Right before winter break, we began reading Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro by Carol Gaab in my Spanish B class. This is my second year with this group of mostly 7th graders, and I have been noticing that they understand what they read fairly well, but have a difficult time producing their own logical sentences.We ended 6th grade by reading Pobre Ana, so this book was kind of taking a step backwards to review. My goal was to use this as a vehicle for teaching the grammar points that a lot of them had not yet mastered. I want them to take away a better understanding of word order in a sentence, specifically how adjectives come after the thing they are describing. I kept detailed notes while we went through it and decided to post them here to help out fellow teachers! I also created a reading packet for my students.
I explained to them all that I know what sophisticated readers they are in their other classes, analyzing and discussing deep issues, and while this book may seem a little bit beneath their English brilliance, it would be 100% understandable to their Spanish brains. This seemed to curb some of the smart-alecky comments about the repetition, although there were still a few wise guys. =) Next I showed them where the glossary was located and how they could use that as a tool while reading. Then we began! I read out-loud, stopping along the way for simple yes-no comprehension questions.
The first chapter is REALLY repetitive, and my kids made a big fuss about how easy it was. So in the first class, I passed out the comprehension questions and assigned them for homework. This was a mistake. Very few students remembered how to answer the question ¿Cómo son?, so for the next classes, I made sure to hit that hard during the pre-reading conversation, and we used class time the follow day to answer the questions.