Story characters poster from Spanish Cuentos

If you have never visited Spanish Cuentos, today is the day! I had the great pleasure of meeting Profe Craig Klein at CSCTFL 2014, and I was amazed by the student work that he shared in his presentation. As an elementary teacher that uses TPRS® and sees his students for just the smallest amount of time each week, Craig equips his students to speak accurately, originally, and extensively very early on in the year. By flooding them with comprehensible input through storytelling techniques that engage young learners, the output naturally pours out of them. If you ever have a chance to see him present and share videos from his class, GO! Craig maintains an awesome website, SpanishCuentos.com, that is filled with lots of great resources for world language teachers. In fact, his super fun Defile de yipao project was the inspiration for a cultural mini-unit that I wrote earlier this year. Follow @profeklein on Twitter!

If you’re setting up your classroom for the first time as a TPRS®/CI teacher, you are probably staring at all of your old posters and realizing that they aren’t particularly useful to students. I once attended an ESL workshop by someone whose name I can’t recall in which the speaker said to never leave “white noise” on your walls. Everything that you put on your walls should be used regularly by students. Scroll to the end of this post for posts and products about how to use your classroom space strategically! Craig shared this post on his blog this week, and I wish I had a classroom to stick this poster in!!:

from SpanishCuentos.com (re-posted with permission:

When you are a foreign language teacher, there is nothing better than watching your students produce meaningful language. After months of comprehensible input in the target language (which for me is Spanish), students began asking me if I would ever allow them to write their own stories. When students start wanting to produce language you know that you’re on the right path.

I was on my first year of teaching and I started focusing mainly on high frequency structures instead of vocabulary lists and grammar. After winter break my students were writing very creative stories and as the year progressed these stories became more and more complex.  It didn’t take long before students didn’t want to write about the girl and the cat anymore and they were constantly asking me for more complex characters such as “the hairy monster”…”the alien” or “the flying man”.   I realized that I needed a list of classic characters with some kind of visual to ignite creativity. It was then when I sat down with my notebook and encil and started designing my next poster. I finally got it done with the help of other creative foreign language teachers minds and Wow! Let me tell you, it has been an absolute success in my classes!
Seriously, if you want to encourage writing in the target language and ignite creativity this poster belongs in your classroom. These characters open students’ mind to magic and possibility but most importantly, they will have fun and improve their Spanish skills.  And yes, French and English teachers! There is a version of this poster for you too.

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I love it!! And I love these resources for decorating your CI classroom, too–you won’t use all of them, but hopefully you can get some good ideas and be inspired to create some posters of your own after seeing others’ ideas:

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