a lot to say about it. I particularly like this discussion question: Compara las perspectivas de la belleza de las canciones "Mantra" y "Soy yo" con las de la película "3 Bellezas."

The movie might not be appropriate for all ages, but I have juniors and seniors in my AP class so they will be fine with it. The movie is mostly appropriate (with one part at 47 minutes that I will definitely skip and maybe a couple of others). Here is the trailer:


This short video will be a good accompaniment.  


jueves, 2 de marzo de 2017

Los Secretos de un Curandero

Artículo de VeinteMundos
As I have mentioned before, I love the articles on VeinteMundos! They cover such a wide variety of cultural products, practices, and perspectives from different countries.

In my AP class, we are about to start our unit called "El cuidado de la salud y la medicina," so I have created this cloze and comprehension guide (feel free to make a copy and make changes) to go along with the article/audio "Los Secretos de un Curandero" from VeinteMundos. Previously, I had students read the article and answer questions, but now they will have to listen, read along, and answer questions. I like this article because it shows lots of cultural products, practices, and perspectives that students may not be familiar with. It will be interesting to see the comparisons that they make.

The song of the week will be "La Curandera" by Elastic Bond (and here is a quick little slideshow to illustrate some of the vocabulary in the song). 


In addition to using two articles from VeinteMundos (el cuy and los curanderos) as resources for specific units in my AP class, every other week my students have to read/listen to an article of their choice from that site, fill in this form (created by Ann Mar), and give a two minute cultural comparison. This is to prepare them for the cultural comparison part of the AP exam. They are doing an excellent job comparing and contrasting the cultural topics with aspects of their own culture.