A Story-Based Approach to Teaching Grammar


In my Spanish 1 classes last week students read a version of Hansel and Gretel written with high frequency vocabulary and drew stick figure drawings to show they understood the story. On Friday, for fun I drew this picture on the board (I colorized it this weekend) and asked the students to come up with sentences describing it. In some classes it was every kid that said a sentence or two, in others, just 5 or 6 students spoke up. These are the sentences they came said. You can get the Hansel and Gretel download here: https://www.brycehedstrom.com/product/ebook-hansel-gretel 1. Hay una [...]


This question comes from Adria, a Spanish I student of a teacher that uses my materials: Hello, my name is Adria ____. I go to _____ High School. My Spanish teacher has us read your stories and answer the questions but some of us had some questions about it. Like, why are the boys really creepy and the girls really crazy? Thanks for the good question, Adria. I write stories to keep students' attention. I want them to be compelling and motivating. Exaggerating tendencies that we all sense is one way of doing that. Most boys are mystified by girls' [...]


 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.


    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.  


This is another foray into the world of embedded reading, invented and eloquently described by Laurie Clarq and Michele Whaley . You can see more of their work  here . I like the story of La Llorona and I have spent a long time thinking about how to present this simple version, as well as more complex versions of the legend over the years. I think this latest iteration is some good work.  The story starts with an extremely simple skeleton version of the story. It introduces just five words and the entire story has only 21 total words. More and [...]


I wrote a short TEACHER GUIDE for the LA TORTUGA Y LA LIEBRE story I posted last week, because I wanted to share the process for teaching something like this deeply. This is a fable with staying power. It has had something to say to us over the millennia. It is not just another silly story from class. This fable contains values that I hope my students will absorb--in essence it is the same message as Mindset  by Carol Dweck, and I want to help guide my colleagues into teaching it in such a way as to encourage meaningful class discussions in the [...]