El Arte Pequeño

Using these fantastic scenes by artist Slinkachu (as well as here, here, here and here), we made our own version, but with a specific focus. I had my students depict a social problem that teens face nowadays and the talk about it in Spanish. 
I conveniently had a number of mini luchadores which I borrowed from my 2 year old, who was quick to notice that they disappeared from his playroom!
Students worked in pairs to design the details of their scene and then take a photograph. Every pair had to then answer the following questions. 
1) ¿Cual es el problema social?
2) ¿Cómo nos afecta?
3) ¿Qué podemos hacer para resolverlo?
I put all the photos in a slideshow and as their photo came up they presented their blurb. 
This worked very well, it was a quick 1.5 period activity which they were excited about. 
Sadly, there is a recurring theme in all of the scenes. Bullying. As a result, Spanish class turned into an English conversation class which took us across the topics of bullying, teen pregnancy, sex ed in schools, the distribution of condoms in school, things on the internet as a permanent thing and a number of other subjects. My Grade 10s, although not participating, were very aware and listening to the conversation throughout. I enjoyed listening to the views of my students and was interested to see the differences in opinions. 
Overall, a successful activity with an excellent class discussion. 

la intimidación

el suicidio

la intimidación

el estrés
la intimidación


No boundaries to art

In preparation for their final project for this unit, I wanted to show my students that art is not limited to a brush and paint, or paper and a pencil, so I put this short PowerPoint together where they had to figure out what material was used in each piece.
We saw pieces made from computer keyboards, origami, lego. Here are a few images that we say, you can find the whole PowerPoint here

Arte Callejero- El Tono

I dared to ask my kids what art forms they wanted to look at, and the general consensus was on street art/urban art which is great because there is soooo much out there and there are also a lot of Spanish artists producing amazing street art.
Day 2 of the Art Unit, we looked at an artist named El Tono. After a short intro/listening activity where I spoke about him and they simply had to understand what I was saying, we went on to look at his work. He has uploaded his portfolio in .pdf format, describing his many international exhibits in Spanish with pictures. I gave each student one of those which they had to read, understand, then explain in English to their peers. 
They enjoyed finding out from each other what his different projects were and it was fun talking about the motivation behind them. 
I have to admit that it is not easy for them to express themselves about all this, but they are attempting with a solid use of Spanglish. I'll take what I can get. (It is officially only their 3rd semester of Spanish.)

Click on the image to access El Tono's art portfolio which I found on his website here.

Intro to Art

I started the unit off with my very own digital gallery. I created QR Codes, borrowed the ipads we have available and threw them right in to looking at different art forms and telling me their opinions.
I pasted 18 different works of art around the room that could only be accessed by scanning the bar code. Below are 3 examples that I used.

They kept track of the name of the piece, artist, origin of the artist and their opinions using this sheet.
 I thought this would take about 30 minutes, but boy was I wrong! They got so into checking out other pieces by the various artists that this spilled over into the next day so in total, many of them ended up taking 90 minutes! I didn't mind though as they were very keen on seeing all these different forms of art, whom am I to deny them!
When we finally got around to talking about what they saw and their opinions en español, it was very interesting to see the differences in who liked what. Some pieces I thought they would like, most didn't like. Their use of extensive opinion-giving vocabulary was not as extensive as I would have liked, but this allowed them to see that there is much more than just saying "Me gusta" all the time, or "Es feo.". It gave them the opportunity to explore better ways to express opinions and why they liked or didn't like.
I then went on to ask more questions to extend the speaking portion of the class, asking which was their favourite and why, least favourite and why. Which medium was the most interesting, etc.
All in all, I think it was a very successful start to the unit, and although the language portion was limited in scope, I like that the first day got them excited about the unit. When some heard that we were doing art, they groaned and said "But this Spanish class!". That feeling is exactly what I'm hoping to dispel over these few of weeks.

Año 12- El Arte

My grade 12s (which in reality are part of a split level Grade 10/12 class, talk about being super organised!) have started the Art Unit. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to approach this unit as I am in now way, shape, or (artistic) form anything close to an art teacher. I don't know how to critique, what makes one painting worth millions as opposed to another, and I just don't get some a lot of it. All I know is that I like a lot of colour and I like to understand what is going on in the piece, but that is neither here nor there.
On that note, I didn't want to focus on the "traditional" stuff, but rather, I wanted to actually engage my students and not talk at them about the techniques, blah, blah, blah. We have focused on a lot of Arte Urbano o Arte Callejero. And it worked! From the get go they were interested. Phew! It's been a lot of work, and it's not over. I am changing things daily, and just spending a lot of time preparing, but it's worth it. I will break down some of the activities I have been doing to give you a taste.