14 November 2017

La Casa de la Dentista - Graphic Novel Student Survey

Sr. Wooly cracks me UP. He has a handful of videos I could watch on repeat all day and just laugh until I cried the whole time. However. There are some stories on his list that I just don't GET. I can see where they would be beneficial vocabulary wise, but they just don't tickle me the way that, say, "Guapo" or "Las Excusas" does.

Suffice it to say that "La Dentista" is not on my go-to video list.

And yet, there is "La Invitación." I think it's pretty cute, but mostly I like the vocabulary, and it fit in with exactly the sort of thing I wanted to practice before our Peruvian visitors showed up. I had NO idea that THIS would be the song that my kids would come in requesting and start spontaneous dance parties in the back of the room before class for. It seriously rivals CNCO for popularity.

In other words, my kids surprise me.

So I got to thinking that it really didn't matter what I thought of Sr. Wooly's new graphic novel. What I really wanted to know before I went out and purchased a class set is what my students thought. So I got my hands on a copy and made a "picture walk" station inspired by my kindergartner. She is a big fan of all things calvo, but her review was very brief: "Why does it have to be creepy?"

Now in retrospect, I would have asked my kiddos more specific questions, maybe having them rate both their ability and interest in interpreting the book based on the pictures and/or words. Basically I just asked them if they wanted to read the book in class or individually, though.

My plan, though, was to gauge the reactions of five groups of kids:
  1. Kids who are overall struggling with the language
  2. Boys who are positive but somewhat hyper
  3. Native speakers who have to take Spanish because that's all we have
  4. Kids who do well and work hard but don't necessarily love the language
  5. High fliers who love all things Spanish
I have to say that the post-picture-walk reviews were highly mixed--except in two groups. My high fliers and my hard workers: some seemed to like the idea, some did not. Some of the kids who struggle were intrigued, and some shared my daughter's sentiments, were apprehensive about their ability to understand, or just didn't seem too impressed.

But you know who unanimously LOVED the idea of reading the book for class after the picture walk? ALL of the native speaker girls, and ALL of the boys who have trouble sitting still--EXCEPT the native speakers. The boys who have to move and talk all the time who already speak Spanish? They were not fans! The boys who didn't though? They all liked the story, the genre, and even cited how they thought the book could help them! The native speaker girls all seemed to get a kick out of the story, calling it fun or funny!

Here are some specific comments I got from the survey from different groups:
  • I'm not sure if the vocabulary used in it will be beneficial. I think it should be one of the books that you can choose to read for choice reads.
  • The book was very weird, but it made me laugh, so it gets a 3
  • I want to know why they have have the weird relationship with the dentist.
  • I wasn't able to read most of it but it doesn't seem like a particularly bad book
  • I like some of the pictures and some of the words. I could actually read read.
  • It looked interesting and I want to read the whole thing
  • The book looks very interesting, and in my opinion it will help us with reading and listening skills.
  • I am curious to know what happens, but feel as if my classmates will not enjoy the book.
  • The book had pictures that helped with you learn what they were saying, so it could be useful to us learners.
If you're looking for a more in-depth look from a teacher's perspective, check out these posts from some of the coolest Spanish teachers in our PLN!

If you've seen (or written!) any more reviews, please help add to my list!

Also, if you're thinking La Casa de la Dentista sounds right for your kids, check out Sr. Wooly and Sra. Toth's tips for teaching graphic novels--Wooly brings the willies, but YOUactually provide a lot of the comprehensible input!

PS Come visit me at Señor Wooly's booth at ACTFL17 Friday afternoon after my session with @ProfePJ3! We can watch recreate "Las confesiones de Víctor"!

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