Target Personal Responses
Students first spend time viewing front page newspapers from the target region on http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/
Students study the typical layout, organization, and format of the front page of a newspaper. Next, they create their own front page featuring stories from their life. The front page they create must contain relevant images, personal stories, and an advertisement with a cultural product. They feature themselves writing the front page of their lives. To close this project, have students read a partner's newspaper and then ask at least three questions about why they choose that particular story or event. This activity comes from Best of Puntocom (Koch, Hlas, Larson, 2011) www.bestofpuntocom.net
Sample Activity Spanish
Reverse Fill In the Blank
To prepare for a vocabulary test, students look at a list of words, pick four or five words, and write a coherent, meaningful paragraph about themselves leaving a blank where those words would be. Teacher collects the anonymous paragraphs and (1) students fill in the blanks to review vocabulary, (2) students guess who those paragraphs are describing. Those paragraphs can be corrected together in class. They can be used throughout the semester as quick review exercises and to see if students still remember to whom they belong. That helps create a sense of community in class.
Sample Activity French
Have students create a poster featuring a baby photo of themselves and then ask them to write what they were like as a baby/young child as well as a memorable event. Tell them not to use their names or key identifying details (e.g. sibling names). Under each poster, include a blank sheet of paper and ask students to write the names of the classmate they think the baby is. Alternately, students may select a culturally-relevant individual (e.g. Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet) find an image of them as a child, share their biography and a key moment in their life.
Sample Activity Spanish
How am I doing?
Around the fifth week of class or so, ask the students to do a self-assessment. They should take out a piece of paper, write their name on it, and fold it in half vertically. On the left side of the paper, they should write down (in complete sentences: optional) in what areas of language learning they are improving. They should consider: listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar (and anything else they would like to include). On the right side of the paper, they should write down the difficulties/challenges that they are having. Then, it should be folded and put into an envelope. The teacher should read (and comment: optional) over the strengths and challenges and tailor the curriculum as appropriate. After another 4-5 weeks, the students should again self-assess. They may find that their challenge is now an improvement. This self-assessment can be done 3-4 times a semester or as appropriate.
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