Posted in Novel

21 ideas to use while teaching novels

21 Ideas to Use while teaching novels

Last year, I made the switch from using novels in addition to the textbook to just using novels without a textbook.  I would add if you are interested in incorporating a novel into your textbook curriculum, I have found a few places that work.  For levels 2 and up, you can use an easier novel at the beginning of the year for a review.  For all levels, you can use a novel at the end to wrap up the year.  I also like to use a novel in December because it is a shorter month with winter vacation at the end.  You can envision it as a mini-mester.

Although I have presented about how I use novels including activities that I enjoy, I haven’t blogged about it here in detail.  This is also a compilation of some of my other posts, so I hope that you (and I!) can save this as a reference.

Pre-reading activities:

  • Ahead of reading the chapter, I write out 5-6 sentences about what will happen in the next chapter.  Students then predict if the sentence is true or false.  Then, you can have the class vote for which sentences they think are true and which ones are false.  As they read, they are checking to verify their answers.  I have tried this as an adult and it was extremely engaging!  (Medium prep: all levels)
  • To change the previous activity to a lower prep activity, have students make the suggestions and predictions.  Then, students can indicate what they think is true or false from the predictions.
  • To introduce culture in the book, I like to find pictures from Instagram from the country featured to discuss in class.  As a class we discuss what we see and make predictions based on the picture.  We can also look at the short caption (which is likely to be comprehensible for most levels) and the hashtags.  You could also put two similar pictures next to each other and compare them.  Finally, if the pictures contain any key words from the reading, you can label them to introduce them as well.  (Low prep: all levels)
  • Start with a dictation.  Find 3-4 sentences in the upcoming chapter and read them aloud.  Students record down the sentences as they hear them.  This is when I encourage students to focus on both spelling and accents.  At the end, I project the sentences (or you can write them on the board yourself), and students correct their own sentences.  After this activity, have students translate the sentences.  You can pick sentences that may be difficult, so students already understand them in the text.  (Low prep: all levels)
  • To review and introduce vocabulary before the chapter or the novel, I like to import my Quizlet sets into PearDeck vocabulary.  Students practice writing sentences with the vocabulary or drawing a picture of the vocabulary as they work with a partner.  Then at the end, everyone votes on which sentences and drawings fit and which ones do not.  (Low prep: all levels)
  • Another way to review vocabulary before reading is to review key phrases through PQA or personalized questions and answers.  You can use either the vocabulary or upcoming topics in the chapter to ask students questions about their lives.  For example, before La Calaca Alegre we discussed nightmares and types of nightmares.  Since many of my students were juniors and seniors, we could discuss car accidents before Frida’s accident.  (Low prep: all levels)
  • One of my new favorite ideas last year came from Amy Lenord when she was discussing creating creators called Whiteboard Splash.  You could do this post or pre reading.  In this activity, I would give students key words from an upcoming chapter to use in a sentence.  Or I would give them a personal question that would connect to the chapter.  Students would record their answers on individual whiteboards.  Then, once they are done, other students would give feedback by giving an ! if they were surprised, check for me too, star for well written and a smiley face for like or funny.  I took out the disagree feedback to keep the activity positive.  Sometimes, I would encourage students to rewrite their answer to add more details after seeing others’ work. (Low prep: all levels)

During reading activities:

  • Give students each 4 sticky notes, and as they are reading, they record down four main events of the chapter in the target language.  At the end of the chapter in small groups or as a whole class, the students can organize their sticky notes in a timeline. (No prep: all levels)
  • Have students fill out the main questions for each chapter: who, what, when, where and why.  (Low prep: all levels)
  • I love using reading guides!  Students fill out main ideas, identify vocabulary and visualize scenes by drawing throughout the chapter.  This also helps students focus on the main ideas and concepts from each chapter if they are reading the chapter in pairs or individually.  (High prep: all levels)
  • Give each student a mini whiteboard and ask main questions for them to answer as you read the chapter as a whole class.  You can have students draw, translate, true/false questions- you name it!  Plus, most of my students love being able to write on the mini whiteboards!  (No prep: all levels)
  • Have students pause throughout the chapter, close the book and write down everything they understand/remember.  They could do this in the TL or English.  They then compare their summary with a partner and add anything that they forgot. (No prep: all levels)

Post reading activities:

  • Martina‘s collaborative mural is always one of my favorite activities!  I modified it a bit, so three to four students come up to the board at once and draw different parts of the past events in the novel.  Then, I discuss with the class each drawing.  I always start with the question “who is it?”  After, I will have students take a picture of the board, upload it to Seesaw and explain what is happening in the drawings based on our discussion.  They can do this by adding a voice comment.  (No prep: all levels)
  • For a technology task, I like to use either Kahoot or Quizizz.  For Kahoot, I like to use Jumble because students have to put events in order.  It is harder than the traditional Kahoot.  Other than Jumble, I REALLY prefer Quizizz to Kahoot.  Quizizz is faster because the questions come at the students’ pace instead of the whole class.  You can also assign Quizizz for homework.  When I assign it for homework, I like to give a minimum score for students to earn.  If not, they can just click through and not pay too much attention.  Also, depending on how popular the book is sometimes games have already been created!  (Low to medium prep: all levels)
  • For each novel, I have started creating Puedos from Laura Sexton.  Puedos are can do statements or questions that students can answer about the novel.  I have two columns.  Students can practice twice on each question with different partners and each partner initials that the student completed it successfully.  I also encourage the partners to HELP each other- not just say oh well if someone can’t do it.  At the end, I spot check about 4-5 of their Puedos.  (Here is an example of my Puedos from Piratas.) (Medium prep: all levels) Some of my favorite questions include:
    • Who is your favorite character? Why?
    • List two facts about the country/city in the book.
    • What does X character do?
    • Describe this character.
  • I enjoy doing a jigsaw activity after a few chapters.  I have done this to review after 4 chapters.  I have students break up into groups of 4.  Then each person from the group decides if they will review chapter 1, 2, 3 or 4.  All of the chapter 1 people get together, all of the chapter 2 people get together etc.  Then from their specific chapter, they write down 3 key words from the chapter, 3 key facts and 3 questions.  This year, I want to change it, so students create a hand out with the key words, key facts and questions.  Then, the next day, they will get back into their original groups.  Each person takes the 3 quizzes from the other chapters.  Then the “expert” from the chapter reviews them. (Low prep: all levels)
  • I like to have students recreate different scenes from the book.  One way is to use digital storytelling.  You have students recreate scenes then take pictures of their recreations.  If they use Snapchat or Google slides, they can add effects and captions.  Then you can talk about the photos like a PictureTalk and continue to provide more valuable input (No prep: all levels)
  • Another way is by using play-doh.  With the play-doh, students sculpt a scene.  Then, students walk around and write down what each sculpture represents from the book. As a class, students guess the sculpture and each person reveals the part of the novel that they were intending to sculpt! (No prep: all levels)
  • For reading activities, I like to have students make Google Forms to send out as quizzes for all of the students.  I encourage students to write around 5-6 questions and normally true/false or multiple choice.  Then the students can take their peers’ quizzes.  Not only does it help the students who are reviewing the book, but it also helps students learn how to make a Google Form (which far too few students know how to do!) (No prep: all levels)
  • This past year, I have also made some Google Tours for students to complete that go through locations of the whole book.  While this is DEFINITELY the most time consuming item, I believe that it is worth it!  It is fun to play around with Google Tours, and I believe that Google will continue to evolve this platform as well.  This post explains it more in depth, and it also gives two examples of Google Tours that I made with Bianca Nieves and El Ekeko. (High prep: all levels)
  • In the middle of the book, we have also completed vocabulary mind maps that Sara-Elizabeth suggests.  I like to think of categories to group vocabulary.  For example, in Piratas, I did Pirate actions and Spanish actions.  These are also great to display for when students are reading to help reference the vocabulary. (No prep: all levels)


Share your favorite activities below, and I will add them to the list! (Also if you are interested in learning about how I incorporate IPAs into my novel study, check out my video here!)

Posted in Technology

Google Tours and Slides with novels

google slides and tour builder

I have mentioned before that I really love the Google Teacher Tribe podcast!  I have found two of my newest favorite Google uses for the classroom recently.  One is super LOW prep, and the other is definitely high prep, but I have two that you can already use (and I think it is worth the sweat required to make it!).

I have loved the idea of Pecha Kucha since I first read about it on the Creative Language Classroom blog.  I heard them mention it in conferences too, and I thought- I need to do that!  Pecha Kucha is a presentation style where people can only talk about each slide for 20 seconds.  So here it is probably 5 years later, and I am finally getting around to it.  (True story- while there are some things that I implement immediately, there are other things that I just sit on for awhile.  Just because I love an idea, doesn’t mean that I use it right away!)  My students have been reading a variety of novels.  So I made a blank slideshow in Google Slides and invited all students to collaborate on it- that’s it!  That was all of my prep!  Each student had about 5 minutes to find two pictures that represented some part of the book and include their name.

Then, they had to describe the picture and what was happening in the book in 30 seconds (I stretched it a little).  They did this in front of the whole class.  A few things that I did to keep it a BIT lower stress- if they finished early, I would ask them questions.  I also allowed them to stay in their seats if they preferred.  Finally, if they would rather talk with a friend, I allowed them to talk about one picture for a minute by alternating talking with a friend.  My smaller class was easier to do, but I think my longer class dragged a bit.  To help for next year, I want to have students write down two new words that they hear in each presentation.  Since I hope that hearing others on their level will help them remember words to incorporate into their own discussions about the book, this would be effective.

The next idea is to use Google Tours with novels!  (I had only heard about this for one year before using it- so a bit better on the implementation curve! 😉  I am using Bianca Nieves in level 2 and El Ekeko currently in level 1.  However, I am confident that you can find ways to incorporate this into many of the books!  (I wish that I had figured it out sooner for La Calaca Alegre.)  I figured out how to make these tours based on Jen’s super helpful post on Secondary Spanish Space.  Essentially, you can put pins down to create a tour of any part of the world.  Then, you can add pictures, links or videos to each “stop.”  You can also have students drag the little yellow person symbol to the screen and they will get an automatic street view!

I gave my students a handout to write on as they were exploring.  I believe that this is easier than trying to navigate back and forth between screens.  (Maybe because I am getting older??!)  You can see my example of the tour from Bianca Nieves including a trip to a bull farm and the city next door!  (I kept it all in the same town, but you could go to Madrid with the larger Plaza de Toros.)  Here are my guiding questions that I used.  Also, here is my tour for El Ekeko through La Paz.  The questions are linked here.

I would love to hear how you have used either tool!


Posted in Novel

My biggest mistakes using novels (and how I fixed them)

My biggest mistakes using novels and how I fixed them

With my beginning levels, I started teaching novels.  It was going decently, but still many students didn’t enjoy them.  I didn’t feel like I was reaching as many students as I wanted.  However, after studying how more people used novels in class and developing my units, I have realized my biggest mistakes and how I have started to counter them in class.  This has made my novel units much more successful- and now I have at least two novels to read in each level.

My first mistake was almost always reading as a group and translating aloud.  Now this can be valuable, but it also gets tedious as we continued to do this chapter after chapter.  I have found that if you have taught enough of the vocabulary, it is also not always needed.  However, this is typically how I start the first chapter.  This gives students confidence about what they can do.  Then, I change it up.  Instead of reading aloud, I will give them reading guides for a chapter then we can continue to discuss important points.  On my Facebook page, I recently shared a reading guide that I used for chapter 2 with Frida Kahlo.  I also like to have students use whiteboards, and we will pause, so students can illustrate different aspects of the book.  This provides a quick brain break, and I can provide more input- or ask students what they drew!  With my level 5, I am also going to have them read independently and respond to my questions on Flipgrid.  I wouldn’t try this with earlier levels since it may be a bit too difficult.  I have also put some questions on PearDeck which allows students to answer longer questions, multiple choice and also draw.  This provides a nice balance of all of them.  I can put it on student-paced, or we can go through a chapter together with PearDeck.

I have written about this before, but I was also horrible about Reader’s Theater!  I had two main problems- we were reading it WHILE they were trying to act it out.  The actors got antsy.  Reader’s Theater is the best AFTER reading.  This will reinforce the concepts, and students really enjoy it, so they aren’t frustrated that they are hearing the information twice.  Also, my other big mistake was having students reenact the whole chapter!  Even in beginning readers- it was too long.  There were some parts that were not suitable to even reenact.  Again, both readers and actors got antsy.  I suggest keeping it to one page or a page and a half if there is a larger continuous stage.  This year when we reenact it, I will have someone create a video to be included in our year end video.

Also, if you want to include all students in the re-enactment, I suggest digital storytelling!  I have students use Snapchat (although now they could also use Instagram Stories) to take pictures AND edit them.  They can also include a caption in the target language.  It is fun when they also add stickers to explain it more.  Then, they download the picture instead of publishing it.  (Although, they could also publish it.)  This way, they can submit it to you without you even having to be on Snapchat.  Students snapchat so much, they can do this in about 15 minutes.

My last mistake was not incorporating the great culture that is included in the novels.  I tried some, but I could have included much more!  We can listen to music from the country where the novel is written.  In Billy y las botas, we made sure to listen to the song El Burrito Sabanero before the sweater sings it.  Before another chapter in Frida that mentions the Mexican Revolution, I had students complete a short EdPuzzle to give them background before it is mentioned in the unit.  I also put together an EdPuzzle for Chichén Itzá before Billy y las botas go there on a date.  There are so many concepts that could be covered; I encourage you to find some that you know your students will like and you enjoy discussing as well.

Finally, my newest tool to use with novels is Goosechase!  You can come up with a scavenger hunt to give clues throughout the scavenger hunt.  I tried this last year with vocabulary, but Sharon had awesome ideas on how to use it with novels.  If you can, I encourage you to try it!

Originally, I believed that it would be really easy to use novels in class, but it definitely takes some time to figure it out.  How do you incorporate novels?  Were there any lessons that you learned?

Posted in telenovela

Telenovela Days 4-6

End of the Year- Telenovela Unit Days 4-6-De que te quiero te quiero

Here are my plans for the next few days with the telenovela:

Day 4:  We had not watched that much of the telenovela.  I wanted to dedicate more time to showing the episode, so they could get into the episode more.  We started out a la Laura Sexton.  I wrote sentences that could happen next.  The students predicted if these statements are possible, probable or not possible.  (Although some students predicted that it is ALL possible with a telenovela!)  After that we continued the episode with some great lines when Diego and Natalia meet, and he calls her an angel.

For homework, I found a clip online and had students watch it and answer questions in English.

Day 5:  My students took a listening/reading quiz on the telenovela.  I used a clip from episode 3 because I thought that some students may have watched episode 1 to the end.  (Although one student is on episode 7! I felt that if she had watched that much TV in Spanish, she deserved the extra bump on her quiz.)  I used the subtitles in Spanish since this assignment is typically harder than one I would use for this level.  They answered questions in English then I added some questions in Spanish because there was a music scene without any words.  The students described what happened in Spanish.  Overall, I wanted students to be able to explain what was happening in general terms.  They did not always understand line for line, but most of them were able to get the gist of the section.

Day 6:  We continued to watch the video.  I also created a Voicethread for them to complete.  I took screenshots of a few of the clips, and then students described what was happening without using their notes.

Hope this is helping you if you are showing this telenovela or another one!  My students and I are really enjoying it.  I am including my guides below for the study guide and the second part of the telenovela.

de que te quiero te quiero 2

listening practice quiz telenovela

Posted in telenovela

Telenovela End of the Year Unit Days 1-3

End of the Year- Telenovela Unit Days 1-3-De que te quiero te quiero-

Many times, I feel that we rush through the year and at the end of the year we try to push ONE MORE topic on our students.  I decided that I wanted my students to really use what they learned.  I was inspired by Laura’s telenovela unit!  I also wanted to start my students on a Netflix series that they could choose to watch at home this summer.  I decided on the telenovela “De que te quiero te quiero.”

I will go through my first three days, and I will update as I go.

Day 1:

I started with a list of questions for my students in Spanish.  Did they know anything about telenovelas?  Did they know the names of any telenovelas?  Did they watch a soap opera in the US?  Did they watch Ugly Betty or the NBC series Telenovela?

Next, they completed a KWL (Know, Want to know and Learned) chart.  They wrote down what they would want to know.

After this, I gave them a handout.  I asked introduction questions in Spanish: who watches telenovelas, when they watch them, where they are popular, what types of telenovelas exist, why people watch telenovelas and then they can add three additional details specific to their article.  I used the same three articles that Laura mentions.  The students completed that as a jigsaw activity.  (After I was inspired by a recent #langchat conversation!)  They had to divide into groups of three, then each person from the group of three read a different article.  At the end, the original groups all compared their notes.  Different articles highlighted or confirmed different sections, so it required students to complete their individual section.

Day 2:

We reviewed some of the past tense work that we have done.  Then the students watched the preview video here.  Students seemed to get excited to watch the telenovela.  Then we watched the telenovela.  I would pause the video, and we would describe the scene.  They would also fill out the accompanying worksheet below.  We watched about 5 minutes.  At the end, students also included filled out the details for each character.  Then for homework, the students can either predict what will happen or retell the beginning from the point of view of Natalia or Andrés.

Day 3:

For the third day, I found an interview with the male protagonist Juan Diego Covarrubias.  It focuses on his second role more, but it also gives nice background about how he exercises and how he met his girlfriend.  On our LMS, I created a multiple choice question assignment for students to complete.  At the beginning, I asked students to describe both Natalia and Andrés.  Then, we continue with the telenovela for a little over 5 minutes.  We continue to describe the video in addition to filling out the viewing guide.  I am including the viewing guide below.

I hope that if you are planning on showing a telenovela that you consider watching De que te quiero te quiero! (Edited to add: I noticed some typos after I published this!  I updated the document, but please tell me if you see anything else!)

de que te quiero te quiero 1


Posted in Reading

Independent Reading: Novel Project

Washington Memorial
Washington Memorial

Next year, my Spanish II blended students will be reading a novel of their choice at the end of the year.  I am going to give them a choice of three different novels.  They will be reading on their own, and I will have small face to face groups during their class setting.  They will have to keep track of their progress and new words while they are reading.  At the end, they will create a project to demonstrate their knowledge of the book.  I am including my reading log and projects as well.  Many of these ideas I saw elsewhere.  I originally saw the idea by Kristy Placido for Robo en la noche.  I am excited to implement this!


Posted in Project, Reading

Foldable for novels

At the end of each year, my students read a novel.  My students in Spanish 1A read Mira’s Agentes Secretos, and my students in Spanish 1B read her book Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto.  As I have said before, they are great novels, and many of the students feel really successful after reading them because they are at their level.  I wish that I had found this at the end of the year, but I will definitely use it this year!

Students can create a secret door foldable.  Students can create different scenes on each layer.  The YouTube video gives directions on how to assemble them.  I know that many teachers use choice boards to have students express their knowledge of the book.  This would be a perfect activity to add to these boards.

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 24, 2018

Brillante Viernes Aug 24

Happy Friday!  Next week, I am officially back in school and summer is over.  Luckily, I had time this week to finish up all of my last minute to do items.  I also started decorating my classroom because my first day back at school will mostly be me catching up and chatting with my friends.  Is anyone else the same?  As much as I love summer and the beach, I also get so excited to see my friends and new students again.

Here are some of my favorite posts to read this week:

  • Check out this post on how to organize a classroom!  My favorite is #7.
  • On CI Peek, Arianne has been blogging about many of the sessions from iFLT.  Check out this one in particular about using music in the classroom!
  • I love this authentic resource that Zachary Jones uses for a beginning of the year activity.
  • This activity to recreate an Instagram story within Google Slides is perfect after a novel or story.
  • Also, I was nodding along vigorously listening to the most recent We Teach Languages podcast!  If you want to learn more about proficiency, make sure to listen.

Flashback to previous posts on my blog:

Posted in Authentic resources, Teachers Pay Teachers

Supplemental CI and authentic resource activities for a textbook

supplemental ci and authres activities for a textbook

I am not a big jumper- in fact I frequently advocate for small change.  I admire people who ditch their whole curriculum and textbook and make sweeping changes.  I had been playing around with comprehensible input, teaching with novels and teaching for proficiency for about seven years before I ditched my textbooks completely.  I also work in a department with other teachers who like to teach more grammar and vocabulary lists than I do.  I need to make sure that my students are prepared for their classes.  Therefore, my class is always evolving, but I try to make my students successful in my class and hopefully in their next class as well.  As I continue to think about what I want to do here on my blog, one of my big goals is to help teachers who are transitioning from a textbook or who work in a department where their colleagues still use more traditional approaches who were just like me.  I also believe that it is possible to combine both proficiency style methods and CI methods as well.  So much so that I explained how I did this in a video earlier this summer.  After the video, I went over a series of lessons that I would do to combine both.  But this can also seem daunting- and I know that.

Recently, I have been working on a project to make both CI and proficiency resources for textbook units.  I currently have finished two: clothes and house.  These are all supplemental activities to help teachers who still use a textbook.  For both resources, I wrote three articles.  They aren’t current events, but I include some relevant news with a biography of a famous Hispanic person associated with the theme.  I then wrote pre-, during and post reading activities to accompany these readings, so teachers will have activities to accompany them.

I have also included one other CI activity (Clipchat/MovieTalk or a story to tell/draw) in each packet.  Then, I included an interpretive reading activity from an authentic reading and a listening activity.  Finally, I included puedos to incorporate into the unit.  I would love feedback on if this works for you in your classroom.  I hope that teachers can find ways to work these into their existing textbook series.  Then, as they become more confident and comfortable, they can continue to make more changes.  I hope that you will find these useful!  Let me know if there are other units that I should tackle.

If you are interested, wait until Tuesday, August 21 to buy these units!  My whole store will be 25% off!

Posted in beginning of the year, Music, Review

Back to school week: Ways to avoid a review

Ways to avoid a review

Day 3 of back to school week!  If you missed day 1, I talked about my first few days worth of lesson plans.  Yesterday, I discussed curriculum changes that I was making from last year and included an outline of what I taught in level 5 last year.  Today, I will share how I skip the review, but still ease students into the new year!

Many times, teachers plan to start each year with a review.  While you do need to evaluate where students are and where they need to go, there are some ways to make it novel and refreshing instead of just review.  Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite ideas to start the year off fresh:

One way to get to know your students through a Special Person or Star of the Day interview.  I love this idea for both level 1 and level 2.  I love the guiding questions that Kara uses.  There are 20 questions, so I normally pick some to include with each student to change it up.  Plus, with these questions, you can go over any topic!  Want to review food?  Ask students about their favorite food or restaurant.  Since we wear uniforms to school, I like to ask students what they like to wear on the weekends.  Many students play sports, so you can ask the sports questions to those students.  I read about this after we had done our interviews, but I either want to do a Write and Discuss with my students or have them write up summaries of each student to hang around the room.

Another big topic for many teachers is to do a card talk at the beginning of the year.  Each student draws something that they like on a card then the teacher asks questions about it and interviews everyone in the class.  I LOVE this for beginners, and I use this with my level 1.  However, I wanted something where I could go a bit more in depth with levels 3 and 5.  I decided that they can draw their best moment from last year or something they are looking forward to this year.  Then, I will ask students questions about it throughout various classes.  I know some teachers can stretch it out for a whole class, but I prefer to do a few each class.  Also, I know that teachers like to give a pre-assessment to determine where students are and what to work on.  This activity can knock out two pre-assessments.  After they draw their picture, I will have them write a summary in Spanish as a free write.  I will then collect them, so I can see any areas that I need to focus on.  I will also be checking in with their speaking during our interviews.

Two years ago, I developed my Netflix unit for my students because they enjoy talking about what shows they watch.  I really enjoyed it, and I used it again this year.  It could easily be used in a level 3 class as well.  I like how you can cover many of the basic topics from level 1: description, action, reading- all in one unit!  You can think of a way to repackage the old themes in a more comprehensive way like this.

In level 3 this year, I plan to start with a novel.  None of my level 3 students have read a novel before, but this year, it will be required.  When you start the year with a novel especially with students who haven’t read a novel before, I suggest using a novel that is easier for students.  I love Señor Wooly’s graphic novels, and I know that they will be a hit and an exciting way to start level 3.  While I plan on using his newest book this year, I am sure that a lot of my plans will be similar to Billy y las botas.  I know many teachers who like to start with the Brandon Brown books because they are so comprehensible and will boost student confidence.

Finally, the last way that I will weave review into our class is through music.  There are so many wonderful songs out there that it can be very easy to find new ones for students each year.  I have mentioned numerous times and to anyone who listens how much I love Kara’s approach to music.  She starts with explaining the song by drawing the story and labeling it on the board when necessary.  I always let students draw the story or take notes if it helps them to pay attention while I am talking.  Then, students are able to watch the video which further provides more understanding for them.  I have used them with both level 1 and 2.  I LOVED how much my students retained from these descriptions and songs.  Sharon Birch who has pretty much always been the queen of music to me has also tried to do some similar ideas with embedded readings with Fiesta by Kalimba.

This year, I wanted to try this with my level 3 students and up.  I have been excited to have the time to really search for some videos that I like and develop activities to work with them.  I have started to create a story to tell.  I have used Nacho y Ozuna’s Casualidad and Ventino’s Me Equivoqué.  (Casualidad does have a racy lyric or two, but I didn’t focus on that during the song.  I really like the story behind it which is why I used it.)  I am sharing both of the songs here!  Both songs have a story written that you can draw and discuss.  I have also included pre-readings that give background information about the singers along with a Google Quiz Form for students to take.

For Casualidad, I included a follow-up story about a real life encounter on the train and a Quizlet set to play Quizlet live.  For Me Equivoqué, I created a cloze activity and included some personalized questions to use with students for discussion before the story and song.  I encourage you to try this technique while you are using music in your class!  I hope that you will find similar positive results that I did.

ps: Don’t forget that there is a sale at Teachers Pay Teachers today and tomorrow if you have been planning on purchasing something!