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Travel Books: Spanish class lesson plan

Module by: Lorena Gauthereau-Bryson. E-mail the author

Summary: This module provides a lesson plan for incorporating authentic travel books in the AP Spanish language, AP Spanish literature, or college-level Spanish class. It emphasizes reading and writing skills.

Description

This lesson is designed for the intermediate to advanced Spanish class. Students will read authentic historical materials in the form of travel books (the teacher can choose to assign selected entries, chapters, or whole books) to learn about culture, history, and traditions, while also learning new vocabulary. The students will then create their own travel journal composed of one or more entries. The teacher can direct students to use the internet, books, magazines, historical material, their own experiences, or imagination to complete the activity.

For a Spanish version of the module, please visit: Libros de viaje: Plan para la clase de español.

Figure 1: Image from De México a Chicago y Nueva York: guía para el viajero en la que se describen las principales ciudades y ferrocarriles, p. 405.
Washington DC
Washington

Objectives

  • To read authentic historical material in Spanish
  • To learn new vocabulary
  • To learn about culture, history, and traditions
  • To practice writing skills (descriptions, adjectives, verbs)

Materials

  • Spanish-English dictionary
  • Spanish thesaurus
  • Travel book excerpt (see Resources or right sidebar for links)
  • Optional: Internet, books, magazines, and/or travel brochures

Resources

Teachers may choose excerpts or chapters from the following travel books:

Procedure

Students will:

  • Read the travel book excerpts chosen by the teacher
  • Look up and define any unknown words or phrases
  • Participate in a class discussion on the reading assignment (What is a travel book? Why do you think they were so popular? What places did the traveler visit? Did he like it? What words did he use to describe it? Would you like to visit this place? Where would you go?)
  • Create their own travel journal (single entry or various entries) based on a real or imagined trip. They may include maps, drawings, or pictures.

Activity

Ask students to consider the following while writing their journal entry/entries:

  • Think about a trip you have gone on in the past or one you would like to take. Create a travel journal to describe your trip.
  • Where did you go? What places did you visit?
  • Describe the places you visited. Did you like them? Why or why not?
  • What did you eat? Was the food good?
  • What did you do? Describe your activities.
  • Compare and contrast this place to your hometown. How was it similar? How was it different?
  • Optional: Include drawings, maps, or pictures (magazine cut outs, Internet pictures of cities, landscapes, or attractions).

Variations

  • Have students create a postcard based on a place visited by the travel book's author. The students can draw a picture, use the internet, or cut out magazine pictures for the post card image. On the reverse, the students can then write a short letter from the viewpoint of a traveler visiting one of the places described in the travel book.
  • Have the students write short essays that record their responses to the travel book. Would they travel to the same location(s)? What places would they visit? Do they think the author enjoyed his/her visit?
  • Have students keep a journal through the entire semester that records their weekly activities.
  • In classes with access to technological resources (or as a special project), students can create travel blogs, PowerPoint presentations, or webpages.

Evaluation

Students will be evaluated/assessed based on the following:

  • Grammar, spelling, accent marks
  • Verb tense usage
  • Content
  • Neatness and creativity

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