I have discussed the idea of what to do with these news articles extensively in the past. While each edition comes with many activities and we try to keep them fresh, some days you just want to try something different. First, I encourage you to go back to previous online or reading activities. We recycle these from time to time, but one activity may have worked well with your students. ICYMI, check out:
- My unit that I developed for a level 3 class
- A presentation assessment that I used
- My Jamboards that I made as interpretive activities
- More ideas on how to use articles in class on a biweekly basis
- While I used this tertulia with my level 5 classes, it could be done with late level 3-level 4 with these articles.
However, if you have subscribed before in the past or just haven’t incorporated the articles into some of your classes, you have a bevy of resources. What can you do with older editions?! First, I keep a running list of all of the article subjects with the country and theme on a Google Sheets document that allows you to search to help you. This is included in the El Mundo subscription folder.
When do I use the articles?
- I bring articles out at various times when I am reading novels. I love sorting by country for this to include articles from the same country as the book. Plus, you can provide instant differentiation by choice! For example, when reading El Ekeko last year, I pulled an article about students from Bolivia who developed an award winning app, an indigenous women’s skate group and Bartolina Sisa who lead revolts against Spain. I was able to cover three different choices, and I could easily assign one of the activities which helps make the whole process quicker. However, many times you can also include the same topics. I have included various articles about baseball or softball while we are reading Felipe Alou.
- I create base units around some of the bigger topics. I have done this with Venezuela’s political crisis and the current protests around the Constitution in Chile. While it can be useful to talk about these events in real time as they are happening, many times by waiting, I am able to provide a fuller picture of all of the events. In addition, I can typically weave in a few more movements that are connected. This allows students to make more connections as well. I also pull up the authentic resources here to create a larger unit. By the time we have done some pre and post reading or listening activities, I have a full unit. (This post provides some other ideas on how to do so.)
- After practicing some, I can also use some of the older articles as interpretive reading assessments. Many times pre El Mundo en Tus Manos, I would rack my head trying to find appropriate infographics (that were legible when printed!) or an article that was interesting and comprehensible for my students. Now, I just grab an old article related to the theme that I haven’t used. I will have students identify key words, the main idea, supporting details and a connection to the topic we are studying.
- Many times, I will use a variety of these articles to reinforce various reading strategies. I will find some articles that are interesting to my students but not necessarily connected to any of our units. For example, one year, I noticed that many of my students in 4th and 5th grade were struggling identifying cognates. I could pull a variety of the level A articles to use and have them highlight all of the cognates they saw. I have done similar activities when students are working on identifying supporting details. We identify the main idea as a class and students identify supporting details individually.
- Finally, many of the articles tie into other topics that we discuss throughout the year. This past year, I have started identifying the titles and dates of past articles to help teachers find them and post the list in the Facebook group. Below is a graphic that I uploaded for a sports unit. While we cover popular sports such as baseball and soccer, we also try to find articles of sports that are not covered as much. I think about my former students when I find a really good article. For example, I was thinking of Vista High School where I taught in California that has a water polo team! My hope is that one of these articles will make you think about one of your students where you may not have any reading assignments for. This also allows to make any topic you are studying more robust and compelling for your students.
- Finally, if you have articles that you think are interesting but not particularly tied to any topic that you teach, I would save those for sub plans or emergency sub plans! Students could read two articles and do the activities then write a short summary where they compare them. This could be done in Spanish or English.
What are some activities that I do with younger students?
- While many of the articles are geared for older students, I have used many of these articles in elementary classes as well especially with the level A summaries! Some people also get stuck with the level A articles. I love to have students come up with emojis to represent various words in the articles. Especially in the level A summaries. I would have my students break up into pairs and try to replace as many words with emojis as they could. I used Jamboard for this digitally, but I have also had students do this by drawing. Another idea would focus more on the main idea: students could come up with three to four emojis that represented the whole article. If you give students a variety of articles, they could come up with the emojis then have the other students figure out which headline matches the emojis.
- I also will provide a list of false statements and have students correct them based on the article. Sometimes true/false statements can seem deceiving for students. When I tell them they are all false, they can work on figuring out the error. For older students, I would encourage them to find the answer in the text as well to explain how they knew the correct answer.
- In a variation of this, I will have students write two truths and a lie about the article. I read it aloud and students figure out which one is false. Depending on the class size, I would have the students do this with at least two different articles. The level A articles can be short and the truths and lies would get repetitive.
- If I were using more articles, I would also start with a scavenger hunt to emphasize themes as a pre-reading activity. I would have students pick out the words for countries, cognates, foods and any other topic that we had discussed before. I like to have students spread out with the articles to incorporate movement as well.
- I have mentioned a lot of post reading and pre reading activities for upper elementary students that would work perfectly for this age group in my Billy y las botas post. In particular, I like the word cloud, 1, 2, 3 salta and the low-key speaking activity as well.