Sunday, February 26, 2017

Las drogas y otros problemas: Creating real connections for teens in Spanish class





Creating real connections for teens in Spanish class: Las drogas y otros problemas 





Check out my previous post two free activities: "Que descanse en paz Cayetano" and CSI Laguna Negra. 

Click here for activities

Los problemas que enfrentan los adolescentes 

El Internado season 2, episode 1, starts off with the death of Cayetano. We watched the first 20-30 minutes of the first episode of this new season and students did these two activities: 

Que descanse en paz and CSI Laguna Negra

Click here for activities


The CSI activity was originally for the third installment of the Spanish 3+ series, El muerto en el armario (La muerte de un personaje queridísimo). But it works for El Internado as well!  After students complete those activities above such as reviewing the previous episodes and circumstances of his death, we watch the next 20 minutes of episode 1 of season 2. 
Discussing the real issues that impact teens every day

Once my students found out the cause of Caye's death, they were shocked, and rightly so. There was no indication that he used drugs (which sadly was the case for a former student of mine at a different school). There were no hints or foreshadowing during the previous episodes. Before it is revealed that this was probably a setup, I indulged the topic with my class. 

I curated a short reading and created a communication/ debate activity around the topic. Even if you don't use El Internado, the mini-activity on current teen issues could spark some good discussion in Spanish class. 


Activity: Las drogas y la presión social 

Students had to complete the statement below and then share with a partner. 


  1. Completa la frase según tu opinión o criterio:  El problema más grande hoy entre los jóvenes es_________________________________. 
This gave students the opportunity to look at teen problems through their particular lens. They responded to the prompt, substantiating their ideas (and using "la razón por la cual) to frame their thoughts. 

  • I had students pair up, compare and share with other classmates. Their opinions differed widely because there is quite a bit of diversity (age, race, class, gender, experience, etc) in the class. 

Students read the excerpt titlted: LAS 8 RAZONES PRINCIPALES POR LAS CUALES LOS ADOLESCENTES EXPERIMENTAN CON DROGAS Y ALCOHOL. 

This resource was curated from the website below. There are about 8 pages of the actual article, but I just provided the first page with a ranking scale. Students ranked their reasons and then shared out with a partner and then the rest of the class. 

After the sharing, students circulated around the class and asked other students their respective opinions. We shared out and a brief debate ensued, as some students were very adamant about one reason over the other. Students then created a mini drug campaign, this is included in the resource. Then, we continued watching the episode. Post implementation, I added a few reflection questions.  

Click here for the mini lesson

Internet Security and Saftey 

This video is a great resource for discussing the perils of using technology.  I did this originally with my unit on Identity, click here for the context of the unit. , but it can be a powerful visual stimulus and reminder of the dangers lurking on the internet. 


A. With power, comes great responsibility 
Video: Antes de colgar tu imagen en la red, piénsalo











One of my writing prompts asked students to compare their generation to their parents' generation.


Since "technology" was the reigning king of that comparative discussion, I decided to include the video above and additional discussion questions to explore how technology shapes identity.  Although the video and activity were kind of a side bar, they actually highlight a key point in our upcoming text " La vida de los adolescentes.Said text highlights how young people's identities morph and adapt to different social media fora. Furthermore, the text suggests that having "a solid" identity is a challenge for this generation. The writing prompt featured belongs to a series of 11 prompts dealing with Identity.  Click here for the free writing prompts used with this unit.

Video link: Antes de colgar tu imagen en la web

This was totally an afterthought, but this social media inventory might also be a good activity to do before the video (I am kicking myself for not thinking of this beforehand).

Discussion Questions and note about the video


One of the questions asks students to create hastag for the video. In order for this to work organically, you have to stop the video right before the end so that the video's tagline does not appear. It was a fun activity and students were able to incorporate direct object pronouns naturally. 






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





Saturday, February 25, 2017

CSI Laguna Negra:¿Quién mató a Cayetano? Detective writing activity and more!


 ¿Quién mató a Cayetano? 

I have had such a busy last few weeks. I usually try to blog once every two weeks, but between presenting at a workshop, semester I finals and family obligations, well, I just could not find the time.  But now that I am getting back into the swing of things, and finding my stride again with the curriculum; I have lots to share, so let's get started!!!



A few things on the radar: 
Be on the look out for these useful resources: 

¡Hay algo para todos!
For you amantes de Frida, you will love the "Arte Sin Limites."  These resources features a creative twist on teaching her art and persona. It includes (mostly free) PowerPoint, readings and a mini art project. 

Teaching the Spanish Civil War or Guernica? The Guernica PBLL Unit will be just right for you. 

Wondering how to incorporate interesting comprehensible informational texts in your Spanish 1 or 2 class?  The Spain PBLL Spanish +1 unit will tickle your fancy. A brief history of Spain, Flamenco Dancing, vocabulary lists, dialogues and two PBLL components served up as the final dish. All for Spanish 1, I have seen my students speaking skills soar!

Internado Aficionados- Be on the look out for S2: E1 mini lesson on drugs and other teen issues.  

Novelas- we can't live without them!
For students who like suspenseful, slightly mafioso stories, well "Casi me mata el celular" packs in a treat for them! This story is for Spanish 2+

Last, but not least is the third installment to the series "El muerto en el armario." Although this book is part 3 of the series, it could actually be read as a stand alone. There are enough flashbacks to the drama in Las apariencias engañan and El muerto en el armario to set the stage for the next frontier. It is the quasi-sci-fi finale. 

Bueno, I hope those piqued your interest. Now, let's get started on El Internado!

                          CSI Laguna Negra 

It is no secret (if you have read my other blog posts), I love El Internado, and so do my students. I have seamlessly interwoven this intriguing series into the fabric of my curriculum by exploring pertinent themes presented in more depth.  This has allowed my students to make personal connections, discuss real world issues and expand their language skills repertoire (S2: E1 mini lesson on drugs and other teen issues, hits the spot!)    

For example, during the beginning of the year, while we were exploring the construct of "Identity," we used the first few episodes of El Internado (available on Netflix) to discuss teen identity. Likewise, once we embarked on our Relationships unit, well, El Internado gave us a lot of fodder. We engaged in vibrant discussions, and debates about topics such as "what is the appropriate 'dating' age for teens." there were lots of opinions there.  These activities really enlivened the class. 

For this past viewing session (we see watch it on a biweekly basis), El Internado delivered, yet again. For the first episode of the second season, students learn about the death of Cayetano during the first 20 minutes or so of the episode (S2: E1). 




After watching the initial 20 minutes,  we had to pay our respects to Cayetano.  I gave students the activity sheet to the right. Students then formed groups of 4 to express their thoughts, condolences and wrote positive messages to the first student causality of the series; he is the first of many. 



Click here for the RIP resource


Then, we turn our gaze to a more investigative lens: Who killed Cayetano?

This activity can immediately follow the RIP one listed above. While they are in a state of shock, give them this activity. This activity not only allows them to learn vocabulary for processing a crime scene, but it serves also as a way to review from on episode to the next. If you are like me, I usually show them a few weeks apart, so this came in handy. They will: 

  • review the previous episode by reviewing the crime scene, 
  • discuss the victim 
  • think through the line-up of mysterious characters at El Internado.


Here it is how it all went down

1. Students watched the first 25-30 minutes of the episode. Here they learn which students have died as chapter 6 leaves off on a suspenseful cliff. 

2. Distribute activity to students and have them work through describing the events surrounding his death. With the many mysterious occurrences in El Internado, encourage them to think outside the box and name some suspects. Looking through this lens, Fermín could be a suspect. 


3. For the Informe Policiaco, I had my students use the subjunctive (last part) to write a recommendation on who investigate and why. They used structures such as “es necesario que investiguemos muy rápido” and the like when pressuring their “jefe de policía.” 

Click here for the CSI Laguna Negra Activity

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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