One of my most popular posts last year was how to use Marc Anthony’s Latin Grammy-winning song Vivir mi vida to stage Spanish Class Idol in a novice class. A few people have asked me directly, and the topic has been brought up enough on Edmodo, about more clear directions of how to teach the song. If I were blessed enough to have a novice class right now, here’s what I would do. I would string these activities out over the course of at least a week; adding the integrated performance assessment would certainly take longer.
- Play first half of song Vivir mi vida as an intro.
- Brainstorm a vocabulary list of activities students in the class like to do.
- Students take 5-10 minutes to illustrate their vocabulary list.
Then, review this list each day by asking students to talk about the words with a friend for 3-5 minutes. Example: ¿Te gusta bailar? No, no me gusta bailar, pero mi hermana baila. Tiene clases de baile.
- Introduce the target skills. My target skills are:
I can tell other people what I’m going to do.
I can make plans to do something with a friend.
Write them on the board and then tell a story in Spanish. As an example:
One of my students
(someone they like, Duck Dynasty guy or Taylor Swift or Spiderman)
are comparing schedules to make plans to
(something they like to do, hunt ducks or shop at Forever 21 or bungee in the Grand Canyon).
But they can’t seem to get a time together because:
person A: “¿Qué tal el lunes a las 4?”
person B: “No puedo, voy a ir al dentista. ¿Qué tal el miércoles a las 7?”
person A: No puedo, voy a practicar el vóleibol. ¿Qué tal el viernes a las 10?
and so on, especially incorporating the activities your students like to do and/or crazy activities that incorporate this vocabulary (such as, instead of just ‘bailar’ why not ‘bailar en un charco de chocolate’?).
- Play the chorus of Vivir mi vida.
See if some of your more outgoing students will try singing.
- Get students’ help in telling the story in 3rd person. ”Taylor va a…. Julia va a…”
- Play a video of Vivir mi vida.
Sidetrack! How does Marc describe himself at the beginning? This is great authentic novice-level stuff! How can your students describe themselves like this in four sentences?
- Incorporate another authentic resource, someone’s schedule or something, perhaps a concert schedule: “Marc Anthony va a cantar en… el (fecha)…”
- Play chorus of Vivir mi vida and get students to sing (or lip-sync, I don’t care as long as they’re involved).
- Students make a list of activities they’re going to do this week, one each day (recycling days of the week, can also recycle times).
- A few volunteers sing their activities instead of the ones in the chorus of “Vivir mi vida” with song video. They could even fit everything within a phrase:
“Voy a jugar…el basquetbol… el lunes a… las cuatro, la la”
- Students talk to a partner with the question
“¿Qué vas a hacer?”
to find out what they’re doing. Students make a grid/chart of what they’re doing and what the partner is doing.
- Students use “va a…” to report what the partner is going to do.
- Play the whole song of Vivir mi vida and see if students will try to sing. Perhaps point out some other vocabulary they might know.
- Have students mingle and talk again, this time to everyone in class until each pairs up with someone who is going to do one of the same items from his or her list. So, students partner up based on commonalities.
- Students use “vamos a…” to report what they are both going to do.
- Students try to sing chorus of Vivir mi vida using “vamos a” phrases, and/or try to do the chorus as
<point to self> “Voy a bailar,”
<point to partner> “va a bailar,”
<point to both> “vamos a bailar,”
- Integrated performance assessment: students choose among a set of schedules. Student chooses activities to participate in and makes plans with me or with a friend (if they have higher proficiency). Student writes out the schedule both of us are going to use, to show when we are going to do the same activities, and when we might do different activities. (I might use a schedule from a festival, or a map of a theme park.)
If you use these plans, let me know how it goes! Were there problems? What great tweaks did you make?