I have NINE school days left before Spring Break, and I know many of you have 15 days left to go! These are trying times in the life of a teacher! We can do this! I am giving a test in Spanish 2 this Thursday, and then I have 5 school days to inspire those restless kiddos!
I wanted to share a few ideas for you if you have just a handful of days to plan for and need to up your game a bit to hold their attention.
1. Try a short, compelling reading. There are lots of interesting topics you can focus on. I like to find an interesting news story, cultural tidbit, or current event and type it up in comprehensible Spanish. Read it together or as a class, then discuss. Compare it to a situation that is familiar, make it silly, or act it out! You can ask your upper-level students to find cool stories for you, type them up in Spanish, and add cool photos. Then all you have to do is spiff up their errors, print, and use with the lower levels!
I wrote up a funny news story about the Dominican baseball team who was on a big winning streak a few years ago. One of the pitchers kept a banana in the pocket of his uniform pants! The team began to think it was their key to success. It is a funny story and funny to discuss! For added input, make up a kahoot or a quizizz about the story!
2. Music is a great way to spice up a class that has hit the doldrums! I recommend finding a song that has an upbeat rhythm, some great vocab and a cool video. Enrique Iglesias and Juan Luis Guerra perform Cuando Me Enamoro together and it has a series of “love story” vignettes in the video. Each one is a little story! Make the video into a movie talk and discuss! Take screen shots of the video (hit the print screen button on your computer) and paste into PowerPoint or a google slide show. Then, use those slideshows to discuss the “story” in the video.
I have several “movie talk” songs and I even sell a bundle of 3 songs that lend themselves to movie talk (I sell them separately too). There are lyrics, activities and readings for each.
3. Speaking of movie talk, it is a really fun way to feel creative even when you are ready for a break! The storytelling aspect has already been done for you, all you have to do is provide the input. I recommend the film short Alma if you like a really creepy doll story, La Historia de un Oso is great on its own but also has an amazing story behind it that relates to Southern Cone dictatorships, and the Zoo Ave organization produces awesome commercials with environmental messages!
Search online for “movie talk” and the language you teach. There are lots of teachers who have already done the hard work for you!
4. Another great way to kill, er, I mean enrich the last couple of days before a break is with a quality film that provides a great social message. 2 of my favorite immigration films are La Misma Luna and Una Vida Mejor. Don’t just SHOW the films, stop and discuss as well! I have created readings for every film I show in class, and we don’t just passively watch, but rather we watch, discuss, read, and describe! Once again, take screen shots of the movies and use those to discuss!
Another favorite pre-Spring Break movie is Cinco Amigas. It is set in Argentina and is just a really FUN movie to watch. I have created a reading and some activities for that movie as well.
5. Play a game! My students are currently huge fans of the game Mafia. I learned about Mafia from Martina Bex, and she has promised we can play it in person this summer at the iFLT conference!
Here is a link to a free Internado-themed Mafia game I created!
So, here’s to surviving until Spring Break! I know we can do it!