MovieTalk is a Comprehensible Input tool created by Dr. Ashley Hastings. Students get engaged listening to comprehensible language in a short video or clip. These videos are usually not longer than five minutes and are compelling to the learners. In my experience using videos with lower elementary students, videos that are not longer than 3 minutes work great.
Every time I start a MovieTalk I remind my students that I will be talking and pausing the video. As recommended by others, this video will be played silently. And once we are done with our MovieTalk their prize will be to watch the video entirely without me pausing it.
In preparation for the MovieTalk, I choose a short video, look at it, and prepare in a script in my head that I will be using with my students. I always make sure the videos provide space for repetition. I identify structures that I know I can TPR with my young students before doing the MovieTalk.
Here is an example of a video I have used with first graders. It’s called “Feliz San Valentín con Pocoyo”.
Some words that I can TPR with my students before presenting the video: mira, camina, feliz, baila, escucha, vuela, se ríe, le tira and busca.
Most of the time I write a script of what I want to say in the video – download the script for this MovieTalk HERE. (After clicking on the link, it will prompt you to make a copy). Having a script helps me identify structures and repetitions in the video, as well as some questions to PQA (Personalize Questions & Answers) while talking about the video.
I take screenshots of the movie and also use the pictures to talk about them when done with the MovieTalk. I also like putting the story together and read it later to class. Since this is meant to be used with kinder and first graders, I don’t ask for a lot of output. However I do hear some phrases and words my students produce after we listen to the MovieTalk and talk about the pictures. Click here to download the story to read to your students.
My students have been enjoying the chance to use movement cards for our brain breaks, especially my kinder students. They love seeing the different themes for special occasions. Feel free to explore all the different movement cards featured on this blog. For now, here are the ones for Valentine’s Day!
Download them here, and get ready to have fun! Read them aloud to your students, and have them do what the cards say. Movements cards are not only great for brain breaks but also a good way to introduce or reinforce vocabulary.
As far as I know, this game is only played in Colombia, but I am sure there are other variations in other parts of Latin America. I have been using this game as an energizer in my 4th and 5th grade classes. My students have really loved playing this game. I thought it would be great to share this with other teachers here.
In preparation for this game, all you need is a space where your students can sit in a circle and an object to pass around. I use a small ball made of fabric. I try not to use anything that will bounce off their hands because then it becomes a distraction for the students.
Students sit in a circle. Choose one student who will close her eyes and will be the one chanting “tingo….tango.” The children in the circle will be passing the object while she chants “tingo, tingo, tingo…” as much as possible. When the student who is chanting “tingo” says “tango,” the student who has the ball or small object must come to the middle of the circle to choose a “penalty.” I added a chart with penalties that I project up on the board in my room, so this way it is easier for my students to choose a penalty to do. I also added that the whole class says “penitencia” when the person who is saying “tingo” says “tango.” Some of the “penitencias” I use are taken from the movement cards I have previously shared in this blog. The penitencias are simple – for example, sing like a rooster, dance like ghost, or move your head like a turkey.
Once the student has completed the penalty, this same student takes the place of the person who was chanting “tingo….tango,” and the game starts all over again.
In the search of books to read to my own children at home, I came across the book “What Was Your Dream, Dr. King?“*** It was written for children, yet I find it very informative and descriptive about that moment in the history of the United States and still at the level of a second grader. While reading the book, the idea occurred to me to write something that I know my 4th and 5th grade students can read and understand.
I feel fortunate that all the schools I’ve taught in here in the U.S. make a special point to mention Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. around this time of year to commemorate his birthday and legacy. Sadly, I don’t understand why some of us (yes, including me!) have to wait for a special month to talk or incorporate important events like this one in our curriculums. We have to be intentional about including this in our curriculums. And yes, it’s possible to teach them in the target language. It’s possible to make it comprehensible. ¡Sí se puede! You can always reserve that 10% for the L1 if necessary (note this is actually recommended by ACTFL).
It’s certainly possible that you might feel that this topic is not directly related to your curriculum, but I believe it is! I feel that as a language teacher I have to honor the diverse cultures and backgrounds of my students as well as to help them understand the wider world, teaching about the cultures of Spanish speaking countries. And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s messages for equity, equality, and inclusion was and is universal, leading to rich discussions in any language that can help deepen connections with your students. The fact that his message of peace and social change spread all over the world makes him relevant for students and cultures worldwide, and his words (e.g. “Free at last”) and actions (e.g. the March on Washington or the Montgomery Bus Boycott) inspire me and fuel me as a teacher, too. After all, students who apply their knowledge to do what’s right are the kind of young people I want to help bring up in the ever-changing world.
Click here to download this resource to use with your students. It’s recommended for grades 4 and up!
I teach at a school with strong SEL and Responsive Classroom programs, so many of the teachers already have as part of their routine the practice of greeting their students at the door. I have seen how positive the children enter the classrooms after greeting their teacher.
Last year I started using “La frase de la semana”as part of my classroom routine and a way to teach new phrases to my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. I normally great my K-2 students with a simple “buenos días” or “buenas tardes.” Inspired by all the videos of teachers using different greetings with their students at the door, I created this set of signs. I made different types of greetings that I rotate weekly. The poster only has room for three greetings. I feel that adding all the greetings will make it hard for my students to choose one, so I keep it simple.
Watch the videos below to get inspired!
You can even make it a classroom job!
Are you ready to bring this idea to your classroom? After downloading the pages, I recommend laminating then trimming down each sign and adding velcro on the back so you can change the greetings easily. As I mentioned above, it’s better to keep it simple for the little ones, so I don’t recommend adding more than three greetings to the poster at a time. Here is an example:
Click here to download all the signs to make your poster!