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 

Comprehensible Input, Spanish CI Readers, Spanish class

Miguel tiene que estudiar: The Perfect Digital Resource For Spanish 1!

I discovered the story, “Miguel tiene que estudiar” (available on TPT) last year with my Spanish 1 students. They absolutely loved it. The raved about it for ever! As I read each slide to them, each fragment of the story was met with visceral reactions as this the main character prioritizes playing games over learning. Then, he disrespected his teacher, which garnered stares (some high-fives) because they know they could not talk like that to me! The story is cute, compelling and comprehensible, but most important it is relatable: a kid who does not like to study but rather play games. What a concept!

Click here for more resources by Spanish Plans!

For context, I have Spanish I class three classes a week for 48 minutes (Spanish IV on the other days).

This year, since we have been online, I decided to reinstitute the story. I worried about reading it online because with the mute function, I would hear the spectrum of their reaction. But as always, I had a plan for that too! I ended up making this story into the week’s lesson, here is how I used it and it went beautifully. This resource was easily adapted to the online platform. Here is what I approached it:

This was a fun activity! You can get this story on Teacherspayteachers.com. It is by Spanishplans.

Other stories on the topic of school

  1. Picture talk- this is a CI staple in the classroom and is just as versatile online.
    • For every mini-activity (such as picture talk), I assign questions. I normally single out 3-5 students (beforehand). I let them know that they are going to respond to the following questions about the picture projected on the screen:
    • ¿Cómo se llama el estudiante?
    • ¿Dónde está?
    • ¿Qué tiene que hacer el estudiante?
    • ¿Cuál es el conflicto?
    • ¿Qué juego le gusta jugar?
    • ¿Qué juego te gusta jugar?
    • ¿Lo juegas todos los días?
    • ¿Qué es más importante, jugar o estudiar?
    • ¿Cuántas horas al día se debe jugar los videojuegos?
  2. I read the first 4 slides of the story and asked students questions. They then had to read the rest of the story and respond to these comprehension questions first. The next day, we did the Conversation Circle. I wanted them to understand the story and feel confident in responding, which is why I gave them the comprehension questions first.
  3. The next class, we had conversation circle: I asked students these questions for the Conversation Circle. It went pretty smooth.
  4. Comparison: Miguel y yo (this activity was the last question on the comprehension questions). Students compared themselves with Miguel. No surprise here, they all prefer playing video games to studying!

I love using resources from Spanish Plans. You can check out their store of compelling imput here! Spanishplans.org or Spanish Plans Resources on TPT

Other short stories exploring school topics can found below:

Dreaming In Spanish Bundles

Mi colegio ideal

¿Quién es la chica nueva en la escuela (dialogue with pictures)?

En la papelería

Gracias

El bolígrafo

En la cafetería

La nueva estudiante