In a previous post I had mentioned that what I felt was lacking for teachers who want join the less textbook/grammar, more communication movement was a sample lesson. How do we weave the authentic resources and didactic materials into a cohesive lesson? What does a class period look like from beginning to end? While by no means an expert, I want to share an example of what I think teachers want to see when they go to a conference session or read a blog about teaching language. Or, at the very least, what I would like to see.
I teach AP Spanish, so I am going to present lesson plans for social media.
First, students start with a warm-up that activates their thinking about social media. It might be an anticipation guide, which is a series of statements that I have written that relate to the theme, and they state whether they agree or disagree. For example, “Someone who has a lot of Facebook friends is popular.” When students finish, the teacher can guide students through a conversation about the statements using academic discourse, which is big at my school. Here is the academic discourse handout with sentence starters in Spanish that we use. If you want to keep the language simple, use the “en vez de” column. This could also be a small-group activity.
I could also ask students to comment on the use of social media based on this comic.
To further hook the students into the theme, we watch the following music video. I got this video from an activity I found at http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/No-te-metas-a-mi-facebook-6261993/. You must register at the TES Connect website, but everything is free. I have to warn you, this song is very catchy and maybe even addictive. I pre-teach the core vocabulary that they need for understanding and discussing the song by giving them synonyms in Spanish and/or sample sentences that clearly illustrate the meanings of the words. For example, for the word chismoso, I could give students a sentence such as, “Creo que Ana es muy chismosa porque siempre me cuenta sobre las vidas personales de otras personas.”
After the song, I ask students whether the singer has a positive or negative view of Facebook, and they have to cite several examples from the lyrics in order to defend their thinking with text evidence. The song has several negative familiar commands, so we could discuss commands, or we could use the commands to talk about the present subjunctive. Then we could write advice about using Facebook. For example, “(Recomiendo que) no subas fotos inapropiadas a Facebook.”
Next, in order to prepare students for the cultural comparison portion of the AP exam, we watch a brief video about Tuenti from youtube (the first 1:45 minutes). I ask students to compare and contrast what they learn about Tuenti with their knowledge of Facebook.
Now we are ready to read the text I have chosen. We are reading an article from the textbook “Temas” about Facebook and tables that show the use of social media in Central America. I find textbooks particularly useful for AP because the articles and questions are already prepared. I want to dig more deeply into the article than answering the multiple choice questions in the format of the AP exam, so I choose a part of the text for close reading. We also work more closely with the vocabulary from the article, like these activities or with the Frayer model in Spanish.
Alternatively, I could use this activity from el Centro Virtual Cervantes as a listening or reading exercise if I do not want to use the textbook reading.
I also need graphics that show the United States so that students can make the cultural comparisons that I mentioned earlier.
Finally, now that students have read and heard information about social media, I give them a question and a Venn diagram. I can stop there as en exit ticket, or I can have them present or record a 2-minute speaking presentation in the format of the AP exam.
This is how I created a lesson about social media that is neither textbook or grammar dependent, though it does incorporate both. Hopefully it will serve as inspiration for your own lessons.