I’m currently enrolled in a grad class to add a TAG (Talented and Gifted) endorsement to my license. Recently, we were asked to try some of the activities from our reading in our classroom. I shared my latest stations experience, but what interested me was a science teacher who shared her Future City based PBL (Project Based Learning) activities. In her summary she stated she had students use SimCity to supplement the project. It got me thinking about what kinds of online or software systems I could add to my curriculum. I don’t think I know of any simulation type program that work well for World Languages (yet!), but I thought I’d share some neat sites that I’ve come across recently.
– Spanish Akinator: This is GREAT for practicing questions! Students think of a person/character, answer questions about who they chose, and it generates the answers. I tried this in two classes and the students ABSOLUTELY loved it! I even had a girl come in the next day and tell me how she showed it to her parents. This would be a good activity for a unit on describing family and friends.
– ¿Quién Quiere Ser Millionario? This is also good for asking questions, but it adds a second element as students need to know general knowledge type questions. For example, one of the earlier questions was “Un ateo es aquel que no cree en… (A) su esposa (B) Los extraterrestres (C) Dios (D) Los Médicos” Might be a fun end of the year type activity or maybe even a Spanish Club event.
– Películas Disney Latino Game: I recently did a Movie Talk unit from Frozen: Una Aventure Congelada that I purchased from Elena Lopez (awesome purchase by the way!). I wanted to add some extra activities at the end, so I looked up some information on Películas Disney Latino and just like on the English Disney site there are games for children to play. On the Frozen homepage there’s “Trabajo del Invierno” but they also have a Juegos page with all their games. Plus, I absolutely LOOOOVE how it speaks everything your mouse hovers over in Spanish for you! These sites might be blocked on student/school accounts so consider sending the link on on a (school approved!) Twitter account for your department. Or, you can simply try telling your students about it. You’d be surprised who actually is inspired to look up the sites you recommend in their free time.
I know there are other possibilities out there. My gaming students love to tell me how they were talking with players in México and understood a couple words (or even how they learned some naughty words!) while playing video games on the previous night. If you know of any other good simulation type websites or software (maybe an online Spanish version of Operation), I’d love to hear about them!