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Monday, April 10, 2017

Songs and Videos for Teaching High School Spanish Part I

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Songs are such a great way to reinforce and teach kids Spanish.  I use them all the time.  At the high school level you don't want to be singing too many preschool/ kindergarten songs even though that may be their level in Spanish.  High schoolers need something that's more at their level and that's where Señor Wooly comes in.


If you teach middle school or high school Spanish Señor Wooly is a must have in your teacher toolbox.  There are some songs that you might use as low as 3rd grade but these videos were primarily developed to target middle and high school.

James Wooldridge is the man behind the creation of the insane amount of material available when you subscribe to señorwooly.com.  Gamification, close reading, videos, printable materials and instructional teaching videos are just some of the resources at your fingertips when you subscribe to his website.


Señor Wooly Tour StoriesI first discovered Señor Wooly about 3 years ago right before I was going to go back into the classroom to teach high school Spanish for the second time.  I checked out some of his free resources and then I decided to go for it.  I purchased a 2 year subscription, DVD’s and a CD.  I was never sorry.  (By the way, he also accepts purchase orders.)

My students and I always loved our days that we did a song in class.  We took a whole period, sometimes part of the next period to work through the material for one song.  My students were engaged and involved.  They would go through a wide range of emotions; from excited to grossed out,  laughing or irritated that they couldn’t get the song out of their head.  How I loved it when I’d be walking by them in the hallway and hear them singing in Spanish!


There have been three recent video releases that I will be reviewing.  Disclosure: Mr. Wooldridge allowed me to extend my Señor Wooly membership in exchange for my reviews of these songs.  (I'm now back to homeschooling but that's another story.) I haven’t checked out these songs yet so they are brand new for me.  However, knowing the quality of videos that I have watched I’m sure these will not disappoint...I’ll review one per week for the next few weeks.


The first video that I’m checking out is Amnesia.  





It starts out with man lying face down in the middle of the street.  I’m only about 30 seconds in and I’m loving it already because it teaches or reviews (whatever the case may be) interrogative words in a natural and engaging way.  


The man wakes up and asks “¿Dónde estoy?...¿Quién soy?”


I’m now about 1:20 seconds into the video and I love the subtle review of conocer vs saber.  The man realizes he has amnesia. “No conozoco a nadie…No sé mi direccion.”

This video is catchy, intriguing and will for sure keep your students engaged.


I’ve now watched this video a couple of times and it’s making me want to be back in my high school classroom just so I could show them this.  They would love it!  It has enough repetition that it starts to get into your head with just one listen.  


One of the things I love about it is that a little more than half way through, instead of the first person yo form, the other people in the video start talking about the man with amnesia. It’s a perfect natural way to have your students practice the 3rd person of saber and conocer with this song.  (Only a language nerd like me would get excited about something like that but if you’ve read this far I’m betting you might be one too.)   


This may turn out to be one of my favorite Señor Wooly videos.  Love it!

As always this video has multiple ways to display subtitles.  I liked to vary how I did this.  Sometimes I would start right away with both the Spanish and the English subtitles.  Sometimes I'd only have the Spanish subtitles on. Sometimes I'd leave out the subtitles altogether.  I always play the videos multiple times. 




If you want to sample Amnesia or some of the other Señor Wooly videos just go here: https://www.senorwooly.com/tour/

Do you have a favorite Señor Wooly video?  Do you have other favorites you love to use in your classes?