Passion Based Units

I was fortunate enough to be able to present a workshop at CSCTFL with Carol Gaab. Our title was “Adding Depth to TPRS.” Carol, always my go to for new ideas, pointed out how important it is to include our passions in the units we teach… She got me thinking!!! What am I passionate about?
I was a Spanish major but a biology minor! I always loved my science classes and had a great time this year teaming up with our Chemistry teacher for a “Water is Life” unit… Next year I am going to amp up the science units in order to capture MY passion (and hopefully some of theirs!)

I found this book through Scholastic’s Club Leo: 20140522-091635-33395802.jpg. I plan to order a class set and create a level 3 unit (3rd quarter) with the themes of conservation, the indigenous people of Central America, and global giving to support projects that protect animal habitats.

I have used a lot of novels and I love them but this book is so visual and has so many GREAT cognates that I am looking forward to using it!

Check out Club Leo for tons of climate, solar system, animal, and community series for children. They are fun to read and may help your students see how language connects to other fields of study!

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at

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