My students have the tendency to bring American drama into our class discussions (Prince Harry getting engaged, the latest Kardashian drama, iPhone updates, sports championships). There’s nothing wrong with this (if it’s in the TL). I get it – they talk about what they know. However, it’s our job to turn those conversations into something more.
That’s why I try to base class conversations around culture. This helps students learn about the world and gives me a chance to focus on global products, practices, and perspectives. A conversation in the TL about our lives, our traditions, and our ideas is not enough. It needs cultural connections and global perspectives!
When you find a great resources like this Taringa article, it’s easy to start a conversation at ANY proficiency level and touch on a variety of topics.
It shows 23 different pictures of what is considered beautiful around the world. The best part – it’s not Hollywood.
“Mujeres de todo el mundo demuestran que la belleza es global”
Lower level classes could talk about eye, hair, and skin colors and which are most common. They could compare clothing styles (Formal vs Traditional). Who looks happy and who is serious? Which picture looks most like American beauty? Why? Which one is the most different? Why?
Upper level classes could get into beauty routines or talk about natural looks vs. make-up. Which countries have conservative styles? Why? How does weather play a role in beauty? Is jewelry an important part of beauty? What is it’s role? Does beauty have an age? What do the pictures tell us about age and beauty?
This would be a good time to create Venn Diagrams or this reading form to compare and share back with the class.
What conversations would you start with these pictures?
Lovely ideas as always thank you!
Gracias Bianca. Aren’t the pictures awesome?!?!
Always but so is everything you Gals do! Honestly I cannot imagine what I would do without your blog! Now I just wish you’d publish all your wonderful lessons on TPT too!!! Thank you both for making us all better teachers!
We’re working hard on that now! We will have a LOT of new units and by August!
*P.S. We need to meet! Where are you from?
I am in California and I have been teaching for 14 years! Actually I was very fortunate to take 9 years off and raise my kiddos and now I am back in the classroom in my 3rd year back and I have found your blog invaluable for helping me get back into the swing of things! I read it religiously and adapt loads of what you do to my situation. At my school we are really wedded to the book and the teaching is very old school, but my classes are creative and I use the proficiency path (though almost zero TPR, which I find too teacher-directed anyway). I use You tube a lot and include songs for each unit and lots of speaking activities that I develop and we play vocabulary games which my students love! I buy and parents donate lots of candy and kids win treats when they win our loteria game that they play with each unit. It’s super simple just a 5 x 5 grid of empty boxes, students have to fill it in with our current vocabulary and I say the words in sentences and in context and they check of the words as they hear them for bingo – they use different marks for each round so one time they make a check, next a little circle and so on … we usually play for 10 minutes and they love it and always ask for it! P.S. I have the proficiency rubric up on my wall just like in your post it’s really pretty and I like to refer to it as part of the reflective piece “this is what I can do …”
Tengo que ir a trabajar en WASC our accreditation … on the committee!
Bianca – Love hearing your story!!! Sounds like you have an awesome learning environment! I love that you’re making choices on what works with the kids and how to motivate them. PLus, connecting with parents and having them help is so smart! It’s shows the students you all are on the same team. Keep up the great work, girl!!
Megan and Kara,
I LOVE your website and thanks so much for all of your ideas. Gracias!