I wanted to share a lesson from one of my fellow's classes. Helping students in Spanish 3 to get comfortable with reading their first novel that is fully in a foreign language requires a lot of support and scaffolding. Not only do they need to understand grammar and vocabulary used throughout the novel, but they also must be able to piece everything together enough to comprehend the storyline.
To facilitate this learning, we decided to utilize several instructional strategies (both with and without tech) that would allow students to process their reading. As students worked through the novel, we tried to utilize different strategies (matching with each of the four goals below) to keep students on their toes and to keep things fresh.
|The goals for the novel & strategies to help meet each goal.|
Before reading the first couple pages, students read a summary passage that one of last year's students had written. Using GoFormative, they edited the passage for grammar, verb tense, and agreement. In addition to exposing them to new vocabulary and helping them build their skills around using the correct verb tense, reading the summaries helped to prepare their minds for what they would see next.
STEP 2: Reading & Annotating chapter (supported with TPR)
STEP 3: Sequencing Key events together
Students then got in collaborative groups to put together a sequence map of the events in the novel. Utilizing Google Drawing's Explore feature, they were able to bring in images that helped to communicate what was happening in the story. The goal of building the Google Drawing was to ensure students had a level of comprehension of the key events in the novel.
One of the challenges is getting students to summarize in their own words and not just take key phrases from the novel. To overcome this, we had to make the Verso response a "closed text" response (can't have the novel out). Students could still access their Google Drawing sequence map to help with their writing.
alternate STEP 4: Speaking about the key events in the chapter
Students found most of the activities helpful (either "a little" or "a lot"). They were most uncomfortable with activities that forced them to speak (using Adobe Spark or Let's Recap), but that is a goal they are working towards and should get more comfortable over time.