28 April 2011


It's spring break, but before spring break, I decided to celebrate.

 Spanish II finally wrapped up their Afrolatinos unit early last week, and Spanish I's wikis are a little slow-going at the moment. Plus we had a measly 4 days in the week before spring break FINALLY got here.

So Spanish II began learning about Cinco de Mayo, and Spanish I prepared a Dia del Nino celebration for the kids at the school that shares our cafeteria, gym, & principal. (Yes, principal.)

For Cinco de Mayo, I tried a tic-tac-toe rubric like I learned about in #langchat not too long ago. Although it is probably #langchat anathema, I attempted to lower ye olde affective filter by having students choose 1 English option, 1 Spanish option, & 1 Spanglish option. Ulterior motive? I want students to produce material they can disseminate to their schoolmates too lazy to read or listen to Spanish who don't yet know enough Spanish to learn from something entirely in Spanish.

Here are the choices. The columns are such that students move up the higher order thinking skills taxonomy, adding to research, and require each student to sample a little of each of Sternberg's thinking styles.

En inglés
En español
½ inglés, ½ español
Create a venn diagram to compare & contrast Cinco de Mayo with Mexico’s Día de la Independencia; include at least 5 things in each circle & at least 2 that overlap.
Re-enact the Battle of Puebla with puppets. Include key people & places plus dialogue in Spanish (and French, if you want), but no English!
Create a poster advertising the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo and its history. Be sure to include key people, places, & dates while addressing misconceptions.
Create a timeline of the events leading up to & following the Battle of Puebla .
Write a speech in Spanish by one of the famous figures from Cinco de Mayo reflecting on the significance of the Battle of Puebla.
Create a video about the 4 most important people of Cinco de Mayo and their roles in Mexican history.
Label a map of Mexico with the key places of the French invasion & occupation of  Mexico.
Create 3 historical marker signs in Spanish for significant  places associated with the Battle of Puebla explaining what happened on those sites.
Create & conduct a 5-question survey or quiz of at least 20 people (not in Spanish II) about important facts about Cinco de Mayo; graph the results.

We'll finalize these projects when we get back, but we had an early Children's Day.

Again, I confess, the process was not entirely in Spanish, though I had good intentions.

First, I had groups of 3 research 1 Mexican game (found a list I sort of trusted for a starting point), 1 Mexican kid's song, and 1 Mexican image--that was NOT a sombrero, a cactus, a chihuahua, or maracas. I was GOING to have them give the directions for the games in simple Spanish  and teach the kiddos multiple songs, but I think it worked out better this way:

We had to do some shuffling, as about 8 of the 23 kids in the neighbor school lost the privilege before game time, but things did seem to go well!

One set of kids taught the kiddos to sing "Un elefante se columpiaba":

Another group played "telefono discompuesto" and "cebollitas" with the jovencitos.

We also had a group teaching the kiddos to play "vibora de la mar":

The facepainters ended up taking cues from the songs with snakes and just children's day things, since most groups came up with a flag or a soccer ball for their images.

Pretty soon spring break will be over and the celebrating will give way to review. Perhaps we can make that a party too?

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