Article about Saturday’s Earthquake

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I finished up the April 18 issue of EL MUNDO EN TUS MANOS early because my sister took the three big boys for the weekend and I didn’t want to spend my precious toddler-free time on the computer! This meant that Saturday’s earthquake in Ecuador didn’t make it into the news. Since it is such an important event from the Spanish-speaking world, I wrote up a one-page article as a ‘Special Edition’  addition to Monday’s issue. If you purchased the two month subscription or the stand-alone April 18 issue, make sure to re-download the file from “My Purchases” when you read this in order to get the updated file. If you are not a subscriber or have not purchased the April 18 issue, you can download the one-page article about the earthquake here for free. I say it’s a one-page article, but there are actually three different articles that all say the same thing, each one a little more challenging so that you can meet the needs of students at different levels. A great follow-on to the reading is to discuss if your students are prepared for natural disasters that your area experiences and how they could help the situation in Ecuador. Here is an article from CNN with some basic ideas.

 

Publishing weekly news summaries has taken much more time than I anticipated, but it’s been good for me. For one, it has forced me to stay on top of current events beyond who just hit whom and who is hungry for what and who wants to go where. I’ve also been learning history, as the understanding of so many current events depends on the understanding of the backstory. For example, Keiko Fujimori’s advance to the second round of elections in Peru is significant not just because she is a woman and of Japanese descent, but because her father is the ex-President and currently serving a 25 year sentence for atrocious crimes committed during his presidency. As I choose the articles to share with students, I have to modify them enough so that students understand why those particular stories are important. It’s also been a fun way for me to work with a different set of high frequency vocabulary than that which I target in my curriculum units. There are words that appear over and over again in news articles that are not all that common in conversation. So just like I strategically choose the words that I use to tell stories in class, recycling old words, I can strategically choose and recycle different words in news stories. In this earthquake article, for example, I was able to get in repetitions of words like balneario, dejar a, muertos, heridos, tras, and cuerpos de socorro that appeared in other recent issues. To me, it speaks to the importance of using NON-AUTHENTIC texts in your beginning levels. Short readings, novels, articles, etc. that are written strategically for language learners expose your students to highly concentrated repetitions of high frequency vocabulary and the underlying structure of the language. With a couple years of intense reading of non-authentic texts, students are able to understand authentic texts without difficulty.

 

8 comments

  1. Martina!

    How did I miss out on these wonderful news summaries! Things have been very crazy here and I have obviously not been reading all your blog posts as closely as I should!

    I LOVE this! Great for enrichment. Great for differentiation.

    Thank you.

    Ellen Roberts

    On Monday, April 18, 2016, The Comprehensible Classroom wrote:

    > Martina Bex posted: ” I finished up the April 18 issue of EL MUNDO EN TUS > MANOS early because my sister took the three big boys for the weekend and I > didn’t want to spend my precious toddler-free time on the computer! This > meant that Saturday’s earthquake in Ecuador didn’t m” >

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  2. Thank you for sharing this! I haven’t used your current event publications in my classroom yet, but after reading through this and discussing it with my classes, I’m planning to subscribe to the publication if you continue to produce it next year.

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  3. Thank you, Martina for these wonderful resources and for your willingness to create and offer a free update about the earthquake to this week’s news! You ROCK!!

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  4. Very cool Martina. I didn’t even realize you did this! I look forward to using it. Thank you for sharing. Also, I like the leveled versions of each. Must take a good chunk of your time each week!

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  5. Thank you for all the extra work you did to get the Ecuador earthquake articles to us immediately. I found out how much my students didn’t learn in global so we added a map, reviewed their Earth science unit on tectonics (they groaned but were rapt to see the practical application), discussed the Ring of Fire, and added some Youtube clips en español. Tomorrow we will review, add in rescue efforts (varied vocab), what can we do,discussion question- why do you think of all the earthquakes this past week we only heard about Ecuador in the local news?- (level 3), and finally write an article/essay incorporating all we have learned (as practice for the upcoming NY Checkpoint B exam). I hate the tragedy but what an amazing teachable moment opportunity. Thank you so much for providing the amazing material as catalyst for a mini-unit that’s not so mini.

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