Catchphrase & Race to Erase with F.F.

This is my second year to read Fiesta Fatal with my Spanish 3 students, and I feel that they are enjoying it as much as my students did last year. I am trying to perfect what I did last year and attempting to add some new activities as well. Thursday we tried Race to Erase and Friday we tried the game Catchphrase.

Race to Erase is one of my students all time favorites. I did not come up with the idea but stole it from some clever teacher online. The concept is pretty basic but for some reason my students get super competitive with it! For this round of Race to Erase we prepped for the game by writing all the vocabulary terms we have learned in Fiesta Fatal on the whiteboard (both the Spanish terms and their English translations).  Once the board is set up, I divide the class into 2 large teams. I explain to them that I will begin the game by shouting out one term in either Spanish or English and they must race to erase the term on the board.  So for example, if I shout out agarró, they must race to erase she grabbed.  Or if I shout out dress they must race to erase el vestido. Only one representative from each team may come up to the board for each round. I do not call names or police this too heavily. I just tell them that there is an expectation that everyone rotates turns and no one student can dominate or go up to the board multiple times in a row.  Now, what about the students at their desks? They have a very important job. They are encouraged to shout out directions in order to help their teammate find the term on the board. I have a poster up in front that has the following directions in Spanish: up, down, to the left, to the right, in the center, hot, and cold. I tell them that if their teammates use any English or point, the point for that round will go to the opposing team. They have a great time with it and it is SO much fun to see them shouting like crazy at their classmates in Spanish!



Fiesta Fatal: Final Exam: Telanovela Style

For the final project for Fiesta Fatal we turned the book into a Telanovela and it was a blast!  Students were divided into groups of 3 and given one of the chapters from the book. Once groups and chapters were assigned, we talked about what a telanovela was and what were the critical components of a telanovela. We had fun watching a couple clips of telanovelas.

Fiesta Fatal: Chapter 9: Reader’s Theater

Today we read chapter 9 of Fiesta Fatal today and I made my first attempt at Reader’s Theater {I think}. I made 5 photo copies of the chapter and then labeled each copy with one of the main character’s name. Then I highlighted the lines for that particular character through the chapter. When class started I asked for 5 volunteers. I love that all my students were quick to volunteer before they even knew what they were doing! Once I had my volunteers in place on the stage in my classroom, I explained the concept to them.  As I read the chapter their job was to act out what they heard and read their lines {con emoción :)}. The activity provided another opportunity for repetitions and process the material.  This was so much fun and I felt like the students really got into it!


Fiesta Fatal: Chapter 9: ¡Está Cambiado!

Today our goal was to read chapter 9 of Fiesta Fatal. I am learning and exploring the world of CI/TPRS, and therefore am constantly looking for new strategies. Today I tried an activity called Ëstá Cambiado¨ which I found on another teacher’s blog (  Students first read the chapter out loud in small groups, pausing to summarize as they moved through the chapter. I noticed that as I moved around the room listening to them read that many of the students spontaneously used the interjections that I taught them last week. I heard students exclaiming, “¡Que fascinante!”and ¨¡No en serio! After students completed the chapter, they worked together to create a quick summary in Spanish in their cuadernos. Once their summaries were completed, we began the activity. All students wrote in large letters on their whiteboards “está cambiado¨ on their boards. Then I read the chapter out loud to the class. But there was a twist. Instead of reading the story as is, I changed details in the chapter as I read it. When they caught me changing the story they would hold up their boards and shout “esá cambiado!” At this point I would act surprised and respond with a comprehension question. For instance, if I said, “Vanesa respondió muy *romanticamente*” and this was not true, I would ask “¿Como respondió Vanesa?  The activity was really fun and effective. I noticed the crazier changes I made to the story the more fun the students had with it.

Fiesta Fatal: End of Chapter 6: Improv

At the end of 6, students were divided into groups of 2 and given a description {in Spanish} of an important event or moment during the book. Students read through the event description ensuring that they understood what happened in their particular scene, and then students had between 5-10 minutes to brainstorm. I explained that this preparation time should be used to think through conversations that were had during this event, key vocabulary that would be critical to know for this event, and develop a general sequence of events. Once time was up, we began our improv. On the stage in front of my room there was a prom dress and tiara {borrowed from the drama department}, a large suitcase, and a backpack. Students took their positions on stage and had 1 minute to successfully execute the scenario.  (Because most of the scenes were simply Vanesa and Julieta, it usually required a guy wearing a prom dress which made for great comic relief. My students were eager to see what guy would be wearing a prom dress for each improv scene. 🙂  I told them that they could not stop acting until the timer went off. They could go over the allotted time but not under. At the end of the scene, we debriefed as a class. I asked the class questions about the scene that just took place to check for comprehension and get in some repetitions.  At the very end of class, students logged into a google form I had created and voted for the group who did the best job and that team was awarded 2 points of extra credit on the assignment.  It was a huge success!