I have literally gone bonkers with Gran Hotel! I never tire of Julio making googly eyes at Alicia, Diego's (and Doña Teresa’s) psychopathic resolve to be in control of nearly everything, or Ándres' delightful facial expressions like the one above. Sigh. Well, since I’m practically in love with the series, I set out to create various activities that supplement the first episode of the show. I wanted to create resources that could be used with any level of Spanish and supply substantial amounts of comprehensible input in novel ways. I came up with an assortment of game activities, which can easily be differentiated for any class.
COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT WITH A COMPETITIVE EDGE
I created a bundle of 5 games and activities that can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes. The purpose of these resources is to enhance the video and give your students continuous amounts of comprehensible input (CI) with a competitive edge. Through game play students will receive lots of repetitions centered around vocabulary and target structures (if you use them). Additionally, your students will improve their understanding of key events that happen in Episode I, as well as the essential characters (12 total) that are introduced.
WHAT is CRISITINA HIDING?
A bunch of secrets obviously! I created a previewing guide to help students build a solid foundation and to understand the premise of the series. The guide provides contextual reference points that will spark discussion and intrigue as you introduce Gran Hotel. This guide also jumpstarts vocabulary and target structure dissemination. For example, students can begin their journey into the world of Gran Hotel by analyzing the letter Cristina wrote to Julio.
WILL JULIO OLMEDO AND ALICIA ALARCÓN EVER BE TOGETHER?
HOW ABOUT READING EXCERSISES?
Well, since I’ve created a previewing guide and an assortment of game activities, I guess the next step is creating some impactful readings for episode I. Since I just wrote that down, I’ll have to follow through! Expect reading guides and activities at some point! However, I do want to mention that Mike Peto and Kara Jacobs have developed wonderful readings for a few episodes of Gran Hotel, which are great for upper-level classes.
It's confession time
Ya'll, I have something to tell you. I've missed you! This past year I was not a Spanish teacher; I was a Special Education teacher/Case Manager. Not teaching Spanish for an entire school year made me realize how much I truly missed it and how passionate I am about it! Even though teaching special education was rewarding, I knew that my heart truly ached to go back to teaching Spanish. So, I put in for a transfer in the hopes that I'd pick up a Spanish teacher position somewhere in my county. And guess what? Not only was I offered a transfer, I was offered a transfer to the very high school that I graduated! And to top that off, I was offered the Department Chair position to boot!
Even though last week was my first week of summer vacation, I've already started planning for next year—I am truly type ‘a’ when it comes to this sort of thing. Consequently, I began to immerse myself back into the world language community (specifically #langchat)—and it was as if I had never left. Seriously, the amount of sharing, giving, caring, and support that teachers have provided for each other is nothing short of absolute wonder.
As I am reading tons of blogs and connecting on twitter, I am inspired by my colleagues to share my resources and experiences as well. In fact, that is a huge reason for why I started blogging in the first place: to join the conversation and add my voice. And of course, the more voices the better! Creating and maintaining a collaborative environment is necessary: we improve and become better educators and people by lifting others.
paying it forward
Personally, having such a strong sense of community pushes me to continue learning, sharing, and improving my practice. In short, I am thankful! And when you are thankful, you share.
For those of you who are using Gran Hotel this school year, here is a (free) resource that I created to use with my Spanish I's (in case El Internado doesn't work out). Also, check out my additional free resources here.
If you like this resource or any other, please leave feedback (on TPT). I’d love to hear from you! And as always, catch me on Twitter to connect.
What is the best practice for using telenovelas effectively in the WL classroom?
First and foremost, I think we can all agree that there is no such thing as “one size fits all.” In fact, it goes against what a balanced curriculum entails. If we are going to use telenovelas, I believe that we need to keep the following in mind:
As I am preparing for this upcoming school year, I have a deep urge to use El Internado. I will be teaching Spanish I classes. In my school district, I have not met a single teacher (yet) that is using telenovelas to teach Spanish. My thinking on this is that I will cover the curriculum by making sure I am hitting the units required by my school district:
Oh, and a whole lot of tenses that I will target regardless. My plan now is to create stories and resources that provide meaningful, contextual, and cultural frameworks that cover the required units and at the same time run them parallel to the telenovela. And many activities will be centered around the students to make connections (PQA all the way).
my game plan
A lot needs to be figured out. For example, how many days a week do we watch El Internado? How to adequately pace? How to ensure that my students are ready to take on El Internado? Reading Mike Peto’s blog, I agree that it is essential for my students to be really comfortable with the Super 7 verbs as well as the Sweet 16 ones. And I like his idea of teaching a Caperucita Roja story before embarking on the El Internado adventure.
First and foremost, I am going to begin with backward design to establish appropriate learning experiences and create an index for academic expectations. Once I have an idea of what each unit will entail, I will begin to think about assessments, and ultimately create a series of lessons.
This is going to take some serious planning time. My goal is that I will create a year’s worth of substantial enjoyment, enrichment, and advancement for my students. I am thankful for all the resources that I have found from other teachers who instruct with El Internado. As I attempt to bring this yearly “curriculum” to fruition, it’s nice to know that there are many world language teachers that have shared their experiences and resources. This is invaluable. In the days, weeks, and months ahead, I look forward to sharing mine.