El Cine Colombiano: 11 Activities for Teaching Film

Cine Colombiano- ¡Qué chévere! 

This year's film unit is taking even a steeper climb through the South American Continent.( Click here to see the post about 5 film activities for your class. Most activities are free! ) I've added two films to explore cultural themes and social issues while conversing in the target language.  

On a personal/pedagogical note, this year I have been learning about MovieTalk, a TPRS strategy for enhancing listening comprehension and focusing on structures. I am still learning about this key strategy in facilitating conversation using film, I am no way an expert, but I have incorporated some of those practices in my class (Check out my Wanna-be-Movietalk activity: Eight free engaging activities for teaching the preterit and imperfect tenses). I am slowing incorporating these strategies as I go.  

Shall we take a peek? ¡Dale!

Film unit vocabulary and activities- absolutely free. Engage your students in the following activities: 

1. Vocabulary matching- in the target language

2. Writing about their favorite movie, using the vocabulary. 

3. Pique their interest in Hispanic movies by allowing them to view images of movies and read summaries/ respond to questions (I have used this activity in Spanish Club). 

4. A short activity of films shots, I go all out in my film unit!

I used the Free Film Unit to introduce vocabulary and get students discussing movies in Spanish. The movie images come with summaries (upgrade from last year, if you downloaded this activity) and the narratives really pull students in. This can be used as part of a film unit or as a teaser or cultural assignment... or even sub plans (I'm just saying).

Check out this teacher's Movie Packet. I purchased it and use it every time I watch a movie. This resource is really my go-to for anytime I have found a great resource, but have not either created materials or found them online. It is very simple and I have used it mostly with series or in Spanish Club.

Now on to the films!

El Almuerzo 

This short eight-minute film highlights the challenges that poor families, especially children face in Colombia. It is about two young girls trying to get a meal. They face a few difficulties, which force them to be creative in solving their problem.  The resource below gives an overview of the film for students, vocabulary activities, especially Colombian regionalisms. It also gives students an opportunity to think about the broader themes touched upon in the Cortometraje. We had a great discussion and then went around the class greeting each other with "Qué hubo" a particularly Colombian expression. See the activities outlined below. Check out the preview on TPT! 

- Short introduction to the film in the target language 
- Vocabulary from the film and information gap activity using the vocabulary

- Watch and pause questions (freeze frame- paying homage to the Movietalk strategy).

- Discussion questions

- Deep Dive (more in-depth) questions

- Writing prompt

Maria, Llena Eres de Gracia 

This film has become a staple in my Cine Latino Series. It highlights the life of "mules" or people who transport drugs. I used the SparkEnthusiasm's packet, click here for the link. I also created some of my own resources to widen the snapshot of this issue. You can see those resources below. They are totally free and were compiled by online resources and made more comprehensible for students. With the SparkEnthusiasm Kit, I was able to do a gallery walk around the class and have students jot down information about the movie. Also, this packet comes with tons of activities that could be used for pre, during and post. In fact, my summative assessment will consist of the viewing questions, listening, and summary. Had I more time, I would have organized stations. 

Current Event: Model turned Mule 

The featured article below is a sad but true event that occurred a few years ago. A model from Medellín, Colombia made the regretfully dreadful decision of becoming a mule. We read this article right after seeing the movie María, Llena Eres de Gracia. 

This news article sheds light on this issue and the kids were very surprised, even after watching the movie. Click on the original news article here, for your native speakers! Click here for the free "Comprehensible Input Version." I have to say that I only added a few things. I thought that most of the words used were cognates or easily identifiable. I might have changed phrases such as " le cayeron veinte años" for "recibió veinte años." 

After reading this article with two classes, I decided to change things up for the third class. Turns out that the students in my second class actually googled her and found out that she was sentenced to 15 years; hence my notation in the article. Also, they found a video of her modeling days.

Prior to giving the last class the article, we watched the modeling video. I told them that the video was about an up and coming model from Colombia. After the video, we read the article and, boy, were they surprised. This had more of an impact because this girl is young, beautiful, obviously not poor, had a youtube presence and was blossoming as a model. We then read the article and responded to questions.  Click below for the video, and it is totally appropriate.

Check out the film resources below!

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

Click here: https://goo.gl/JsKwM7

TPT Store!

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

Boost your students' fluency with These TPRS Friendly Novels and Short Stories for Spanish Class!

 Comprehensible Student Literature in Spanish (and French)Resource Page 

Looking for student-friendly novels and/or short stories for Spanish (or French) class? TPRS/CI novels are perfect for language learners as they couple the principles of language acquisition (repetition/compelling storylines) with students' interest. 

Check out the selection below. Whether you want to snag a book for your classroom library or get a set for the class, we've got you covered!

Check out our Novels & Resources page if you are looking for bundles and discounts: 

Spanish 1+
"La clase de confesiones" series is also available at Amazon, Fluency Matters, Brycehedstrom.com, Carlex Novels And Resources by A.C. Quintero .

La Clase de Confesiones (Spanish 1&2)

La clase de confesiones: new look, same great story!
"La clase de confesiones" is the perfect novel for your Spanish level 1 students or review for Spanish 2. With several illustrations, this story is told mostly in the present tense and features essential vocabulary for discussing, school, classes, teachers, and of course, el amor! Your students will see themselves reflected immediately in this classroom drama. They will empathize with Carlos as they come along on his crazy adventure! Best of all, the story has only 130 new words such as common words or phrases such as le gusta, tiene que mirar, busca, quiere, etc.  Most of the vocabulary words are cognates so that students don't miss a beat! 

  • High-frequency vocabulary
  • Present tense verbs 
  • Telling time 
  • Classroom vocabulary 
  • Teacher/student dynamic (and banter)
  • The timeless story of a classroom crush... gone awry
  • Good old fashion lines... some from your favorite teachers!
  • Glossary included...and a two-chapter preview of part 2! Carlos mete la pata otra vez!

Carlos hates Spanish class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. She is the reason he "tolerates" his boring class. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to “shake things up a bit” in class. A simple writing assignment turns out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Jessica. First, his nosy teacher tries to “set him up with Jessica,” this plan immediately backfires. Then, the unthinkable happens, and Carlos is stunned. This turns into one of the most embarrassing moments in his life. But all is not lost. Carlos invites you to come along on this adventure into "La clase de confesiones" where…" todos tienen una confesión," even the teacher! 

Author's note: This novel pairs well with a school unit as most of the vocabulary surround the school and the classroom environment, and "classroom crushes" all students have them!  This story was originally written to recycle vocabulary associated with school supplies in addition to basic Spanish verbs in different forms. Therefore you will see a lot of vocabulary words tastefully repeated (which is good for acquisition). The unique word count is around 130.  My students loved it (and so did many others). They demanded I write a part 2 (you will see why at the end), and I obliged.

Let the confessions begin!
"La clase de confesiones" individual FVR/SSR 

Click on the link here:  http://amzn.to/2pIu4VS.   

"La clase de confesiones" Teacher's Guide (60+ activities): http://bit.ly/2fSe64W .

The confessions don't stop there, part 2 is chock full of even more confessions... and you don't have to read the first one!

The second book in the series can be read as stand-alone...saving the best for last!

Carlos is having a bad day, and it's about to get worse. He leaves Spanish class utterly embarrassed.  He had no idea that the teacher was going to partner him up with Jessica, the girl he actually writes about in his class essay. Adding insult to injury, the teacher reads his essay in front of the class, even the mean-spirited things he wrote about his teacher. After running into a few more problems in math class, he is faced with the big showdown in the lunchroom. Now, Carlos is between *"la espada y la pared." However, a short story in Spanish class may hold the key to all of his problems, and may ultimately lead to his biggest confession of all. Find out in part 2! 

Novel & Literature Circle/FVR Guide Available!

"La bella mentira"-Individual books for FVRS/SSR

Click on the link here: http://amzn.to/2sI5mXt

"La bella mentira" Novel Guide/Literature Circle & FVR Activities 

La classe des confessions 

Check out Cecile's Blog Post about using the book in class!

Check out her video of using this book in class!!

The French Level 1+ novel, "La classe des confessions" (part 1) is written almost entirely in the present tense. It is the perfect novel for reviewing school vocabulary, classes, relationships, basic French I structures in the Target Language, and, of course "l'amour." Sprinkled with authentic and witty expressions, students will see themselves in the story, as well as their teachers! Although this book is part of a series (2 books), book 1 is a standalone novel...but students would want to read part 2!  
Synopsis: Charles hates French class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Justine. She is the reason he "tolerates" his boring class. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to "shake things up a bit" in class. A simple writing assignment turns out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Justine. First, his nosy teacher tries to "set him up with Justine," this plan immediately backfires. Then, the unthinkable happens and Charles is stunned. This turns into one of the most embarrassing moments in his life. Charles invites you to come along on this adventure into "La classe des confessions" where everyone has a confession, even the teacher!

Feliz Cumpleaños
Spanish 1+

"Feliz cumpleaños" is the classic bully story with a twist. Esteban just can't get a break, even on his birthday! From the forgetful teacher in class, to the bully who takes his lunch, he is at his wit's end. Although his day starts to brighten when a good friend and love interest wish him "happy birthday," he is still subject to Roberto's (the bully) attacks. When Cristina is thrown into the mix, well, things get more complicated. Esteban has an uphill battle and must muster the courage to stand up for himself, on his birthday! 

*The class packet, story+ 10 activities, is also available. Click here for more details.  

Targeted Audience
This story is perfect for Spanish I Novice-mid students as the language includes mostly -ar verbs and is written in the present tense. The story is organized into 4 short chapters. Vocabulary is footnoted in addition to being integrated into the pre-reading vocabulary and grammar activities. My class really enjoyed this story of the “underdog” student who ultimately stands up for himself. Although a very simple story, there are a few twists and turns that will grab students and endear them to Esteban. 

This story is also great for giving students more contextualized exposure to the forms of the verb ser, estar, interrogatives, and third person verb forms. In terms of specialized vocabulary, there are the following: 

-Family: hijo, padre, madre, hermano 
-Sports: “pasame el balón” el fútbol, marcar un gol (footnoted)
-Body parts: la mano, la cara, la mejilla 

Themes: Relationship, Birthday, Bullying, Family. 

                                          Spanish Level 2 

                              Cómo Salir de la Zona de Amigos 

We’ve all been there. We have an amazing friend, who knows everything about us. We do everything together. We even finish each other’s sentences. It’s crazy! Then, one day, while harmlessly hanging out and laughing at each other’s jokes, something shifts. Our eyes glisten and our heart jumps. We are helplessly swept away by the wave of attraction. Before we know it, we are head over heels in love, but hopelessly stuck in the friend zone! Lena and Tristan can definitely relate! They are best friends, video game enthusiasts, and running buddies who explore the beautiful city of Bogotá, Colombia. But when their relationship starts to change, they realize that are in uncharted waters. They’d make the perfect pair but must fight a few uphill battles. Will their lifelong friendship help or hinder any chance of romance? Find out in "Cómo salir de la zona de amigos"…you may learn a few things!

      Spanish 3+

       El Último Viaje
      Click Here for Novel 
           Click here for sample and resource page 

Synopsis: As a design student, Valeria wants to play an intricate part of the vibrant, colorful, international fashion, and modeling industry in Medellín, Colombia. Her beauty is her passport, and her connections catapult to new heights. Adrenaline, ambition, and adventure drive her thirst for success. As glitz and glam steal her heart, her core values are challenged. Life takes some unexpected turns, and Valeria encounters detours that lead to different paths. Each path has its own set of risks. There comes a time where we each have to choose our own destiny. How will Valeria choose?

*This novel is part of VocesDigital by Teacher's Discovery and A.C. Quintero. It will be available on Amazon 6/12/2018.  
Novel Themes  

Family, Relationships, Decisions, Health-Care System, Fashion Industry, Modelling, etc. 
Drug Mules /War on drugs (Parts of the story chronicles how Medellín climbed from a dangerous city to one of the most visited, beloved, and technological cities of Colombia!). 
Venezuelan Crisis- (Reference to the Venezuelan-Colombian Crisis through an ancillary character)

La EPS- health care system in Colombia (One of the cruxes of the novel)

Medellín, Barranquilla, Cali, Barcelona

People (referenced as part of the story):
Fernando Botero 
Pablo Escobar (One of the character's father died in the fight against Escobar, which gives him the impetus behind contributing to the new "Medellín). 
Shakira (yes, there is a connection, this equals "Songs")
Vanessa Mendoza- First Afro-Colombian beauty Queen 

Artwork, Fashion and Technology Industry in Medellín, Tourism, Typical Colombian Breakfast, Botero, Relationships, etc
Medelllín new economy (Fashion industry, Technology Innovation) 
Clothing (Fashion/Modeling)
Beauty Pageants (References)
Coffee Zone (connection)

               El Escape 

Get ready for adventure with a cautionary twist! Federico and his friends have a pretty simple life. They love to play basketball, soccer and go skateboarding at the park. They also love to go to their favorite hangout out, La librería Curioso: the only abandoned building left in town. This space gives them the privacy they need to practice pranks and other hilarious stunts to upload to Youtube. But the night of Friday the 13, their jokes go sour. While shooting the breeze and popping firecrackers, they stumble upon an uncanny situation. In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, they witness something will change their lives forever. Now the boys have to escape the situation, alive. 

¡Algunas cosas no se deben grabar!
Get ready for an action-packed adventure!
"El Escape"

Teaching Materials for this Novel can be purchased on Teacherspayteachers.com.  What a deal! 20 activities, including questions and discussions cards for $6!

Las Apariencias Engañan

Click here for link: Las apariencias engañan

We have all heard the old adage “If you play with fire, you'll get burned.” Well, some teenagers like to test the flames. Camilo is one of them. He has been masquerading as a model young man. However, his act can only last so long. His mask starts to crack, his foundation crumbles, and the fire he has played with begins to burn. However, he's not the only one entangled in a web of lies and his secret is only the tip of the iceberg. Once inside the halls of his home, we discover a far greater mystery that has haunted the town for years. As the truth comes closing in, the pressure mounts and Camilo must decide which path to take. This compelling story attests to the timeless truth that things are never what they seem, or "Las apariencias engañan."

If this novel is not enough..check out the sequel below.

Language: Subjunctive, Preterit, Imperfect
Themes: Relationships, Betrayal, Friendship, Family, etc.  

Click here to get individual copies on Amazon 
Click here to get FVR/Literature Circles sets for your 

El Armario (EL Muerto en el Armario)
Skeletons in the Closet
El Armario is the sequel "Las apariencias engañan."However, it can be read as a standalone novel. All the critical aspects of part 1 were skillfully interwoven into the novel. But, we shouldn't deprive students of all the juicy drama of part 1!

Liliana has bitten off more than she can chew and her secret life has spiraled out of control.   Liliana, however, is far from being the sole keeper of bones: someone has a secret darker than hers. While at a “friend’s” house, Liliana stumbles upon perplexing discoveries...the kind for which people may kill. Time is running out and Liliana must make a decision. For every decision, there is a trail of consequences. Liliana will soon discover that everyone’s closet holds skeletons…but some bones are bigger than others! 

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

Click here: https://goo.gl/JsKwM7

TPT Store!

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

Short Stories Available On 
Check out the Cuentos Chéveres Bundle below and Save!

¡Gracias por leer!

Featured Post

Boost your students' fluency with These TPRS Friendly Novels and Short Stories for Spanish Class!

    Comprehensible Student Literature in Spanish  (and French)Resource Page  Looking for student-friendly novels and/or short s...