Curriculum Year 6 - Teaching Spanish with Novels - Mis Clases Locas

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Teaching with Novels

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Curriculum Year 6 - Teaching Spanish with Novels

Teaching Spanish with Novels 

Curriculum Year 6 - Teaching Spanish with Novels

You may think that it is crazy that I am already planning for next year, but I can not not help it, I love it! We may have just finished school last week, but I am always looking ahead to a tentative long term plan. At the end of the year I did Google form surveys in all classes asking which novels they liked best, how they felt about the difficulty level, as well as let them vote one which books sounded most interesting for next year. This feedback was so helpful as it guided which novels each level would read and in what order. The favorite book from Spanish 1 was Peter va a Colombia, Spanish 2 was Bianca Nieves y los 7 torritos, and Spanish 4 was Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. It is interesting that it was my first time teaching all three of those novels this year! 

Each level is composed of two semesters that are 18 weeks each, with about 50 minute classes. To see what I have done in past years see: Curriculum years 1-3 & Curriculum - year 4 & Curriculum year 5. Also, to see how I plan for upper level Spanish classes, see this recent post. To get more information about teaching with novels, check out the post Teaching a Novel 101Many of these novels could be taught in many different levels, but this is how I feel it will work best with my particular students. 

Curriculum Year 6 - Teaching Spanish with Novels

To start my tentative year plan, I first make a google sheet lined up with the school calendar by week. You can see it above and can get your own editable version here. I have all levels side by side so I can see what I will be tentatively teaching in all levels. It helps me as a department of one to split up movie units, as well as assessments so I am not swamped with grading from every class at once. I typically try for one novel unit per quarter, which is supplemented by authentic films, and other resources from the teacher's guides. This year I am also trying to do at least one Sr. Wooly song unit per quarter as well. You can see my tentative plans by level below. 

Curriculum Year 6 - Teaching Spanish with Novels - Spanish 1
novels for Spanish 1

Spanish 1 

(had 6 weeks of Exploratory Spanish 2 years ago which included Martina Bex Somos curriculum units 1-3 & Geography Mini Unit)

Curriculum Year 6 - Teaching Spanish with Novels - spanish 2
novels for Spanish 2

Spanish 2 

 See this post for previous Spanish experience. 

Curriculum Year 6 - Teaching Spanish with Novels - Spanish 3
novels for Spanish 3

Spanish 3 

 See this post for previous Spanish experience. 

Spanish 3 - Quarter 1

  • Robo en la Noche (past tense) Novel Unit ( I ended up using Noche de Oro instead)
Spanish 3 - Quarter 2
    Spanish 4 - Quarter 3
      Spanish 3 - Quarter 4
      • includes the movie Voces Inocentes

      (This year there is no Spanish 4 because of our move from trimesters to semesters.)

      Exploratory Spanish - 1 quarter each of 7th & 8th grade 

        8th grade - Exploratory Spanish 

        (Last year had one quarter and used the plans below)

        7th grade - Exploratory Spanish - I plan to do it similar to this post 

        Since this is tentatively planned out so far in advance I am well aware that there will be changes. Even so, I like to be able to see my whole year ahead of me, so I know where to focus my attention this summer (like the new new novels and Sr. Wooly songs I will be teaching next year for the first time). I know many of you have requested assistance with long term planning, so if there is anything else you would like me to go into more detail in another post, let me know. Finally, thank you all for reading and helping this blog pass 1,000,000 view yesterday!!

        Other Novel resources you may enjoy


        1. Did your literature circles take almost all of your quarter? What happened if a group finished their novel before the others? Going to try this for the first time next year

          1. Hi!
            Check out the linked lit circle post above for a lot more information! Each group makes their own calendar and plans their time accordingly over the given time frame. We watch El Internado every Friday too, so I have never had a problem with them do finishing too early!

        2. Hello! I love your pacing guide, and will likely be ordering some of your materials on TPT. I was wondering what the yellow and orange colors represent. Also, how did you decide do include McFarland USA near the beginning of Spanish I, and how do you use it (i.e. Spanish dubbing or subtitles, MovieTalk, etc.)

          1. The colors are for the type of unit they are.
            Purple - novel
            Yellow - Martina Bex Somos units
            Green - Sr Wooly or Movie
            Blue - culture
            Orange - other

            I like to do about 1 movie a semester and to spend them out in my classes to give me a sporadic break and change of pace. I always show movies with Spanish audio. In lower levels they have English subtitles, and in upper Spanish subtitles. McFarland USA is a great feel good, appropriate movie with a lot of cultural connections.

            Thanks for reading!

        3. Love all the great ideas you share on your blog. I was wondering since you are a department of one do you have an advanced placement course in your school for Spanish? If so how do you go about preparing your students for that through CI?


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