Texts in Spanish: Making Them and Understanding Them

8th grade students have been working hard to master their reflexive verbs! They created how-to guides that explained how to conjugate these different kinds of verbs, which helped them better understand the ways of using and conjugating them. Students flexed their creativity muscles by completing mini-stories using reflexive verbs as well. There were many stories written about the daily routines of children and their families, but also about non-human characters, like trees and ducks as well. The creativity they demonstrated in these stories was fantastic, and made their work enjoyable for them and their classmates.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

We have also been learning about how to understand a text written in Spanish, even if we do not understand every word. Students interacted in pairs, only in Spanish, to read a text about a mysterious text message, to answer questions about what happened in the text, and also worked individually to describe what happened in the story. Using strategies like looking for context clues, cognates, and words that they already know, students were able to work through this challenging story and learned more about the famous literary characters Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

Let’s Get Reflexive!

Before winter break, students were able to delve into a world of stories in Spanish. They were given many options of books written in Spanish that they were able to choose and practice reading aloud independently for the first half of a class. After this time, students joined together in small groups and read their stories aloud to each other. Using gestures, tone, and body language, they encouraged their group mates to understand what their story was about. After this, students watched and read several versions of a story called “El Principe Ceniciento” which is a play on the story of Cinderella, but with a fairy godmother who was a little confused and not very experienced at her job. Students discussed with each other how they could understand a story all in Spanish if they did not understand each word. They learned that by using their senses, knowledge of basic Spanish, and cognates to follow the story.

After break, students have been working on learning a new kind of verb to be able to talk about their daily routines. These are reflexive verbs, which is a verb where someone does something to themselves, for example “I brush my hair” or “I bathe myself.” Students will continue to practice these verbs by interviewing each other about their daily routines, reading about daily routines of others, and will write about their own. 

Welcome Back!

This was our first week back to regular classes and we are off to a great start in 8th grade Spanish! We reviewed some of our class routines like practicing our warm-up: el lanzamiento and “Mi ‘no’ favorito“.

We also spent time learning how to use Word Reference as a helpful tool for translations. Unlike Google Translate, Word Reference allows language learners to find more specific translations for the words they need. We discussed words that might be translated incorrectly using Google Translate instead of Word Reference. A word students thought might be problematic to translate would be “bear”. After some investigation, we found that while Google Translate only offered oso (as in, the furry mammal that sometimes comes in the form of a stuffed animal) whereas Word Reference provided a number of possible translations for the various possible meanings of the word. Students then worked independently and with each other on the Word Reference Ficha finding translations when necessary to practice using this tool both this year and beyond.

After a great week of conversation, laughter, and learning, I’m excited to continue the energy into next week when we will review conjugations and jump into learning how to use some new irregular verbs! This video is always a fun way to get ready to jump back into Spanish!

¡Gracias!

¿Las personas de México juegan más fútbol que las personas de Chile?

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Over the last few weeks in Spanish class, 8th graders have been learning how to make comparisons of equality and inequality. They have practiced this by writing a mini-dialogue about something not being fair in their “No es justo” assignment and have also made interview questions to ask their classmates about how fast they run, how tall they are, and more so that they could continue to learn how to compare.20170331_104031

This week, we turned our focus to Spanish-speaking countries and the verb jugar (to play). Students looked at the sports are played in many Spanish-speaking countries, and interviewed each other to find out what sports are played in the Spanish-speaking world. They then created graphics to demonstrate what they learned.

 

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By doing some more cultural investigations, students have a better understanding not only of how to use the sentence structures they’ve been using, but are also gaining new insights as to the values and traditions of the people who speak the language we are learning.

¿Qué oyes? ¿A dónde vas?

8th grade Spanish students have been working hard to tame a few very irregular verbs:

Oír-to hear

Oír-to hear

Ir-to go

Ir-to go

To practice these verbs, students have been learning animal and location vocabulary to talk about where they go and what they hear when they are there. The result has been some truly comedic sentences complete with hearing rats in the library, hearing snakes in office buildings, and hearing cockroaches in the bakery. This week we also started reviewing how to tell the time-so the next step will be putting what time we hear all of these crazy noises and where we hear them.

8th graders also played Art Gallery and Jeopardy to help remember the conjugations of these two verbs. They made drawings and had to both write and speak about what they saw in each drawing.  Here are five of the drawings so that you can practice at home! Keep up the great work 8th grade!

Profe