Category: Movie Talk

Perros y Gatos, Oh My!

Zachary Jones has a weekly feature on Wednesdays call Miaucoles (get it?) that is worth checking out. He posts a cute cat meme or video in Spanish every week, and it’s a perfect pick-me-up for those dreary winter days that seem to drag on forever.

One recent video is a commercial about the value of adding some furry friends to a boring situation. It’s a great clip to add to your arsenal of Movie Talk videos. I haven’t used it yet, but I would probably teach or reinforce structures like works, boring/bored, and smiles. You could also get a lot of mileage out of describing the cats & dogs, talking about what they are doing and where, and discussing students’ pets.

Alma

“Alma” is a fantastic animated short that was making the rounds in CI circles last year. It’s perfect for this time of year because of the weather and winter clothing vocabulary. I borrowed several ideas from around the web as I built my lesson plans around the video.

First, I pre-taught some vocabulary. “arriba del estante” and “escribió en la pared” are easy enough to TPR, and then I used PQA to circle the word “muñeca.”

Then, I used a shortened version of the embedded reading from Nina Barber, changed to the past tense since that is what my students have been using all semester, to do a Pictado. Students listened as I told the story and drew pictures of what they heard. I got a lot of repetitions from simply saying the story multiple times, then I circled some questions about it to make sure they understood. Then they used their pictures to practice saying the story back to a partner.

The next day, we reviewed the story by talking about a student’s Pictado drawings. I wrote the essential vocabulary on the board as we went, then added the words “gorra,” “guantes,” and “chaleco.” It happened to be a hat day in my school, so we talked about the different hats people were wearing. Then I copy-pasted version 2 of the embedded reading into IMTranslator, using their TTS Voice service to read the story in Spanish. Students listened to the Spanish and translated it aloud into English. (I love IMTranslator when I want to give my kids a break from hearing my voice!) Then I used the photo collage on Cynthia Hitz’s site as an informal listening assessment, with students holding up their fingers to indicate the number of the photo I was talking about.

FINALLY it was time to watch the film. The first time through, I paused it at different times to talk about what they were seeing in Spanish. I really liked how pre-teaching with the readings helped them understand the final film. I stopped right before she touches the doll and asked for predictions. Then we got to watch the whole thing through without pausing. After discussing the ending, I had them do a timed writing assignment about the story. (If students finished early, I challenged them to continue the story on their own.)

There are so many other different things to do with this video, I couldn’t try them all. Martina Bex even turned it into a midterm exam!

Movie Talk with Rio (plus a novel tie-in!)

As my high school students have been reading Kristy Placido’s Robo en la noche this quarter, they keep drawing comparisons to the animated movie Rio. Now, I’ve never seen this movie, but I thought it would be a natural progression to do a week of Movie Talk with a clip. Pixar-type movies are usually good about posting clips that function as stand-alone shorts, instead of just the typical teaser-trailer. One short jaunt through YouTube got me a good clip for Movie Talk: It’s short (about two minutes), action-packed, and full of vocabulary that my students will be familiar with from reading the novel (aves, no puede volar, se cae, tiene miedo, alas, se pone nervioso). After viewing the video, I started writing up a comprehensible text, focusing on two target phrases:

no sabía volar
chocó con

Here’s the video, along with the accompanying reading.


Rio MovieTalk

Movie Talk with Monsters, Inc.

There has been a flurry of talk in the CI community about Movie Talk, so I thought I’d share some materials I’ve created to go along with a Monsters, Inc. clip.

Here’s the reading I’ve typed up to go along with the clip: Monster Unit

There are lots of good target structures in there, from TPR-verbs like “tropieza y se cae” and “agarra,” to high-frequency (and highly discussible!) structures like “le da miedo/tiene miedo.”