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  • Middle School Señora

La Familia Unit, Realidades 5A and resources to make it fun and engaging

My school has a World Language curriculum that I follow, based on where students should be with their knowledge and proficiency when they enter high school. Normally I am not at this unit at this point in the year but it’s 2021 and as we all know school has been quite different. I have some flexibility in the materials I use to teach this unit and I vary depending on the group of students but I always include extensions and readers to enhance comprehension and input. I have a couple of new things that I have created that have excited and engaged my students

I started with the vocabulary of the family in context and added this Jamboard activity that had them super engaged and connecting the vocabulary in various ways.

I created this family tree and wrote sentences establishing family relationships. Students had to read the sentences “clues” and label each picture with the name of the family they thought the clue represented. I used to do this with sentence strips in an envelope and students grouped in pairs or groups of three. They would read the clues to each other and write the names on the family tree. I wanted to bring this same type of input into a digital form, so I created this in Google Slides, saved it as a png file, and made it a background on the Jamboard frame. Then I created the text boxes to be the only moving part on the frame. While at their desks 6 feet apart with masks and shields, I partnered them up and assigned them each to a frame, and away they went. I was so happy to see them reading and discussing who was who. When they thought they had them all in the right place, I’d go with the answers and check, if they had names mixed up, they would have to read the clues again. Lots of input!

This unit is all about family, family celebrations, decorating for a party but I wanted to extend the family a bit, and what better way than to bring in “¡las mascotas!” Middle schoolers love to talk about their pets. Whenever one of them gets a new puppy or kitten, they immediately want to share a picture. I found two infographics that I had pinned a while ago on my Pinterest Page. Due to their visual nature, infographics are a great way to get novice learners interested in a topic. There are plenty of cognates and I scaffolded for their proficiency level as necessary. The first infographic was a survey and emphasized adopting pets. I used background knowledge, contextual cues, and interpretive strategies. We looked at the verb tener in context and did a pop-up grammar for its various forms.

The second infographic was all about the benefits of having a pet. Again it was highly comprehensible with a lot of cognates. Again I provided them with questions based on their reading and then circulated with more questions that sprang from the original ones.

Once we were done with the infographics, I found a really cute video from Raton Curioso where they would take a quiz to find out what their ideal pet would be. They had to give themselves points for every question and added them up at the end to find out which pet they got.

We previewed the video and stopped right at the point where they would find out the answers to the points they got. I cropped and pasted each frame to make it more comprehensible and we viewed each slide and went over the questions as the possible answers. I scaffolded where necessary. At the end, they added all their points and the fun part came next. They got to find out what was their ideal pet.


All of these were a perfect way to introduce their new reader. I am using Flangoo this year and have been able to find novice readers to fit quite nicely with the themes that we have for 8th grade. The reader is called Marco y Su Mascota written by Denise Hatcher. Marco and his family are getting their first pet. But Marco can’t have just any pet—he needs to choose one that will fit in with his family. So what will Marco choose? A dog, a cat, or something else…? When I chose this reader, I knew the activities we were doing would fit perfectly as pre-activities to introduce it. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

Each of the activities are available on my teacherspaysteachers store individually or as a bundle, if you are interested in using it as a mini lesson.

Hope I was able to give you some ideas on extending and enhance your Family Unit!

¡Hasta la próxima!

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