Earlier this week I shared some of the things that are comprising our “school” unit. I can’t stand the traditional form of this unit–learning school supplies, names of classes, naming favorites–because the material is so dry, complicated (our students’ courses don’t fit neatly into “math” and “science”), and often, the vocab has already been picked up along the way because we use it in class. Plus it’s not something that comes up regularly in authentic conversations… and my students just aren’t into it.
But along come the Sustainable Development Goals from the UN–and something we can sink our teeth into. I showed students this graphic and asked them to identify what they understood. We talked about the meanings of the first 6 (dropping a little language nugget in on the meaning of -dad as a vocab builder) and how they might be related to school. Goals 1-5 are directly impacted by “school”, from gender equality in school access to food programs to combat hunger, and I think this discussion sparked interest among my students. There was some lively discussion in Spanglish about why the goals are numbered/ranked the way they are, and also which goals are the most critical in the US. These are our future leaders, and I love the questions they ask!
The culminating task for this project is to work in small groups to draft, edit, and film a video in Spanish welcoming new students to our school. I am asking them to take what they have learned about schools around the world into consideration and to infuse their presentations with this awareness. You will see that there are a few of the dry school subjects in the suggested topics list for the project (such as class times), but now they have an authentic purpose. SO much better!! You can find the project sheet here: School intro project for blog