The last week or so, I have been loving that teachers are posting their plans for this year. I always love to see what other teachers are doing with their students! If you haven’t seen them yet, here are plans from Kristy, Dustin, Allison, and Sharon for everything from Spanish 1 to Spanish 4 (I haven’t seen any other language teachers posting yet!).
This will be my second year at my new school, and I am super excited about it! However, the curriculum that I had planned for my last year at my old school did not survive last year. There were lots of reasons for this – I didn’t know the kids; they were not in the same place as the students I had taught the previous year; I got funding for a few class novels – but the effect was that I kind of ended up doing things somewhat on the fly. I think it went pretty well, but when my good friend Kara, who also teaches in a neighboring district and is a department of 1, talked about wanting to rewrite curriculum this summer, I was in!
I surveyed my students going into Spanish 2 and 3, and we used those survey results heavily to inform our units for this year. We took lots of inspiration from JCPS for goals (and unit titles) as well.
We’ve had a great time this summer, but we’ve been working hard to get all four levels (I teach 1-3 this year, but she also has Spanish 4) outlined. We got an excellent start at Camp Musicuentos and have been going strong since then. We have two weeks left of summer, and we’re almost done!
Here’s what we’ve got. The links will take you to our Google Sheets where we’ve been doing the majority of our mutual planning.
-A 2-week welcome unit. We’re going to focus on explaining proficiency, a few basic survival phrases, and possibly some geography, if there’s time.
-We’re switching things up this year and instead of launching into a “Hello, how are you?” unit first thing, we’re going to start out talking about what we like to do in our free time.
-Next is home and family. Describing people, etc.
-Home and family will push into quarter 2.
-School – We’re trying to beef up the authenticity and interest in this unit by focusing on exchange students and comparing experiences between cultures.
-Food – This is probably the Spanish 1 unit I’m most excited for. We’re going to look closely at a few different dishes from around the Spanish-speaking world, talk about why food varies by location, and prepare some simple dishes. The movie Canela.
-Clothing – Comparing clothing and styles among cultures. Again, to increase authenticity, students will be explaining how we dress in our area and how that’s different from how people dress in other places – a visitor’s guide to not looking like a tourist is part of our IPA.
-Our town – focusing on describing our community and what makes it unique, and taking a look at a few unique places in the Spanish-speaking world.
-Most of the Our Town unit will be in this quarter.
-We’re going to finish the year with Brandon Brown quiere un perro.
-We’re going to start with a Welcome to My City unit that (in future years) should be a nice extension and review from the Our Town unit in Spanish 1. We’re gearing this one a little more toward tourists visiting our area, and looking at travel destinations in the Spanish-speaking world.
-Celebrations – We’re going to look specifically at La Tomatina, since it’s close-ish to this time of year (and we want to do a Tomatina fundraiser for our trip to Costa Rica), and Day of the Dead for this one.
-The celebrations unit will push into quarter 2.
-What’s trending? – We stole the idea directly from JCPS, and we are so excited about it! We’re going to focus on what people are saying about movies and music, advertising, and, of course, social media! We want to introduce the phrases “I saw,” “I heard,” “I went,” “I liked/didn’t like,” and “I thought it was” here.
-Travel! Last year, we both did pretty successful travel units (lots of resources from Amy Lenord!), and we want to repeat this year. This travel unit will mostly focus on planning a trip, but we will probably introduce a few more past tense phrases here to talk about past trips as well.
-Art – We plan to look at a few pieces of artwork and dig into the culture. We will probably lean heavily on this excellent resource from the Museum of Modern Art. It’s in English, but I definitely think we’ll be able to modify a lot of what’s in it to suit our needs.
-Guess what happened to me! So, obviously, a little more past tense here, but we’re still going to keep it pretty simple. Trying to focus on describing important events from our past.
-Again, we’re going to finish the year with a book. This time, Felipe Alou because of its past tense.
-Legends – So obviously more past tense here, but also looking at what legends a culture has produced, why we think that might be the case, etc.
-When I was little – A little more fleshed out than our Spanish 2 unit, this one will look more at describing our lives as a whole.
-The when I was little unit will continue at the beginning of quarter 2.
-Between you and me – We want to look at what makes a good relationship (of any kind), and give it feet by matching our students up as pen pals.
-Music – We want to talk about different styles of music, a few different artists, and how music reflects culture. We’re going to look at Ojalá que llueva café by Juan Luis Guerra and Latinoamérica by Calle 13 closely, but lots of other songs, too.
-Immigration – This has been a good unit for me for the last couple of years, and I’m definitely interested in repeating next year. We’re going to couple this with the book Cajas de cartón and the movie La misma luna. We’ve also talked about the book Esperanza for this unit, but for the particular group of kids this year, we’re going big and doing Cajas de cartón.
-Immigration unit will continue here.
-We can help – We’re going to look into volunteer opportunities locally and, have the kids do proposals to their class, and, hopefully, choose some way to volunteer in our community. We’ll also be looking at opportunities for international volunteering and touch on future plans.
Spanish 4: (I will not be teaching Spanish 4 this year, but Kara will)
-Bullfighting & other controversial topics – We want to look at both internationally and locally controversial topics. The goal is not to be overly political here, just to get kids giving opinions and agreeing and disagreeing with each other.
-Community awareness – We want to look at local issues that our community is facing and talk about what our responsibility is as citizens. We hope to do some sort of project here in which students present solutions to local issues.
-The community awareness unit will extend into quarter 2.
-Global awareness – This should segue nicely from the previous unit, but now we’ll look at international and global issues.
-War & its impact – We plan to do some history here. We want to look specifically at the Cuban revolution (and the movie Motorcycle Diaries) and the Spanish civil war (and either Pan’s Labyrinth or The Language of Butterflies), and how war affects people both during and after. This is a big one, so it’s all we have planned for quarter 3.
-Como agua para chocolate – Kara taught this last year with success, so that’s where we’ll end up.
In addition to all this, I want to implement SSR in my classes, and continue to watch El Internado with my Spanish 3 students. It should be a pretty good year!