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There are so many different ideas for projects for high school Spanish language learners, but sometimes it seems as though the ideas have run out. Whether you're new to teaching high school Spanish classes or you've been at it for a while, chances are, you could use some help. I've listed some common projects and some not-so-common projects to help you come up with ideas for your class assignments. Liven up the study of Spanish - and even help your students to better practice their skills in Spanish by reading on.
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1. Potluck Fiesta
A great project for helping high school students to get involved in Spanish class is to host a fiesta. Have each student sign up to bring one Spanish dish to share with the rest of the class. To "spice" this project up, you can require that students only speak in Spanish while the party is going on. This means that students will get a chance to taste the different dishes and practice the language they've learned over the course of a semester (it's best if you have your potluck close to the end of fall or the end of spring). For a bonus, have each student prepare a short speech about the dish they brought. Signups can keep you from having duplicate entrées.
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2. Create a Spanish Game
While many teachers already have students play Spanish bingo or other Spanish classroom games, have you given thought to having students team up and create games in the Spanish language? There are many games in Spanish on the market, but by breaking your students into groups, you can have each group work together on creating a game. You have two choices - either they can come up with a game and design on their own, or they can translate and make their own Spanish versions of popular English games. Have the groups present their games, and rotate around the classroom so that each group gets a chance to try each other group's game out.
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3. Create a Play Based on a Nursery Rhyme
Another neat project for high school Spanish learners is to have students create and perform a play based upon a nursery rhyme. You could make it really interesting and have students make sock puppets and put on a puppet show (we did this in a German course I took in college; it was a lot of fun). Break students up into teams and assign each team a nursery rhyme or fairy tale. Students will then write the script, perform the play (or puppet show), and often laugh a lot. Variations on this project include biographies of famous Spanish speakers, reenactments of historical events, and plays based upon Spanish short stories.
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4. Spanish Around the World
Another project for students involves assigning each student to write a report about a nation where Spanish is spoken. What are the customs in the country? What are the major cities? You could have each student choose a country at the beginning of the school year, and then the student can present particular information on that country in class. Learning about customs and cultures is an important part of language study at the high school level. Related projects include writing travel guides, creating websites, making a newspaper for the country, or creating models of important buildings.
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5. Create Your Own Spanish Website and Blog
Students today are quite sophisticated. In order to incorporate modern technology into your learning environment, you could assign students to keep up on a classroom website or blog. In this project, one student a week would be responsible for posting one or two blog entries about his or her experiences in Spanish class - in Spanish. Alternatively, you could assign students specific questions to answer in Spanish and have the student write a log of class that students who missed class could read. Don't be afraid to get creative - other related projects include having advanced students put together a Spanish television show, maintenance of a non-web based class journal, or even participation in a protected and private bulletin board available only to class members.
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Getting Creative with Your Spanish Projects
Don't be afraid to get creative in your classroom. Have students create children's books written in Spanish and illustrated. Have a costume party where students dress up as famous people from around the Spanish-speaking world. Plan virtual trips. Have students work in groups to create a Spanish speaking business where they produce promotional materials written in Spanish. Your students will appreciate any ingenuity you have! (And don't forget to have fun too!)
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For great Spanish recipes: http://www.spain-recipes.com/
For Folk Tales in Spanish and English: http://www.g-world.org/magictales/
For Class Blogging: http://theedublogger.com/
Image Courtesy of sxc.hu/gallery/knupett