I am always looking for new and exciting ways for the students to write. I feel like sometimes it's hard for the kids to have a wide variety of topics because they really are just learning the foundation of the language. Also, do they LIKE the topics we have them write about?!?!
One day I was on my facebook and I seen a video that was posted that made me laugh for days! It was called "Walk on the Wild Side" They were these hilarious videos of animals with voices. It was so funny because they each had their own personality and it was just nice clean comedy.
I then got to thinking....I bet my kids would enjoy this video. Now, I love sharing "clean" humor with the kids because I feel as if it's very rare these days but I worry about sometimes things not being tied to the curriculum so I thought how can I swing this Spanish....and then a light bulb went off!!!
What if....I had the students WRITE about what they saw. They could describe the animals (using ser), they could put which animals they liked (using me gusta and no me gusta) and they can even talk about verbs they do (La tortuga canta, La foca nada, etc.). So I ran a little "experiment" and now it is one of my favorite things to do in class to get them to write.
1. You can pick ANY you-tube video that you consider clean comedy. You can even pick a series like I did. Now, I ONLY show about 3 minutes of the video even though some of them are 15 minutes long...that's WAY too long.
2. Before showing them the video, teach them some of the common and popular vocabulary like Nadar = to swim and marmota = groundhog, etc.
3. Develop some questions to GUIDE their writing. Remember they are JUST in Spanish 1...now you can do this with upper level and expect a bit more but for Spanish 1...give them some ideas.
4. First time of watching...just watch....then show the guided questions. Go over them and see if they know what you mean. How would they answer? What vocabulary do they need?
5. Show it one more time and have them take some notes in English. The groundhog is brown, the otter sings, etc.
6. Now.......give them a time limit and let them just go to town writing! Walk around and help with order, vocabulary, verb conjugations, etc.
Here is the link for the series I use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIDp05SHJVk
You will be surprised how much they write :) and they are actually kind of fun to grade ;)