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Teaching with Novels

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Who are you? - Activity for any level of Spanish

CSCTFL Takeaways


In order to help myself reflect on all of the greatness that I learned at #CSCTFL17, I am going to be blogging my takeaways from some sessions I attended. You can find links to shared presentations on the Pinterest board hereresources for my presentation about teaching with novels here, or search #CSCTFL17 on Twitter.


Interactive Input: Beyond Simple Questions and Personalization
Mira Canion - MiraCanion.com


I started my Central States 2017 conference with the energetic Mira Canion. I have taught using two of her novels in class (Tumba and Fiesta Fatal) and have always wanted to see her present. She did not disappoint and even introduced me to the concept of “Interpersonalization,” where you keep the input flowing, while monitoring comprehension in interpersonal activities. The basis of the presentation was on one activity, with the idea was that a simple question could lead to complex thinking. It could be used in novice classes and beyond. It would be great for the novel La Calaca Alegre, which focuses on the theme of identity.

Who are you? - Activity for any level of Spanish - Mis Clases Locas


Activity - Who are you? - share by Mira Canion

  • Give students two minutes to write in the target language on the prompt Who are you? Make sure to let them know that they will be sharing in both small and whole group settings.
  • Once the timer goes off, have students pick the two words that most define them.
  • Students walk around the room doing hands up, pair up to find partners. (If they need a partner, they raise  hand, and high five someone else to identify partners).
  • In partners say the chosen two words. If either of the words match, students put a thumb up for each match.
  • This repeats until students have ten partners.
  • At this point, students sit and write a reflection. This way once students are asked to share as a whole group, they all have something to say.
This activity would be great with lower levels as it is low anxiety with only using two words, and allows for students to show their understanding without even talking. Even early Spanish one could come up with two words to describe themselves in Spanish. It would be a great getting to know you or back to school activity. The teacher is free to roam and listen, getting to know the class, and students get to see what words their classmates use to describe themselves.

To level up this activity, students could instead share two sentences, or after sharing add other words. To mix it up it could also be changed into four corners based on what kinds of words are chosen (job, hobby, personality, identity, etc). After the activity the teacher can circle with a variety of questions to continue to get more repeated exposure to the vocabulary. For another twist the same activity steps could be completed, but instead of just talking about themselves it could be a famous historical figure or a character from a novel that is being read in class. 



After Spring Break, Spanish IV will be starting the novel La Calaca Alegre, which focuses on the theme of identity. I think this year, we will start with an expanded version of Who are you?, which will them move into this activity I have done previously on Mi Identidad. I love when I leave a conference with a concrete idea that I can put into action right away!

What are your CSCTFL17 takeaways?

2 comments

  1. I can't wait to try this in my Spanish I class. I think it will be the perfect review of describing oneself after our Spring Break. Thanks for sharing these amazing ideas!
    Libby @ https://mellamoprofehess.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thanks Libby! I look forward to reading more of your blog. I am your first subscriber on Bloglovin!

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