Martina has done a wonderful job of writing up news stories, but with everything happening in South America recently, I felt compelled to write summaries for my students. I have been wanting to write about Venezuela for awhile now. In this edition, I have stories about:
- Political changes in Venezuela
- Mudslides in Colombia
- Political changes in Paraguay
- Chocolate festival in Bariloche
- A Guatemalan fashion designer with Down’s syndrome
I included a few more articles because I don’t want the articles consistently paint Latin America in a negative light. I worry that while these changes and disasters are important they will perpetuate stereotypes of Latin America. Pre-reading, I like to have students make predictions about the articles. Then they can read to determine if they are true or not. Here is my pre-reading activity:
- Nicolás Maduro es el presidente de Venezuela.
- El gobierno de Venezuela consiste en dos partes.
- Había una avalancha de lodo y rocas en Colombia.
- En Paraguay, el presidente puede optar para una reelección.
- Los presidentes de Paraguay tienen un término por 4 años.
- En Argentina, muchas personas quieren hacer la barra de chocolate más larga del mundo.
- En Guatemala, una muchacha que tiene síndrome de Down es una diseñadora de ropa.
To extend the last two activities, you could share a chocolate catalog from the store Del Turista. Students could choose which chocolate they prefer. Here is the Down to Xjabelle website and Instagram page. Without further ado, here is a PDF of the articles:
My main source is BBC Mundo, and the others include information about Bariloche’s chocolate scene, an article about Isabella, and NPR about lack of food and medicine in Venezuela.
Ever since Martina has done an excellent job of writing news articles, I haven’t written as much. Today, I kept looking for something to work with my class and then just decided to write it! I only wrote three news articles, but I found some interesting articles!
In the articles, I talked about:
- the wildfires in Chile
- food to eat in Colombia from the Hay Festival
- the baseball tournament going on in Mexico
I decided to use a Google Doc, so I could easily convert it to ActivelyLearn. I created an ActivelyLearn document. I cannot share it here due to the platform, but here are some of the questions that I asked:
- For the food, I took a poll about which foods students would like to try.
- Also, I asked if students like fish or not.
- With the wildfires, I had students convert Celsius to Fahrenheit.
- Students were also able to look at the original article and add other information.
- From the baseball series, the website had a list of places to visit and restaurants to visit. Students could look there and decide where to visit.
- We also took a poll of who they thought would win each game today. This also leads itself to nice follow-up conversations.
Last year, I had fun putting together predictions for 2016. I found them from el Nuevo Herald. If you have an advanced class, they could probably read the article by themselves. I simplified the Spanish for beginning classes. Also, there is a great commercial for Doritos with Walter Mercado who made these predictions. Hope you enjoy them and that they are useful in your class!
I recently discovered an article about an Argentinian man who flew throughout the country and internationally by stealing others’ credit cards for FOUR YEARS and for 30 flights! He also managed to become part of the frequent flyers’ club. This was perfect timing for my airport unit. I rewrote it for my students below:
Un muchacho viajó gratis por 4 años en Aerolíneas Argentinas. Martín Alejandro Fumarola compró 30 billetes con tarjetas de crédito de otras personas. Su destino principal era Córdoba en Argentina. También fue a Italia y Brasil.
El costo de todos los vuelos es US$2.000. Martín compró los boletos durante los días festivos y los fines de semana. Las personas que tenían las tarjetas de crédito supieron (found out) después del vuelo. Martín tenía que comprar los billetes la noche anterior del vuelo.
Martín también se unió (joined) en el programa de pasajeros frecuentes. Acumuló millas en su nombre. Era en el grupo platino (platinum).
La aerolínea descubrió el fraude. Martín pagó el dinero pero quería tener las millas del programa de pasajeros frecuentes. La aerolínea decidió que no va a seguir con el proceso legal pero Argentina va a seguir con el proceso legal.
To start, I am going to ask students in Spanish how long to predict someone could travel for “free” by using others’ credit cards. I will also ask them how many flights they think they could take. Also , it would be an interesting discussion about if it is fair or not. Should he be able to keep his miles or not?
I wanted to share my most recent take on “noticias” when I wrote up a few articles about the Olympic games for teachers who are back in school, and can talk about the Olympics! I discussed Honduras’ hope for a gold medal, the first person from Latin America to win a gold medal in these Olympics as well as a pretty awesome motocross Olympian from Colombia! I also gave a bit of information about some of the Latino athletes competing for the United States. I tried Adobe Spark this time for my presentation.
I also wanted to share a few authentic sites that you can use in your class for further conversation:
- Here is the official Olympic website in Spanish.
- Colombia has good coverage of the Olympics as well.
- Telemundo Deportes also has excellent video coverage of the games.
Enjoy and go USA!
I thought I would add another news article to my group. The topics for this edition include:
- Uber is coming to Argentina
- Restrictions on boats through the Panama Canal
- Movies from this week in Bolivia
- South American soccer qualifying games for the World Cup
To introduce these articles, I would have students brainstorm about what they know about the Panama Canal (or canals in general). Then, they could answer questions about any movies that they have seen recently. Also, have your students ever taken an uber? Does Uber exist where you live? You can preview the article also by saying that Uber is going to a South American country and have students guess where. As a post reading activity, you can check out Uber’s Argentina’s webpage. Also, you can have students search for the results of the upcoming soccer games.
Noticias Marzo II
I thought I would put together another throwback today! Martina mentioned on her blog that the noticias I have written would be good for FVR. I put them together in a PDF to make them accessible. You can also click here to find out the follow-up activities for each specific day. Overall, there are nine different editions on this document. I hope that the collection will be useful for you. I would love to hear how you use the noticias in your class!
I had a chance to publish more “news” in February for my students. In the edition of the news, I discussed:
- A French senator pushes European tourists to visit Honduras (and a few facts about Honduras in general)
- The death of the oldest Castro brother
- Argentina’s first team in the Super Rugby tournament
- The changes since Evo Morales became president in Bolivia and his request to be able to be re-elected
You can find the PDF below. Hopefully this creates some talking points for you and your students! Do you use news topics? How do you use them in class?
Noticias en febrero
This weekend is the Super Bowl! While the Super Bowl is not a traditionally “Spanish” topic, students love to talk about it. Plus, this year is only the second time that a Hispanic coach has been in charge one of the teams! I wrote a little brochure full of stats about the game along with information about Ron Rivera. I plan to use this as a starting point to discuss who the students think will win and what they will eat. Will they watch the commercials? What is their all-time favorite commercial?
El Super Tazon
I was writing a review reading practice for my Spanish II students. I wanted to include some current events, so I included a few news articles. It isn’t as long as my normal news, but I included three articles:
- The problems between Costa Rica and Nicaragua
- The invitations are out for Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello’s wedding! Did you get one?
- A soccer game between Ecuador and Venezuela
Hope you enjoy it!