Cine Latino: 5 Activities for using series, short films and movies in Spanish class!

Get students talking with these five activities!

Free movie starter kit, click below! Using film and series is a great way to engage students in the culture as well as the language. Students learn so many incidental vocabulary words, structures, not to mention the nuanced cultural customs that seep through via film. 

 Secondly, using film is a surefire way to get students talking. The activities presented in this post were engineered to get students talking and, boy did the talk!  This month I got to introduce some of my favorite short and full feature films and series from Latin American and Spain. The goal was to get students talking in Spanish much like they do in their English classes. Here is what I did the facilitated the lesson:

Conversation Circle and Interview Activity 
To introduce the lesson, we discussed favorite books and movies. These lively conversations inevitably led to words and ideas that would comprise our vocabulary list. From here I created a simple vocabulary list and definitions in the target language using movie words. These words were then recycled throughout the unit and activities. The list was used as a point of reference and also provided students with a vocabulary for describing, analyzing, speaking and writing about films Film unit vocabulary and activities.
There are two sets of questions. Students walk around the class (sort of like musical chairs) and then stop. They interviewed their partner on their partner's movie interests and the partner interviews them on their favorite actor and so on. The questions are different to spice up the conversation a bit.
Movie packet for viewing film
I'd also like to put a plug in for this amazing Movie Sheet  I got from one of the teachers on TPT. This sheet saves my life every time I am in a bind. If you ever show a movie or even a Telenovela, just have a view of these handy to avoid students annoying asking " Do we take notes? What do we do?

Ancillary speaking and visually activity 

 This Pelipareja activity that you see to the left was retrieved from a Zambombazo website. You can click on the website here to view all of their wonderful resources. I have gotten a few things and they are staples in my curriculum! It was free to the public and has some really great authentic input to drive home concepts and vocabulary.  Students read the descriptions and match the movie. You could also cut up the pictures and descriptions and have students do a matching activity as part of circuito or station. I used this both in class and during my 45-minute Spanish club. It was a hit.

 Short trailers and vocabulary activities to "hook" students at first glance. 
2.  To get students excited about the unit in addition to providing them with resources they could view on their own beyond the four walls of the class,  I featured a few trailers of Spanish-speaking series. Most of the series are from Spain (I have A3series- a new channel offered on DirectTV).  However, it also highlights Spain's dominance in this particular market. Series such as Gran Hotel and El Internado are also popularly viewed by both Spanish-Speaking and non- Spanish-Speaking audiences. Since we had been working on the subjunctive in this particular class, I organized activities to include that grammatical point. This activity Hoja de actividad worked the vocabulary and grammar.
Trailers o Avances to the series. 
El principe

3. As we began to discuss how to analyze film. we looked at camera angles and shots in terms of their importance in bringing the story alive.  Here is the activity with the video that I used to help students get a sense of the language used to describe angles in addition to their importance. This is the second year I've included the angle shots. The first year I had introduced them was disastrous as I assumed that students had some familiarity with photography (we have AP Photo at my school). Lesson learned! This year we covered all but only emphasized a few.4.  

What a "novel" idea! Check out the new novels for Spanish class!

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