|1||This term, students in fifth grade recited their passwords, listened to songs from various Spanish-speaking countries, and practiced reading contextualized language every class period. They also heard the first of four Latin American legends (a Cuban tale about the importance of learning another language); created their own class story; and played soccer on Fridays to work on responding instinctually in the target language. In addition, fifth graders had several highly academic meta-linguistic discussions in English about Spanish. Kudos to all for an excellent start to the year.|
|2||This term, students in fifth grade heard the second Latin American legend of the year (La casa embrujada/The Haunted House); worked on asking and answering questions with extended responses; learned basic steps to the Salsa and Cha-Cha, or two ballroom dances that originated in Cuba; identified patterns (converting gendered nouns); and continued creating their own class stories and playing soccer in the target language. Students also had their first few free writes in Spanish (stream-of-consciousness writing), and extended their password routine to include entire sentences, versus single nouns. Gracias for such a fun and productive quarter!|
|3||This term, students in fifth grade put their theatrical skills to the test. In lieu of the password routine, fifth graders were assigned lines in a class script, which they practiced together each period. Once students had mastered their lines, they began adding expression and personality, which really allowed the plays to come to life. Fifth graders also started analyzing the verbs and vocabulary they know from a grammatical perspective; putting this information in chart form helped to organize their knowledge in a mathematical way, and point out subtle patterns in the language. |
In addition, students learned a little bit about linguistics and where sounds originate; listed pairs of rhyming words in Spanish, and then wrote original raps with these words to an instrumental background beat; presented a short story in the target language to their peers; and continued playing fútbol/soccer matches outside when the weather cooperated. Their March homework challenge was to watch a movie in Spanish (Spanish voiceover with English subtitles). Gracias for another great term.
|4||This term, students in fifth grade spent a good deal of time preparing for their Latin American Festival plays. They first used rubber ducks to map out where their characters would be on stage, and later worked on memorizing lines, reading with expression, and adding physical gestures and movements to reflect the narration. The culmination of all of this hard work resulted in two highly successful dress rehearsals for Lower School students and a polished final program for parents (which included four Spanish plays, Latin American cuisine, tri-fold presentations, and a Spanish soccer game). |
Additionally, students watched a video about the possibilities for linguistic expression (21 Accents: Amy Walker); discussed a language Infographic about the hardest languages to learn coming from English; and composed a postcard written from the point of view of the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes. They also continued playing fútbol, and were assigned lines for a daily ‘class conversation’ prior to the outdoor games. Fifth graders have done a great job this year of applying the target language in a meaningful context. Gracias.