Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Spice-it-up writing prompts for world language class!

R.I.P. Summer Vacation

Summer has finally come to an end. The agenda-less days of sun-bathing and endless Netflix binge-watching are now in the rearview mirror. We now look forward the long and winding road that leads us through the peaks and valleys of the new school year. What if we take a trip down memory lane? What if we could go back to the picture perfect day that might have defined our summer? That is exactly what this activity allows students to do. 

I planned this R.I.P. Summer activity for the first or second day of class (we start next week). To see other activities for the first couple of weeks of class, or just a few good "I want to know you activities" click here for Spanish levels 1and 2Click here if you want something more engaging for your upper level students. 


La Maquina de Tiempo activity invites students to describe their picture perfect summer day. This activity is an alternative to "Write about what you did this summer"  a writing prompt, I used every year to get to know my students.  My goal with this activity is for students to: 

  • Write about a pleasant memory.
  • Write in the present tense to ease the affective filter in the first couple of days. 
  • Delve into creative writing (maybe stretch, but let's see).

Instead of writing in the past tense, which many students my struggle with the first few days back in school, they travel back to their most perfect day of summer and write as if they were there. The prompt helps students structure the memory by asking them questions such as:  


* I changed this prompt to best day of your life so it could be used at any interval in the curriculum. 

See post and activity about scaffolding this activity. Click here. 
  • Qué día es
  • Con quién estás
  • Cómo es el clima o el tiempo 
  • Qué llevas o qué tienes puestos
  • Dónde estás y qué haces
  • Qué hueles
  • Qué ves 
  • Por qué es el día perfecto

Role play idea: I was also thinking of having students present in pairs in front of the class and practice spontaneous speaking.  One student would act as the psychologist and  "hypnotize" the other.  While the other students is "under" he/she will take the patient on the journey to remember the perfect day. They would ask the questions in the prompt and/or more questions.  



La Farándula 

 I shared this activity on a previous post, but it comprises my collection of spice-it-up writing prompts. There was so much that happened over summer from celebrity break-ups, to Mega Stars passing away, I always like to give students chance to chime in on celebrity gossip. 

Click here for activity prompt.


My students loved this last year. It really set the class afire and they could not stop talking. This activity could be done as a writing activity or speaking. You could turn it into a mini reading activity by find some pieces of celebrity gossip such as this Hola site. 







Word Wall

See Elaineinthemiddleblog for original idea

Click here for video 

¿Cuál es tu palabra favorita del Español? 

This is one of my favorite videos. It unites many different Spanish speakers across the continents and professions. They share about their favorite word. I am going to have students share out their favorite word( they can think of it in English and translate it to Spanish).  I learn a lot about students from the words they choose. Then they will place their word on the word call in the class. Here is how I will engage them in the video:




Extension activity:
Spanish plans has this great Facebook Template for gathering information about people. Have students choose one of the speakers and: 
  • Create a Facebook, Instragram or Tweets
  • Mini biography 
  • Share out in groups of 4. 

List of people in the video: 

1. Boris Izaguirre 
2. Alicia Alonso
3.Ángel Corella 
4. Valentín Fuster 
5.Antonio Skármeta 
6. Mara Torres 
7. Justo Bolekia 
8. AnaMaría Matute 
9. Raphael 
10. Margarita Salas 
11. Mario Vargas Llosa 
12. Emilo Botín 
13. Juame Plensa 
14. Rosario Flores 
15. Antonio Gamoneda 
16. Julián López
17. Ricardo Darín 
18. Elena Ochoa 
19. Isidre Fainé
20. Diego Forlán
21. Gael Garcia Bernal
22. Chayanne 
23. Eugenia Silva
24. Luis Rojas Marcos 
25. Juan Luis Guerra 
26. Pedro Piqueras 
27. Isabel Allende 
28. Antonio Banderas 
29. María Dolores Pradera 
30. Vicente Del Bosque
31. Shakira 
32. Pau Gasol 


Give traditional activities new twists with these activities:

 Check out this Five Post series on teaching Identity in Spanish class 

6 Ways to privilege input in the WL classroom  

Five "I want to get to know you" activities   

Tons of input for the Spanish Film Unit 

Short Stories for Spanish Class (Pre, during and Post activities included)

Spanish 1
La Clase de Confesiones (part 1) 

La Clase de Confesiones (part2 ): La Bella Mentira

El Muerto en el Armario (Skeletons in the Closet

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