As I have said before, next year, I will be teaching Spanish II. I haven’t taught Spanish II for 5 years, so I was reviewing my old hand-outs and materials. I came across a ton of simulations. Simulations are situations that try to mimic authentic situations that could happen. The teacher can add a ton of props or keep the props minimal. I remember how much my students loved them, and I have not used as many in the past years. (Ok- let’s be honest, I used one!) I definitely want to integrate more back into my curriculum. Summer is the perfect time to plan simulations.
I wrote the situation all in English. I wanted students to come up with the language themselves. However, for a more elementary/beginning Spanish class, you could write out more of the conversation in Spanish and have them complete it. I am going to give these sheets to them the day before, and their homework will be to prep for the simulation.
In order to write a simulation, you have to think about what situations could happen. The most obvious one would be a restaurant or buying clothes/school supplies etc. You could have students perform these tasks cold turkey; however, I like to give my students some time to prep especially when we start simulations. I wrote the following example for our airport unit. One student will be traveling to Costa Rica, and another student will be checking them into their flight. To prepare, I have the student traveling find their ticket using a Spanish website, and the airline attendant has to prepare a blank ticket to fill in for the customer. They also are provided with a list of things to ask each other. They can either write out key words or write a full conversation.
When they come to class, we will set up the desks like airline counters. You could be elaborate and have airline signs and luggage. All of the students check-in initially at the same time. This could be done as a skit, but I would think it would become tedious. Once students have done this, they can find their seats. The YouTube channel Mis Cositas has a ton of in-flight videos. I have brought in “in-flight beverages” and a “snack” before. I try to find some sodas in different flavors like pineapple and cookies from a Hispanic grocery store. I designate a flight attendant to pass them out. You could also have the flight attendant go over some “security measures” if you like.
Finally, after the in-flight movie and snack, they complete a customs declaration. I downloaded a copy from Costa Rica. It is a Word Doc, so you could delete the English translations. Finally we are in the country! You could also stamp their passports. Again, much of this could be modified depending on how long you want this to last. My simulations have lasted around 45 minutes. You can also switch roles. For example, each person could take turns being a customer and airline attendant. I am including the customs document and hand-out for the students. Enjoy!