La Locura de Marzo: March Madness for the Spanish Classroom
La Locura de Marzo Bracket, with a featured placement in my classroom in Baltimore.
As a proud Oregon Ducks alumni and sports fan, I tie sports in Spanish-speaking countries into my lessons whenever possible. This gives me a chance to talk about my favorite sports and teams (Oregon and Real Madrid, to name a few), while finding another way to engage some of my sports-obsessed students. But this year, the heated college basketball NCAA season has coincided with the IB Spanish I "Somos Un Equipo" unit, so I've decided to go all out.
For my classroom this year, I created a Spanish-speaking NCAA bracket in honor of the March Madness tournament. Instead of featuring the college basketball teams that have made the "Sweet 16" placement in the NCAA tournament, my bracket features Spanish language songs with fantastic lyrics, engaging beats and phenomenal music videos.
As you can see in the photo above, the featured placement of the bracket in my classroom garnered interest before I even announced the activity to the class.
Many students approached me before or after class, with clear interest in how March Madness would be played out in our classroom. My savvy students knew the best way to approach this issue, asking "¿Sra. Lupton, qué significa locura en inglés?" And upon hearing the answer, were very pleased that their guess was confirmed.
How does March Madness work in the Spanish classroom?
The bracket functions as a Warm-Up activity during the first five to ten minutes of the class each day for the duration of the bracket. Students were given the bracket on Monday of this week, and asked to make their predictions for their individual bracket on the sheet (shown below).
What predictions must students make before starting the series of warm-up activities?
The sheet functions as a bracket on both sides, and students are asked to make an informed decision, written in pen, by predicting the "winners" for each match on their sheet. This prediction is due in my classroom this Thursday, the first official day of the March Madness tournament.
Once I have seen a student's completed bracket prediction in class on Thursday, it will be officially stamped, and students will earn +1 point for each correct prediction in the "Dulce Deiciséis" or Sweet 16, +2 points for each correct prediction in the "Úlitmo Cuatro" or Final Four, and +4 points for selecting the correct winner of the final match. I'm planning a small gift-card surprise for the bracket prediction winners.
How does March Madness function on a daily basis as a warm-up?
Each day in class for warm-up we will watch and analyze one match, or in other words, two music videos or songs per day. The analysis in the target language will consist of questions such as:
Escribe cinco palabras que entiendes de la canción en español y en inglés.
Escribe cinco oraciónes describiendo el video de música.
¿Qué es el género de la canción?
¿Te gustaba la canción? ¿Por qué sí, o por qué no?
¿Qué es el tema de la canción?
¿Qué es el tono de la canción?
Describe el/la cantante principal.
¿Cómo se siente el/la cantante principal durante la canción?
After students analyze the two music videos during the warm-up, the final step is to have students vote for their favorite song, and this total should be added to the board to determine the "winner" of the match, determining which song moves on in the bracket.
As the process proceeds, all of the music videos will have been shown during previous warm-ups, and the warm-up process can feature a deeper analysis of the song and music video without the need to screen the entire video a second or third time.
I have created both a March Madness bracket sheet to share, as well as a warm-up sheet for the purposes of the warm-up process.
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