Comprehensible Input, Spanish CI Readers, Spanish class, Thematic Units

Divide and Conquer: Digital Resources that Add Some Jazz to Class!

Well, we have two new resources in the Teaching Spanish Made Easy family! Check them out! And best of all, you can use for remote instruction or face to face!

I love writing and even more so short stories. These are my new ones out the gate. First up we have “Mi vida es un drama total.” I story I created for my students during remote learning to emphasize daily routine, but it morphed into something more! Here are the specs:

  • Level 2 E-book (20 pages)
    • Word versions of activities and story have been included to adapt to teachers’ needs!
  • 18 pages of activities
    • Comprehension questions
    • Vocabulary activities
    • Illustration activities
    • Discussion activities
  • Mostly present tense with a smattering of past tense. Footnotes are used for the past tense sections
  • Themes include:
    • Daily routine
    • Navigating romantic relationships
    • Being oneself
    • Family & school pressure
    • Honesty & truthfulness

Synopsis

Yolanda- Is an only child, and her parents love her dearly. So much, they want to control what she wears, what she eats, and the future she chooses for herself! To make matters worse, her father works at her school and is constantly adding pressure to her life to succeed. She cannot escape his notice, he is hasta por la sopa! Lucas, her best friend, is rooting for her. He’s in her corner, trying to to be the truth whisperer and guide Yolanda in the right direction… which is not back into the arms of her narcissist boyfriend: Jaime. The tension thickens between Yolanda and her father; Lucas and her father; Yolanda and her ex; and Lucas and her ex! She wants to strike out on her own, be her own person, and be free of it all. Will she confront the controlling people in her life or simply play back up to their dreams for her?

El horario de Mónica

El horario de Mónica

Spanish level 1: Novice-Mid/High

Language: Mostly present -tense verbs (pueden, estudia, mira)

The answer key is included!

Totally E-learning adaptable

Mónica is excited about school because her school allowed students to have input in the new schedule. As a result, she has meditation, computer programing, Mexican Cinema, and Genius Hour. Mónica discusses her schedule, and her newfound interest: learning about the culture and contributions of Afromexicanos.

The benefit to your students: Comprehensibility & Culture

Your students will get to review important vocabulary related to school in a new exciting way. They will how students in Mónica school benefit from meditation and how they can actively pursue their own learning through projects such as Genius Hour. Students will also learn about an important Afromexican figure, her ambition, and drive to succeed in life; all in a comprehensible manner!

Resources included:

1. Short reading about Mónica’s schedule with new vocabulary headlining the activity. Unfamiliar words to Novice-mid students have been footnoted.

2. A colorful version of Mónica’s schedule: students can practice days of the week and times.

3. Comprehensible questions regarding Mónica’s schedule. Students will pick up some incidental vocabulary as well!

4. Comprehension questions about Mónica’s schedule

5. One and a half page mini-biography of a famous Afromexican

6. True/false questions regarding the mini-biography

7. Compare and contrast with your schedule/ school situation

Digital learning adaptable

The Word version for the activity is also included so teachers can post on their desired learning platform.

The resources above are just the tip of the iceberg! There is more to see and read in this literary sea of opportunities.

Stories by topic

Stories about resilience, values, and acceptance

Eres perfecto
Eres perfecto. This is a short story about a girl looking for love, but she has what she perceives as a physical defect. She meets a guy online and learns how to overcome her insecurity. In the story, we chose to list a very uncommon characteristic/perceived “defect” so that students would not feel uncomfortable. The story is written in the present tense with many of the same personality traits and physical traits are interwoven throughout in addition to cognates and some common verbs such as busca, mira, quiere, voy, ir. Unfamiliar vocabulary is footnoted. This story features pre and post-reading material (4 activities)

En la papelería

A short story about two- Colombian boy-crazed teens who go shopping for school supplies at a local papelería (the infographic of the Papelería and sales is included). While they discuss common topics about school, boys, and ditching class (Raquel), they stumble upon an all too common situation in the local store. They’ll have the chance to look beyond their privilege and “pay it forward.” This opportunity makes them think more about their good fortune and future decisions.

Gracias

«Gracias» is a short, yet heartwarming story about a young boy whose Venezuelan family has to immigrate to Colombia. It’s his first day of school, and he feels a little bit out to place. He initially happy to be in school and have some sense of normalcy, but is now rethinking the school experience. When the teacher moves close to his desk, to ask about his school supplies, Sam is petrified. The teacher notices, and does something incredible. In the end, Sam feels that he belongs.

EnRedados: Stories about Social Media

Caray, mi abuela tiene un móvil inteligente
Short story for Spanish 2 and beyond! This story can be easily adapted to online class learning as activities are included (vocabulary, and comprehension questions for each chapter). The story has been recently updated with color images. Click here to access bundle for more engaging stories.

Synopsis: Sara enjoys hanging out with her crazy “Primos” and “Tíos” at their weekly “Reunión” at “La casa de la abuela.” From listening to her crazy aunt’s tales about the adventures of internet dating to her grandmother’s funny jokes (comprehensible & appropriate), she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on Sunday. However, this Sunday is super special because it is her grandmother’s birthday, and Sara has just made her day by buying her a smartphone. While Sara teaches her “abuelita” how to use the smartphone, her grandmother discovers some “creative uses” for her new smartphone. Abuela Irma realizes even at 75 years old, her best years are ahead of her!

La cita inolvidable

La cita inolvidable is a short story with many laughable twists! Luis has just recovered from an almost deadly relationship and is desiring to move forward. Frustrated with this dating luck, his friends suggest he starts looking for love online. He’s not excited about the idea, but his traditional way of finding a suitable companion has exactly churned out results. Conflicted, he decides to give it a try; and he immediately becomes entangled in a web of craziness! Will he regret dating online, or embrace the adventure? Find out why this story is titled, “La cita inolvidable.”

No pasa nada

No pasa nada

Manuela, a selfie-crazed teen, is madly in love with her boyfriend. She has finally found someone who her parents approve of, and that’s hard if you know anything about her parents. However, one day, her boyfriend makes a seemingly innocent request. She’s a bit surprised because his request conjures up a lot of feelings; it also goes against everything she was taught. She begins to wrestle with self-image, wanting approval, and making the right decisions. Can teenagers withstand peer pressure? Do they always cave in? Who decides what is right and wrong? These questions guide and frame a decision that could have major consequences. She has five minutes to decide, should she follow her heart, or should she follow her brain?

La obsesión digital

La obsesión digital will have something for everyone! Nuria and her family are utterly dependent on technology. Her parents, once a tranquil and loving couple, struggle to balance the demands of their jobs while spending valuable time with their kids. The effects are obvious: Nuria’s brother is far deep into the world of virtual technology, and Nuria is addicted to social media.

However, when her grandma’s comes to visit, the family experiences an expected shake up; and their secrets are slowly revealed. Grandma has a plan for the family (plus, they cannot resist her cooking). Before they “accept” the terms and conditions of this new approach to life, they will have to “unplug” from their social media, put their devices in “airplane” mode, while pushing past their addictions to be a family. Can they do it? Can you?

Family Life & Daily Routine

Los adolescentes de hoy en día

When Myra’s dad gets stuck in South America on a business trip, she has to pick up a little more slack at home; and she is not happy about the new reality. Her mother is doing the best she can to keep the family afloat, working from home, managing a career and three kids as a temporary single mother, and Myra is not being cooperative at all. She is more focused on her dreams, desires, and dates. Tensions rise, and all the cards are put on the table. Myra has a big decision to make. Should she put life on hold to help her family, or should she sacrifice their needs, to fulfills hers?

Mi vida es un drama total

Yolanda- Is an only child, and her parents love her dearly. So much, they want to control what she wears, what’s she eats, and the future she chooses for herself! To make matters worse, her father works at her school and is constantly adding pressure to her life to succeed. She cannot escape his notice, he is hasta por la sopa! Lucas, her best friend, is rooting for her. He’s in her corner, trying to to be the truth whisperer and guide Yolanda in the right direction… which is not back into the arms of her narcissist boyfriend. The tension thickens between Yolanda and her father; Lucas and her father; Yolanda and her ex; and Lucas and her ex! She wants to strike out on her own, be her own person, and be free of it all. Will she confront the controlling people in her life or simply play back up to their dreams for her?

La fiesta

Romeo is having trouble picking out something to wear for a school party. His “scheming” sister offers to help so that she could further her own agenda. Will her plan help Romeo or ultimately backfire? Find out in “La fiesta.”

Thrillers

La policía ejemplar

Marcela and Rhonda are hardworking policewomen in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As they take notice of the lively nocturnal scene, they count their blessings that their shift is almost over. But, it isn’t. The police dispatch gives them their last assignment…and it changes one of their lives forever (Happy ending).

This story is written mostly in the past tense. Unfamiliar words are bolded. The story incorporates cultural references from Argentina such as Bombonera Stadium, La Boca Neighborhood, Immigration, and Night Life (nothing inappropriate).

La pesadilla (coming soon!)

Me gusta tu ropa

Looking for a fun way to review clothing, personality traits, school vocabulary, and present tense structures? Me gusta tu ropa is the perfect option! This short and thrilling new story features a bevy of present tense verbs such as gusta, tiene, son, es, prefiere, puede, quiere, dice, embedded in a context of cognates and/or common vocabulary to facilitate comprehension.

Synopsis

Everyone thinks that Clara is Rebeca, and this is by design! Clara is obsessed with Rebeca’s clothing, her hairstyle… even her boyfriend. She has all the teachers fooled, even the principal, who doesn’t wear his glasses in an attempt to look younger. However, the obsession deepens as Clara takes her “imitation game” to new heights. Clara tries to fool Rebeca’s boyfriend… this scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. Your students will love this story and the drama!

Afro-Latina Pioneering Woman

Vanessa Mendoza

Whether you are looking for an activity for Black History month, or want your students to know about the lives of Afro-Hispanic people, start with Vanessa Mendoza! She was Colombia’s first Beauty Queen of African descent, and it’s perfect for Spanish 1!

Alejandra Robles

Berta Vázquez

Invite more Afro-Spanish representation in your curriculum with this elaborate introduction to Berta Vásquez. Students will immediately widen their perspective and learn about his trailblazing woman who continues to break barriers. Best of all, this is digitally compliant! Both PDFs and Word copies have been included to make your life easier!

Looking for more FVR novels for your class? I have teamed up with Fluency Matters and my novels, featured below is part of their E-learning platform!

Instagram: a.c. quintero 

Twitter: @klasekastellano 

Facebook/TPT: Teaching Spanish Made Easy 

Website: acquinterobooks.com 

Novels and Resources by A.C. Quintero 

Youtube channel

 Catalog: unlocking potential, one story at a time 

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Virtual Special Person Interview : Remote Learning Edition

Special Person’s Interview, made popular by Bryce Hedstrom, is one of my favorite activities to do with students. I usually implement this CI rich, get-to-know you strategy at the beginning of the year while building community; then I recycle it throughout many units where students’ lives and interests can further unfold. The purpose of this activity is to get to know other people, their interests, passions etc. Usually, I am at the helm of the conversation, asking all the questions; however, last week, tables were slightly turned. I did a guest author appearance to Sra. Hendrix’s Spanish class. I was their ” persona especial virtual.  This post sums up my experience being the “persona especial” as well as offer ideas about how YOU can use an activity like this to liven up virtual classes, provide critical input, and give your students a unique experience.

I Love When Events Unfold Organically

I had the pleasure of crashing Ms. Hendrix’s upper-level Spanish class and being interviewed by her amazing and well-prepared students! Best of all, neither one of us had actually planned this!

One week prior to our interview, she had posted puppets of characters in the level 1 school crush- gone- awry novel “La clase de confesiones.” I was as intrigued by the lesson as I was impressed with her artistic skills and creativity. She was doing a virtual puppet show for students! She had used the paper puppets to review the novel, and I couldn’t think of a better way to engage students.

Sra. Hendrix’s Puppet Show

I commented on her FB post and shared it with my followers as this was a great activity that teachers could do with any novel, at any level. However, our message exchange did not stop there. The next day, I received a second message from Sra. Hendrix about another book of mine that her students had enjoyed. At this point, I was like, “I have to meet these students!” With permission from her students, she sent me the pictures below of them reading and drawing out different scenes from the level 3 thriller “El escape.”

El Parque de Los Perros

Well, as most of you know “El escape” is one of my favorite novels as it explores the dangers of social media and technology among teens. Since she raved about her students’ excitement for reading the novel, I offered to drop by before my class; she gladly extended the invitation. 

In just a few days, her students were able to compose questions about the novel, the nature of writing, my long term goals, and professions; and their questions were deep! They asked me about my inspiration for my novels and I, of course, spilled the beans! I told them about my crazy teachers and classmates from middle school who were reincarnated as characters in the book, mixed in with my experience as a teacher. I really appreciated the time that Sra. Hendrix took to coach them on questions. They were organized, direct, and I was such a great experience for me to see students so passionate about learning another language, and so respectful of my work. I also want to give a shoutout to Sra. Hendrix and her approach to the interview. If any teacher is interested in having a guest speaker, the items below can help you organize it so that it’s worthwhile for all participants.

1. There was a class ambassador. She introduced herself and the class and gave me an overview of what they were going to ask. 

2. Each student had a prepared question, and each of those questions were well-crafted (there was also a document with questions so I could look at that as well).

3. They asked a wide range of questions. I thought they were only going to ask about the book, but they actually inquired about my lifelong goals and where I saw myself in the next 5 years. That was profound! I love how they connected this interview to what they were currently learning. 

Overall, I had a great time connecting with Ms. Hendrix, an awesome educator on the East Coast and her students. Her love for teaching and great relationships with students was extremely palpable and I had a great time! 

You can hear the interview here if you like, these kids were amazing!

More about “La clase de confesiones”

See animated book Trailer here

Carlos hates Spanish class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. She is the reason he “tolerates” his boring class. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to “shake things up a bit” in class. A simple writing assignment turns out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Jessica. First, his nosy teacher tries to “set him up with Jessica,” this plan immediately backfires. Then, the unthinkable happens and Carlos is stunned. This turns into one of the most embarrassing moments in his life. But all is not lost. If Carlos plays his cards right, he could have a winning hand. Carlos invites you to come along on this adventure into “La clase de confesiones” where…”todos tienen una confesión,” even the teacher!

More about “El escape”

Can an obsession with technology, turn deadly? Well, these techy teens are about to find out. Federico and his friends have an insatiable desire to “capture” and “record” every memorable moment. However, not all memories are created equal, and these boys are about to discover this harsh reality. Against the advice of a town elder, these thrill-seeking “know-it-all” teenagers set out to film their usual pranks and upload them to Youtube…and they won’t get the last laugh. They stumble upon an incident that has the hashtag #danger, written all over it. Anxious to add to their video repertoire, they press record. Now they’ve become the ”victims” of a new crime thriller. There is no turning back. Federico and his friends must outsmart the bad guys, get “deleted” forever.

Novel by A.C. Quintero Catalog

Novel and Resources by A.C. Quintero

Books on Amazon