Don’t let the movie bug in/my sub plan.

Last semester I really learned to not let the movie bug in. A teacher will have days when they cannot be in class; this is unavoidable. I never really knew what to do for a sub plan, so I just played a movie in Spanish. This was good because it kept the class occupied quietly while I was gone. I mean, what kid doesn’t want to watch movies at school. It was bad, though, because then the students had way lower expectations for my class. Also, the two or three students would come in everyday asking, “Are we going to watch a movie today?” After I experienced this, I decided not to even let the movie bug into my class.

So, I did some searching on different sites to see what teachers do. I came up with this.

1. (15 minutes) With your partner draw a storyboard that you can tell entirely in Spanish. Give each group one copy of the storyboard.

2. Each partnership volunteers to come to the front of the room, tell the story together in Spanish (by looking at the illustrations they just drew.) They get to pick the people in class to be the actors and wear the costumes, use the props and act out the story while the authors tell the story!

3. Entire class applauds.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 all period long.

It totally changed my students’ perspective of the class. They knew that when I leave, I still expect them to be engaged in Spanish. Plus, they love doing it!

Today I did a practice day so that they can get the routine down for when I am gone. This was also good for me because I need a break from a hard week and the kids were excited to use the Spanish that they had been learning. You should have seen some of the stories! Some were hysterical and others were told so well.

All in all, I was pleased with how the day went.

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4 Comments

Filed under Teaching Discoveries

4 responses to “Don’t let the movie bug in/my sub plan.

  1. Michele Whaley

    I had EXACTLY this same thing happen to me. I have shown a particular movie to my Russian classes every year about New Year time. It is a classic, and it’s very worth seeing, because it brings so much culture together in one place. But this year, because I didn’t have a “space” for it (mostly because I wasn’t exhausted because TPRS is so much fun), I ended up trying to show it in little bits on Fridays. That was a huge mistake for the reasons you mentioned above. After a sub last year ruined another movie for me (didn’t realize that I expected her to follow the lesson plan, stopping at specific places to discuss), I never wanted to do the movie plan again, but I now also never want to show a full-length movie during any part of class again. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do, but it’s worth thinking about.

    And–I followed exactly the Susan Gross sub plan (right?) that you have above earlier this year–my kids thought those were the best days of the year so far.

    • thomasyoung

      Yes, I got it from Susan Gross. The kids have really liked it and it is a way for me to have an easy day, while letting the kids show what they have acquired. Thanks for the thoughts.

  2. Jennie Kelly

    I tried something new with a film today. It’s one that I have shown in the past in short episodes. Now I’m asking the story from the film. Today I went back over a part the class really liked, and I circled some basic vocabulary about what the character did, and what he should have been able to do. Then I repeated those structures with some PQA and some other scenes they remembered. In all it was less than 5 minutes of film, but the class was really invested in this character, and it worked.

    I agree about not just “showing a movie” and calling it worthwhile. But if you find a really good one, and build around the characters, I think it can work like a good TPRS story.

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