Ofrendas para el día de los muertos

For those of you getting ready for El día de los muertos, here’s a project I do with my 1B’s.  If you search el día de los muertos on my blog, you’ll find even more resources.  Hope you find it useful!

When I teach cultural topics I like for the students to create something from the target culture or from their experience in lessons, that way it wasn’t just a “cultural Friday” type of activity.  For el día de los muertos, I have the students create altars or ofrendas in honor of a deceased Hispanic celebrity.  It’s great because not only do the students learn about a famous Hispanic they get to experience hands on (to some extent) the process that goes into making an ofrenda for someone who has passed away.

The first thing I have them do is research a deceased Hispanic celebrity.  Students get a person from a list I have created at random.  They then research where the person was from, about their life and why they were famous.  After learning about el día de los muertos, I then present the project to them.  I show them images of the shoebox ofrendas previous classes have made and explain to them that they will create an ofrenda for the person they studied.  Their task is to not only create an ofrenda, but create it in honor of that person- thinking about what items they can place on the altars that really represent their person of study.  Here are some examples!

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What do they need to make the ofrendas?  They need a shoebox and some creativity! Some students buy little scrapbooking stickers, use clay, toys, and images to use on their altar.  The flowers they use are usually from a craft store and they some how find battery powered candles to put there too (since I won’t allow the real thing). The final product is what you see in the slideshow, plus they do a small write up of who their person was and why they put what they put on their altar.

Here is my TPT for this project.

Do you do something special to celebrate el día de los muertos?

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El día de los muertos

El día de los muertos is in just a few short weeks!  I do this mini-unit with my 1B’s and they love it because they get to do so many neat activities.

To get things started I created a webquest for the students to do online.  The site I use for the quest is great since it gives a great overview of the holiday, has some videos and great images.

http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/

Here is the webquest I use- on TPT

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/El-Dia-de-los-Muertos-Webquest-1510908

I then plan on reviewing the quest with them and showing them a few videos to prompt discussion about what this day is really like and how it is NOT like Halloween.  Here are some of the videos I use.  These are in English, but I teach level one and finding cultural videos in Spanish they can comprehend at their level is hard to do.

I found a great song on http://www.colby.edu/~bknelson/SLC/ofrendas/teachers.php

I looked for it on youtube and found it! It’s called Ofrendas, by Pedro Guerra.  The video is amazing as it has so many visuals you can discuss with your students in the Target Language.

Here is the song – on TPT

Another activity I do is an A/B cultural information gap activity.  Similar to what you might use to practice vocabulary, but with culture.  Here it is.

DOD_AB_Sharing

I also do this ofrenda project each year! The students love it!

TPT

IMG_1433 IMG_1434 IMG_1441 IMG_1442 IMG_1443 IMG_1444 IMG_1451

What resources do you use to teach the Day of the Dead? Do you have any good videos in Spanish?

El Pan de Muerto

What did I do without Pinterest before it existed???  I found this great visual to spark a conversation about El Pan de Muerto and the celebration of el Día de Los Muertos.  I didn’t make a handout for it as I think its a great warm-up and we do those digitally.

Here is the image

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.21.54 PM

 

Here are some questions:

1.  ¿Te gusta el pan?

2.  ¿El pan que tú comes tiene alguna forma?

3.  ¿Qué significa la forma circular del pan de muertos?

4.  ¿Qué significa la cruz de lágrimas?

Have you taught the Day of the Dead? What resources do you use?  I’d love to actually make the bread with the students but we are no longer allowed to have food in the classroom 😦  This has been difficult because breaking bread with our students was a great way to spark cultural conversations.  Is this a policy at your school? How have you dealt with it?

El abecedario

I’m finishing up my mini-unit on el abecedario.  It’s not my favorite unit, as I have struggled with finding authentic resources to use with my students.  I came across a post on Neil Jone’s Resources and Ideas for Language Teachers Blog where he created a PowerPoint using a clip from the Spanish game show Cifras y Letras.  Amazing- I was so happy to finally find some authentic audio with letters!  If you search the game show on youtube you’ll find TONS of episodes that you can use in your class, not only for the alphabet but for numbers too!  I used many of the episodes as audio practice in class and today I used 4 segments from the show for a listening assessment.

Here is my assessment – 7grado_Unidad1_Prueba_Numeros_Letras

And here is the link for the video with the minutes for each segment.

1. N I M A M A C F N (5:34)
2. L E T E ñ I N U T (7:00)
3. L I I A J O T E N (12:55)
4. T E X O M I S A S (14:13)
Here are some more resources from another post I did on the alphabet.
What resources do you use to teach the alphabet?

¡Instagram en español!

I’m always trying to incorporate social media and pop culture into the classroom.  I think the students learn best and are definitely more engaged when I do this.  My only issue is that I teach middle school and some students still don’t have phones or they do but not smartphones.  Another issue is that the students aren’t allowed to have their phones in class and I definitely don’t want to go against school policy.  So how do I incorporate social media without making anyone feel left our or breaking the rules?

I have a few ways…  One- Zachary Jones has some GREAT twitter activities on his site.  There is one for about every topic and the kids think it’s súper chévere to read real tweets and apply what they’ve learned in class to the activity.  Another is well, I simply improvise!  I saw on Pinterest a teacher had used instagram templates to create a really neat bulletin board.  I started to look for templates online, in Spanish, but was unsuccessful, so I made my own!  You can use this many different ways- in class, for homework, assessment, etc…  I used this assessment for my review unit with my 1B’s.

How do you incorporate social media?  Are your students allowed to use their phones in class? Share your ideas 🙂

Here is the assessment rubric I am using and below is the link to the template (TPT).

Enjoy 🙂

8grado_Unidad1_Repaso_Instagram_Writing_Assessment

Instagram template (on TPT)

Spanish-Speaking Countries Project and Passport

One of the goals for this first unit is for the students to begin to learn about the Spanish-speaking countries.  Specifically, to know which countries in the world speak Spanish.

At the end of the unit, I assign the students a country and their task is to research the country and prepare a visual presentation of it.  This project has changed tremendously over the years and it has moved more towards the students becoming experts on their country and learning about what they would do if they visited that country.  A big element of this project is that their visual has to represent something from their country of study.  For example, a student studying Costa Rica might choose to make their visual into a turtle, monkey or volcano or a student studying Argentina could make their visual into grapes or a tango dancer.  The students get so creative with this project and every year they surprise me with their choice of visuals!

Here is the assignment packet and rubric I give to the students for this project.  You will see that the project is set up so the students have something specific to research every night, this way they are not overwhelmed with not knowing where to start.  It is a work in progress, I update it every year with new ideas and edits- please let me know if you have any ideas on how I should update it!

Here is the assignment (on TPT)

And here is the passport I made for the students to “travel” to their classmates countries!  It takes a bit of playing with on the copier- but in the end it’s really cool!  I have the students make their own stamps!

7grado_pasaporte

 

Links for Country Project Research- Here are the links I give the students.

www.lonelyplanet.com   site on all countries, places to see, things to do, food, etc…

www.worldatlas.com   maps

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/   Country facts

www.iexplore.com  Country facts

www.fodors.com  Country facts

www.goya.com   Recipes and typical dishes

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/latinmusicusa/   Music from the Spanish-speaking world

http://www.donquijote.org/tourist/profiles/  Profiles of Spanish-speaking countries

http://www.travelocity.com/TravelForGood/voluntourism.html   Voluntourism site

www.earthwatch.org  Voluntourism site

http://www.turismo.gov.ar/eng/menu.htm  Site about Argentina

http://boliviatravelguide.net/site_flash/index.html   Site about Bolivia

http://www.chile.travel/en.html 
 Site about Chile

http://www.colombia.travel/en/   Site all about Colombia

http://www.gocuba.ca/client/home/index.php  Site about Cuba

http://www.visitcostarica.com/ict/paginas/home.asp?ididioma=2   Site all about Costa Rica

www.godominicanrepublic.com Site all about the DR

http://ecuador.travel/
  Site about Ecuador

http://www.elsalvador.travel/?lang=en  Site all about El Salvador

http://www.visitguatemala.com/web/index.php?lang=english   Site all about Guatemala

www.letsgohonduras.com  Site about Honduras

http://www.visitanicaragua.com/ingles/  Site all about Nicaragua

http://www.visitpanama.com/ 
 Site about Panama

www.visitperu.com  Site about Peru

www.senatur.gov.py    Site about Paraguay

http://www.topuertorico.org/tinfo.shtml Site all about Puerto Rico

http://www.spain.info/   Site all about Spain

http://www.welcomeuruguay.com/index_i.html  Site about Uruguay

http://www.venezuelatuya.com/indexeng.htm  Site about Venezuela

Delays…

Hi all! I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting as often as I have in past years.  It’s been a very busy two years for me as I had a baby last year in 2013 and I just had baby #4 in June! So I’m definitely busy, busy, busy! I’m trying to keep up with posting but it’s so hard! I have NO time!  So my plan is to back track and pull some of my best posts and edit and share those ideas.  Keep following though! I’ll begin to post again soon 🙂

6 day old gabriela - 21a

¡Se Habla Español!

You or your students can look super chéveres in this “Se habla español” tee.  Perfect for teachers who like to wear tees in Spanish or for prizes for your students!!!!

These will be available for pre-order soon! Follow me on Instagram @chevere_apparel or on this blog for updates on when this tee will be available!

 

My store site is chevere_apparel.storeenvy.comSeHabla_Centered

Cognates!

Teaching students about cognates is one of the very first lessons that I do.  It’s so, so important that students learn strategies to become good language learners and utilizing cognates is one of them!  This year I dedicated two lessons to this topic. Here’s what I did!

 

Lesson 1 (thank you Creative Language class!)

I used the creative language class powerpoint for Spanish 1 learners about Cognates (on their TPT)

I then found pictures of signs from around the Spanish-speaking world and had them work in pairs to pick out the cognates they found

Lesson 2

Thanks again to CLC because I used their magazine cognate search activity.  The only thing I modified was that the students were assigned a letter or two to work with.

How do you teach cognates?

 

¡Relámpago!

With many of us doing review, games really come in handy.  This year, we really don’t want to do a review unit but instead we are creating a unit that teaches new material but at the same time recycles the main concepts of last year.  Games are so great for this.

One of our department goals this year is to create an environment for more cooperative learning.  We have a new RTI initiative and one of our beliefs is that through more group work we will have the opportunity to have more one on one time with the students.  We’ve spent a lot of department time discussing this and sharing ideas for cooperative learning games and activities.

One activity that came up is one I now call “relámpago” or lightning.  For this game I create a set of cards with questions, prompts or scenarios.  On the card I have the question/prompt/scenario as well as the possible answer(s).  I give each group (usually 4-5 students) the set of cards and pick a leader.  In the first round, the leader is charged with the task of picking a card from the deck and asking the question to one student.  If the student gets the answer correct, they keep the card, if not, the card goes into the lightning round pile.  The leader does this with the rest of the students in the group until they have gone through all the cards.  In the relámpago, or lightning round, the leader then takes the cards that were left from the previous round and one at a time asks each question. The students in the group have to try to answer the question quickly – if they get it right they keep the card.  The student with the most cards at the end wins!  You can then choose another leader and play again or not.  I also use these cards for ask, ask, switch speaking activity.

I’ve made a few sets of relámpago for different topics and recently uploaded a restaurant themed one to TPT. Check it out 🙂

This particular unit is vocab heavy – what strategies do you use with your students to help them learn key words and phrases?  What cooperative games do you play?