¿Quién eres? ¿Qué haces?

Have you ever wanted to just get away? That’s been how many are feeling here recently, so we have been participating in a little escapism and role play to study some famous Spanish-speaking people.

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno

Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez

This week in Spanish, seventh graders have been assuming the identities of famous Spanish- speakers from all over the world and done investigations into some film directors, fashion designers, novelists, and artists who speak Spanish. A few names of people who we investigated were Gabriel García Márquez, Rita Moreno, Carolina Herrera, and Guillermo del Toro. After randomly drawing a character from an envelope, students looked into their famous person’s past, importance, job, and home country. Then, they moved on to interview everyone else in the class who also took on the roles of famous Spanish-speakers so everyone could learn more about each famous person. At the end of that, students chose which famous people were of greatest interest to them and created profiles for three different people that were featured on our list of famous people.

Carolina Herrera

Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro

In these profiles, students not only talked about and described each individual, but they also had to write a brief description about why each person was important, not only to his or her Spanish-speaking community, but also to the individual students. After this research was over, students shared what they found out with each other in small groups.

 

This activity has helped students build some important language skills like asking questions, using the verb ser (to be), and learning vocabulary related to jobs and professions. As students interviewed each other pretending to be famous Spanish-speakers, they communicated only in Spanish; once again filling our classroom with the music of their voices in Spanish. Great work to all of them!

Profe

 

¡Verbos!

 

Hola ¿Cómo está usted?

Hola ¿Cómo está usted?

It’s been a busy year so far in 6th grade Spanish! We started by learning how to appropriately greet different people in Spanish, from our friends and family, to the King and Queen of Spain.

Hola ¿Cómo estás?

Hola ¿Cómo estás?

After learning how to greet people, we worked on learning subject pronouns. In English, these are I, you, he/she/it, etc. In Spanish, they are: yo, tú, él, ella, usted, nosotros, vosotros, ellos, ellas, ustedes.

After learning how to address people, we moved on to how to conjugate verbs. When we conjugate verbs, we change them so that they reflect the subject we are talking about. We start conjugating by looking at infinitive verbs, which in English have the word “to” at the beginning, for example, to run, to speak, to jump, to sing. When conjugating a verb in English for any subject other than he, she, or it, we simply remove the “to” at the beginning: I run. For he, she, and it, we get rid of the “to” and add an “s” to the end of the word: she runs.

In Spanish, infinitive verbs either end with -ar, -er, or -ir. Right now, we are focusing on just the verbs that end in -ar, for example: hablar(to speak), dibujar (to draw), pintar (to paint). To conjugate an -ar verb, we start by taking off the -ar at the end of the verb, for example hablar becomes habl. We then add different endings to that verb depending on the subject of the verb. See below for how to conjugate hablar.

To practice our conjugations, 6th graders have been writing mini-stories and scripts as well as making profiles for different people with verbs that people do. Next week, they will be working together with a partner to create scripts in which they will showcase everything they have learned so far about how to greet people and how to use verbs. Gracias to all of them for their hard work!

Profe

 

¡Español nos viene bien!

This week in 8th grade Spanish has been filled with the music of our Spanish learners communicating with each other in the Spanish language. As part of learning about how to use the irregular verb “venir”, our Spanish learners talked with each other to give and receive different types of information. In one activity, students asked their classmates what skills come easily to them and which ones do not come so easily. In another, students wrote clues about celebrities and characters, and challenged their classmates to guess who they were describing by naming a few things that the celebrities were good at and not so good at. Some of these characters included Taylor Swift, Elan Musk, and Beyonce.

I was blown away at the effort that I saw being put into communicating this week. Both of these activities involved students to maintain communicating only in Spanish for 10 minutes each: the most Spanish our Spanish learners have spoken at one time in class so far this year. I saw students helping each other to understand various vocabulary words through charade-like actions, teammates helping each other with how to say words, and joyful learning. I thank our Spanish learners for their contributions to an immersive environment and willingness to participate. Gracias!

Profe

Investigaciones de Países Hispanohablantes

Our eight grade researchers have been hard at work writing a research paper and putting together a presentation about a Spanish-speaking country. This is the second round of research we have done in Spanish class this year and culminates our study of Spanish-speaking countries in the world. The remaining countries that students are researching are:

Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Cuba, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Uruguay.

Our researchers were able to look at their country and then choose what elements of the country they wanted to research more. They chose two of the following topics to research:

  • History (what major events have happened in this country?)
  • Government/economy (what kind of money/government they have?)
  • Culture (what are some popular traditions in this country)
  • Geography (describe the landscapes in this country)
  • Tourism (where do tourists go and what do they see?)
  • Famous person, artist, writer, musician, athlete
  • Famous dance, sports, or literature
  • Holiday or customs
  • Fashion
  • Current events

We have had time in class to work on this project including a day to peer edit each others’ work. Our researchers had to look at everything they had learned from this year in order to help their classmates polish their papers. The girls have shared some very interesting facts with each other and I am looking forward to seeing their presentations!

Our last class together is coming up in the next few weeks. I have very much enjoyed getting to teach our eighth graders. You girls are incredibly driven, hard-working, and always have a great sense of humor. I hope you all continue your language learning because, as is already clear, you girls are going places!

¡Gracias por todo, mis chicas!

Las Noticias

In the next few weeks, seventh graders will be presenting their own news shows from Spanish speaking countries. Although the newscasts will be fictional, the information that they will be presenting will be true and found from sources that they have been researching.

Each seventh grader was given a Spanish speaking country and as well as a list of possible segments to research and report on.

  • The weather
  • Current events
  • Celebrities
  • Sports
  • Art
  • Health
  • Politics
  • Traditions

Over the last class days we have had time to work on our research and put together our broadcasts. On Wednesday, our newscasters took turns peer editing each others’ scripts. They drew from the Spanish they have learned over the course of the entire year to help their partners fine-tune their work. I look forward to seeing their final products!