This is the third year I’ve taught Mira Canion and Carol Caab’s Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto in my Spanish 1 class. The first year I did it, it was required/strongly suggested from the district office. I was just a baby first year teacher who had never heard of TPRS and none of the other teachers in my building were buying in. I tried my best to “do what I was told” but it was challenging when surrounded by other naysayers and not being a believer myself. I bumbled through it and did my best (and then quit teaching for a year… that’s for another story.)
Several years later when I attended a state conference and my brain cells finally lit up when hearing words like input I ordered a class set and tried again. This time, I was rebelling against a textbook curriculum at a different school. (Maybe I just want to do the OPPOSITE of whatever someone tells me to do. Hm…. thoughts.)
Now that I’m in my own program doing whatever I want, I’m teaching piratas for the 3rd time and having more fun and accomplishing more. I’ve slowed way down and incorporated different Señor Wooly songs with various chapters. (Antonio es arrogante y muy atractivo – hm, Víctor anyone??)
We spend a lot of time with “random” things that just tie in different language from the book. (When Antonio says “vamos a poner mi barco al norte…” a student asked “so can you use poner as a command? Like ‘put that down?'” and I said “yes, but it’s irregular. PON. Like… when Rhianna sings ‘pon de replay‘ it means ‘put on my song’ because she’s from Barbados and as we’ve learned in the book there is a big Spanish influence in the Caribbean islands. OOOooooh! or like at the beginning of Cásate conmigo when Nicky Jam says ‘Dale mi amor, ponte bella que esta noche va a ser especial’ ” and then we watched Cásate conmigo and put that part on replay for a while and talked about Nicky’s accent and tattoos and my unwavering love for him, and the structure ‘va a ser’ yadda yadda yadda.) And all of a sudden we are not going to get chapter 9 done today.
I’m still making things up as I go. Should I pre-teach vocab? Should I make them take notes? Provide them with notes? Should I make some Spanish words in a list and have them do a scavenger hunt to learn what they mean? A go-to piratas packet for their binders? I wonder if some day I’ll be able to open up my “Piratas Chapter 6” folder and actually be pleased with what I find in there or if I’ll be recreating EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME EVERY YEAR OMG IM EXHAUSTED.
Having said that – Chapter 9 has always seemed like a chapter that needs some summarizing due to the different scenes (the boat, the cave, the plan, cutting vegetation, etc). I think I overuse the activity of illustrating a chapter so I’m offering a choice board when we do it tomorrow. It’s like a mini version of a choice board that you would use to have the kids wrap up the whole book. Anyway – that’s why I came here to write this blog – to share my Chapter 9 summary activities. So here ya go, if you’re interested!