17 September 2015

Misiones Musicales: 15 challenges for Classcraft

Classscraft Eventos de hoy can be a great way to set the tone for the class, but I've already got a starter that sets the tone--literally.

I do, however, need the occasional brain break when the class gets too quiet, too lonely, busily working separately on their Genius Hour tasks for the day. And what better way than MUSIC to bring the class back together to engage with language?

Now I had several musical ideas in my original list of challenge events:
  • Everyone wins 5 HP if they can name a Latino singer.
  • The DJ (teacher) will play a song from the coros. A random player will have to identify the singer OR the song. If the student fails, he/she loses 15 HP; if the student guesses both, he/she wins 250 XP.
  • The player with the least XP has to sing a coro in front of the class.
  • The player with the least XP picks a song for the Game Master to sing.
  • The player that has the most XP in each group has to dance  "Te mueves tú" or lose 10 HP.

Several of my other challenges--while potentially useful for skill building and Genius Hour reflection--were not necessarily all that engaging. A recent #langchat, however, gave me several ideas for how to make the most of our musical selection, tapping into students' creativity AND cultural and linguistic awareness.

But I'm going to need your help.

Inner poets

1. Lyrics found poem
The catch with this one is I'd have to  have a stash of lyrics they could choose from or risk the incomprehensible misspellings of a musica.com search. Still, it shouldn't be too big of a problem to just add to, say a Drive folder linked on Classroom as we add a new coro each week.

2. Coro haiku
Haiku would be PERFECT for my little novices and for rearranging choruses!

New song search

3. Find a song from...
How cool would it be to boost my collection by 20+ cool new songs with one 5-10 minute challenge? I mean, sure, they'd probably repeat some of my own finds, and smart ones might hit my Pinterest board linked on Classroom first. For the actual collecting task, I think I'd start a Pinterest board that I share with all of them, thus adding the automatic challenge of not pinning something someone else has already found!

If I set up the search so each group--or the whole class--is randomly assigned a country, then they'll (1) have to use their knowledge about artists we've already explored and (2) have to find new artists they didn't now about before! (I will probably stick to mostly Mexico, Spain, Cuba, PR/DR, Colombia and maybe Argentina to keep things fair, though). And they can look for common threads as they go!

4. Find a song about...
Love song, break up song, dance song...they'll still add to my repertoire and have to focus on meaning, taking into account vocabulary as well as visual and musical cues.

5. Find a song that feels...
Sad, happy, angry...more songs for me, emphasizing some basic repetitive vocabulary.

Vocabulary spotlight

6. Vocab song search
Students could work with a single essential word or from a thematic list (e.g. weather, activities, clothing) and create a playlist (Spotify, YouTube, Pinterest) that provides more context to reinforce understanding for a common vocabulary.

7. Word watch
Have a song picked out with a few words you need emphasized. Give each team or student a different word, or let everybody look for the same word, and let them "buzz in" (Kahoot? Nearpod? Running up and pausing on the SMARTboard? Just raising hands?) each time they hear the magic words.

8. Listening list
Write every word you hear: minimal preparation and micro listening! Mondo XP for the winning team!

9. Wordle highlight race
This one will require a stock of lyric word clouds (reckon I'll just go through my coros lists, hit musica.com and do a little editing), but students will highlight what they hear, and the first person to get to ten could win AP for their whole team.


10. Karaoke with lyric videos
I so want to have a karaoke night fundraiser! But in the meantime, I could put all of those lyric videos I rejected for not having enough cultural input to good use--and expand the selection of songs the young ones are exposed to, maybe picking some different ones from their favorite artists. Maybe this'll be something the person with the lowest AP/HP/XP has to do.

11. Guess the English song from lyrics
I got this SWEET idea from some Appalachian State profesoras posting on my PBL in the TL Facebook Page. Find the lyrics to some popular 'Murican songs in Spanish, and have them figure out which song it is from the lyrics alone (then maybe play them some Kevin & Karla when they get it right.

12. Practice/perspective
Have the students examine the cultural product (lyrics or video) and brainstorm practices and perspectives of the culture!

Make it yours

13. GreenScreen video
I got my school to buy the GreenScreen app, so why not make some lip sync music videos? Zillions of XP for the best video in 15 minutes!

14. Coro response
Based on some of their comic strips from their coro vocabulary activities, I'd love to see how kiddos would respond to the happy, sappy, and breakup songs we've had.

15. Coro perspective rewrite
Now, in Spanish 1, there are not a lot of tenses going on, but we could certainly switch from 1st/2nd person to 3rd person! That'd be a nice way to draw attention to a little grammar too, I think, without a conjugation challenge (yes, I have one of those).

Now for your part

Y'all, I need some help making these sound like cool quests for the Classcraft game, maybe coming up with penalties and rewards too. Can you help me name these and give them a magical feel? Wizards, dragons, battles, elves, and spells welcome!

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