09 December 2017

HOLIDAY LESSON - Grammar, Culture, and "Burrito de Belén"

'Tis the season for holiday songs, classroom restlessness, and steady review. After the massive four-class product pitch project is over, we have to regroup a little bit in my class and remember what we remember. Also, we need to stop and remember that Spanish is still FUN.

My own children have been running around the house singing Juanes on repeat as we get ready for the holidays, so I thought, why not bring a little earworm fun into finals review? We did need to refresh on a little grammar and practice interpreting something new, after all.

So here's what we did all day one day this week.

Step 1: Review Conjugation Notes

We actually hadn't officially done 3rd person plural yet, but we'd used some examples like necesitan this week. So we added ustedes/ellos/ellas to the conjugation hand notes, practiced with little gestures and o/as/a/amos/an chant.

Doing the conjugation gestures with finger stickers always
makes it a little more memorable.

Step 2: Break down some relevant cultural notes

I guess you could call what we did to start off with a picture talk? I had a random nacimiento picture from Google, and after establishing that it was an escena de Navidad, I asked questions like:
  • ¿Dónde están? ¿Están en el Polo Norte? ¿Están en el desierto?
  • ¿Quién es el bebé? ¿Es Santa Claus? ¿Es Jesús?
  • ¿Quién es ella? ¿Es Sra. Claus? ¿Es la madre de Jesús? ¿Cómo se llama?
  • ¿Quién es él? ¿Es Santa Claus? ¿Es Jesús? ¿Es José? ¿Es el padre de Jesús? (brief sidetrack into the origin of the nickname "Pepe" in English)
  • ¿Quiénes son ellos? ¿Son duendes? ¿Son Dasher y Dancer y Rudolph? ¿Son los Reyes Magos? (brief sidetrack in English about who brings presents in Spanish-speaking countries)
Then quick run through the questions again before the next slide, where we break down more specifics of the song:

Step 3: VERB RACE!

For this, I used a lyric video of "Burrito de Belén":

But it turns out Juanes has one too (my ten-year-old rejects non-Juanes versions, but the kid chorus goes along with the Wikipedia article later).

Now there are a grand total of 5 conjugated present tense verbs in the song:
  • va
  • vamos
  • ven
  • voy
  • ilumina
All of them pop up multiple times (ven over 20). The idea is to have students write the verb they hear/see in the song on a post-it and then race to the front. Now the catch is that one partner from each group is seated at the front, and THEY have to place the verb the OTHER partner(s) wrote on the post-it in the right spot on this conjugation hand on the wall:

When that partner has placed the post-it, they raced back, and the next partner can hand a post-it off to the new partner in the seat for placement.

Now I let the song play through the first tuqui tuqui and then stop them. I go through all of the answers and explain which ones are right, which ones are wrong, and why. (It does help to warn them that there are plenty of nouns and adjectives that end with O.) We get to talk about about -ing verbs and kick ourselves for putting ven on the  finger or vamos on yo.

Balling up the wrong ones in front of them was very dramatic.
At the end, take off the correct ones and sort them by team and by verb to count.

Then we finish the song much stronger!

I collect all the right answers and promise to count them while they work on the next thing.

Step 4: Wikipedia article interpretation

Actively Learn is my FAVE. My homie Maris beat me to the punch blogging about it, but basically you can work comprehension questions into any article you find online (3 per month for free, I think). So I took the Wikipedia article about it--with plenty of context and cognates--and had students answering questions while I tallied the winner.

Since the one real drawback to Actively Learn is not being able to share activities a la EDPuzzle, here are the 10 questions I inserted:

  1. Where is this song from?
  2. What type of choruses/groups sing this song?
  3. When and where did this song become popular?
  4. What is a "cuatrico"?
  5. What type of musical style is this song NOT?
  6. Who is going to Behlehem?
  7. What does the morning start do with his path?
  8. What is the singer doing while the donkey trots?
  9. Why do they need to hurry?
  10. Who recorded his own version of the song on a Christmas Superstar album, and where is he from?
With several of these questions, there are answers that are right and answers that are, well, more right. Fortunately, Actively Learn lets you quickly mark them as "incomplete," say if they only got Juanes for #10 or "basic" if they just said "a typical Venezuelan instrument" for #4.

Also here is a quick screencast to show where they go (note: there are not formatting options when you import directly from the website):

Then when it's time to announce, we get to watch a fun version that tickles me:

Bonus wrap-up: SINGALONG! If you can get them singing along with the tuquituquis WITH the actions, you have officially won the holidays.

The whole thing takes a little over an hour, so treat yourself to a little festive fun one dreary day before break!

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love this lesson! Can't wait to use it. Thank you for sharing :)