I love using pictures and videos from around the world each day in class. The culture is what makes things interesting. When my students are curious about what I have to say they will really work hard to understand. My level 1 classes are learning how to describe where they live and I use this opportunity to show them different types of housing from other countries.  I have to say this lesson is Kara’s masterpiece. I think I just love it more than she does. She has really inspired me to include more culture in my lessons. All it takes is a little time to plan ways to include these little bits of culture in each lesson.

For this lesson students worked in pairs and were given a set of 9 cards. Each card had four or five sentences describing a house. Then I showed a series of pictures of hispanic houses from another countries. Each group had to read through the descriptions on the cards to find which card matched the picture. When they found the right description they called me over using “lo tengo” or “Señorita, ven aquí” and I would check it.

They were getting their input from the cards in front of them. Working in pairs gave them someone to help them figure out the cards, but still kept each person involved. I was free to wander the class asking questions and telling little stories about the pictures. I did very little “teaching,” but there was a lot of learning going on.

The activity is not that exciting in itself, but they enjoyed it today because of the pictures. After they had the chance to see and read the descriptions of other houses, they then were given the challenge to describe where they live in a real life situation. I showed this text that Kara and I created last year for this lesson. (She was sneaky and changed my name to Ana Gonzales.) They figured most of this out with their partners, and had fun with the text lingo.

Then before class was over they had to text a friend in class describing their house and where it is. I had permission from my administrators to do this and students loved being able to get their phones out in class.

Today was productive and students learned both language and culture. How do your students learn culture and language together? Any ideas of little ways to include culture more often in class?

Update: We have all the home photos plus some videos on our Chispa page now! This “Hogares” lesson plan is in our Mercado too.  Also check out Megan’s real estate project that follows up this lesson perfectly.