Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Spanish 1 or 2 - story idea - didn't know how to dance!

*Disclaimer* The beauty of storytelling is that you really could use a story in any level. The complexity of your backstory or how you go about solving the problem is really defined by each level.  For example, you might be able to have way more complex dialogue in upper levels and ask the class things like, "what would you do if he/she said that to you!?"

Here's a story idea that I used in Spanish 2 a week or two ago:


  • No sabía bailar (S/he didn't know how to dance)
  • Le dijo, “Voy a regresar pronto” (S/he said to him/her, "I am going to return soon")
  • Le dio lecciones (s/he gave him/her lessons)

Some previous words I wanted to review:

  • s/he saw
  • s/he went towards
  • s/he wanted to dance
  • s/he was
  • s/he left (came out of)
  • s/he said to him/her

It's a pretty simple one.  Someone was at a party or in a club. They wanted to dance. They saw someone, went towards them, they told them, "I want to dance with you." Or asked, "Do you want to dance with me?"

That person (people) responded, "Of course. Let's dance the [dance name]".

Oh no, s/he didn't know how to dance [dance name].

S/he said to him/her, "I'm going to return soon!"

S/he left the club and went to [place].

There s/he saw [person/character].

[dialogue can always be drawn out more or less depending on the class. I like to have at least a little bit. And I then throw in way more into the embedded readings]

S/he said to [Person/character] "Hi.  I'm sad. I don't know how to dance [dance name]."

[Person/character] said to him/her, "I know how to dance [dance name]."

[Person/character] knew how to dance [dance name]!

[Person/character] had studied [dance name] in [place].

S/he said to [Person/character], "How do you know how to dance?"

[Person/character] said to him/her, "I studied it in [place with...]".

S/he said to [Person/character], "Will you give me lessons?"

[Person/character] said to him/her, "I want [thing].  I will give you lessons FOR..."

S/he gave him/her ___ for lessons.

[Person/character] gave him/her lessons on [dance name].

Now, s/he knew how to dance!

S/he said to him/her, "Thanks for the lessons" and left [place] and returned to [first place].

S/he saw [person/people] again in the club and went towards [him/her/them].

S/he said, "Do you want to dance [dance name]?"  ******

And they danced for [time frame].

******At this point, depending on how quickly your students grasped that part of the story, you could have the character want to dance a different dance now. Or you can have the story end.  If you do a reading, you could have a parallel situation where they have three different dances they have to learn.

I found this went pretty slowly with my Spanish 2 students since they didn't hear a lot of spoken Spanish in context last year. So it was about all they could handle.

It went well though. I can always do better to repeat my structures though.  Need to work on that. Might need to assign some counters this year. I got tired of asking people to do the job last year.

And here is the folder with the powerpoint, some drawings from my classes that might need some work and the embedded readings.

On the present tense version of the reading, I had to practice a few words from the chapter (to fish, to ride a horse, and to walk) so I introduced them via TPR and then threw them into the reading by context. I thought it made the story somewhat silly.

Oh and I found this meme to use to see if they could figure out what it said for a Meme-Monday. I tied it into a short explanation on "tinku" (folkloric dance style in South America). I thought it was a fun tie-in to the spoken story and reading.

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