In level 3, we are teaching the book Robo en la noche by Kristy Placido. For most of my students, this is the first time that they are reading a novel in Spanish, and they seem to understand it well. I wanted to give some of the activities that we have done before reading and during reading:
- To start, we did an introduction to Costa Rica. I printed off some of my old news about Costa Rica. I also printed off some of the articles from El Mundo en Tus Manos from the previous year. I had students take notes on them and compare the US with Costa Rica by writing a short paragraph in Spanish.
- They also completed this EdPuzzle about Costa Rica to see more of the sights.
- We also went over the geography of Costa Rica from Elizabeth Dentlinger. This helped reinforce some of the words from the book as well. I like any activity where I can give input, and the students are active and able to demonstrate comprehension.
- We also watched this video from Zachary Jones on Biodiversity. Even though it isn’t about Costa Rica, it gives a good background about different animals and plants.
- Before reading the first chapter, we did a pop-up with sentences from the first chapter that I thought they would know. They really got into this game, and it helped to make the first chapter more comprehensible.
We always start with reading the first chapter aloud.
- This time, I had students draw the pictures as we were going. After that, students took a picture of their drawings and wrote a caption describing what was going on in the first chapter. They included this in their Seesaw journal. You can also have them explain the pictures by speaking if you want to.
- Finally, they played Crayon War or Guerra. Typically, I have played this with vocabulary words, but it was easy to make the switch to doing this as a fun post reading activity. I am including a picture below:
With this activity, I could give clues such as who is Bender (for horse/caballo) and Makenna’s sister who is still in Michigan (for Alex) in the target language. Students can hear many of the key facts again. They race to circle the correct word or phrase. This activity can be as long or as short as you like, too!
- For the second chapter, we started with a Write and Discuss from the first chapter. Since we are reading this book in the past tense, we are using this to highlight some of the past translations to demonstrate what they mean. This is a nice way to get in pop-up grammar by translating the verb.
- Students also completed a PearDeck as we read. I can have them draw scenes, translate sentences or answer questions while we go.
- Finally, we reviewed all of the characters, and students took notes on them.
- At the beginning of the next class, students made Play-doh sculptures from the first two chapters. (Although I had to ban planes because everyone was making planes!) Then students made predictions about what each play-doh represented. We reviewed each play-doh sculpture as a class to get even more repetitions of key words and phrases.
- For chapter 3, I gave students a reading guide to complete. I like to use reading guides to allow students to read on their own.
- Finally, after the third chapter, students completed a five minute free write of what happened in the book. I am trying to use free writes more to help students with their written proficiency. They can count up the number of words, and put the picture in Seesaw. This way, they can keep track of all of their free writes and their progress.
Also today in class we added a mascot! (Check out the first picture!)