I have found that I do a better job of explaining my day by day plans when teaching a novel if I post them as I go. I have just started teaching Brandon Brown versus Yucatán. I like to start with an introduction to the place- in this case Yucatán. I have used a collection of articles from El Mundo en Tus Manos before. It is great to recycle older articles! (FYI- If you have subscribed to the newsletter last year, I made a spreadsheet in the folder, so you can search by country and by topic!)
This time, I did two different things. To start, we watched a video about 10 places to visit in Mérida as a class. Students filled out notes as we were going about what they understood and saw. The purpose was that at the end they needed to be able to write where they wanted to visit and why. As I have written before, I am transitioning to give a communicative goal after some interpretive activities. This helps to give it purpose.
I always like to start reading chapter 1 with a PearDeck activity. The wonderful thing about PearDeck was that I was able to turn on student-paced a few times for students to answer multiple questions in a row or review some questions that they had already answered. This allows us to do whole class reading.
For the second chapter, students completed this reading guide. After they were done, we played the game Details, Details, Details from Señora Chase. AnneMarie has amazing games- and this is extremely low-prep and one of my favorites!
To review the first two chapters, I had students draw pictures on whiteboards. Then, they completed a gallery walk and determined what scene each picture was. We reviewed this as a whole class, so they would hear many of the same words. In the second chapter, Brandon and his family travel to Ek Balam. I searched and searched to find a YouTube video to put into EdPuzzle. I feel like this is one of the most comprehensible videos that I have found!
For chapter 3, we started with a quick prediction activity. The students read the first five sentences and decided if they were true or false before reading the book. Then, we read the book as a whole class, and they answered questions on individual whiteboards. One idea that has struck me later in my development while teaching novels is to make sure to recycle the information at the beginning of each chapter. In this case, it was as low key as asking students to list two facts from the previous chapter. Then, we read the chapter and I asked questions that students answered on whiteboards.
At the end, students practiced answering the questions in Spanish. I have them practice with two people and then I spot-check two of their answers. I then check off two of their spaces at the end. This helps develop their interpersonal conversations even though it is practiced, so it isn’t actually interpersonal.
The next day, students completed this Google Tour. At this point in the book, they have been to many different places! It was great for my students to see how far the resort was from Ek Balam and how long it would take to get there! As they were completing this, I could walk around and have each student practice his or her speaking from the day before. I gave my students a survey to see how much they were understanding. Some wanted to go on and some needed more review. I created two different activities– an input based activity (sequencing events and drawing pictures to represent them) and an output based activity (finding pictures and describing them via speaking).
Overall, I have seen that students are enjoying the novel and acquiring a lot of vocabulary.