Thursday, April 4, 2013

TPRS Year 3 - Piratas - Chapters 5-6

So we're still working on reading a chapter or two of Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto.  This week we needed to read two chapters because my seniors are leaving in the second week of May!  And we are only in Chapter 5 this week.  So Wednesday, my afternoon classes read through chapters 5-6 (which are not too long and can be lumped together).

Since it was a half day and the afternoon classes aren't always incredibly excited about reading, I noticed that the phrase, "Preparen los cañones." (Prepare the cannons!) was used various times throughout chapter 5 and once or twice in chapter 6.  On a whim, I decided to let them know that every time it came up we had to run to the window and prepare our cannons and fire them at different targets.  I teach high school students ranging from freshman through seniors and I saw most of them thought this was awesome for the first few times.  By the last few, not as many were as enthused, but I was still frantically yelling to them, "Preparen los cañones." and trying to prepare my cannon.  I figured it would add to the intensity of the action in the chapters as well as help us connect to the story.  Oh, and it would keep my students awake.

Maybe it was more of a distraction for some, but I thought it was great.  I even saw a student I haven't been able to connect with much this year grin each time we ran to the window to prepare our cannons.

That definitely made it worth it!


  1. Rebecca RobinsonMay 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    I have just found your blog and am still looking through your material. I am wondering what age group you teach. In what levels are you using the Piratas del Caribe? You may have answered this in an earlier post. I look forward to discovering more of your methods.

    1. Thanks for your question, Rebecca! This past year I taught high school and did this with students from 9-12 grade. Although I believe other teachers have used this book even in 5th and 6th grade Spanish. The language is simple enough while the maturity of the discussion in class will depend on the maturity of the students. ;-)

  2. Hola Sr. Jordan! I purchased class sets of Piratas and Agentes Secretos and will starting Piratas this week! Do you think I can finish both books in the next six weeks? Also, I was wondering how many days of the week and how much of each class period you spend on the book? I imagine that you mix in a variety of other activities and games to avoid boredom? If you have any lesson plans that you would be willing to share with me, I would be so appreciative! Thanks for a great blog! - Ellen

    1. Both books with one level class?

      That's bold. Depends how easy it is for your students, and how much reading they have done this year. Something many high school students struggle with is actually internalizing what they read in their first language, and these books can have confusion due to characters being similar.

      I noticed for example in Agentes, some of my students got the characters confused. Next year, I'll do a better job of pre-reading and post-reading strategies to discuss the characters with my students.

      I'll look in my folders and see if I have anything that could be of use!

      You might get the teacher's guides. Mira Canion always does a wonderful job of having plenty of different activities.