Embedded Reading

Simplify, Scaffold, Succeed!!

A few ideas..for any level…for any reading

Many of you, particularly Spanish teachers, are familiar with the song/video Camarero.  (If not, and you are in the mood for a fun trip back to the 80’s, check it out!)   We posted an Embedded Reading by MB to go along with the song/video not too long ago.    The timing was perfect, as I had been waiting for the right moment to do the song with my Spanish 3 students.

For three decades I have taught this song to freshmen.   It’s catchy, it’s goofy and it has a lot of very useful phrases:  Queremos beber (we want something to drink),  Dese prisa (Hurry up!),  Me muero de sed (I’m dying of thirst), not to mention the easiest way to get students to remember the word for waiter (camarero).    Here are some of the activities I’ve done with the song/video that could easily also be done with the readings:

  • Gestures :  The majority of the song is easy to gesture!
  • Mural :  The students are in small groups, each with a large piece of paper and draw a mural of as many things in the song/reading that they can fit on the paper.   We hang them up around the room and they point out each item as I (or a very confident student) read the song/story out loud.  Then they move to the next mural and repeat!!!!
  • Flash cards :  Key phrases are illustrated and put on flash cards. (Sometimes I draw and Xerox, sometimes students draw their own, or I “commission” an artist to draw them.)  Students put the flash cards out in random order on their desks and put in order as I (or a very confident student) read the song/story out loud.
  • “Readers’ Theater” :  In small groups, students identify which lines each will act out as the song/story is read.  Groups can perform for each other or for the entire class.
  • Rewrites (Advanced) : Students rewrite the song changing “Camarero” to a different profession/person and any other elements that then need revising.

Because I haven’t taught freshmen for several years now, neither my Spanish 2s nor my Spanish 3s were familiar with the song.   We could have done any of the activities above, but we had actually just finished a different song (Jueves by Oreja de Van Gogh) and had done several of those activities with it.

So….I used MB’s reading and here is what we did:

1.  I created a PP to use to ask questions of the class using new vocab and structures.   For example:  La playa no se ve.  I simply had two pictures, one of a beach covered with people and one that was empty of people.  I asked them, in the target language, in which picture the song probably took place, which type of beach they preferred to be at and why, which one represented our local lake spots in the summer/winter etc.   There were about 5 phrases that were new to them and I made sure that we had used each in personalized conversations with the class before handing out lyrics and listening to the song.

2.  The video has lyrics on it, so simply watching the video was worthwhile!!

3.  We also then did a “Movie Talk” lesson with the sound muted, discussing, in the target language, what else we saw in the video, naming different individuals, giving them backstories etc.

4.  The base reading of the story was done as a simple translation.  I wanted to see how much they understood from the very beginning.

5.  The second version looks like this:

Había un chico que se llamaba Enrique. A Enrique le gustaba bailar.  Bailaba mucho.  También a él le gustaba ir a la playa.  En la playa hay mucha gente y el sol está brillando.   A Enrique le gustaba bailar a la playa.

Un día, Enrique fue a la playa.  No llevó su traje de baño.  Él estaba bailando en la playa todo el día y tenía sed.  Enrique quería algo para beber.  Enrique vio a un camarero y le dijo, “Me muero de sed.  Por favor, dame algo para beber.  ¡Dese prisa Ud.!”

El camarero salió y regresó con un vaso de agua encima de una tortuga.  Enrique todavía tenía mucho calor.  Enrique le pidió “Llévame al agua” a su amigo.  Su amigo lo llevó y lo tiró en el océano.  Enrique estaba contento.

I typed up with a Side A and a Side B so it looked like this:

Side A:                                                                                             Side B:

Había un chico que se llamaba Enrique.                                 A Enrique le gustaba bailar.

Bailaba mucho.                                                                             También a él le gustaba ir a la playa.

En la playa hay mucha gente y el sol está brillando.            A Enrique le gustaba bailar a la playa.

Un día, Enrique fue a la playa.                                                  No llevó su traje de baño.

Él estaba bailando en la playa todo el día y tenía sed.         Enrique quería algo para beber.

You get the idea.   I cut the papers in half and half of the students received a Side A and the others a Side B.

Partner A started and read the first A sentence out loud.  Partner B read the first on his sheet.   They continued to read through the story.  Then, they switched papers, found a new partner and repeated the process.   When everyone was finished, they put their papers aside and I read the story with random errors ( Habia un presidente que se llamaba Timoteo.    No llevo sus sandalias.  etc.)  

For the third version of the story, I gave the students options.  (Remember, these are Level 3 and 4 students)

  • Create a stick figure story board with 25 boxes, each box including a sentence from the story.
  • Write 10 multiple choice questions (with 3 responses each) about the story in Spanish.
  • Add 10 sentences with interesting details that fit well with the story.  Write the sentence that precedes it or follows it from the story and then your new sentence.
  • Write a 15 sentence story in Spanish about Enrique’s dancing career, beginning with “So You Think You Can Dance”

Hope that these ideas can help you design activities to go along with other songs and Embedded Readings!

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4 thoughts on “A few ideas..for any level…for any reading

  1. Marta Yedinak on said:

    THIS IS absolutely fabulous! Thank you for sharing. I’m continuously amazed by your creativity…

  2. Pamela Schultz on said:

    Guten Tag Laurie,   I hope you receive at least one of these e-mails.  Vielen Dank for the “a few ideas…” post of Feb.4.  It is verrrryy helpful.  I show my students a simplified version to introduce almost every reading that I hand to my students.  I think that it ensures greater understanding of the complete story and it provides more repetitions of the vocabulary and structures that we are working on.  But I always need more ideas of ways to change things up and keep students more engaged.  Thank you for sending so many good ideas. Pam Schultz NTPRS – Dallas 2013

    • I received them all! :o) So glad to hear from you…the feedback is helpful and the love very appreciated! Thank you for caring so much for your students!

      with love,
      Laurie

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