This week’s post will wrap up my En la Clase posts on Día de los Muertos. The activities I’ll talk about today are great ones for the end of a unit, especially the Cooperative Sentence Strip Paragraph. Just in time, our complementary guide with ELL and GLAD strategies for teaching about Día de los Muertos is now available online (just scroll down to the end of the activities, they’re right below our art activities). We’ve gotten great feedback from teachers about the materials, so be sure to check them out. Before we start talking about today’s activities, I want to make sure you saw Charla’s WWW post from Friday. She highlights one of my favorite animated short films about Día de los Muertos. It’s really beautiful. It communicates so much in such a short amount of time and without a single word of dialogue! It’s perfect for classroom use.
Now, on to chants. Chants are a fun way to engage students while encouraging language fluency and reinforcing important ideas, concepts, and vocabulary. They can be adapted for any grade level and only take 10 or 15 minutes a day, maybe even less. Below I’ve shared the beginning of a chant our amazing graduate student bloggers Charla, Kalyn, and Alice created especially for Día de los Muertos. You can download the entire chant along with two others here. Continue reading
Today I’m sharing another GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) inspired strategy for teaching about Día de los Muertos. But first, if you missed Alice’s post on Monday, be sure to check out her review of Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead. It’s a really interesting book about Día de los Muertos and the the migration of monarch butterflies in Mexico–quite unique in terms of children’s literature about the celebration.
Last week I wrote about how to use a Cognitive Content Dictionary Chart as part of a unit on Día de los Muertos. Today we’re going to talk about Pictorial Input Charts. In this activity the teacher creates a large poster with important content knowledge overlaid on an image relevant to the unit or topic of study. As you can see from the picture above, the content information is chunked or categorized with sub-headings. If you’re studying multiple traditions or celebrations throughout the year, these categories could be used for all of them. This would provide some consistency from unit to unit. Typically, in preparation for the activity, the teacher would lightly trace the image and information on a large sheet of white butcher paper. When it’s time to begin, the teacher hangs the butcher paper poster on the board and begins coloring parts of the image and tracing over the content information she/he had already written in, while presenting the information to the class. When using this strategy, teachers want to follow the concept of 10:2 teaching: for every 10 minutes of direct instruction, students are given 2 minutes to discuss with the class, a partner, their table group, etc. the information that has just been presented. Continue reading