|1||This term, second graders began the year with a town simulation. Here, students pretend to live in a Spanish-speaking country, and proceed to create businesses/jobs within that structure. Authentic realia and brands are referenced (Mercadona:Spain:: Publix:United States:: Carrefour: Argentina), and students cut out pesos and euros to spend to make the experience more realistic. The class discussed how food gets to the grocery store (~farms), and learned that they have to work to earn money: it is not free. Businesses even charged impuestos/taxes! Students practiced writing in the target language by sending me “letters” through the Post Office, complete with stamps from Mexico, Bolivia, Spain, etc. They also took a day to paint huge swaths of color on cardboard boxes, like this town in Colombia.|
Partway through September, we began reserving Fridays as “Storytime Days“, where students gesture-told and co-created a silly story in the target language, using the AIM methodology. Our story morphed into a saga, lasting over a month and a half, and was about an evil duck that keeps taking a wolf’s sandwich and eating it. As a result, the wolf cries and cries. (*cue THIS SONG, first eight seconds only- canta y no llores/ “sing and don’t cry”). Last but not least, second graders took a few classes to explore the Fun Spanish app on their iPads, and one day to make and try gazpacho, for La Tomatina. Gracias for a great term!
|2||This term, second graders had fun practicing a Halloween rhyme in the target language. In the culture realm, they reviewed La Alhambra (Spain); El Camino (Spain); and street mercados (Argentina/Spain) from last year; and were introduced to the idea of currency conversions, which is an ongoing conversation in second grade (₲5,000 Paraguayan Guaraníes is only $0.72 cents? What?!). |
The town simulation continued to evolve as well; however, a new mode of transportation was introduced–the TRAIN!–which spiced things up a bit. Students studied a [real] map of the metro system in Madrid, and pushed their classmates around the room on my tables [with wheels], stopping at various locales (el supermercado/supermarket; el banco/ bank; la fábrica/factory; el teatro/theater; etc.). To expand upon this, they learned a bit about the extreme railways of Bolivia and Argentina.
Linguistically, the beginning of class routine shifted to preguntas/ questions, including but not limited to the following: ¿Cómo estás? (how are you?); ¿Adónde vas? (where are you going?); ¿Qué quieres hacer? (what do you want to do?); and ¿Por qué?/¿Para qué? (why? for what?). Some days, students led as ‘maestro(a)’ (teacher), asking the questions to their peers; other days, the routine included a 2-minute episode of Bluey, where second graders raised their hands when they heard words they recognized. In December, they began reviewing the names of the countries of South America. Gracias for another fantastic term!
|3||This term, students worked hard on their Floor Map skills. Here, second graders practice jumping on and naming all 21 Spanish-speaking countries on a gigantic floor map. Each lesson, we add another country or two–and pretty soon, they get pretty good at it! They even sorted the class dinero/money by country, and took ‘boat rides’ from Cuba to Spain [read: me dragging a large piece of cardboard, with students on top of it, from one side of the room to the other]. We played Epic Pirate Battle Music to tie into their regular classroom pirate unit, and had a video of waves splashing in the background to add to the general ambiance.|
NOTE: The overarching goal here is to pair memorable experiences with language, so students will pick up vocabulary such as, “Necesito eso” (I need that); or “Boleto, por favor” (ticket, please); or “Quiero ir a España” (I want to go to Spain); or “¿Dónde está la cinta?” (Where is the tape?); or “¿Qué? ¡No comprendo! (What? I don’t understand!) in meaningful contexts.
To make the fábrica/factory more popular, I said that it was a car factory, and brought in small tricycles from the playground to use as coches/cars. Students said, “¡Quiero conducir el coche rojo!” (I want to drive the red car!), and took turns driving, all while listening to this song and stopping to fill up the tank with gasolina/pétrol. Students also started a new class story/saga in Spanish (about a monster named Fluphball who takes a girl’s jacket because he wants to add it to his collection); talked about imports and exports by looking at stickers, tags, and labels to find out where products were made; learned about the cultural references in the fourth grader’s Spanish play [e.g., Don Quijote (Spain); Rainbow Mountain (Peru); Amazon River (Peru)]; heard about tightrope walking and volcano boarding (in Nicaragua); and took a day to learn about the Tango (Argentina). It has been an exciting term!
|4||This term… coming super soon! Not just soon. Super soon!|