Embedded Reading

I want to share my embedded reading that I did today with my Spanish 1 students.

I’m not sure if I did what embedded reading is suppose to be, but I loved the results!  If you’re not familiar with embedded reading, it’s the idea of presenting the same story three times.  The first is the bare bones of the story.  The second adds some fluff.  The third has the fluff and then a little extra.

For the first week I worked with these verb words: baila, corre, salta, lanza, Éste/a es, se llama, tiene.  I hit on these nouns frequently: perro, gato, chico, amigo.  The I hit these adjectives: guapo/feo, gordo/flaco, inteligente/estúpido.

Keep in mind my students have had ONE week of Spanish exposure.

I also added pictures to the text.  There are two that are saved to my computer that REALLY made this story.  Here they are:

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 9.26.16 PM     Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 10.26.43 PM

I made this last one specifically for class!  It was perfect because it had the phrase Ésta es – which we’d been working on all week!  I had to explain “cara,” but I LOVED watching my students faces as they put it all together.

I then gave students eight true or false questions in English about the story.  In one class of 12, 11 got all 8 questions correct.  In another class of 11, only 2 students did not get a 100%.  I forgot to jot down the statistics for my Spanish 1 class of 8th graders, but the results were similar in a group of 21.

After one week, my students understood a 280-odd-some-word story, written completely in Spanish.  THIS is why I TPRS.

15 thoughts on “Embedded Reading

  1. The pictures are adorable, I have to admit. Is there any possibility you could send me a translation of this story in English (alas, I never learned Spanish)? I love the idea of doing a story with level 1 during the first week – we actually don’t start until this Monday.

    Glad the TPRS is going well for you!

    • These two pictures (posted on this blog) really caught the students attention. I used others (which they liked), but these two really made this story humorous. I needed it to be weird and funny because students weren’t helping create the story. Here’s the English translation:

      This is an important boy in the United States. The boy has a lot of control in the United State. The important boy is named President Obama. President Obama plays basketball. President Obama runs fast and a lot. President Obama dances with Mrs. Obama a lot.

      President Obama has 2 skinny dogs. President Obama runs with the dogs. A dog is named Bo. Bo is handsome. Bo runs with President Obama. A dog is named Sunny. Sunny is ugly. Sunny runs fast with President Obama.

      President Obama has a terrible problem. President Obama doesn’t have a cat!

      President Obama has a handsome friend in Michigan. The handsome friend is named Taylor Lautner. The handsome friend is skinny and smart. President Obama runs fast to Michigan with Bo and Sunny.

      Taylor Lautner has a dog. The dog is not pretty. The dog is not ugly. The dog is normal. The normal dog of Taylor Lautner is named Roxy. Roxy doesn’t run a lot. Roxy doesn’t run fast. Roxy runs slow and little. Taylor doesn’t have a cat. In Michigan, President Obama has a terrible problem. President Obama doesn’t have a cat. President Obama has 2 dogs.

      This is a pretty girl. The pretty girl is named Tabatha Bundesen. Tabatha is a girl in Arizona. In Arizona, Tabitha doesn’t run. Tabatha jumps and dances with a famous animal. Tabatha doesn’t dance with a dog. Tabatha doesn’t jump with a dog. Tabatha dances Teach Me How with the famous cat.

      In Arizona, President Obama doesn’t have a terrible problem. President Obama has Grumpy Cat and throws Grumpy Cat!
      The vocab used in class was built off students’ interests. In English, this is the vocab that emerged:
      verbs: s/he throws, s/he dances, s/he runs, s/he throws, s/he dances, this is, his/her name is, s/he has
      nouns: dog, cat, boy, friend, student
      adjectives: handsome/ugly, fat/skinny, smart/stupid

      Hope that helps some!

      PS: The info like President Obama’s dogs names are true. Taylor Lautner is originally from Michigan and does have a dog named Roxy. I did read he had a new dog but I couldn’t find as much info or a picture of it, so I didn’t use the second dog in the story. Also, Tabatha does really own Grumpy Cat and lives in Arizona!

    • Amy,
      I HIGHLY recommend doing this with your Spanish students! This method REALLY helps all levels of students. My lower levels understand the basic plot and character info. My upper levels get the juicy details and descriptions they need. It simply makes the text understandable to all students.

      I do have this advice: higher-level and/or TAG students may get bored when you do all three versions in one class period. Two ways I’ve tried to combat this:
      (1) Make the story interesting – use celebrities they follow, memes, whatever is current in the news. My reading this week was about Miley Cyrus and La Tomatina. Here’s the link: http://www.slideshare.net/Woodlizzard16/spanish-1-embeddedreadingweek-2
      (2) Have the same basic plot, but change the characters in each version. This way it’s some-what a fresh story each time, but you’re still using the same structures.

      I hope that is helpful! I’m not an expert (embeddedreading.com is what you really want) but let me know if you’d like help. =]

      • Definitely try it Amy! We’ve had great results in language classes. Some ideas for mixing it up for faster processors: (the ideas above are GREAT!) a. Pair each reading with a DIFFERENT and engaging activity b) Make sure that each level adds crucial details to the story c) Have the students suggest ideas ahead of time and insert that info in the story; they love finding their own ideas d) Have better readers take the 2nd or 3rd version and add their own details to rewrite the story. e) Save any “punch” line/info in the story until the final version….they will learn that it is coming and wait / read for it!!

        with love,

      • Hi, can you download the original? When I try to access it says that is denied, that I have no rights to access the Powerpoint.
        I love this idea, I never tried embedded reading. Do you have by any chance something you can share related to the time?
        Thanks so much!! Laura

  2. Pingback: First Week of Spanish Embedded Reading! | Embedded Reading

  3. Pingback: Spanish 1 Curriculum | La Clase de la Señora Dentlinger

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