CI with or without Department Support

One of the things that I love about movie talks and using pop music in class is that I am able to create week long units that are very versatile.  What I select as structures for one class, I can adapt for another level.  Each time I find a great, new song with a video that is movie talkable, I use it across the curriculum to get more bang for my buck!

I think that music and movie talk are a low-risk activity that teachers, traditional or otherwise, are able to embrace.  A bridge that departments can use to build harmony between teachers with different pedagogies and a bridge between students and the language.  They LOVE music. No one ever told me that they went home and did extra conjugations over the weekend but many (even tough nuts to crack) go home and download songs to listen to on their own time.  In fact, they told me this week that I should DJ post prom.  I told them that I figure the rest of the student body might not appreciate that as much.

Here are some of my favorite units.  If you have a text you’re required to follow, find the right one and slip it in in place of one week’s worth of whatever you might be doing in the textbook! No one will ever notice.  If you love it, then add another and another. If you don’t have a textbook to follow but you are prescribed a different curriculum, do the same!  Just squeeze it in! Or encourage your department to try one of their own.  If you’re on your own, add lots! 🙂

Educarse para superarse – This includes a movie talk, song of the week (Morat – Aprender a quererte), follow up activities, and cultural lesson about school in the world.

Sirena – This includes a movie talk, song of the week (Sirena – Cali y el Dandee), follow up activities, and cultural lessons about sign and other languages.

Paraíso – This includes a class story related to the video, a song of the week, and follow up activities.

I love the mermaid story in this packet from Kristy Placido Darte un beso. Her Cuando me enamoró and Con quién se queda el perro are great too!

And Nelly Hughes at Comprendes Mendez has great packets on La estrategia (SO GOOD), Quédate conmigo, and Jueves.

Martina Bex has Simples corazones, Robarte un beso, and Gozadera in her shop!

Kara Jacobs and I went to Ecuador last summer and conveniently, Nicky Jam came out with Si tu la ves shortly after.  We shared our free packet (with help from Arianne Dowd) to share the culture of Ecuador and the Galapagos.

Kara Jacobs has great choices like La cintura, Internacionales, Cásate conmigo, and Soy yo.

Arianne Dowd also has wonderful song/video talk units like Cuánto me duele and Andas en mi cabeza.

With the big TPT teacher appreciation sale Tuesday and Wednesday (25% off with the code THANKYOU18), it is a great time to stock up for next school year (or to survive the last few weeks of this year!)sale_740_400.jpg

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

2 thoughts

  1. The code did not work! Just an FYI!

    On Sun, May 6, 2018 at 1:10 PM, Somewhere to Share wrote:

    > senoracmt posted: “One of the things that I love about movie talks and > using pop music in class is that I am able to create week long units that > are very versatile. What I select as structures for one class, I can adapt > for another level. Each time I find a great, new son” >

    1. I had this post scheduled to post today and accidentally posted it yesterday! The sale starts tomorrow (but yesterday, that tomorrow was not right!) May 8-9! Email me and I’ll make up for it! 🙂 senoracmt at gmail

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