I’m pretty proud of an assignment I recently completed with my Spanish 3 students. The unit was on zombies and we covered preterite verbs. We also reviewed body parts.
What I liked the most about this unit was the “Monstruo” assignment I had students complete. I also used the paragraphs students wrote for reading assessments and fill in the blanks for vocabulary. It was great to have materials that didn’t require me to create the entire thing.
STEP 1 – DRAW A MONSTER:
The first step was to have students draw a monster. The only prompt I gave was that it was better to have more detail, because these drawings might end up on a test. After the body was drawn and colored, students had to label X amount of body parts.
STEP 2 – WRITE ABOUT MONSTER IN THE PRETERITE
Next, students wrote a story about their monster in the preterite. The prompt I gave them was to write as much about the monster as possible because it might show up on a test. Surprisingly, I had lengthy paragraphs! This might be because it’s my older students but maybe it was the “this might be on the test” warning. I also note that it is a questionable move to write solely in the preterite, especially if you use the TPRS method or teach imperfect while teaching preterite. I allowed native speakers to use the imperfect.
STEP 3 – CALL GOOGLE VOICE AND RECORD DESCRIPTIONS
After they wrote their paragraphs, we did a peer edit and then I assigned each student someone else’s paragraph. Students had to call my Google Voice Number (a free phone/text/voicemail service provided through Google – it’s the neatest and easiest way to record students’ voices) and simply read their peer’s description of the monster.
Here’s a sample from Beatriz:
Here’s a sample from Santiago:
STEP 5 – MONSTERS ON THE TEST! ***MY FAVORITE PART***
For the test, I downloaded the audios off of Google Voice. This is much easier than I anticipated! I then chose a group of 6 monsters, put them on the board with a letter next to each. Students listened to 5 descriptions with smiles on their faces while listening to their peers. Their task was to correctly label which monster was being described. I only had 2 students out of 30 not get 5 out of 5.
REFLECTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
– If/When I do this assignment in the future, after students have written their paragraphs and before I give them a peer’s description to read, I will cross of some sentences to not be read. Each audio on the listening section of their test lasted about a minute and had numerous details, which made it super easy for students to identify the monster being described.
– I would decide which monsters I want on the test BEFORE I assign who gets which audio. This is partially because there were monsters I wanted to use but the student with the description did not call in, and partially because I could have my better speaking students read those selections.
– I highly recommend you do something similar!