Super Bowl 2015 Spanish, French, and ESL Activities

January 23rd, 2015

And it’s almost here! My Spanish students of all ages love, love the Super Bowl. There is so much to like: the excitement, the hype, the teams, the players and the American festivities. You can review, practice, and extend a surprising number of vocabulary groups: colors, numbers, personal descriptions, sports vocabulary, and dynamic action verbs. Target language videos on the Super Bowl abound since it is popular the world over.

Have fun with the Super Bowl and you’ll be surprised at how well your students know their TL numbers, a few colors, personal descriptions and some football verbs. Here are the French Football and Winter Sports Activities and the Spanish Football and Winter Sports Activities.

For Your Language Class

1. You can review, recycle and recombine colors and numbers, but you can extend to Personal Descriptions using the players and even the coaches. Project some images of famous Patriots and Seahawks for conversational prompts and activities with descriptions. Play Beat the Clock- Partners or groups are given a minute or 30 seconds to describe a projected photo of a Patriots or Seahawks player. This is fun in small group teams.

2. I find that for students hearing and internalizing target language numbers is always challenging. Practicing with the players’ jersey numbers is a hit. See Spanish Super Bowl Activities.

3. Even Beginners can do some Reading and Writing about the Super Bowl.

I often make podcasts or voice recordings with Garage Band of the listening/reading scripts. I teach from an edublog website that I created, meaning that I enter my lesson content and upload the documents to it and then I project it on the Smart Board or White board. Then I upload the podcast to my class website and play it from there. Or  Partners would also do great with the listening and reading activities.

4.  Football Math. This takes some prep. Find an image of a football field with the “yards” on it and project it. Divide the class in to the Patriots and the Seahawks. Play a Super Bowl game on the projected field with stick-on or magnetized player-markers. Make this as simple or as complex as your students are willing to help you out with. Students are to keep track of the yards that a player runs or throws and the yard line where the action takes place.  With lots of prep time next year this would be fantastic for small groups for grades 6-12- each with its own printed football field and set of player-markers.



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Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spanish, French, and ESL Classes

January 18th, 2015

What a busy winter!  Martin Luther King Jr. day is a wonderful time to honor all that he stood and worked for- peace, liberty, and equality. This certainly translates in to all languages. I love bringing in social justice content in to my classes.  You can absolutely teach Dr. King’s ideals in the target language for all proficiency levels- novice to advanced.   Meaningful content is the best way to teach the target language.

1. Here are some vocabulary basics you can use in a class, group, or partners’ TARGET LANGUAGE BRAINSTORM:

ENGLISH – SPANISHFRENCH

PEACE – LA PAZLA PAIX

LIBERTY- LA LIBERTADLA LIBERTÉ

EQUALITY- LA IGUALDAD- L’ÉGALITÉ

2. HIGH NUMBERS. Practice a few of the days and dates of Dr. King’s movement in the TARGET LANGUAGE.

3.  US GEOGRAPHY- A FEW SOUTHERN STATES.  Practice use of la capital and el estado and map directions.

**Be careful and judicious with this content and history. As with all significant historical movements there is a necessity for we teachers to keep it all age and classroom appropriate. Just the very basics are worth the effort.

See our French and Spanish MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. downloads below:

French Martin Luther King Bundle of Activities (beginners, present tense)

French Martin Luther King Time Line of Dates & Activities (past tense)

Spanish I Martin Luther King Activities Collection

ESL Martin Luther King Activities Collection

It will be worth it to take a class period to honor one of the greatest men in the world! All languages and cultures recognize this.

 



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Spanish & French Three Kings Day Lesson & Activities

December 26th, 2014

 

Let’s face it; we need a holiday to get through the long month of January and Three Kings Day is waiting to bring in some fun.  Three Kings Day on January 6th is a top-notch opportunity to bring French-speaking or Hispanic culture in to the classroom.  Children and students of all ages just love learning about it. Three Kings Day is ripe for a comparison and contrast activity with Christmas or other winter holidays.  All in the target language, of course!

American children in particular think it is so unfair that they don’t receive presents like their French, Spanish, and Latin American counterparts on January sixth.  They’re eager to learn about how they can do so.  You can be the one to let them celebrate their holidays even more!

Materials & Activities  for Three Kings Day

Students will love creating their own paper shoe to be filled with goodies.  Use this paper shoe template and lead your student in target language directions on how to assemble it.

Nothing teaches both the target language and target cultures better than a simplified TL reading about the Three Kings.  For secondary teachers, it is worth the time spent in which  students will read and write about the Three Kings in the TL.  Click here for Spanish readings and activities.

More Three Kings Day Activities in the Target Language

  1. Students can act out the Three Kings and leave goodies in students’ shoes
  2. Student to student basic Q & A:  What do you want from the Three Kings?  I want . . .
  3. Students write a list of items they would like in a basic letter to the Three Kings
  4. Teacher created fill-in-the-blank letter to the Three Kings including all of the good behavior and good deeds done by the writers
  5. Teacher created basic reading or sentence series in the target language
  6. A longer term cultural project:  Students create mini models of floats of the Three Kings just like they are made in Spain and Latin America for the Cabalgata de Reyes.



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Holiday 2014 Materials for Language Classes- A Countdown

December 14th, 2014

And we are almost at . . . Winter Break!  Congrats.  Pat on the back. But, we need to get through this week in one piece. Here are my survival tips:

See our SpanishFrench and ESL Holiday Materials. All materials have easy How To’s and Directions. 

1. I’m offering a No HOMEWORK week as a holiday gift to students and their parents. We’re all celebrating about this!

2. Hispanic holiday customs will be included every day this week, but for about 20 minutes of my 60 minute classes. Quizzes, skill building and content come for the first part of class, then the rest is holiday.

3. I’m using a different transition activity or ice breaker for each day when I change over to the Holiday section . . . .a Word Search with holiday vocabulary, a draw and color a Christmas tree or a Menorah contest one day, a partner-chat about family holiday traditions , a Guess What? guessing game using holiday vocabulary, and  the writing or speaking prompts: My Dream Stocking Stuffers, If I had millions of dollars I would give my mom . . . , I predict that I will get . . . 

4.  Quick Class Polls. Who wants to receive. . . for the holiday?  Who doesn’t want to receive . . . ?  Who thinks he will recieve . . . ?  Who thinks he will not receive . . . ?  Who is going to give . . .?  And so on. Affirmative answerers stand up. Then we can tally up answers for a poll or even a bar graph.

4. Santa is in the house.  Groups will write a simple narration of Santa arriving, entering, leaving presents along with a CREATIVE ENDING. A Narrator will then read it and group members will act our each sentence.

Check out our holiday freebies.



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Foreign Language House’s St. Nicolas Day, Hannukah & Christmas Activities for Language Classes

December 1st, 2014

 

St. Nicolas Day Paper Shoes

St. Nicolas Day Paper Shoes

December is here and who has the energy to dream up super-fun, cultural activities?  Here are some tried and true Holiday activities and lessons that we’ve created and used in the past. We always emphasize the importance of the winter holidays in the target cultures and we emphasize the secular nature of the customs. Students are ready now for some holiday fun. Spanish Holiday Materials.  French Holiday Materials.  ESL Holiday Materials.

1.  Hannukah. We love Hannukah in French and Spanish. I use a big bulletin-board visual of a menorah that I hold up for counting the candles and for descriptions. For more advanced high schoolers we read articles on Hannukah in Spanish language internet-newspapers, then we discuss it. Playing dreidel is fun for a review of numbers.  French Hannukah and Spanish Hannukah Materials.

2. St. Nicolas Day. French teachers it’s almost here! Present some French content appropriate for your students- a song, a brief story with gestures, or an article from a French language periodical. Here is a French St. Nicolas Lesson. Then play St. Nicolas! Have students make and decorate a shoe from this Paper Shoe Template. Then, put candy or treats in to the shoes over night for elementary students, or have students put their heads down while you fill the shoes for secondary students. My high school Spanish students loved this last year for Three Kings Day.

FREE GAME BOARDS- For All Languages. Use the Winter Holiday Picture Grids for games and activities.



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Thanksgiving Materials & Activities for Language Classes 2014

November 14th, 2014

Teach, practice, or review food and family in the Target Language along with table manners and requests. See French Thanksgiving Materials.  See Spanish Thanksgiving Materials

I.  Class Activities List

  1. Foods- flashcard games- tic tac to, bingo, matching, concentration, war
  2. Personal Descriptions- Piligrims and Native Americans
  3. Preferences- preference expressions and foods and holiday pass-times
  4. History-The Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock, The Spanish – Native American Thanksgiving between Don Juan de Onate and the Native Americans of Texas-Mexico
  5. Categorizing & Comparing and Contrasting- prepared foods and fresh foods, types of foods, pilgrims & Native Americans, Massachussetts and England
  6. Meaning & Significance- friendship, gratitude, sharing

II. Conversational Activities About Thanksgiving Break is available in French and Spanish.

The last lessons before Thanksgiving break can be challenging.  You could give a test, but then you have the grading.  Ugh.  Instead, try our activity. Students talk in the target language in no time!

A/B partner interviews using the immediate future tense & the simple past tenses.   What are you going to do over Thanksgiving break? What did you do?

III. “Find Someone Who” circulating activity using the immediate future.

  • Students circulate around the room, asking classmates if they are going to do various activities.  Students write down the name of a classmate who responds affirmatively, then move on to talk to someone new.
  • Teacher follows up by asking individuals who they found for various activities.
  • Another fun variation is to play HUMAN BINGO.  The teacher must participate in the activity, collecting the names of students are going to do various activities.  When time is up and everyone returns to their seats, the teacher reads the answers s/he collected during the activity, such as “Suzanne is going to watch football, Jean is going to watch a parade, David is going to

Free Materials until 11- 23-2014:

Spanish, French, ESL Thanksgiving Tic Tac Toe Games,

Spanish Conversational Activities,

French Conversational Activities.

Happy Thanksgiving!



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Protected: ACTFL 2014- Targetlanguagapolooza

November 6th, 2014

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Spanish Día de los Muertos 2014

November 2nd, 2014

 

The Day of the Dead or El Día de los Muertos is the opposite of morbid and macabre.  It’s a spectacular, colorful, happy, but respectful time to honor loved ones who have passed away. Think Memorial Day to the thousandth power. Check out our Spanish Dia de los Muertos Materials.

Celebrations, Imagery, & Symbols

Mexicans have an ingenious way of combining symbols and adding a distinct humor to the heavy concept of death, or La Muerte. La Muerte is both personified and humorized into the dancing, laughing skeletons. This can be a new concept to American students. The colors used on decorations, pastries, and candles are bright and contrasting.  Here is the vocabulary I use:

Da de Muertos Vocabulary

  • death= la Muerte
  • candle= la vela
  • bread of the dead= el pan de muerto
  • candied skull= la calavera
  • decorative crepe paper hangings= papel picado
  • decorative memorial= la ofrenda

Day of the Dead Activities

1. For Spanish beginners, I do pass out an English reading describing Day of the Dead.  Then we use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast Halloween with Day of the Dead.

2.  Story or Context.  I then use a simple story or a very basic descriptive reading.  More advanced students can read from Spanish websites.

3.  Activities. Beginners play games with picture vocabulary cards, basic memory activities and even some Question and Answer.

4.  Mini Projects.  Any and all levels can do variations of these.

  • List for a Day of the Dead picnic
  • Situation- pretend you’re in Mexico and you need to pick up specific items for a Day of the Dead picnic, or to create an ofrenda. Make the list, or enact buying the itmes.
  • Tribute.  Write a eulogy or simple tribute to a famous person who has passed away.
  • Create a Calavera. Bring out all of the visual artistry. Include a written description.
  • Create an Ofrenda.  Draw, label, and describe an ofrenda. Create an ofrenda with a group for a deceased celebrity or historical figure. You can limit the choices to historical figures en the Hispanic world.
5.  Authentic Materials- Mexican Site Mexico Desconocido- Día de los Muertos articles & spectacular photos. Use a listening, speaking, reading, or writing task that is appropriate for your learners. Consider their age and Spanish proficiency level to carefully create activities that foster their acquisition and use of Spanish.

Get your free Day of the Dead picture game board set: 1 in color, Free Dia de Muertos Boards



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Halloween 2014

September 30th, 2014

Halloween or Fall Festival Fun

Can you believe we are already here? Back to School materials are packed away and it’s time to plan Halloween materials.  Here are our Halloween Materials for Foreign Language Classes- SpanishFrench.   We use Halloween to the Hilt and here are just a few ways to use Halloween or Fall Festival in your Foreign Language Classes:

1. Adjective Agreement Practice. This suddenly becomes fun with ghosts and goblins. I use singular, plural, masculine, and feminine charts for nouns with lots of repetition. More advanced students can write all sorts of descriptive projects as well as conversations, poems and other presentation pieces.

2. Verb Conjugations.  Again, floating, flying, and shrieking and their conjugations are memorable. All sorts of time frames or even modals can be used too. It’s awfully fun for students to choose a Halloween character and then a verb and come up with sentences to a timer.

3.  The Haunted House.  Never Gets Old. NGO.  So much is there– rooms, furniture, prepositions, ordinal numbers and all of the above. I might make this a big deal project this year with a designed, drawn and labeled haunted house with characters and a story.  Phew.

4.  Prepositions. Pile on the pumpkins!  A great mini-lesson for prepostions.

5.  Fashion Show.  Goth-Chic. Definitely for the high school set, but so much fun for clothing and shopping expressions.

This list is going to grow daily . . . 

Halloween Images Board for All Languages- Project on your classroom screen for class and team games. Or print and laminate a class set to keep for years to come.

Black and White Printable Halloween Images Board- For all languages. Print out, pass out and let the games begin!

Spanish Halloween Counting Book



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Fall Football Fun 2014

September 22nd, 2014

And it’s Fantastic Football Season! Use American football as a context for a vast array of vocabulary groups, some content, culture, and lots of verb-based action packed grammar. Football brings relevance and some much-needed ENERGY to the grammar. I’m thinking of teaching a thematic unit on American Football at this time of year because it’s a great bridge after the first-of-the-year review and so much of any level’s content and grammar can be taught within the American Football context with a high relevance and interest to students that is hard to beat.

Check out our Spanish, French, and ESL Football activities.

Gouin Series

Ever heard of the Gouin Series? The Gouin series is one of the simplest and most effective ways to create a simple context for verb conjugations. This is ideal for sports and physical verbs. Hard to believe it was created in the 1900?s by Francois Gouin! It is a series of logical sentences that describe an action or process in sequential order. Examples are: PLAYING IN A FOOTBALL GAME, GOING TO A FOOTBALL GAME. OR WATCHING A FOOTBALL GAME ON TV. Here is a free Gouin Series Explanation & Examples.

Activities for using American Football in Class

Each one could be a daily warm-up during Football season:

  1. Describe your hometown or closest hometown professional team; college team too. Use it/them for expressing preferences. Stand up if you like . . . if you don’t like . . .
  2. Football TPR Fiesta- Every time a football verb is said the entire class has to do the full-body action or charade. Create a strenuous script about a player or a team that is understandable.
  3. Dictate a list of a team’s players and their jersey numbers. Students can write them down in the target language, as numerals, or for memory activities.
  4. Football Player Categories calling on Verbs— Runners, Passers, Blockers, Receivers, Kickers. Write the infinitive or a third person conjugation as a heading and list players who fit the verb under it.
  5. Football Player Description-Categories. Big, small, fast, strong, slow. Do the same as above.
  6. Team Mascot Categories. Mascot types—- animals, people, etc. Be careful with this one; there remain some pretty sensitive team mascots so choose carefully.
  7. Football Team Geography. Match the team with its city, state, and region of the USA.For older students throw in time-zones.
  8. Football Player Autobiography- as brief or as long as age and language proficiency and time allows.
  9. Football Team History– for the older more advanced student
  10. Compare American Football with a popular sport in the target culture.Use a Venn Diagram.

Get our American Fall Football Materials Now!



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