Classroom Themes: And even theme songs…

I teach high school. Some may think that at the high school level, a classroom theme is too silly… But I am about to give it a try!

In my collaboration with Kristy Placido (@placido) over the years, we have come up with some pretty great lessons… I think our plan this year is going to be one of our most compelling! She wanted to gamify the classroom a bit… Have a theme of the Amazing Race that ran throughout the year! Kids will have missions to complete and roadblocks to overcome as they study each unit throughout the year… The classroom content will still be the same (well, I guess that isn’t true since I am always changing something) but the classroom will be surrounded by this theme of the Amazing Race!

I plan to: Seat students in 4s at my tables, each table is a team for the year. I will take the team’s picture and post it on a year long bulletin board that will keep track of the teams’ progress on each obstacle! I think the kids will love seeing who is in the lead at each stop on the path!

In level 1, our theme is going to be “Who Am I?” and as we go about our regular TPRS stories and novel readings mixed with our authentic pieces, we will try to figure out what it is that makes us who we are and where we fit in a global community. I have a Who Am I logo that will appear on various critical thinking pieces throughout the year!

In level 4, I have a quiet group. Our theme for the year is going to be “Thinking outside the box.” For each unit of study I am actually going to pack items into a box and as we unpack the obvious, I will be encouraging them to think deeper. Again, I have a logo that will appear on any activity that I want them to think critically about! I am hoping it serves as a reminder that not everything has an A,B,C or T/F answer!

Not by level but by individual class, I plan to allow students to choose a theme song. Their theme song will represent them throughout the year and will (hopefully) create a bond within each class! Again, I’ll keep you informed on how it is working!!

I’d love to collaborate Spanish 1 and 4 with a like-minded classroom! My level 1 will read 4 novels and will be acquiring structures in the first 5 chapters of Carol Gaab’s Cuentame Mas curriculum… Plus lots of cultural things on the side! In level 4, we will be studying legends, bullfighting, Evita Peron, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and the Dirty War in Argentina…


  1. Would you be willing to share some of the amazing race challenges you create for Spanish 1? I wanted to do an amazing race review activity at the end of last year but did not get it all together in time. I would love to see/use what you have come up with. Great idea!!

  2. Carrie-if you’re still looking for a Span. 4 teacher from WI with whom to collaborate, I’d love to! Let me know what you’re thinking…DM me if you’re interested! -Kris

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