One of our major goals for Spanish 3 is to refine narration. We believe this is a critical function of language. Teenagers do it all the time. They talk about what they did over the weekend, over the summer, yesterday in math class. They tell stories about the amazing shot at the basketball game or the kid who threw up in the cafeteria. They describe the plot of the movie they saw last week or the book they finished last night. A great deal of life’s language is narrating stories.
Here’s an activity we did to practice narration.
- Show the cortometraje “La leyenda del Espantapájaros.” First, show it with no audio and ask students what happened.
- Offer key vocabulary like espantapájaros and cenizas and molina.
- Show the video again, with the audio, and then ask key comprehension questions.
- Watch the clip one last time with the audio, pausing to point out key events and the verbs used to talk about them.
- Chart the film in the form of a timeline. Use a symbol such as a triangle for description or setting the scene, and one such as an exclamation point for key actions in the storyline. Use a symbol such as a right-facing arrow to add the sequencing phrases used like “esa misma noche,” an important proficiency-pushing skill in storytelling. Put description above the line and actions below.
- Have students retell the story using their timelines.
Use this film as a starting point to investigate and share other legends.
Transition into students doing a similar timeline of a story in their life or a good story they’ve heard so they can share with classmates while practicing sequencing and narration.
If you teach a language other than Spanish, please share a similar short film others could use for that language.