After completing the various interpretive readings with authentic resources in order to be able to describe what sustainability is, I wanted students to explore efforts being made in Spanish speaking countries to be more sustainable. I wanted students to do this through authentic listenings, but truth be told I am not sure that what I ended up using is actually authentic or not. I had a LOT of trouble finding a good audio for this. I searched Youtube for hours and hours, but all of the news clips or commercials about sustainable efforts had really muffled recordings.
Luckily, I happened to like a Facebook page called AJ+Español a few months ago and the perfect video happened to pop up in my feed. It posts these videos of cool cultural tidbits and recent events in Spanish. The videos are usually a minute to three minutes long, and include dialogue as well as text on the screen. The website has English versions of the videos and there’s a Youtube channel, as well, but I can only find the Spanish clips on the Twitter channel or Facebook.
Day 4 Lesson: Este boliviano construye robots con basura
- We reviewed the information in the previous day’s article. I just talked about it orally and drew a little on the board.
- We talked about what we knew about Bolivia as this is where the video they were to watch took place. Students didn’t know very much about Bolivia aside from the fact that it’s in South America. HOWEVER, they extensively studied Perú last year and I helped them make connected to what we knew about the area and people. I also referenced Simon Bolivar and reminded them about what we learned about the conquistadores in our Inca unit last year. I connected this to the name of Bolivia’s money and we talked about how much their money was worth compared to ours, as well as where we get more bang for our buck.
- We then listened to, watched, and analyzed a video about a young Bolivian genius making robots to work in the fields for the elderly because young indigenous people are leaving. Students were given this handout. We went over the vocabulary words at the top by providing logical sentences (Ex: Mi celular tiene una pila) and repeating them. I added some PQA, too. After this, students listened to the video‘s audio and filled in the blanks using some of the vocabulary words. We then watched the video because there are extra words on the screen. Also, because it’s a gorgeous video about beautiful people helping others. We answered the discussion questions together orally. Discussion question #2 was a little bit difficult for my students.
Day 5 Lesson: La orquesta que hace instrumentos de la basura
- We reviewed what we learned about Bolivia with fill-in-the-blank sentences for students to complete with information about Bolivia.
- Today’s video took place in Paraguay and I knew my students would know nothing about Paraguay because I myself do not know very much about it. So what did I do? Instead of doing all the research for them, I took the night before’s #langchat discussion (on allowing students to choose what they want to learn) to heart. I told students to get on Youtube and search for information on Paraguay. Before releasing the hounds, I reviewed what search terms they could use to yield good results. I gave students 5 minutes and afterwards they shared what they had learned. I was so impressed with the variety and their ability to share what they had learned in the target language.
- We then watched this video about a Paraguayan community coming together to provide instruments for their children. We followed a similar format using this handout to the previous day: went over vocabulary, listened to the video, watched it, and then discussed it. I liked the 6th and 7th discussion questions. I had such good answers for #7!
Some thoughts on these two lessons:
- Facebook is blocked at my school. In order to use these videos, I watched it at home and left the video up on my computer. This allowed me to play them at school (I just had to be careful to not exit out of the window). I then found that the Twitter account also posts the videos, which is better for me because Twitter is NOT blocked.
- I liked that these two videos were from different countries. I also liked that I could hit some highlights and basic information about the country instead of a super in-depth study of it. I also LOVED seeing my students connect what they knew about Peru (thanks to a previous in-depth study!) to Bolivia.
- In hindsight I do not like that I did the same exact format with both videos. Students didn’t seem to mind, but I did. I’m also not sure how authentic this is overall. I think the discussion IS an authentic activity with a genuine purpose, but a fill-in-the-blank is NOT. I do like that they had the text to refer to when answering the discussion questions.
- It was nice not to have to prepare a lesson on Paraguay. I liked having students look on their own for information that interested them. Honestly, half watched Spanish videos and the other half watched in English. It doesn’t bother me that half watched in English but I was super proud of those who followed through with Spanish!
Check out other lessons in my La sostenibilidad unit here.