Bullfighting Unit: Days 1/2 – El Toro

To kick off our bullfighting unit, we began by learning about the bull (el toro).

Day 1: Introducing El Toro.  Here was the lesson plan: 

– El Pollito Pío was playing as students walked in.  We’ve previously used the song and I wanted to help jog my students’ memories about animals and their sounds.

– Begin by filling out a KWL Chart about bullfighting.  It’s super basic but here’s mine.

– Have a 20-25 minute conversation in Spanish about bulls.  I told students that the purpose of this chat was for them to be able to define/describe a bull in Spanish.  Here are the discussion questions I tried to get in there.

– Complete a worksheet about Las Partes del Toro in Spanish. I had a couple of variations of this for my different groups.  On one version I had lines for the parts that I wanted students to label and they copied my notes and another just had the image of the bull and we filled in what parts were important by using this website (which is interactive).

Day 2: Reviewing El Toro.  Here was the lesson plan: 

Cierto-Falso – I had a few sentences type up about bulls and students had to tell me if they were true or false.

– We played “Put the horns on the bull” (but in Spanish of course!).  I traced this cartoon bull on to bulletin board paper and had students cut out their own horns.  To enhance this, we talked about the words “olé” and how Spaniards will use “Viva” and “Bravo” during the match.  We practiced a little, and students then used these terms during the game.  It was quite fun to see who students trusted!

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– After the game was done, I had the bull’s body parts written on separate pieces of paper.   We reviewed the parts, described where they were, differentiated if humans had it (for example, humans have “piernas” and animals have “patas” – which are legs for you non-Spanish speaking people), and students placed the parts where they belonged.

Making this better:  

I have two ideas to make this better.  The first is to use the children’s book Ferdinand with the “kindergarden method.”  Essentially this is when you use the images from the children’s book and speak about the images in it.  The second is to use one of those animal hats during the lesson.  I found a basic one on Amazon here and I hope to buy it to re-enact a mild version of a bullfight after we learn about the toreros.

Here’s my disclaimer in here:  I am not a bullfighting expert! While creating this unit I am applying what I learned during my time abroad in Burgos, Spain as well as learning along with my students.  If you notice an error in any of these works, please contact me so I can correct it! 

8 thoughts on “Bullfighting Unit: Days 1/2 – El Toro

  1. Wow. Nice work. Here are a few thoughts. The bullfight is a religious ritual and parallels the Catholic mass. Fernand the Bull was banned from Spain by Franco. Let me know which one interests you and I will share! I like the body parts. Don’t forget the Pablo Picasso flip book of the bull. You can use that to have students write notes and such and then flip to show the bull! Also look at the bulls by Botero. He has some bullfighting stuff. And Bugs Bunny too!

    • I should have remembered the book! I was thinking about your session and how to add some art in there (first thought was Guernica) so I will definitely need to go through your awesome folder again. I didn’t know Ferdinand was banned and to be quite truthful I didn’t know about the book at all until I started searching for materials. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge! =]

      • Not sure how to spell this- it’s an allegory for the Spanish isolationism prior to the Civil War relative to WWII. It was mocking Spain for not paying attention to world politics and events! That was part of why Franco had it banned. If you search the book with Franco’s name some very interesting articles will pop up!

        If you can find an OLD copy of Carmen, that’s very interesting. In the new versions Carmen is very naked, so be careful. Pick an old black and white or 60’s copy. Or use carefully selected You Tube clips. Your music teacher/band teacher will enjoy jumping in with the music part right after the final show/contest and until school is out. (AKA not much for them to do then!)

        Let me know if you want the bullfight mass stuff.

  2. Pingback: Task 6 – Guerrilla – danlittke

  3. Pingback: Setting the Stage for Bianca Nieves y los Siete Toritos (Carrie Toth) | elmundodebirch

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