Draw My Life in ELE and FLE

As you may know, there is a ¨Draw My Life¨ trend in YouTube. It consists of recording a video of your life while drawing in a whiteboard. It’s quite cool and entertaining. Obviously, most of your students most likely have heard about this (my 6th graders all knew about it before me!)

Students drawing

Student recording

So, I wanted to create something similar in my class. We have not     learned past tense yet in 6th grade so talking about their lives may       have been too hard for their level. Instead, I had them create a story (creative writing in the target language). In this story they       had to use vocabulary and structures previously learned in the course. Creativity is always highly encouraged! Also, it was required to integrate some cultural aspects of their ¨country of adoption¨. This is, their Hispanic/Francophone country that they are assigned at the beginning of the school year in my class. Students had first to research  about some cultural characteristic that they would later incorporate in the storyline.

Students using Imovie

The story creation was the first section of the project. While doing this, students were not aware yet of what they were going to do with their story afterwards. I do not want for them to get distracted with technology, so I gave them a few days to create their own, personal story in the target language. I shared a rubric with them to make clear my expectations for this part of the assignment: Writing_RUBRIC

Once the story was completed and graded by me, I explained the Draw My Life idea. I gave them the option to use index cards, some students are more technological than others, so I differentiated and made sure that each student was in their comfort zone. I also shared a rubric with them, you can find it here.

And the results were, as usual, outstanding! All students were on task, enjoying every minute of the assignment. They were helping each other record and they were proud with the final result, so was I!

Check out these links to find some examples of the projects that my 6th graders beautifully completed for our World Language Class. Enjoy!

In Spanish:  http://vimeo.com/81144850 and http://vimeo.com/81144849

In French: http://vimeo.com/81144851 and http://vimeo.com/81144852

Global Citizenship in the 21st Century Classroom

My dear colleague Maria Dona-Morice and I will be presenting a session at ACTFL titled: ¨Global Citizenship in the 21st Century Classroom¨. This session was selected by FFLA attendees as Best of FFLA (Florida Foreign Language Association). In this presentation we will be giving examples of projects implemented in our courses (French and Spanish). This should be useful to any Foreign Language Teacher.

It is our responsibility to promote diversity and culture awareness in our class! Enjoy the Power Point below and drop me a line if you want more information. Bon voyage!

We are the world

Global Citizenship in the 21st Century Class (1)

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th to October 15th: Hispanic Heritage! Let’s celebrate it and embrace the culture of traditions of the Hispanic World!


This year, I decided to approach this as a collaborative project. Not just fostering student collaboration, but teacher collaboration as well. This time, our project has taken place between grades, ranging from 6th grade regular Spanish class to 8th grade Honors class. What a challenge!

Ms. Villa and I thought that implementing this project in our Spanish class would be very educational and fun for our kids. This is the first time that I do an activity with students with so many different levels. Ms. Villa has 8th grade Honors Students while I have 6th grade kids, some of which have never learned Spanish before…. this may look a big crazy BUT it has been done AND the outcome has been tremendously gratifying for both students and teachers.

hispanicFirst off, I started by teaching my kids the most common food and restaurant vocabulary expressions. To this end, I found some very useful slide shares on the web. I found these very easy to visualize and very well explained:

Restaurante Presentation

Comida Presentation

We went over all this vocabulary for two weeks. In the meantime, we reviewed it with games, listening, dictations, readings, and speaking assignments. Students loved to share with the class their favorite foods (using me gusta/no me gusta) and restaurants. We also discussed about:

– Tipping culture in Hispanic Countries (Spain, in particular)

– Traditional foods from Hispanic Countries

– Traditional Hispanic restaurants in our area

At the beginning of the year, I gave each student a new Hispanic “origin”. They are very proud to be from another country for one year! I have some students from Peru, some others from Spain, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, etc.

Before creating our menu, students from both classes had to decide what the name of the restaurant would be. To this end, I created a survey in survey SurveyMonkey. Students voted and we came up with our Restaurant name!

For this project, students had to team up in groups of 3. Each group had to create a menu and bring a 3 course meal. Each dish from the course will be from each student’s country. We ended up having a menu with an appetizer from Peru, main dish from Argentina, and a dessert from Uruguay: a great cultural melting pot!

Check out this Google doc to find out more about Project Instructions and Rubric

I was impressed with the results. My 6th graders mingled in with their 8th grade peers as if there was no language barrier. My students were perfectly prepared so they felt proud and confident to have the required conversations at the restaurant.

With this assignment students learned to implement vocabulary in real life situation. The classroom became the best immersion scenario. Mixing food, traditions and culture was just the perfect melange, the perfect melting pot.