Feliz Año Nuevo! If your year started off the way mine did…it didn’t look anything like the start of 2020 only 366 days ago. But, we are resilient… or so they tell us… so we press on. Hopefully as you press on, you’ll find these New Year’s lesson plans helpful as you return- even though the return in January looks different for many of us. I teach at an every-other-day block school, so I return with the same students and we pick up where we left off. Many of you return to a new set of students and start completely over. It’s a crazy world we teach in. No matter what classes you start January off with, if you are like me, you need an “easy” in and you want to make it as “fun” as it can be to return to a desk instead of your couch/Netflix relationship. For me, this looks like starting off by talking about both Winter Break and New Year’s Traditions. To read more about how I like to talk about Winter Break (and use Jamboard!) click here!
So New Year’s Traditions…thankfully there are lots both in the Spanish speaking world AND in my classroom. If you checked out my Winter Break blog, you saw how we talk about more “traditional” American New Year’s Traditions, so I’m going to focus more on Hispanic New Year’s Traditions here. This year I learned about an amazing NEW resource from Profe Valentina called New Year’s Traditions in Latin America. This product takes four common/well known New Year’s Traditions and breaks them down into very comprehensible language for even level 1 students. It also has some great interactive activities that young through older students will be able to complete digitally & have fun with! I modified this activity and turned it into our Warm-up. I removed the “Old year” and “12 uvas” readings and activities and added a Google Form for students to summarize their comprehension and understanding. This was a great 5-10 minute (depending on your level of students) warm-up and intro to our New Year’s Tradition day!
After we completed our warm-up, my students did Garbanzo! I’ll do a more in-depth blog about how and why I love Garbanzo soon, but for today, just know that it’s amazing, life changing, and the best 10+ minutes of quiet (and relaxation knowing my kids are getting amazing input and having fun) I get every class as a teacher. Okay, one more reason I love Garbanzo, it’s LEVELED. I was able to pull two readings on 12 Uvas de la Suerte that would fit the needs of my level 1s through level 3s. My level 1s did “12 uvas de la suerte: una tradicion de la Nochevieja” and my level 2s and 3s did “12 uvas de la suerte: version extendida” Both readings give a fully comprehensible reading and questions for 12 uvas, but the level 1 version has less questions, and is a little shorter, with a little less specific detail. The level 2 reading provides more questions, a longer reading, and more specific detail that the upper levels can comprehend. The extra best part? The level 2 reading has NATIVE SPEAKER AUDIO. My students can listen to a Native Spanish Speaker read to them (hello IEP needs). It’s wonderful. We used this as our “Intro” into 12 uvas so that we could then have a discussion (in English) about what they read.
After reading and interacting with Garbanzo (which ALL of my students scored 85%+ on) we had a brief discussion, in English, about what they read. Students told me about 12 wishes, 12 grapes, luck – all the things I needed them to comprehend from the reading. We then went around the room (mostly the virtual Zoom room because I have students in-person and virtual learning) and had students give 1 wish and eat 1 “grape”ish. My in-person had the pleasure of enjoying mini-m&ms, my virtual students picked whatever item(s) in their house they could find 12 pieces of. Students chose to steal 12 goldfish crackers from their brother to taking 12 sips of water. I was impressed by the number of “I hope COVID goes away so I can be with my friends and family again” wishes… maybe we will get enough wishes to overturn this thing.
Finally, we rounded out the asynchronous part of our day (mostly because I felt bad they had been on Zoom for about 35 minutes now and we try to shoot for under 25-30) with a 12 uvas glyph from The Comprehensible Classroom. When I wrote this post, it was on sale for $1…so maybe see if it still is! It’s a steal at $3 (regular price) but it’s a NO-BRAINER at $1. This activity allows students to choose 12 wishes from a group of 3 choices for each wish. This allows students to have a spectrum of choices without having to come up with their own wishes. Such a time saver! This activity took my level 3-4s maybe 10 minutes, it took my level 1s and 2s closer to 20 because we needed to go through the supports for each wish text. But what a fun way to make a wish activity 1- virtual and 2- include “real” grapes.
All-in-all, this made for a great hour(ish) of New Year’s Traditions with all of my classes and a smooth 2 days (block schedule!) of plans for me! How do you start of the Back-to-School New Year? What Traditions do you teach? Tell us on Facebook or Instagram, we’d love to hear from you! And go grab yourself some great New Year’s deals on TPT from The Comprehensible Classroom & Profe Valentina!