Last year, I also blogged about activities for Thanksgiving and beyond. In that post, I detailed:
- A MovieTalk and a few other ideas that you can use after you complete the MovieTalk
- A few games that would get students motivated and back in the swing of things
- Activities for retrieval practice
You can check all of those out, as they are full of ideas for you! I always like reflecting back on these ideas as sometimes I forget them from year to year. However, this year, I want to share a new idea with you and explain WHY I am using it. My goal is to start including my why in many of my resource posts. My hope is that you will not only use these posts but learn more as well, so you can continue to do the same in your other lessons.
In my most recent post, I explained about ways to use authentic resources that I learned at ACTFL. One idea that I learned was to use calendars of events from a variety of countries. This would be a perfect way to start December especially in a novice class (example below).
But first- why? This authentic resource gives you a specific reason for discussing dates in a compelling context. In addition, you can touch on ACTFL Can-Do statements like:
- I can identify some basic facts from memorized or familiar words and phrases when they are supported by visuals in informational texts.
- I can request and provide information by asking and answering a few simple questions on very familiar and everyday topics using a mixture of practiced or memorized words, phrases, and simple sentences.
- In my own and other cultures, I can identify some typical products related to familiar everyday life.
You can start off the activity by giving students an empty December calendar. Have them fill in holidays that they celebrate on the calendar. Make sure to include key words on the board in the target language including birthday, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year’s Eve etc. Then, they can compare a calendar with a partner by speaking- discussing ¿cuál día en diciembre es importante en tu familia? See if they can find a similar date that they both celebrate in the target language.
Then, you can project this calendar on the board of festivals in Argentina. I like this particular calendar because it includes Hanukkah which dispels the myth that all Spanish-speaking countries just have Catholic people living in them. It also includes the start of summer. Ask students what they can understand from the calendar. Start out with a think-pair-share. Have students write down what they understand, pair with a partner and then share aloud. Then, you can discuss what the theme is to make sure that students understand this. You can also ask students what surprised them.
You can draw students attention to the national day of tango if your students haven’t mentioned it. You can ask students if they have seen tango dancing before (which they may have if they watched some of the popular dancing shows in the US) or if they have danced tango before to personalize it. You can also explain that tango dancing is featured in US TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. (Maybe some others! Ask your students!) Then, you can show a short clip of tango dancing. After this, have students brainstorm in small groups or pairs. If we were going to choose a national dance to celebrate in our country, what would it be? You may even want to look up if there is a day to celebrate it!
Then, you can discuss the fact that in Argentina (and other Spanish-speaking countries), it is summer time! Pull up the weather in Argentina now. Then, you could also discuss how we envision holidays in December and how they are in other Spanish-speaking countries (no snow on the ground!)
Give students the sentence starter of: Yo celebro… y en Argentina, hay personas que celebran… to create some new sentences. If time permits, you could have students investigate another celebration from the calendar.
I also like this activity because you can repeat it at the start of each month with a different country. How can you adapt it for your own classes?
Also, since tomorrow is Cyber Monday, I wanted to mention that my TPT store is on sale tomorrow and Tuesday! Make sure to use the code cyber19 when you check out!
Martina and I have included a ton of activities for each edition of El Mundo en Tus Manos this year, and it has gotten a lot of great feedback!
If you are looking for resources for the Spanish commercials from Spain, I plan on using Kara’s Danielle resources with my 8th graders. I also love last year’s commercial and made a unit for it as well.
If you are using Go! in class, I have a growing bundle that includes resources for up to episode 4.
I also have put a lot of my Integrated Performance Assessments there including an End of the Year Level 1 assessment, a restaurant assessment, a daily routine assessment, and a clothing assessment. If you are looking to make some of your units more proficiency based, I also have thematic ideas for the house, clothes, food and community.