Showing a movie was a success because it gave all of them a new set of common information, increased their motivation to learn, and inspired me to find a connection to the world beyond our city.

To wrap up the movie, I gave them a simple old-fashioned test about the movie appropriate to their proficiency levels. For level one, I focused on simple questions about relationships, personalities, and activities.


For level 2, I gave them more detailed questions and used the past tenses.  I also included an open-ended essay. “Tell me about what you learned about the Dominican Republic from the movie, the speaker, and your research.” I asked them to write it in Spanish and allowed them to use English if they didn’t know the word. Later I gave them a few moments with a dictionary to look up the crucial missing words.


For both levels, I had an individual research project that they are going to present to the class (in target language). This was my second attempt to do a project-based learning activity. They picked a topic they wanted to know more about and choose a way to present it (videos, Glogster, collages, spoken presentation, artwork). I gave them a stamp sheet that had some generic ideas and guidelines. Some chose to work in a group. Others wanted to work alone. Along the way, I showed examples of how to find the information in Spanish. Also I just chatted with each student about their progress. I am excited to see the results of their creativity!

Selena PBL

Overall the movies inspired us all to learn more. I think that students were “fired up” about the social injustices that they learned about, especially with the movie “In the time of the Butterflies.” Now I’m thinking that my curriculum needs to include more topics like this. Furthermore, every unit needs to include an experience (movie, speaker, workshop, art, etc.) and a world connection. Kara Jacobs asked teachers on Twitter about thematic units. I follow her site for great resources. This post by SpanishPlans got me thinking about perspectives. So glad I have the summer to update to include all that we have shared!

How do you assess their learning after a movie?