Biography project in Spanish.

I am at the planning stage for when I go back to school in August. This time I have decided to plan for more creative projects as they allow for a lot of comprehensible output and they get students engaged and enthused. The immigration project I did with grade 7 last year turned out to be a positive experience so I have decided to follow the same pattern. I am now planning the curriculum for grade 8 students (13-14 years old) and one of the topics in their textbook (Gente Joven 2) is about famous Hispanic people. This allows to use the simple past as well as discovering the Spanish speaking culture.

The goal of the project is to write a biography on a famous Hispanic and to also present it orally. I got mostly inspired by the Common Core Classroom‘s post on biography writing which got grade 5 students to write a biography in a fun way creating a “Hanger Person” to go along with it. I thought it would be fun to do the same but in Spanish! My students are still developing writers in Spanish so I scaffold the writing process using Stephanie’s templates to help students to organize their thoughts and write the introduction.

The photo above is an example from Stephanie’s blog.

The first part of the project would be to research famous Hispanic people and look at one artist in particular. This way, students would have an example of what need to be done. I created a presentation on Frida Kahlo’s life which allows for discussion. I included clips from the movie Frida which I plan to show using the MovieTalk concept. So far I could only find the clips in English but I would rather show them in Spanish.

To practice using the simple past in the third person, I was thinking of playing a quiz game where students create question cards about famous people with 3 possible answers (only one is the correct answer) such as: ¿Quién se convirtió en una astronauta? /¿Quién empezó a trabajar como actriz /¿Quién trató de pintar la realidad de su vida? /¿Dónde nacióBotero? /¿Dónde murió Dali? /¿Quién se casó con Diego Rivera? /¿Quién se fue a vivir en los Estados Unidos? ….

For the oral presentation, I thought it would be fun to have students dressed up as the person and present him/her as if they were the person. This would make them practice the simple past in the first person.

This time I rely on the students being more independent and creative. I created a set of flashcards on Quizlet to learn the jobs in Spanish. This would be part of their homework. I also would like them to glance through the Pinterest board I created to research, learn and choose their famous person at home. My role in class will be to help each student individually rather than just presenting to the whole class what has to be done.

Come on over to my curriculum wiki to read in greater detail the sequencing of the project.

What about you? Have you done a similar project with your students?

You may also like to read Frida Kahlo in Berlin.


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