Academics
Upper Division
Curriculum

Bringing Eighth-Grade Spanish to Life: Listen, Draw, Read, Imagine!

Imagine you are a 13-year-old boy fleeing Cuba on a raft headed towards Florida. It’s the first night of the journey, and it’s so dark and cold you can barely see your own trembling hands before your eyes. Smack in the middle of the Spanish novel “El Escape Cubano” was a scene so intense that the best way to experience it was to listen. With mood-setting music playing gently in the background, the boys listened to the chapter in the book read by Ms. Spielberg or Ms. Iturralde in Spanish.
Boys have been building up their reading comprehension skills such as annotation to find keywords and paraphrasing, summarizing, and inferring, but this chapter was perfect for listening comprehension.

The boys illustrated the story using their listening skills to paint a picture for the reader. Once the drawings were complete, the boys played “Musical Mural Reading,” switching places and interpreting another’s drawing. However, this time, they had to comb through the text to find the narration or dialogue that best matched their classmate’s drawing. They repeated this three times until each drawing had multiple lines from the original text to describe what had been portrayed visually.

That’s right, the boys engaged with just one chapter four different times and in three different ways! There’s a method to this Spanish team’s madness! Such a creative and engaging way of bringing context to the learning! This example is one of many ways that we encourage deeper learning for our boys at A-S.
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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.