Curriculum

Year 2021-22


Grade
PKSpanish- PK3 & PK4
Students in PK3 and PK4 are immersed in the target language starting on the first day of classes. While establishing a strong vocabulary base of colors, numbers, manners, animals, food, and more is important, said vocabulary is carefully and naturally woven into the curriculum via storytelling, games, and activities, rather than taught explicitly.

Children pick up language naturally as they would in a home environment. As a result, and because the focus at this age is comprehension and input (not output), children are strongly encouraged to speak but not required to do so.
KSpanish- KINDERGARTEN
Students in kindergarten experience immersion in the target language. The class structure typically involves listening to humorous mini-stories in Spanish, which naturally pose a problem or challenge of sorts and lead into a hands-on class activity. Highlights of the kindergarten year include lessons on disappearing ink, vinegar volcanoes, dyed paper, lightning bugs, a real egg whose fate is to be smashed, maps and treasure hunting, and ocean animals. Activities are invariably accompanied by songs in the target language, both as background music and/or taught directly. Students also practice writing Spanish sight words at their own differentiated pace, dependent on L1 skills, and are exposed to literacy/the written word on a regular basis.

Sprinkled throughout the year are various Culture Projects; these lessons focus on amazing and beautiful aspects of the Spanish-speaking world (landforms, monuments, traditions, etc.), and knit together the Lower School Spanish experience. Kindergarteners begin to recognize the names and flags of many Spanish-speaking countries through these projects.
1Spanish- FIRST GRADE
Students in first grade experience immersion in the target language. While the year begins with an extension of the humorous mini-stories and hands-on activities from kindergarten, lessons gradually ease into more independent work. Here, first graders read a letter together with the class, which explains which “islands”, or activity centers, will be open that day. The letter is concise and to the point at first, but grows throughout the year to emphasize specific vocabulary, syntax, and grammatical points.

Students submit written requests each class, expressing which ‘islands’ they want to visit and what they will need while there, and work on incorporating the newest Spanish sight words into their letters. After arriving at an island, first graders participate in an activity center and conversations in the target language between teacher>student, student>student, and student>teacher commence–the heartbeat of the curriculum.

Sprinkled throughout the year are various Culture Projects; these lessons focus on amazing and beautiful aspects of the Spanish-speaking world (landforms, monuments, traditions, etc.), and knit together the Lower School Spanish experience. Last but not least, first graders focus on learning the names and locations of the Spanish-speaking countries in South America on a gigantic floor map.
2Spanish- SECOND GRADE
Students in second grade experience immersion in the target language. It is a transitional year: lessons both extend the humorous mini-stories and ‘island’ activity centers of the younger grades, as well as tap into projects for older students. Integral to the second grade curriculum, however, is a town simulation that ties these units together. Here, students pretend to live in a Spanish-speaking country and work at businesses of their own creation (factory, bank, restaurant, gym, art museum, movie theater, etc.).

Classes discuss the value of different currencies while looking at online currency converters, and then buy and sell items with euros, pesos, colones, etc., comparing and contrasting the visual representation of money all the while. During the second semester, the focus shifts to AIM Language Learning, a methodology which incorporates storytelling, drama, dance, songs, gestures, and repetition to accelerate the language-learning process.

Sprinkled throughout the year are various  Culture Projects; these lessons focus on amazing and beautiful aspects of the Spanish-speaking world (landforms, monuments, traditions, etc.), and knit together the Lower School Spanish experience. Last but not least, second graders learn the names and locations of all of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries on a gigantic floor map. They have the opportunity to participate in an All-School Map Competition at the end of the year.
3Spanish- THIRD GRADE
Students in third grade experience 90-100% immersion in the target language. Instruction is based on AIM Language Learning as well as Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS)–methodologies which incorporate storytelling, drama, dance, songs, gestures, and repetition to accelerate the language-learning process. Third graders also explore legends from around the Spanish-speaking world; deepen their study of phonetics with tongue twisters, jokes, and rhymes in the target language; and work on a language-learning app to supplement the curriculum. Highlights of the third grade year include a Spanish News Show and a play about the 900-page novel and Spanish masterpiece Don Quijote, both presented in the target language by students.

Sprinkled throughout the year are various Culture Projects; these lessons focus on amazing and beautiful aspects of the Spanish-speaking world (landforms, monuments, traditions, etc.), and knit together the Lower School Spanish experience. Last but not least, third graders master the names and locations of all of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries on a gigantic floor map. They have the opportunity to participate in an All-School Map Competition at the end of the year.
4Spanish- FOURTH GRADE
Students in fourth grade experience 90-100% immersion in the target language. The first semester is spent preparing for a theatrical performance presented entirely in Spanish for the community. Fourth graders work tirelessly to memorize lines and later perfect their pronunciation, intonation, and expression in the target language, thereby making the presentation comprehensible to and enjoyable for non-Spanish-speaking and Spanish-speaking audience members alike. Students spend the second semester preparing for Middle School Spanish, touching on more advanced grammatical concepts and focusing their attention on the written word. If time permits, they may read a short TPRS novel in Spanish.

The year culminates with a Spanish soccer unit, where fourth graders travel outside to play fútbol. Common expressions and instinctive linguistic responses are pre-taught, so that the games are experienced completely in the target language. Students rotate acting as “sports announcers” on the side, attempting to narrate the action as it happens.

Sprinkled throughout the year are various Culture Projects; these lessons focus on amazing and beautiful aspects of the Spanish-speaking world (landforms, monuments, traditions, etc.), and knit together the Lower School Spanish experience. Last but not least, fourth graders master the names and locations of all of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries on a gigantic floor map. They have the opportunity to participate in an All-School Map Competition at the end of the year and obviously want to walk away with the gold.