Water Cooler Conversations

Description of the material selected as the focus of the Lesson – Materials will include, but are not limited to: radio broadcasts, television shows, newspaper or magazine articles, songs, videos, blogs, and podcasts in the target language. To start, students will be directed to http://www.nclrc.org/teaching_materials/links_to_fl_materials/authentic.html#spanish and http://www.geocities.com/athens/5183/ltspanish.html

This is using the computer as a workbook.

Discipline and Topic – Information Literacy Skills/ Spanish Vocabulary

Target Population –

Grade Level: High School (10-12)

Population Characteristics: Junior and Senior honors students enrolled in an Advanced Placement Spanish Language Course. AP Spanish students have 4 or more years of Spanish Language Instruction and are preparing for the AP Spanish language Exam.

Lesson Groupings: Individual/Group/Whole Class

Curriculum Links – The AP Spanish Language Exam focuses on authentic use of the target language. The only way to practice authentic use is through interactions with authentic materials. This lesson will actually be a cornerstone weekly assignment for the AP Spanish Students that encourages them to find their own authentic materials using technology.

Media Literacy Objectives – Students will be able to:

    • Locate authentic materials in the target language

    • Identify the creator of a message

    • Distinguish the intent of a message

    • Explains techniques used to capture attention in a message

    • Describes bias in a message

    • Explains how a message may be viewed differently by different people

Objectives – Students will be able to:

    • Identify unfamiliar vocabulary

    • Define unfamiliar terms in context

    • Define unfamiliar terms using a dictionary

    • Discuss materials with classmates in the target language

Materials and Timing – LCD Projector and Laptop, Laptop Cart with internet access, Worksheet (although presented in English here, the worksheet will be in Spanish for the students), Initial lesson, 2 (45) minute class periods. Subsequent lessons, 1 (45) minute class period per week for sharing and discussion.

Scope and Sequence –

Explain to students that an AP level course requires them to take initiative in their own learning, and that pre-generated vocabulary lists actually hinder their ability to learn the target language. Discuss how the use of authentic materials is a more productive use of their time than looking up definitions in a translator.

Discuss as a class the idea of “water cooler” conversation, that often times, conversations they may have at work are considered “water cooler” conversations about what they read, saw and hear the previous evening.

Present students with a worksheet to fill out, and explain each component.

Direct students to http://www.nclrc.org/teaching_materials/links_to_fl_materials/authentic.html#spanish and http://www.geocities.com/athens/5183/ltspanish.html and ask them to use the websites offered to find a piece of authentic material (radio broadcast, television show, newspaper or magazine article, song, video, blog, podcast etc.) that deals with a particular topic (entertainment, sports, dating, shopping, employment, education, etc.)

Direct them to fill in the worksheet as they read, encouraging them to ask questions of you and their classmates as they proceed.

Day 2 (Day 1 of all subsequent lessons) – Hold the water cooler conversation where they discuss what they found, and share new vocabulary terms they learned, creating a class “dictionary” as they go.

Evaluation of Students –

Each material/worksheet will have the same rubric, for a total of 20 points per lesson

Evaluation of the Lesson –

Were students engaged? Were students on task? Did students seem to enjoy the lesson? Are students able to apply these questions in other areas? Was there enough time? Was there too much time? Do students readily discuss what they found with their classmates? Do they see this as a valuable way to learn new vocabulary in the target language?