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: Interpreting Picasso's Guernica
Connect to Your Teaching

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

  • How do you design lessons so that students can work with more abstract topics that are important to a culture?
  • What kinds of reading strategies help your students understand informational texts without having to spend excessive time decoding or translating?
  • How do you make decisions regarding the role of the textbook in your teaching? When do you enhance textbook materials? When do you substitute other materials for those in the textbook?

Watch Other Videos
Watch other videos in the Teaching Foreign Languages K–12 library for more examples of teaching methodologies like those you've just seen. Note: All videos in this series are subtitled in English.

Put It Into Practice
Try these ideas in your classroom. Where it’s not already evident, reflect on how to adapt an idea that targets one performance range for application to other performance ranges.

  • Use artwork to help students develop their communication skills and learn more about the culture reflected in the art. For example, have students choose a painting and imagine what happened before and after the scene depicted in the painting took place. A painting like Georges Seurat's Un dimanche après-midi à l'Ile de la Grande Jatte, which inspired Stephen Sondheim's musical Sunday in the Park with George, can evoke rich classroom discussion about characters. By using art to stimulate oral and written work, you can move students outside of their environment. Students can explore the art for its artistic meaning and value in the culture.
  • When assigning reading selections, give students a reading plan that includes prereading, skimming/scanning, and closer reading stages. Let students know how closely they should read the text -- in most instances they can stop short of understanding every word. Once they have gleaned the relevant material from the reading, you can use the information in other activities. Ms. Zingle began with a prereading activity (the initial interpretation of the painting) that piqued student interest. She then explained skimming/scanning guidelines for identifying people, places, and dates when reading the textbook selection. Students used a graphic organizer to help them identify who, what, when, where, and how as they read. The focused reading helped students develop effective reading strategies (learning to read), and also gave them relevant cultural and historical information (reading to learn).

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