IWLA Idea Share #1

This past Friday and Saturday was the Iowa World Language Association conference.  I was slightly disappointed to see the sessions when I got the itinerary – they all seemed like repeats from last year!  However, there were two session I went to that I found SUPER helpful and inspiring!  I plan on sharing information about both with you.  This is the first one.


The first session I’d like to share is attributed to Sra. Margaret Guetzko of Highland HS in Riverside, Iowa.  Let me tell you this woman has a ton of passion for her job and students!  Sra. Guetzko also has a passion for Pablo Picasso, which was her session topic.  I have never taken an interest in Pablo Picasso myself.  I don’t have an eye for art, which is sad because I’ve seen some of the most important works of the world (including a lot of Picasso!).  Sure, I can acknowledge good-looking art, but I don’t look for the hidden message or appreciate the non-traditional (like garbage thrown on the ground, or Barbie doll parts glued together).

BUT, I love how Sra. Guetzko has made Pablo Picasso a school-wide project.  Of course she does this in the TL, but I love how she gets other faculty and the community involved.  THAT is what makes this project so phenomenal in my eyes.  I will share some tidbits from her presentation, but I do not feel right posting the entire thing online.  If you’d like to contact Sra. Guetzko, her email is mguetzko@highland.k12.ia.us.  I couldn’t find a personal blog, but make sure to check out the one she runs with her students at Highland.

Getting Students Information about Pablo Picasso

Sra. Guetzko begins by giving students information about Pablo in chunks and in a slightly TPRS method.  For example, her introduction on Day 1 has a map of Spain and reads: “Picasso nació el 25 de octubre de 1881 en Málaga, España.  / Picasso empezó a pintar cuando tenía ocho años. / Picasso era un estudiante brillante y precoz.”  She reads it fast to the students at first, then says it slow and repeats each sentence 3-5 times, says it fast again, then has students repeat the text in chunks.  In this last stage she also asks questions to the group as a whole and 3 students.


She provided more examples of her slides.  Slide 2 read: “El médico es su padre. / La bebé es su hermana. / Pintó esta obra, cuando tenía 16 años” and has the picture mentioned.  She has a slide for each of his periods.  The pink period reads: “Más tarde, pintó en el color rosado. / Estaba contento, porque tenía una novia. / Pintó al hijo Paulo. / Pintó al hijo Paulo como payaso, como arlequin. / A Pablo le fascinó el circo. / A Pablo le fascinaron los saltimbancos.”

Assessing Picasso Knowledge 

I’m a little unsure as to how she assessing students’ knowledge on Picasso, but I will give you what I understood.  Guetzko has a bank of oral test questions.  Spanish 1 students are expected to speak for 1 minute about the question, Spanish 2 should speak for 2 minutes, and 3 minutes for levels 3-4.   Students sit in a circle and ask a question pulled from a bucket to a students across the circle.  She gives 10 points for each question, and there are 3-5 questions per student.  She grades on rate, information, and pronunciation.

Picasso Inspired Artwork 

There are art projects for each period.  For the pink period for example, her directions are to: (1) trace an action figure or stuffed animal on a sheet of paper, (2) use a makeup sponge, (3) paint the body with a harlequin pattern; (4) paint the background in tan or pink.

Other Picasso Ideas

Sra. Guetzko shows Picasso in other aspects than just teacher created materials.  She had some stories about Picasso that she uses in class for story time.  The cutest was Lumpito and the Painter from Spain by Kulling and Griffiths.  She also informed us about the upcoming movie “Treinta y Tres” about Pablo that will be released in 2014.  Apparently Pablo will be played by Antonio Banderas.  She also takes students to the University of Iowa Art and History Building, which is modeled after the “guitarra vieja” de Pablo Picasso.

Getting the Faculty Involved

Sra. Guetzko gets her faculty involved and tries to make this a cross curricular project.  For English, there’s For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway about the Spanish Civil War.  The FACS teacher can present about designer Paloma Picasso or have a Pablo Picasso inspired snack-creation competition.  Of course this project aids in art curriculum.  Teachers at Guetzko’s school will all dress in pink on “pink day” and allow her to post pictures from Picasso’s pink period in their rooms.  I’m SO jealous that her staff is so receptive and willing to participate.

Getting the Community Involved

This teacher is always promoting what they’re learning inside and outside of her classroom.  She displays student artwork in the hallways, at the bank, etc.  Sra. Guetzko also has students create Picasso postcards to send to the Board Members.  I absolutely LOVE this idea!

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5 thoughts on “IWLA Idea Share #1

  1. Pingback: La semana de arte: Brillante Viernes: October 25, 2013 | Maris Hawkins

  2. Pingback: Improvement for 2014: Postcards | La Clase de la Señora Dentlinger

  3. Pingback: IWLA 2014 Info Share #1: Norman | La Clase de la Señora Dentlinger

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