Spanish Newsletter

May Edition

8th Grade

Shortly, 8th grade students will start to read a libro called Patricia va a California. This will allow students to demonstrate cumulative understanding of vocabulary and grammatical concepts learned over the past three years at Shepard in context.

Students will be reading in one of three grupos - independent readers, cooperative small groups, and a teacher-led grupo. They will take a "reading readiness" survey to determine their grupos. Some students will be expected to take a more self-directed approach to their learning. With high school right around the corner, it will be expected that these students will not have to be redirected but will continue to challenge themselves to push their limits of using the language creatively and comprehensibly.

Each grupo will go through various comprehension preguntas (open ended questions, yes/no questions, multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill in the blank) as well as complete extension activities. These activities are meant to challenge the learner sometimes through their understanding of the language and other times through their creativity in writing about the story.

At the end of the unit, students will have various options to demonstrate their understanding of the story as a whole. Choices, like creating a cartoon strip, life graph of the main character, writing a sequel, and creating an alternate ending, allow students to use the Spanish they already know in new and creative ways. It's a great unit to end the school year!

The story is about a Guatemalan girl who has the opportunity to go to school in California for a few months and the adventures she has while there. Below are pictures from the scenic Panajachel, Guatemala. ¡Qué bonito!

7th Grade

As we head into the end of the school year, 7th graders will focus on learning the differences between the two verbs ser and estar. Both mean "to be" in Spanish and it can be tricky to figure out which verb to use when speaking and writing. Students will learn acronyms and rhymes to help them remember the appropriate usages for each verb.

We will also spend time learning how to describe physical characteristics for people and things. Students will be asked to create a fun, family tree describing family members and their characteristics. In addition, vocabulary for food and table settings, as well as for eating out will be introduced. By the end of our unit, you should be able to ask your student to set the table and identify (in Spanish) eating utensils, napkins, plates, etc. What could be more exciting than practicing vocabulary and having your table set?!? Everybody wins!

The culminating project for the year asks students to use acquired vocabulary and grammar knowledge to create their own superhero. Students will create a superhero and use their Spanish skills to write a description and story for their character. Muy interesante, ¿no?


As it is mid May and nearing the end of the year, 6th graders are working on their final unit in Spanish for the year. In this unit the students will be able to talk about where items are located in their classrooms, school, and beyond. They will learn classroom objects and furniture and use those with prepositions of location to say where things are located in the room. For example, Your homework is on top of the table. -- Tu tarea está encima de la mesa. Or, the paper is to the left of the pencil sharpener. -- El papel está a la izquierda del sacapuntas. These words are also excellent for giving and getting directions in a Spanish speaking environment. They will also be learning how to use words in the plural. To show off their skills at the end of the unit, they will be creating mini presentations similar to ¿Dónde Está Spot?, the children's book, Where is Spot? Spot (or whomever the students choose) will be "hiding" in various places and students will describe to their classmates where he is in relationship to classroom objects. Also, students will be creating and doing a scavenger hunt (búsqueda de tesoro) with student created clues which should prove to be an exciting day. With these exciting projects, students are sure to have an exciting end of the year!