Get your students engaged in their favorite topic: themselves!
The Identity Collage activity walks students through building a collage about themselves to share with the class or in small groups. I used this interpersonal communication activity in the first month of the upper level Spanish class (although it could be used in lower levels as well) to get know my students and for them to become more acquainted with each other. Although this activity is connected to a bigger unit on Identity (see previous posts) it can be used alone for a short over the weekend project. This packet has two main activities:
1. Step by step directions on articles for the collage.
2. Instructions for sharing the collage with small groups.
Do you have difficulty finding and generating activities for authentic resources for your Spanish class? How do you prepare students for engagement? Do you get discouraged in the attempt?
This post will discuss and provide resources for exploring common themes in an upper level Spanish class.
In case you've missed it, my first post Rich and varied Comprehensible Input around the theme of Identity highlights several introductory cognitive priming and preparation activities that engage students in and around the theme of Identity. This post highlights additional resources such as slightly modified authentic texts, books and films that I have used to assist students in making sense of the topic and engaging in a real way.
One of my chief issues has not been finding materials but finding appropriate and as Krashen pointed out comprehensible input for my intermediate level students. This has forced me to slightly modify some of the resources (when appropriate of course) in order to stave off frustration and immediately lower the affective filter.
After the introduction to the unit on Identity, I start with this article I researched and complied. Using information for Spanish National Geographic (article on the Teenage Brain eons ago) in addition to other websites that help inform me about the theme, I fashioned the article in the following resource Click here for sample.
The first article is just about the nature of Identity. I use it to set the stage to discuss some of the neurological and biological changes associated with the adolescent transformation. During a class in pedagogy some years ago (we teachers are always in school), I learned about the concept of "shared background knowledge." This makes sure all students are on equal footing so to speak with regard to the content. For this article, I made sure that wording was mostly sophisticated cognates. You may click on an except below to get the gist. With every other article, we circle back to reference this one. In essence, it's like our "anchor" text. Students were able to transfer their ELA stills such as citing and referencing text to Spanish, a goal our department is earnestly pursuing.
The full mini unit with 3 text tied to the theme of Identity including the Transgender Debate in Argentina and balance of young Indigenous community merging with mainstream and remaining cultural autonomous are all flanked with a host of communication, vocabulary and critically thinking activities. Click here for the mini unit available on yours truly, Teacherspayteachers.com.
Interpretive Mode Visual Literacy
This year I used a ton of Latin American short and long feature films associated with a particular theme. One of my favs is the short film "Eres" which, is aptly named because all the friends of the protagonist preface every interaction with " Eres." This is the second year I have used this film, available on here on Youtube.
The film is superior to touching on the Identity and even self-esteem. However, the dialogue can be difficult to understand when you add the speed of light pace of the conversations and other nuances. To facilitate listening and to lower the filter, I created some listening, viewing and reading activities to offset the language barrier. The cool thing is that most of the vocabulary that I have included is in very clear sound bites through the film.
My students really loved the film because they really saw how other people form our identity. Many students think they are "themselves" but this film points out our nature to conform as well as how to preserve our own identity- at least that was the lesson I got. Please enjoy and consider giving me a rating. If you have any questions, please send me an email at email@example.com
Click here for the free mini lesson on the Spanish Short Film Eres
One more thing...
The film is more of an PG-13. It is about 10 minutes and my students have liked it for the past two years (or 1.5 years). There is no nudity although there is a 5 second showing of two of the characters kissing while falling onto the bed.
Other amazing resources
These are additional activities related to the book. They're are tons and the book is available on Amazon. It's about $2 more than what I paid, but I think it is definitely worth it!
I also bought this Spanish IB MYP book. I taught at an IB school for 10 years and still have ties with the organization through presenting and other services. Well, I love this book. It has many great articles and questions to spawn critical thinking and reflecting. This year I am using several little articles for students to read and present on.