Usually on Thursdays, we listen to a song in Spanish. They can be a kids' song, a pop song, a traditional song, an old song, etc. Sometimes they'll have gestures that we can teach with certain lines. But once in awhile, the song is a song that I want the kids to hear.
With my Spanish 2 kids, I found a song called Las cosas pequeñas by Prince Royce.
We hadn't really done much with the word cosas (things) in Spanish 1 or in the Spanish 2 class up to this point. This is quite crazy since that is an incredibly high frequency and important word.
But I wanted my kids to follow the song a little better and have a good conversation with them. So I tested the waters by starting class after the warm up by writing on the board:
¿Cuáles son las cosas más importantes? (Which are the most important things?)
Then we proceed to talk about the most important things in their lives. Some kids already got the cue and started mentioning things like "familia" (family). Others joked around and I noticed that
I proceeded to ask them, "¿Las puedes comprar? (Can you buy them?)
The idea was to talk for about 20 minutes and then to listen to the song a few times with a cloze activity.
In one class I could tell that the students got very serious after a few minutes of my talking to them and explaining things that might be important. We came to the conclusion that things like my saying "hello" to them every day at my door were very important and yet small. I explained to them as well that every day I go home and I open the door, I see my one-year-old daughter smile and dance around because she's happy to see me.
In that class we actually talked the rest of that class about this topic of "small things." The neatest part was that so often in class we are silly and talk about random things in Spanish. During this activity, my students actually paid attention because I was being real with them and telling them about something that we don't normally talk about in class.
Note to self, talk about serious issues more often in class throughout the year.