I recently tried out a new idea with an intermediate Spanish class: El día de la poesía (‘Poetry Day’). Each student read a poem from a different Spanish-speaking country and presented it to the class. It was a lot of fun!
Here’s what happened:
- Each of my students had already randomly picked a Spanish-speaking country to be ‘theirs’ during the semester.
- I identified an easy poem from each of these countries. For a more advanced or intellectually curious class, I would have asked students to find poems on their own.
- [Click here to download the 13 poems, listed in alphabetical order of the poets’ countries.]
- The poets are Borges (Argentina) , Mitre (Bolivia), Martí (Cuba), Adoum (Ecuador), Lorca (España), Carrera (Guatemala), Cárcamo (Honduras), Paz (México), Dario (Nicaragua), Carmagnola (Paraguay), Ferré (P. Rico), Jiménez (R. Dominicana), and Benedetti (Uruguay).
- Each student read the assigned poem, looked up its vocabulary, and met with me to discuss it.
- Each student prepared a few slides about their poet and their poem’s key vocabulary. These were all combined into a single Google Slides presentation that all students had access to.
- On El día de la poesía, each student received a photocopy of all the poems (same as download above) and a listening worksheet. The worksheet had a space for students to react to each poem (what they liked or disliked about it) and to evaluate the presentation.
- Each student presented their poem, first going over their slides, then briefly explaining what the poem was about, and finally reading it out loud. (For a more advanced or intellectually curious class, I would have required them to memorize the poems.)
- The grading rubric combined preparation, presentation, and listening.