¡Feliz día de San Valentín! This week in preparation for Valentine's day my IB Spanish I students are focusing on a holiday themed unit. This short unit focuses around reflexive verbs, which can be challenging to teach in a full-immersion classroom with first year language students. Therefore, teaching grammar with an engaging theme, in an exciting and comprehensible way, is essential.
My favorite unit to utilize when teaching reflexive verbs is Martina Bex's four day unit based on a short film entitled "La Receta de Amor".
This comprehensible story, based on a short film, centers on a technique called movie talk which I have found to be very effective in my classroom. See Martina's excellent explanation about movietalk at the following link: https://martinabex.com/teacher-training/movietalk/
Student engagement in the short film's movietalk portion is teacher-centered, and the movietalk can take quite a bit of practice on the teacher's side to be made into a useful tool for your comprehensible classroom.
But, please don't be scared off! A successful movie talk can spur almost a week's worth of comprehensible activity that focuses around a relevant grammar topic (such as reflexive verbs, in this case), which proves to be invaluable for student engagement and recall of the grammar taught within the unit.
Within this unit, I've found it very helpful to have a class set of whiteboards for student CFU responses. While the class set does not absolutely have to be purchased to teach the unit, I use the student whiteboards at least once a week, and they have proven invaluable for my student's understanding of complex tasks.
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