Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Foreign Languages K–12

A Library of Classroom Practices

Spanish: Food Facts and Stories
Analyze the Video

As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.

Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:

  • How can Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS) be used to present and have students practice new vocabulary?
  • What are the instructional advantages of using stories or narratives to teach new language?
  • What kind of content base do you provide when teaching vocabulary themes? For example, when teaching food-related vocabulary, Mr. Pedini focuses on the issue of nutrition.

Watch the Video
As you watch "Food Facts and Stories," take notes on Mr. Pedini's instructional strategies, particularly how he uses TPRS to present and have students practice new vocabulary, as well as the types of authentic materials that he uses. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.

Reflect on the Video
Review your notes, and then respond to the following questions:

  • What are the various devices Mr. Pedini uses to teach vocabulary and help students remember new words?
  • Identify the various steps in the TPRS activity.
  • How does Mr. Pedini help students feel confident enough to perform during the TPRS activity?
  • What steps do students complete as they learn the vocabulary?
  • What Standards does the lesson meet, and how does it meet them?

Look Closer
Take a second look at Mr. Pedini's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

Video Segment: Teaching Vocabulary and Content Together

You'll find this segment approximately 6 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes.

Mr. Pedini and his students use authentic materials to discuss food's nutritional value.

  • List the authentic materials that support meaningful learning in this segment. How are they sequenced? Why are they sequenced that way?
  • How does Mr. Pedini get meaning across to students? What kinds of questions does he ask? What nonlinguistic clues does he give?
  • How do students show they understand?
  • What evidence do you see that students are using background knowledge in their responses?
Video Segment: Telling the Story

You'll find this segment approximately 14 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

After students have a solid understanding of the vocabulary, Mr. Pedini builds upon the food theme in a TPRS activity.

  • What elements in the story appeal to these middle school learners?
  • What roles do students play in this segment?
  • How is interest maintained among the students at their seats?
  • What elements of the storytelling episode aid student learning and memory?
  • What evidence do you see that students are learning?
Video Segment: Retelling the Story

You'll find this segment approximately 21 minutes and 30 seconds after the video starts. Watch for about 3 minutes.

Students retell the story, featuring new actors and a student narrator.

  • What observations about student learning can you make from this activity?
  • What function does this activity serve?
  • Why does Mr. Pedini accept repeated errors, such as señora instead of señorita, and busca para instead of busca? What is the reason for allowing mistakes that do not interfere with meaning?
  • How well does the student narrator perform, given the time frame for the lesson?
  • Are the seated students still involved and attentive?

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