Spanish Unit Plan:

Spanish First and Second Years
This unit is designed to introduce and then recycle the Super Seven (7) Verbs: hay, es, tiene, está, quiere, va, le gusta; along with some of the 10 Super Verbs: puede and le dice. It also includes vocabulary for: the family, the house, food, colors, numbers, age, and time.

I incorporate several activities throughout the unit:

* Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA)
* Mini-Stories created by the students using real information from the students’ lives,
* Read and Discuss the mini - stories,
* Draw and Retell the mini – stories,
* Read chapter 1 of Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro – by Carol Gabb - Copyright ©2013 by TPRS Publishing, Inc.
* Reader’s Theater using student actors and props
* Choral reading and translation of the chapter
* Listening activities – using the song “Tengo tu love” by Sie7e (found on youtube.com)
* “Movie – Talk” (created by Dr. Ashley Hastings) The Force: Volkswagen commercial (found on youtube.com)
* Read and Discuss – movie script (available in Spanish in the present tense, past tense, subjunctive mood)
* Running Dictation and Guided Dictation
* Read and Pantomime
* Quick- write (10 minutes)
* Comprehension quizzes

1. First three structures: he wants (quiere), he has (tiene), he likes (le gusta)
a. Establish meaning
b. PQA using dog and cat and adding animals that students like; using Beanie Babies™
c. Write class stories using real-life information about the students
(1) Read and Discuss: story projected on the screen, read with laser pointer
(2) Students do a quick-draw (six pictures of each of the mini-stories)
(3) Students re-tell the mini-stories using the pictures

2. Read chapter 1 of “Brandon Brown quiere un perro” (Brandon Brown Wants a Dog) by Carol Gaab
a. Introduce cognates such as rat (rata), hamster (hamster)
b. Read and Discuss chapter 1
(1) Volunteers read and lead choral reading
(2) Chapter is projected on the big screen and teacher leads choral translation
c. Reader’s Theater using props ie. rat, hamster, dog, wigs for actors, box for television
d. Written comprehension quiz either in English or in Spanish

3. Listening Activity using the song “Tengo tu love” by Sie7e (found on youtube.com)
a. Lesson plan ideas found on “The Comprehensible Classroom” blog by Martina Bex
b. Verb structures include: I have (tengo) he has (tiene), is worth more than (vale más que)
c. Incorporates several cognates
d. Listening comprehension quiz created by Martina Bex

4. Establish meaning: “he thinks that”, “he goes to” and review: “he wants”, “he has”

5. Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA): ages, siblings, big and small houses

6. Ask a story (based on the upcoming Movie-Talk® video) using student actors and props

7. Movie-Talk ® the youtube video “Mini-Darth” commercial by Volkswagen
a. Reviews the verbs: he wants, he has, and TPR’d words such as walks, eats, raises up, moves
b. Reviews emotions: is sad (está triste), is irritated (está irritado), is happy (está feliz)
c. Introduces house vocabulary ie. bedroom, living room, kitchen, lamp, chair, table, window
d. Reviews adjectives used to describe students, ie. tall, short, nice, funny, kind, etc.
e. Introduces new verbs: he thinks that (piensa que)

8. Games that provide/reinforce the structures and vocabulary
a. Charlemos
b. Pancho Camacho
c. Yo veo a una persona que…

9. Read and Discuss the Movie-Talk ® video that is typed up and projected on the screen

10. Running Dictation – based on the Movie-Talk video
a. Students are divided into groups of three (faster processors with slower processors)
b. Each group has one sheet of notebook paper divided into 4-6 squares
c. 4-6 posters are hung on the wall outside the classroom with 1-2 sentences each
d. One group member runs outside to read one of the posters, returns to his/her group and tells the
group what he/she read, making sure to tell them which numbered sentence they are reading.
e. Another group member writes what the runner tells them, in the corresponding box
f. The third group member helps the writer with spelling and remembering what the runner said
g. Each group member runs and reads at least once
h. The sentences are then read numbered in the correctly ordered sequence according to the story
i. More ideas to increase the rigor could be added if needed

11. Guided Dictation by Teacher – graded quiz
a. Listen: students listen to 5 sentences and write one at a time on their piece of notebook paper
b. Write: students write in blue or black ink, each sentence on the first line of the paper, skipping
4 lines between each sentence
c. Corrections: Using a red-ink pen, students see each sentence, one-at-a-time, and make corrections
on the second line (the line just below the blue/black sentence) writing only the corrected word
d. Re-write: Using a green-inked pen, students re-write the corrected sentence on the 3rd line
e. Teacher grades the re-written “green” sentence only (Out of 10 possible points, I deduct one point
for each error found in the green sentence).
f. The 4th line is intentionally left blank to allow for ease of reading

12. Novel Reading - Chapter 2 “Brandon Brown Wants a Dog” by Carol Gaab

13. Comprehension Quiz based on the chapter readings

14. Free Write – Students rewrite the story in 10 minutes…aiming for 100 words

15. Student Written Reflection on effectiveness of activities/methods and overall experience in class


Bex, Martina (2015) The Comprehensible Classroom www.martinabex.com

Gaab, Carol (2013) Brandon Brown quiere un perro, ©TPRS Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 11624, Chandler, AZ 85248

Hastings, Ashley (2014) Copyright ©2014 Global Language Education Services LLC http://glesismore.com/language-education-education-consulting.html

Slavic, Ben (2008) TPRS in a Year, www.BenSlavic.com


5 Steps toward doing “Movie talk”

1. Prior vocabulary that has been introduced:  has, wants, thinks that

2. I have “YouTube Downloader” on my computer so that I do not have to have an internet connection when I want to show the video

3. I chose the 2011 Super Bowl commercial, “The Force” by Volkswagen which I downloaded from YouTube

4. The goal for me, in my classes, is to use the images in the movie to help make our in-class discussion comprehensible. I really want to get to know the students and to find out about their families, etc. This video focuses on a young boy who walks around his house pretending he has “the force”. I ask the class if anyone has a little brother or sister…pointing out that the “ito” on the end of “hermano” tells us that it is “little”. I am also able to insert some adjectives to describe one’s character/self, that we have been learning by asking questions such as, “Is your little brother nice or mischievous?”

5. I also have laminated several rejoinder posters along with key words for my students to stand and blurt out the English every time they hear the Spanish word: ie. tiene (has) hay (there is).  This forces me to go slowly and helps to remind students to use their resources.


Here are some pictures of my deskless classroom. I have 4 classes of 36-38 students and one class with only 29 students. When we had desks there was no room to move around. 


My chairs are set up with 8 groups…4 in the front with two groups of 5 on each side of the room. The other 4 groups have 4 chairs in two groups on each side of the room. 


So, the students sit in a “u” shape…or more accurately, in a “football” shape with the pointed ends of the football at the front and the back of the room. The openings are wide at the ends so that we can move about the room and so that they can see the white board.


I use this activity to reinforce reading but it really is a: Reading, Speaking, Listening, and Writing activity all in one! This is how I set the activity up:

  1. I let the students choose their partners, usually in groups of three. (I have found that if I let them choose their own partners, they are more likely to be tolerant of each others’ proficiency level)
  2. They must move their chairs into a triangle so that their knees are all just about to touch. (This keeps their feet inside and away from the running paths so as to avoid tripping people)
  3. Each group gets one clipboard, one pen, and one piece of paper
  4. One person is the Writer, one is the Runner, and the other student is the Helper.
  5. Each member of the group MUST do each of the activities at least once
  6. There are 4 posters hanging on the wall outside of the classroom, in the hallway because there are 4 sentences
  7. The first writer divides the paper into four squares and writes his/her name at the top of the first square
  8. Runner number 1 walks quickly outside and reads one of the sentences hanging on the wall, comes back inside without writing anything down (or taking a photo), and tells his/her group members what he/she read
  9. The group listens and the Writer writes down what the Runner reports and the Helper listens and assists
  10. The Runner can go back out multiple times to get the sentence finished….