I enjoy teaching the short story “Tiempo libre” by Guillermo Samperio in level 4. It is a brief story about a man reading a newspaper with such an unpredictable ending that students never guess how it will end. The grammar in the story is mostly preterite and imperfect, but I also review the subjunctive for the students to express their reactions to the story. We also read “Continuidad de los parques” by Julio Cortázar to continue with the magical realism theme, a story that involves someone sitting down to read, similar to the “Tiempo libre” story. As the IB has chosen specific themes for Language B, I am thinking about how materials I normally teach from could fit into the new format. I think I could make with story work in the Communication and Media theme.
For a pre-reading activity, I like to have students to brainstorm as many concepts as they can when they think of the theme “tiempo libre.” As another activity, we talk about newspapers and staying informed. Another activity could be to bring in target language newspapers for various activities, such as a newspaper scavenger hunt. Because technology is beginning to replace traditional sources for news, these activities could be done on an online news site, such as www.bbcmundo.com or www.cnnenespanol.com.
Here are some resources for the story:
Interview with Guillermo Samperio:
Lesson plans by pre-service teachers at BYU with interesting ideas:
Mini project, possibly by a pre-service teacher:
Ideas for using newspapers in language class (ideas from ELL):
Creating a class newspaper:
A variety of links to newspaper resources