El Papa, Francisco

After the announcement of the Pope yesterday, I decided I wanted to teach my students about him.  I usually tend to avoid these topics partially because I am not religious and partially because I don’t like the conflict in my room.  However, I want to teach about the new Pope because he’s from ARGENTINA!

I must also confess before you begin reading that I did this lesson in English.

I started class by asking what my students knew about the old and/or new Pope.  A lot knew that the old one had quite, and one student out of 15 new he was from Argentina.

I rolled with the Argentina portion, identifying the capital and where Argentina was on a map.  I also have some posters on my back wall for South American countries and we read the interesting facts about the country.  Facts included: (1) the tango is from here, (2) they consume more meat than citizens in any other country, (3) the country is 3/10 the size of the USA, and (4) they play a game that’s like basketball but on horses.

After this, we watch a CNN video about the new Pope in English.  I reviewed the five important things to know about him, according to the text below that accompanied the video.

// <![CDATA[
src=”http://player.ooyala.com/player.js?width=625&height=375&video_pcode=d5OHc6MVLQYVl6ElN9iusefh_Cnw&deepLinkEmbedCode=JwNHE1YTrMDnj6pGbMyDbz9-OazF9Zo9&embedCode=JwNHE1YTrMDnj6pGbMyDbz9-OazF9Zo9″&gt;
// ]]>

We then watched a video in Spanish about the Pope, and students had to guess what the clip was about. As it uses a lot of cognates with Twitter and it includes images, this was pretty easy for students.

After this, we looked over a printed internet article about El Papa.  I made sure to point out the difference between el Papa and la papa (students got a chuckle out of this!).  Students then scanned the whole entire page, including links at the top and to the right, and highlighted any words they recognized in Spanish.

In order to comply with a assignment required of me by my administration, on the back of the printed article students wrote for three minutes from this prompt: For three minutes, pretend YOU are the Pope.  What issues do you think need to be addressed?   For example, if your biggest complaint in life is that young men wear their pants too low to the ground, talk about this.  If you think everyone should boycott fast food, write about this.

Students counted up their words when they were done.

I admit I feel guilty about not keeping them in the target language, but I put this lesson together in 15 minutes and I’d rather them understand how important it is that a Pope was chosen from Latin America than to ramble on and on.

Did you do anything for class on the Pope?  If you did, what did you do?  I’d love to hear better ideas!

Here are some resources I didn’t use:

– First Latin American pope ‘very exciting,’ faithful say (ENGLISH ARTICLE, INCLUDES PICTURES)

– Nuevo Papa: vea las reacciones en América Latina (SPANISH VIDEO, INCLUDES DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND ACCENTS)

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2 thoughts on “El Papa, Francisco

  1. Querida Sra. D,
    I think this is a terrific lesson on culture! Well done! I try not to worry too much when I have to give a lesson in English that is cultural …. that’s the reality of working with the lower level classes – Great job and thank you so much for sharing all of your resources! ~ Sra. F

    • Gracias Sra F, for the kind words! I hope you’re able to use something off my blog.

      I’m pleased to report that most of my students were interested in learning about the new Pope. I had some really good discussions today and I’m glad I decided to talk about it in class. No grumbling at all!

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