Why use materials & training by Bryce Hedstrom?

Because Bryce’s materials and presentations can train your teachers in techniques that will connect with and engage students!  Teachers will be happier and students will learn more! He also offers a variety of  workshops to train teachers at all levels and in all subject areas in your department, school, district, or region. Teachers are raving about the results.

Contact Bryce today at:

Email:   bryceh@brycehedstrom.com
Phone: 970-290-4228 
(talk or text)

TESTIMONIALS Here is what teachers are saying about Bryce’s presentations, keynote addresses and materials.



LA PERSONA ESPECIAL CLASSROOM POSTER & Other Questions Spanish Classroom Poster


Here are the SPECIAL PERSON QUESTIONS IN JAPANESE   Thanks to Betsy Paskvan from Anchorage, Alaska for these!

Make any student the most interesting person in the room


Engaging Students With LA PERSONA ESPECIAL This is a popular and successful  activity in my classes that starts on day 1 and continues for the rest of the year, where we get to know one anther in the TL,; real people, real language, real interest.



Giving students classroom jobs makes them feel useful; like they are helping. Classroom jobs not only help the classroom run more smoothly, but it also helps the affective component. CLASSROOM JOBS 

This is a big help for little annoyances in the classroom THINK SHEET

How to Participate Classroom Poster PARTICIPATION POSTER

Here is a helpful handout for students. It coordinates with the participation poster and allows students to reflect on their participation in class. Participation Grading Scale



USE THESE TO ENGAGE YOUR STUDENTS: All of the lessons in this unit support content in other areas. Kids want to learn and even seemingly reluctant learners will be more likely to engage with these types of readings that have real content. Some students do not see the practicality of World Languages–they can tend to see subjects like math and science as more valuable. This will help you bridge that gap.

USE THESE TO HELP WITH YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL EVALUATIONS: Readings like these can also be used as evaluation evidence for “designing coherent instruction” (Danielson 1e) because they provide scaffolding for later learning. They access students’ prior knowledge about geography, math, science and other subjects. Cross-curricular and varied instruction like this can go a long way to engaging students in learning (Danielson 3c).

Virgen of Guadalupe

LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE is a cultural symbol of Mexico as well as the patron saint of Mexico and of all Latin America. In the first 10 years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico only a handful of the indigenous population converted to Christianity, after the apparition of the Virgin millions joined the church. It was the greatest mass conversion (pun intended) in the history of the world; a historical and sociological wonder that your students may not know enough about. Here is the story in high frequency Spanish. A fascinating read connecting history and religion.




Paises Megadiversos Map PAÍSES MEGADIVERSOS / THE MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES  The “Mega Diverse” countries are those which have been designated as valuable due to their vast and different flora and fauna. An unusually large portion of these countries are in Latin America. Here is a reading in novice level Spanish about these biological treasures.




 EL JAGUAR Despite environmental pressures and declining overall numbers, the jaguar, most adaptable of the big cats, is expanding its range and can now be found from Arizona to Argentina. Read about it in novice level Spanish.


LA MANO DEL DESIERTO CHILE--Cropped LA MANO DEL DESIERTO / THE HAND IN THE DESERT  In the middle of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, the driest desert in the world, is a sculpture of a giant, solitary hand. Who made it? Why is it there? What does it signify? Find out in this novice level reading in Spanish.


Espanol o castellano ESPAÑOL O CASTELLANO / SPANISH OR CASTILIAN?  The word castellano perplexed me when I arrived in Chile as a teenager. This is a level I reading that explains which word speakers use to refer to their language in the Spanish-speaking world.


Cartoon Earth with Equator POR QUÉ EXISTEN LAS ESTACIONES DEL AÑO / WHY DO SEASONS EXIST?  This is interesting comprehensible input in the form of a reading in simple Spanish about  why seasons exist on the earth. As an avid cyclist, it amazes me that students do not appreciate (?) or even notice (!) the changing seasons. This lesson uses students’ prior knowledge about weather and terms in Spanish, and it prepares them to learn about the culture of Guatemala, which in turn will be an introductory set to reading the novel Patricia va a California. This type of mulit-faceted instruction can go a long way to engaging students in learning.


 CÓMO SABEMOS QUE LA TIERRA ES REDONDA / HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE EARTH IS ROUND?  The ancient Greeks knew that the earth was round and had the measurements figured out almost as accurately as we know them today. How did they do this without space ships? They didn’t need aliens to help them. Here are five ways to explain that the earth is spherical based on observation and logic–all in simple Spanish.


Watch a Solar Eclipse

 Cómo mirar un eclipse del sol / HOW TO WATCH A SOLAR ECLIPSE  It is always gratifying to teach students concepts and skills that they may have missed in other subjects areas—and to do it in a second language! We have actually done this eclipse watching activity several times with novice Spanish students. The instructions were given, discussed, checked and re-checked for understanding and then we went out to experiment with the low-cost, low-tech eclipse watching equipment. No eye damage yet!


Introduction to Guatemala   (PowerPoint to introduce the country to level I Spanish and/or as a set for the Blaine Ray novel Patricia va a California.  Coordinates with the 5 themes that students learn in their geography classes)

Amigos de… Study Partner Maps (to help students learn the geography of the Spanish-speaking world easily and quickly)



Fat Cat Gray Black Tracing for Small Pictures  THE GIRL AND THE CAT This is a whimsical story for novice language classes that uses high frequency vocabulary. It deals with coming-of-age issues and also has elements of other disciplines, including numbers, built in to it. The nature of the story requires repetition in order for students to get the final question. The story and questions are in both Spanish and English and in the present and past tenses.


Gorilla THE JOB AT THE ZOO  This is a new joke in Spanish (& in English on the second page) that my kids liked. More and more, I like telling jokes that impact students at multiple levels. This one is funny and students can relate to it, but it also addresses the impostor syndrome, that nagging feeling that we might just be faking our way through life. At least half of all successful people report feeling this way from time to time.




Boy with Book

El secreto de hablar con las chicas Here is a story we started this week in Spanish 2 about a boy who woos the girls by always responding with a simple “I understand”. I offered it as a service to the guys in my class. It went viral in the school. Kids that were not even in the class, kids I didn’t even know, kept coming up to offer their opinions for or against the premise. I, of course, responded to all with “I understand.



Little Pig  Some Pig!  This is a summary of a Person Especial interview that generated enormous engagement with students.




4 El chico pequeno Y su amigo  EL CHICO PEQUEÑO

This is a simple story for Level I  Spanish to review and consolidate  some basic grammar and vocabulary. There are 12 pages of notes, explanations and activities, plus illustrations for students to tell the story and write the story.




This is a revised and expanded version of the unit and lessons plans for the legend. It includes examples of  level I Spanish student writing for the final assessment. Be sure to read Example #5. This story will not be offered for free forever, so download your copy now at no charge.

I just wanted to express my gratitude to Bryce and his La leyenda de la Llorona. This week I gave my students two exams.  One was the state exam where they had to write a story.  Many of my Spanish One students wrote out the story of la Llorona.  The vocabulary in that story is much higher than I had ever encountered in a Spanish One class and I was afraid that it was too high for my Spanish One students; however after seeing their writing and language after completion of the story and activities I couldn’t be prouder. They then had to do a five minute presentation of them talking to the class and talking to me afterwards about their story.  Many of them chose La Llorona.  They were spot on and many of them even picked up the words aside of the intended structures. I then asked my students about that story and why so many had chosen it.  I got the same response: that this story just stood out to them.  They loved that it was a legend as opposed to a class story and it was the only one that I had retold embedded style more than five times.  Bryce has added activities to go with each telling of the story and each one just helped the students to acquire the story and use the language outside of the story. I could not be happier with this story and the activities that he included.  I am definitely using it again next year and from then on.
—Nancy Wallace


What I love about your Llorona project is that it gives a teacher a blueprint of how to work with a story. 
Your work helped me understand a lot better how to put some things together. 
—Michele Whaley


Toad Brown Cowboy StyleThis is a Spanish 2 story that grew over a period of two weeks: EL AMIGO ESPECIAL. The girl in the story is a good-natured student in a Spanish 2 class that played along, and with whom the other students had fun giving ideas. It is about her special friend, a toad, inspired by the stuffed cane toad from Guatemala in my classroom.



HereSmiling Girl Dark Hair is another story for early Spanish I,  LA CHICA FANTASTICA. It is a continuation of the theme from the previous Spanish I story, LA CHICA QUIERE CAFE. This one is loosely based on a story by Mike Coxon.



Tortoise Smiling

 LA TORTUGA Y LA LIEBRE   THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE  This is an early Spanish 2 lesson. IHare love Aesop’s story of The Tortoise and The Hare because I have always consider myself to be somewhat of a tortoise–I eventually win by just sticking with it. And I want to encourage others to keep at it too. The story is written in simple Spanish and illustrated.  There is also a teacher guide ti help you teach the story.

We’re all in this together. Keep at the race, mis amigos tortugas.



Here is a story for early Spanish 1,  LA CHICA QUIERE CAFE . This is a story in a simple format that was modeled for a new teacher observing my class. The super simple approach worked so well I plan on using it again.



The New Bloom’s Taxonomy and Foreign Language Instruction (PDF) Memorization is the very lowest level of learning. With comprehensible input strategies we can ask students to think at higher levels, even in beginning language classes.

Checklist for Observing a FL Classroom  (PDF) This latest version has more specific guidance built into the form to point out what good foreign language teaching should look like. This can be a big help to administrators and guests by giving them specifics to focus on. I give a copy to every observer in my classes to get some guided feedback and help me to get better.

Checklist for Observing a FL Classroom  This is the Checklist in a Word format so you can adapt it to your needs.

Here is the Observation form with spaces for notes from  the BSCS 5 E’s Instructional Model, modified  by Rachel Seay from North Carolina:


UNDERSTANDING TPRS   Updated and Expanded–Formerly “The Basics of TPRS”

VERBS IN THE TOP 505 SPANISH WORDS   This is an analysis of the verbs on the Wiktionary word frequency list for Spanish. This analysis can make it easier to see which verbs in which specific forms occur most often in the language and has implications for what we should be teaching if we want our students to become fluent.

TOP 400 SPANISH WORDS  This is a list of the 400 most frequent words in Spanish from Wiktionary.org based on movie and television program subtitles, so it may approximate actual speech. It is organized so that students can check off the words they recognize as a general vocabulary comprehension check.

Language Performance Scale for Telling a Story 



1) Be convinced yourself of the value of reading, and particularly self-selected reading

Language Acquisition and Reading


2) Model reading by reading to them and by reading in front of them

Kindergarten Reading

Favorite Spanish Picture Books

3) Teach them how to choose reading materials

How to Choose Reading Material

4) Provide plenty of reading materials that are comprehensible, interesting and (when possible) culturally relevant

RANKING-THE-NOVELS   A list of language learner novels by TPRS authors ranked in order of readability to help teachers and students pick material for Light Reading.  Includes the number of pages and the total number of words for each novel, plus the genre and cultural setting.

5) Teach them how to read in another language


6) Make reading a regular part of the routine in your classroom and enforce it consistently

SSR Reading Poster

7) Continually point out why we are reading (like every single time they read until they can say it to your first)

QUOTES ABOUT READING Print these out, hang them around your classroom and shine your laser pointer at them when the “Why are we reading again?” questions start. they will eventually get to the place where they say, “I don’t really like to read in English, but for some reason I like it in Spanish.”

8) Hold them accountable for their reading (lightly)

DUAL ENTRY JOURNAL Medium to low level accountability. Shows you care and are aware, but not smothering students with too many detailed questions.

LIGHT READING BOOK REPORTS   Why read? Why read novels? Motivation for reading. Justification for reading. And how to assess without killing the joy of reading.

Book Report Form–English

Book Report Form–Spanish






READING & (EVENTUAL) OUTPUT  This is an essay that a Spanish I 9th grade student (an exceptionally hard working and focused non-native with no background in Spanish) did during two days in class. The challenge assignment for students was to read an entire novel, and then close the book and summarize (not re-write) each chapter.  They could re-read portions beforehand, but they could not look at the book as they wrote.  She wrote this in class with no dictionary and no outside help.  These are not typical results, but it does show the differentiated results that are possible with comprehensible input-based methods.  Patricia va a CA Student Summary (pdf)



I like to put a funny posters on the door of my classroom  to delight my students.

Cinco signos que a una chica le gustas (5 Signs that a Girl Likes You) Careful, guys! There are more like this below.

APRENDA LAS EMOCIONES con Kristen Stewart   The many different and obvious emotional expressions on the face of a professional actress can help your students to learn the words for emotions in Spanish!

Darmok  This is an information and activity sheet based on the classic Star Trek the Next Generation episode where Captain Picard learns to communicate with an alien captain via storytelling and shared metaphors. This article is referenced on the German Wikipedia page (of all places!) about Star Trek.

Eres Tu Valentine’s Day Activity  This is a type of “Occupy Valentine’s Day” activity for the 99% that do not have boy/girlfriends.

FUNNY PLACE NAMES Spice up your stories with these unusual places in the USA that actually exist.

Nicknames in Spanish Enough with Paco and Maria already. Give your students meaningful and descriptive names.

Songs All Spanish Students Need to Know Cliches? Maybe. They still should know these songs.

SONGS–Dia de los Muertos & La Llorona

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS with SAMPLE ANSWERS Looking for a new job in a school that teaches with comprehensible input? Look at these questions first to get your thoughts together.

Placing Students in Spanish Classes A native speaker in Spanish 2? An ELL student in level 1 so they can “learn English”? Nope. This document will help guide counselors, administrators, fellow teachers and parents in placing students in the appropriate class.

Placing Native Speakers If not in a lower level Spanish class, where do we put native speakers?

Alternative for Unwilling Students (in Word format so you can adjust to your needs) Despite our best efforts sometimes things do not work out and the rest of the class is suffering. Here is a way to deal with the occasional unwilling student.