A Story-Based Approach to Teaching Grammar


Cinco de Mayo is almost here. Sadly, it won't be as big of a celebration this year, but we can still teach students a bit about it. Wouldn't you bet that most of them think it is Mexican Independence Day? Here is a quiz and a reading in Spanish with much high frequency vocabulary. Words that novice students may not know are glossed below each paragraph. The vocabulary is sheltered, but not the grammar. Students will understand most of the text due to context and familiar vocabulary, even though much of it is written in the past tense and there [...]

LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE: A Culture Changed by a Work of Art

  The day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is December 12. Spanish students deserve to know about this holiday and it's deep religious and cultural symbolism. Students need to know that this image sparked one of he greatest sociological and cultural shifts in history and changed the mental landscape of Latin America forever. Here is the story of La Virgen de Guadalupe in two novice-level Spanish versions. Your Spanish 1 and 2 students will be able to read them and your upper level students will benefit greatly from the deeper historical and cultural understanding. LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE SIMPLIFIED LA [...]


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.