Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Los piratas: A visual review

We have been reading Los Piratas del Caribe the past few weeks in Spanish I. This was a great way to culminate their structures this year. We went fairly quickly as they already knew most of the vocabulary and structures presented in the book.

Day 1
Before the students read the final chapter, I wanted them to focus on the content, and also summarizing a text. Rather than the usual pictures (which they love to do!), I did a variation on this strategy. The students were given a piece of paper to fold "hot dog" style. One column was for a written summary; the other was for a pictorial summary.

We did a partner-read activity in which one student reads in Spanish and the partner reads in English. The second student then reads the next sentence in Spanish and the original partner reads in English. These role are volleyed back and forth through the end of the reading. I stopped the students at a predetermined spot in the reading. They summarized in writing what happened in that part and then drew a picture(s) to show what was happening. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

After the third partner read, they were encouraged to reread the entire summary to be sure it flowed and made sense with what they already knew about the story and what was currently happening in the story.

As they started their project, many had their notes out referring to them occasionally to help remind them what the chapter was about.

 Day 2
The students answered the summarizing questions to the chapter based on their notes. After, they were each given 3-4 Wikisticks (Bendaroos). They looked for a group of 2-3 and were directed to recreate scenes from the chapter. Some of the characters included Henry Morgan, Antonio Medina, Raquel/Santiago. They also enjoyed getting creative with some of the images. This was a great creative outlet from many of my students. Some typically shy students opened up and really got into this part of the lesson.

They had to create 5 photos of their images by the end of the 40-minute class period. For nearly all students, this meant creating a character or two, snapping a photo, and then disassembling it to create new characters. By the time we got through the initial procedures of class and the questions, there was really only about 30 minutes to complete the photos. This meant about 6 min/photo.

After some time, students got even more creative with their images. Some students were looking for images of beach scenes for their characters to hang out or walk around. Having said this, there was no stop-motion creation going at, but they were starting to step outside the proverbial box a bit and create something unique.

Some mild troubleshooting was also taking place. For example, a group of two only had one functioning computer so they asked if they could leave the characters stuck to their computer screen and use their phone to take a picture of the characters in front of a backdrop. Why, certainly!

Eventually, the backdrops and phones weren't enough, they grabbed an individual marker board and started drawing extras on their characters, such as hair! Others identified names.

Day 3
Although we are not yet there, the students will be using their photos they shared with their group members via Google Apps to create a script and eventually a movie to retell in their own words, what happened in the final chapter of piratas. I'll post when I get them in a couple days.

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