Thursday, May 18, 2017

Movie Activities for Teaching Preterite and Imperfect tenses in Spanish 1!


Borrón y cuenta nueva: changing the way I teach

    
 A few years back while teaching middle school Spanish, I would not have gone near the preterite and imperfect tenses in Spanish I. In fact, I am ashamed to say that we barely scratched the surfaced with the preterite. We did plenty of reading (before I discovered TPRS/CI). I had the Pobre Ana readers (which was one of the best units) or I just created my own resources, especially those that allowed my students to tackle global problems (IB curriculum) in Spanish I.

Although my views of language acquisition were heavily influenced by what I read from Krashen and another language theorists, I had this threshold in my head of how far we could go in the lower levels of Spanish (5-8). It really was a fixed mindset, a glass ceiling of student potential, which started to shatter over the years; maybe some of you can relate. However, the last few years, I have been experimenting with many different methodologies, and now, I can safely proclaim that my hashtag is now "#borrónycuentanueva." 

Deepening my understanding of the nature of language learning has inevitably fostered more rich and robust experiences for my students. My project-based learning units go more in-depth and privilege the language and process over the final product. My classes have been more communicative and my lesson plans are stitched together more tightly around the core goal of receiving quality input and the emphasis on thinking skills such as inferencing as so forth. Now, I am on the cusp of another strategy that brings the best of all modes: MovieTalk.  

Looking for more resources on teaching film? Check out the links below!

Free film unit starter kit- Movie visuals, questions, vocabulary and speaking engagements 

Cine Colombia-Resources for the short film: El Almuerzo. Click here for the synopsis activities. 

Film Unit Page- wide range of activities including trailers and short grammar/viewing activities for Spanish series


There are two activities I'd like to highlight in this post: 
1. My Wanna-be-Movietalk activity (my-inching-approach to Movietalk)
2. Circumlocution activity we did with a Spanish TV series (this was very fun). 


Wanna-be-MovieTalk


My expertise in terms of Movietalk is at about the Novie-low level, hence the graphic to the right of the text. The activity shared in this post is an approximation to Movietalk as stated above.  It may not be cookie-cutter perfect but I got a lot of mileage out of it and my students responded very well to the activity, hence me wanting to share it with the language community.  






Movietalks prizes itself on using animated silent films to provide controlled, quality input thus equaling comprehensive language to students. In these films, the focus is on the action and its sequence and less on what was actually said (hence the preference for silent animated films).  Furthermore, the absence of dialogue frees the teacher to use the film as a blank canvass from which he/she has autonomy in focusing on selected structures. This is what I loved about my attempt to "Movietalk." I used the film: The Defective Detective (featured in the picture above). In the paragraph below, I'll plot out how I used this movie to practice the imperfect and preterite tenses (again, in the real MovieTalk, you are supposed to focus on one structure). 

Click here for the activity!

Below are some very useful and bonafide examples of  Movietalk, and they abound, are below:

Check out the Balcony Girl Movie Talk, the resources are amazing! It is a great addition to any unit highlighting reflexive verbs!

I really liked this activity and best of all it is free!
https://williamsonci.com/2017/05/06/extra-materials-for-balcony-girl-movietalk/

Background information on Movietalk- this really helped me to develop an appreciation for my new way of engaging students.  

http://glesismore.com/movietalk/preview.html

How to do movie talk
https://tprsquestionsandanswers.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/how-do-i-do-movietalk/

Circling
https://martinabex.com/teacher-training/essential-strategies-for-tprsci-teachers/how-to-circle/


Last year's use of the Defective Detective 

When I used this movie last year, we simply watched it and I had students use the preterite and imperfect tenses to describe what was going on. Why is this not the most effective manner in using resources such as this? 

1. I was forcing students to create based on limited input (completly wrongo!)
2. With the fast pace of the short film, it was difficult to keep up so this inevitably raised the affective filter and students were not ready to take risks. 


This year's Detective Defective

This year, I did the same film but incorporated some of the elements from Movietalk. Again, this was not a bonafide Movietalk as prescribed in the TPRS community, but it was my attempt at using the film to create a safe class culture, providing input and eliciting responses that were aligned to our communicative goals for the day, and it was great! 

Click here for the resource that I created, it is totally free. I did this Movie-Communicative activity with my Spanish 1 students, but this could easily be done with higher levels of Spanish. The lesson took about an hour. 

What does this free resource include?: 


Warm-up activity 1 
¡Qué escandaloso!

1. For the warm up activity, I had students look at the screen shot and then imagine that the main character was reading an event that took place in their Spanish class. They then had to write 3-5 sentences about what happened in class. This comes on the heels for several classes being exposed to input using the preterite and imperfect tenses. Activities such as building a story together and re-working the chapters of Agentes Secretos were several preparatory activities implemented. 


The Prensa (the main character reads a newspaper, hence to connection to writing an article) activity included a “Reminder about the preterite.”


For the writing activity, a student example is provided: ¡El estudiante saltó sobre los escritorios! 
This short vignette allows students another exposure to how the past tense is used in Spanish. In preparing for this activity, I read Martina Bex’s article on MovieTalk. Although this activity is more of a variation of Movietalk, the key takeaway was exposure to the language, and that is exactly how the activities were designed. 

Click on Martina’s article here: 

2. Activity 2: La prensa 
Students write about what happened their class, using the preterite tense. They use the newspaper-like template to carry this out, which is included in the document. 

3. Activity 3: El imperfecto 
Students read a“Reminder about the imperfect.” For simplicity, I only teach a few forms. 

4. El estudiante escandaloso revisited 
For this activity students reread the vignette in the beginning, only this time with the imperfect tense sprinkled in. This mirrors what they will do for their short vignette.  Students then rewrite the (fictitious) event that happened in class, only this time sprinkling in the imperfect tense (as done in the example). 

5. El preterite versus el imperfecto
 For this activity, students recognize the different forms of the preterite and imperfect tenses. This could be utilized as a previewing activity as well.  They completed a preterite/imperfect activity. Many of the words were used during the "Wanna-be-Movie-Talk." They were exposed to these words again during our "input session" and then again with the information gap activity.

6. Guided Oral Questions for Movie
 I used a script of questions to guide the movie discussion. I just wrote down what I was going to say because I'd forget. This was the most AMAZING PART! I could not believe how students, after about two classes of differentiated communicative activities with some basic instruction on the tenses, were incorporating the structures into their responses. Since I just read about circling by Martina Bex (I promise that I'm not name-dropping, she actually presented at our school in the beginning of the year and I am just getting around to using these resources). 

At the end of the day, the students felt good. Some of my Spanish IV students dropped by to help them and were amazed that they were learning preterite and imperfect. This lesson was a natural progression because we had just finished Agentes Secretos. Some of the activities we did, had called for the preterite to be used. You can click here for those activities as well (they are all free). 
Exposure.


7. Information Gap activity
 I created a little story about the film, the premise is that the detective is seeing a psychiatrist two years later due to the paranoia-induced evening at his neighbor’s apartment.  Students filled in the blanks with either the preterite or imperfect tenses. A word bank is provided as well a the answer key. 

8. Alternate ending for movie 

 Alternate ending activity. Students wrote an alternative ending to the short film. Check out my website for student examples. 


Circumlocution Fest 

This activity may have a name, but in absence of it, let's say it "Circumlocution Fest." So, I decided to show El Internado, at least the first few chapters in Spanish 1. I use the series for Spanish IV and Michael Peto's website My generation of Polyglots is the go to spot!  Allision Weinhold from MisClassesLocas  also has some charming resources! When I first Allison's  tweet about using El Internado in the lower levels, I was like "No way!" My vehement response was based on me using it exclusively as a Spanish IV series. However, after our Wanna-be-Movietalk and practice with the preterite and imperfect structures, I thought it would be an engaging activity. 



We are only watching the first few episodes, but I recommend it because: 
- The storyline is very engaging 
-Completely accessible on Netflix 

Here is what I had my students do: 
1. View the trailer of El Internado
2. From the trailer, think about what the story series is about and make a list of ten words in the preterite they could use during our "Reacciones" segment. 
3. They had to use only these words to discuss what happened in the segment. For example, one student chose "bailó." Since no one "bailó" during the first 15 minutes, she had to say that Nadie bailó. It was fun "making" our language work. 

Thank you for reading! I really enjoy finding these new strategies and applying them!

 Check out my novels and new resource page!




Click here: http://bit.ly/2pzd1SZ

Check out my TPT Store activities, informational historical texts, and video activities for class 

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

El Cine Colombiano: Activities for teaching film, current events and culture

Cine Colombiano- ¡Qué chévere! 

This year's film unit is taking even a steeper climb through the South American Continent.( Click here to see the post about 5 film activities for your class. Most activities are free! ) I've added two films to explore cultural themes and social issues while conversing in the target language.  


On a personal/pedagogical note, this year I have been learning about MovieTalk, a TPRS strategy for enhancing listening comprehension and focusing on structures. I am still learning about this key strategy in facilitating conversation using film, I am no way an expert, but I have incorporated some of those practices in my class (Check out my Wanna-be-Movietalk activity: Eight free engaging activities for teaching the preterit and imperfect tenses). I am slowing incorporating these strategies as I go.  

Shall we take a peek? Dale!

Film unit vocabulary and activities- absolutely free. Engage your students with the following activities: 

1. Vocabulary matching- in the target language

2. Writing about their favorite movie, using the vocabulary. 

3. Pique their interest in Hispanic movies by allowing them to view images of movies and read summaries/ respond to questions (I have used this activity in Spanish Club). 

4. A short activity of films shots, I go all out in my film unit!



I used the Free Film Unit to introduce vocabulary and get students discussing movies in Spanish. The movie images come with summaries (upgrade from last year, if you downloaded this activity) and the narratives really pull students in. This can be used as part of a film unit or as a teaser or cultural assignment... or even sub plans (I'm just saying).

Check out this teacher's Movie Packet. I purchased it and use it every time I watch a movie. This resource is really my go-to for anytime I have found a great resource, but have not either created materials or found them online. It is very simple and I have used it mostly with series or in Spanish Club.

Now on to the films!

El Almuerzo 

This short eight-minute film highlights the challenges that poor families, especially children face in Colombia. It is about two young girls trying to get a meal. They face a few difficulties, which force them to be creative in solving their problem.  The resource below gives an overview of the film for students, vocabulary activities, especially Colombian regionalisms. It also gives students an opportunity to think about the broader themes touched upon in the Cortometraje. We had a great discussion and then went around the class greeting each other with "Qué hubo" a particularly Colombian expression. See the activities outlined below. Check out the preview on TPT! 

- Short introduction to the film in the target language 
- Vocabulary from the film and information gap activity using the vocabulary

- Watch and pause questions (freeze frame- paying homage to the Movietalk strategy).

- Discussion questions

- Deep Dive (more in-depth) questions

- Writing prompt




Maria, Llena Eres de Gracia 

This film has become a staple in my Cine Latino Series. It highlights the life of "mules" or people who transport drugs. I used the SparkEnthusiasm's packet, click here for the link. I also created some of my own resources to widen the snapshot of this issue. You can see those resources below. They are totally free and were compiled by online resources and made more comprehensible for students. With the SparkEnthusiasm Kit, I was able to do a gallery walk around the class and have students jot down information about the movie. Also, this packet comes with tons of activities that could be used for pre, during and post. In fact, my summative assessment will consist of the viewing questions, listening, and summary. Had I more time, I would have organized stations. 


Current Event: Model turned Mule 

The featured article below is a sad but true event that occurred a few years ago. A model from Medellín, Colombia made the regretfully dreadful decision of becoming a mule. We read this article right after seeing the movie María, Llena Eres de Gracia. 

This news article sheds light on this issue and the kids were every surprised, even after watching the movie. Click on the original news article here, for your native speakers! Click here for the "Comprehensible Input Version." I have to say that I only added a few things. I thought that most of the words used were cognates or easily identifiable. I might have changed phrases such as " le cayeron veiente años" for "recibió veinte años." 


After reading this article with two classes, I decided to change things up for the third class. Turns out that the students in my second class actually googled her and found out that she was sentenced to 15 years; hence my notation in the article. Also, they found a video of her modeling days.

Prior to giving the last class the article, we watched the modeling video. I told them that the video was about an up and coming model from Colombia. After the video, we read the article and, boy, were they surprised. This had more of an impact because this girl is young, beautiful, obviously not poor, had a youtube presence and was blossoming as a model. We then read the article and responded to questions.  Click below for the video, and it is totally appropriate.

Check out the film resources below!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

FVR reading for Spanish 2! La fiesta inolvidable



La fiesta inolvidable- comprehensible, funny short story for Spanish class. 

I am thrilled to introduce my newest story "La fiesta inolvidable for level 2. This story about an unsuspecting teen and his experience in throwing a party albeit with a few hiccups. La fiesta inolvidable will definitely lighten the mood in class as it is filled with funny situations, close calls, hilarious characters, and scenarios totally relatable to teens. Some of the thematic vocabulary includes: 


  • Family
  • House 
  • Travel
  • Relationships   
Prevalent Structures include: 
  • Preterite
  • Imperfect
  • Past perfect 
  • Some subjunctive
Students will definitely relate to the bothersome but crafty little sister (I think this character was inspired by my brother), the helicopter mom, impatient dad and, the cougar grandmother (okay, this one may be a little crazy, I"ll admit) and a host of friends who think they have all their bases covered (the youth these days!). The story also sprinkled with a few common Spanish saying such as "Ni papa" "Lo pasado, pasado está," and "Llevar la fiesta en paz" (well, this literally). If your students have ever tried to get away with something, which I sure they have, then this story will have them laughing at themselves and at the characters attempt to pull this party off (confession, my brothers and I threw parties all the time!). 

The story includes a glossary. Furthermore, unfamiliar "critical" words are also footnoted so students don't skip a beat. If you using this a quick class read, then great! You will definitely benefit from the student activities included in the packet.  It entails several activities for deeper engagement such as: 

  • Pre-reading questions 
  • Post-comprehension questions 
  • Preterite v.s. Imperfect activity 
  • Planning the perfect party activity 
Synopsis 

Antonio follows a teen blogger who writes about throwing bang-up parties, of course in the absence of parents. Lucas, alias, el parrandero has a few "secret" parties under his belt. Antonio's big break comes when his parents have to take a short trip to check up on his grandmother. Turns out that the widowed grandma is now back on the dating scene, dating a man that almost half her age. Antonio's dad resolves to go visit her and "set" the potential boyfriend straight. This is Antonio's chance to put into effect the 5 golden rules of throwing a "fiesta inolvidable." 

However,  Antonio a few snags in his plan could possible thwart his efforts.   First, his sweet-angel-faced sister blackmails him and swindles him out of some much-needed cash. Then his mom refuses to leave him alone- his anxious friends are blowing up his Snapchat ready to invade his house. Then, the dust settles and now, his party plans are in full effect. He follows the 5 golden rules of throwing a party, and everything pays off, well almost.  His love interest is present in the midst of all his friends, he couldn't ask for more. Then suddenly, things take a turn for the worst.  When he least expects it, several obstacles arise, putting at risk his hard work. He and his friends work freaky fast to make everything perfect, but they forget some very vital details. Check out the 3 chapter preview below:  


Synopsis for students (This is what students have in their packet).

Antonio dreams about throwing the biggest party ever when he finally gets his big break: his parents are taking a short trip to take care of some “family business.”  Armed with the advice of his friend and teen blogger, Lucas, a.k.a. el parrandero (party animal), his weekend fiesta is destined to be unforgettable. Antonio follows Lucas’ five rules of “fiestas inolvidables” and everything is smooth sailing. Even better, Antonio’s love interest shows up; now the pressure is on. Everyone is having a blast when a few unexpected obstacles arise. Antonio has to think quick on his feet in order to have the best party ever.  However, will his skills be enough?  Find out in La fiesta inolvidable… a night to remember!


 La fiesta inolvidable- comprehensible, funny short story for Spanish class. 

Click here for the story for preview!

*Unfamiliar words, such as "Consejos" and "Cazafortunas" are footnoted in the story. 
                                                          

Check out my novel's page for more exciting funny, creative, comprehensible short stories;  your students will be begging for more!


Click here: http://bit.ly/2pzd1SZ

Check out my TPT Store for additional materials curriculum activities!

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

Novels for Spanish Class and Differentiated Resources for Spanish class- All levels!






Novelas para la clase de Español (teacher materials included)

Check out the reading materials for class: comprehensible, creative and fun!
                                             Click on titles to see preview and reviews!


La Clase de Confesiones (Spanish 1)

Click here for Amazon

Carlos hates Spanish class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. 86dcf-clase2bde2bconfesiones2bHer presence is both distracting and motivating. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to “shake things up” in class. A simple writing assignment allows Carlos the creativity, which he has never had before in this class, and is a break from the teacher’s lecture teaching style. But the assignment is turning out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Jessica. From the nosy teacher inadvertently trying to help him “to get his beloved’s attention” to one of the most embarrassing things that have every happens to him, he sees that all is not lost… but the adventures doesn’t stop here. La Bella Mentira, part 2, will have students on the edge of their seats. Want this in paperback? Check out the links below: 


TPT 2-pack novel bundle (slightly cheaper than Amazon)

TPT 5-pack novel bundle

Language:  Mostly present tense 

La Clase de Confesiones Part 2: La Bella Mentira (Spanish 1+)

Carlos leaves Spanish class embarrassed. He had no idea that the teacher was going to pair him up with Jessica, the girls he writes about in his short essay. Adding insult to injury, the teacher reads his essay in from the class; e1efc-cover2bthe2bla2bbella2bmentira2beven the mean-spirited things he wrote about his teacher. Carlos goes to Math class and get’s his phone taken by the teacher: he never receives the redemptive text message from Jessica. When they meet in the lunchroom, his embarrassment, ignorance, and fear get the best of him. Now, he has to win Jessica back. Carlos learns that the truth always prevails over a lie. He learns how, to be honest, vulnerable and to take responsibilities for his actions. Will this be enough for Jessica? 


Me muero por María 

(Spanish 1+)

The big dance is just two weeks ago and Patricio is freaking out. He does not have a date to the party. All the girls are either taken or have had some little run-ins with the “law.” He sets his sights on María, the girl he is dying to go on a date with. But he has a problem: he is awfully shy. “Entre la espada y la pared,” he turns to the only two people who can help him: his best friend Rodrigo, el doctor del amor, and his mom! Needless to say that their philosophies on relationships, widely differ, which puts our friend Patricio in a bind. However, things take an interesting turn when his buddy and “wing-man” “inadvertently” spills the beans on Patricio’s crush; now Patricio has to “close the deal.” Patricio embarks on uncharted territory and runs into other “unforeseen obstacles” in trying to get a date with María. In a weird twist of events, he gets the surprise of his life, where the expression “Me muero por María” becomes almost literal!

Language:  Mostly present tense, stem-changing verbs 
Themes: Relationships,  Friendship,
Vocabulary: Sports, Food, School 




Casi Me Mata El Celular (Spanish 2+)

1Casi Me Mata El Celular  Spanish 2/3 (Preterite, Imperfect, some subjunctive) Federico and his friends learn that technology can prove to be deadly when abused. While hanging out at their favorite hideout in the abandoned building in an up and coming part of town, they stumble upon an uncanny situation. In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, they witness something will change their lives forever. Now the boys have to try to make it out of this situation, alive.

La Fiesta Inolvidable (Spanish 2+) New Short Story/ Teacher's materials included!


Antonio dreams about throwing the biggest party ever when he finally gets his big break: his parents are taking a short trip to take care of some “family business.”  Armed with the advice of his friend and teen blogger, Lucas, a.k.a. el parrandero (party animal), his weekend fiesta is destined to be unforgettable. Antonio follows Lucas’ five rules of “fiestas inolvidables” and everything is smooth sailing. Even better, Antonio’s love interest shows up; now the pressure is on. Everyone is having a blast when a few unexpected obstacles arise. Antonio has to think quick and then problem-solves in order to have the best party ever. However, will his skills be enough?  Find out in La fiesta inolvidable… a night to remember!
Language: Preterite, Imperfect and some subjunctive
Themes: Relationships, Love, Friendship, Family, Travel and House related vocabulary  

Las Apariencias Engañan (Part 1) (Spanish 3+)

Las apariencias engañan .pngCamilo is hiding a secret, and it won’t be long until his girlfriend finds out. She sets out to spy on her once romantic poem-writing boyfriend, who is being incredibly secretive as of late. Between poor grades, his erratic behavior, and her parents’ divorce, Salomé feels like she is going to implode. Her new discovery of a chica who is colada with her boyfriend puts her over the edge even más. Seeking help and sanity, she decides to visit a popular town psychiatrist; he forces her to change her perspective, and with that comes a cost. His advice ultimately leads her to discover a much greater truth about Camilo, his father and the town in which they live. She goes on a quest for truth but then gets more than she bargained for. Every chapter is a twisty rollercoaster that abruptly stops at a cliffhanger, right before it pushes you over the edge. Las Apariencias Engañan reveals the timeless truths that: things are never what they seem to be.
Tons of dialogue and easily adaptable to classroom skits and reader's theater.
 Language: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect
Themes: Relationships, Betrayal, Friendship, Family 

El muerto cover- closet doorEl muerto en el armario (Part 2 of "Las apariencias")

The second installment in the series El Muerto en el Armario ups the stakes for all the players involved. “Las cartas están sobre la mesa” as Salomé (Camilo’s girlfriend) holds all the players hostage to their secrets. Through a series of clever maneuvers, Camilo (Juan’s best friend) and Liliana (Juan’s girlfriend) are still able to evade the truth; but the time is running out. Situational “close calls, will put readers’ “pelos de punta” especially when Juan confronts Camilo on his secretive behavior and the steamy text messages found on his phone (nothing inappropriate). Liliana adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret belonging to one of Camilo's parents; this secret is the just tip of the iceberg. The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center of the drama in the third installment " Las sombras." How will Camilo's parents handle her knowing sensitive information? What price will she pay for this secret? Will Juan discover the truth about his friends? How will Salomé exact revenge? Find out in part 2!
Language: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect
Themes: Relationships, Betrayal, Friendship, Family 

La Nueva Alumna (Spanish 3+)  -Freebie - Activities included!- 

La Nueva Alumna is a fictionalized account of Vicky’s journey to the prestigious boarding school: El Internado. It gives a bit of a back story highlighting her working class roots, and her major crush on Iván, another pivotal character from the series. This story was originally written as a cloze text practice of language structures such as the present and past subjunctive and the preterite and imperfect. Said formative assessment was administered to students after viewing episode 5 of El Internado when it became clear that Vicky was colada con Iván. The story presents a mix of narration and dialogue, which could be easily acted out in class or in groups!



Informational Text Resources for enriching your curriculum; reading level appropriate materials in Spanish!

30+ Resources for teaching various themes in Spanish


Reading materials for class: comprehensible, compelling, creative and fun!
Click on titles to see preview and reviews!

La Clase de Confesiones (Spanish 1)

Now on Amazon! Click here for Amazon

86dcf-clase2bde2bconfesiones2bCarlos hates Spanish class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. Her presence consumes all his attention in class. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher, Mr. Martín, decides to “shake things up a bit” in class. A simple writing assignment turns out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Jessica. The good-hearted teacher inadvertently tries to “set him up with Jessica” but this immediately backfires and turns into one of the most embarrassing moments for Carlos: and Rubén is there to witness it all. Carlos invites you to come along this adventure into La clase de confesiones donde todos tienen una confesión (even the teacher has a confession).  


Click here for Amazon

TPT 2-pack novel bundle (slightly cheaper than Amazon)

TPT 5-pack novel bundle

Language: Mostly present tense -Ar, -Er and -Ir verbs. 

La Clase de Confesiones Part 2: La Bella Mentira (Spanish 1)

Carlos leaves Spanish class embarrassed. He had no idea that the teacher was going to pair him up with Jessica, the girls he writes about in his short essay. Adding insult to injury, the teacher reads his essay in from the class; e1efc-cover2bthe2bla2bbella2bmentira2beven the mean-spirited things he wrote about his teacher. Carlos goes to Math class and gets his phone taken by the teacher: he never receives the redemptive text message from Jessica. When they meet in the lunchroom, his embarrassment, ignorance, and fear get the best of him. Now, he has to win Jessica back. Carlos learns that the truth always prevails over a lie. He learns how, to be honest, vulnerable and to take responsibilities for his actions. Will this be enough for Jessica?  

Language:  Mostly present tense 




(Spanish 1+)

The big dance is just two weeks ago and Patricio is freaking out. He does not have a date to the party. All the girls are either taken or have had some little run-ins with the “law.” He sets his sights on María, the girl he is dying to go on a date with. But he has a problem: he is awfully shy. “Entre la espada y la pared,” he turns to the only two people who can help him: his best friend Rodrigo, el doctor del amor, and his mom! Needless to say that their philosophies on relationships, widely differ, which puts our friend Patricio in a bind. However, things take an interesting turn when his buddy and “wing-man” “inadvertently” spills the beans on Patricio’s crush; now Patricio has to “close the deal.” Patricio embarks on uncharted territory and runs into other “unforeseen obstacles” in trying to get a date with María. In a weird twist of events, he gets the surprise of his life, where the expression “Me muero por María” becomes almost literal!

Language: Mostly present tense, stem-changing verbs. 

       

Casi Me Mata El Celular (Spanish 2+)
1Casi Me Mata El Celular  Spanish 2/3 (Preterite, Imperfect, some subjunctive).

 Federico and his friends have a pretty simple life. They love to play basketball, soccer and go skateboarding at the park. They also love to go to their favorite hangout out, La librería Curioso: the only abandoned building left in an up and coming town. This space gives them the privacy they need to practice pranks and other hilarious stunts to upload to Youtube. But the night of Friday the 13, their jokes go sour. While shooting the breeze and popping firecrackers, they stumble upon an uncanny situation. In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, they witness something will change their lives forever. Now the boys have to try to make it out of this situation, alive. 




       

Las Apariencias Engañan (Part 1) (Spanish 3+)

Part 1: El muerto en el armario 
Las apariencias engañan .pngCamilo is hiding a secret, and it won’t be long until his girlfriend finds out. She sets out to spy on her once romantic poem-writing boyfriend, who is being incredibly secretive as of late. Between poor grades, his erratic behavior, and her parents’ divorce, Salomé feels like she is going to implode. Her new discovery of a chica who is "colada" with her boyfriend puts her over the edge even más. Seeking help and sanity, she decides to visit a popular town psychiatrist; he forces her to change her perspective, and with that comes a cost. His advice ultimately leads her to discover a much greater truth about Camilo, his father and the town in which they live. She goes on a quest for truth but then gets more than she bargained for. Every chapter is a twisty rollercoaster that abruptly stops at a cliffhanger, right before it pushes you over the edge. Las Apariencias Engañan reveals the timeless truths that: things are never what they seem to be.
Tons of dialogue and easily adaptable to classroom skits and reader's theater.
Language:  Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect

El muerto cover- closet doorEl muerto en el armario (Part 2 of "Las apariencias")

The second installment in the series El muerto en el amario  the stakes for all the players involved. “Las cartas están sobre la mesa” as Salomé (Camilo’s girlfriend) holds all the players hostage to their secrets. Through a series of clever maneuvers, Camilo (Juan’s best friend) and Liliana (Juan’s girlfriend) are still able to evade the truth; but the time is running out. Situational “close calls, will put readers’ “pelos de punta” especially when Juan confronts Camilo on his secretive behavior and the steamy text messages found on his phone (nothing inappropriate). Liliana adds to her personal drama when she discovers a secret belonging to one of Camilo's parents; this secret is the just tip of the iceberg. The second installment is chock full of confessions, secrets and mysterious people that will inevitably be at the center of the drama in the third installment " Las sombras." How will Camilo's parents handle her knowing sensitive information? What price will she pay for this secret? Will Juan discover the truth about his friends? How will Salomé exact revenge? Find out in part 2!
Language: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect

 

Antonio dreams about throwing the biggest party ever when he finally gets his big break: his parents are taking a short trip to take care of some “family business.”  Armed with the advice of his friend and teen blogger, Lucas, a.k.a. el parrandero (party animal), his weekend fiesta is destined to be unforgettable. Antonio follows Lucas’ five rules of “fiestas inolvidables” and everything is smooth sailing. Even better, Antonio’s love interest shows up; now the pressure is on. Everyone is having a blast when a few unexpected obstacles arise. Antonio has to think quick and problem-solve in order to have the best party ever. However, will his skills be enough?  Find out in La fiesta inolvidable… a night to remember!
Targeted structures: Imperfect, preterite and some past and present subjunctive.

La Nueva Alumna (Spanish 3+)  -Freebie - Activities included!

La Nueva Alumna is a fictionalized account of Vicky’s journey to the prestigious boarding school: El Internado. It gives a bit of a back story highlighting her working class roots, and her major crush on Iván, another pivotal character from the series. This story was originally written as a cloze text practice of language structures such as the present and past subjunctive and the preterite and imperfect. Said formative assessment was administered to students after viewing episode 5 of El Internado when it became clear that Vicky was colada con Iván. The story presents a mix of narration and dialogue, which could be easily acted out in class or in groups!


Novels aren't the only way to deliver "comprehensible input" in a compelling way.