You’ve got the lesson planning down, but now how do you add Spanish culture lesson plans?
Spanish culture lesson plans can be the trickiest to create, especially when under the pressure to complete the language portion of the class. Think of it this way, culture is language and language is culture. Communication is not just the words, but how and why people interact in that country is also important for communicating in the target language properly.
Culture can be as simple as learning the correct register of voice to use when speaking with a stranger versus your friend. What students are always asking for more of is the actual customs and traditions of a Spanish-speaking country. The culture part can be, and usually is, the hook that intrigues the students to learn more about the language.
Host a Fair
For beginning levels of Spanish, try sticking to general cultural topics like holidays, food, or music. This will allow you to explore and touch upon many countries and give the students a sampling of what is actually out in the world. A great way to incorporate these topics is to host a Feria de comida, or a Feria de música. These “fairs” break the normal classroom routine, which peaks students’ interest, but it will also allow them to really explore and get the basic idea of how each country is similar and how they are different.
These types of Spanish culture lesson plans usually takes two days to complete the actual fair, but it can be pretty easy to integrate it into your normal classroom activities. Here are some tips:
1. Be sure that the topic of the fair coincides with the unit you are working on. This way, there is not a jarring change when you have the students work on their country during class.
2. Giving them time in class to work is usually beneficial. Don’t overdo it because then the students take advantage of the time given.
3. It is possible you could have the students start on their cultural fair project the first week of the unit. Give them a class period the first week and then maybe 15-20 minutes each week after until the actual fair.
4. Go with what is comfortable for you and your class.
During the Fair
During the actual fair, split the class into two groups. A group that presents one day and the other group that presents the next day. You can have the groups present to the whole class, or you can do a round robin presentation. The round robin is where all the presentation groups are set up and present to a small group of students for about 6-10 minutes (depending on your class period’s length). After that time is up, the small groups will move to the next presentation, and the presenters will present again for the allotted time. The only downfall is that the students presenting will not get to hear the other presenters.
Either way, the students are learning valuable information about the Hispanic world’s culture and traditions in a fun and interesting way.
How do you create Spanish culture lesson plans and integrate them into your regular classes?
Check out these other articles about Spanish Lessons.