Spanish 1 Curriculum: Development

To develop my Spanish I Curriculum Map, I chose the novels that I wanted my students to read by the end of Spanish 1B (their second year of Spanish) and made a list of the vocabulary that they would need to read it. I ‘sequenced’ it based on importance and which words grouped well together for storytelling and cultural exploration. If you are interested in learning how I develop my cultural units so that you can duplicate the process and develop units of your own, please contact me to schedule a workshop. I have presented on the process at several local, state, and national conferences.

Along with the storytelling units (almost all of which include a cultural study), I have added suggestions for thematic vocabulary, grammatical concepts, and other resources that fit well with that unit in case you are someone that is tied to the textbook or are looking for ways to fill out the unit. I did not use all of the explicit grammar notes that are linked, nor did I intentionally address thematic vocabulary beyond what came up naturally in our class discussions for each unit.

If you teach with novels, as I recommend, it will take you more than one year to cover this curriculum. I developed the units before the novel Brandon Brown quiere un perro was published, and I would absolutely recommend using it as the first novel that your students read in Spanish. Another novel that I never had the opportunity to teach (because I did not have a class set) is Agentes secretos y el Mural de Picasso by Mira Canion. This is another novel that I would recommend teaching within students’ first year of Spanish.


    • They CAN be, but rarely are because teachers add in other units (holidays, etc.) and teach novels. You don’t need to get through all units before moving on to the Spanish II curriculum, and you can certainly begin Spanish II with the remaining Spanish 1 units.


  1. Martina, where would you recommend starting with a group of intro to Spanish students that meet only 3 days per week? Is there other curriculum that you recommend or would you start here as well? Also, how about Spanish ! kids who have NEVER had any Spanish at all? Where do you start with them? Would you start here as well, or implement something learning the alphabet etc?


  2. Hello: Just wondering if you had any advice given my current situation. I teach 5th-8th grade Spanish and the goal is to have students walk into Spanish 2 in high school. 5th grade receives 2 classes per week (45min) and 6-8th receive 3 classes per week (45min). How could your curriculum fit my needs? Thanks!


    • I don’t think that my curriculum is the best fit for classes that meet so infrequently. Because of all the added culture, units take a long time to get through and I think in your situation it would be better to move faster through stories to get through more structures. You could use the stories from my units (they are all free and linked on this page); just don’t invest in the units.


      • I hate to hear that, but I appreciate your honesty! I am trying to move my classes to proficiency based, using TPRS, and I am really having a tough time figuring out how to assess properly. Trying to piece things together is frustrating. If you have any other recommendations, I am very open to hearing them. Thank you!


  3. Hi! Did you say they were bookmarked here? I can’t find those? I’m having the same issues with my classes. Currently we are using a mix of your curriculum and novels to teach but I want them to get MORE MORE MORE!!! I really do! And I feel like they don’t sometimes… especially at this time of the year lol!


  4. Sorry I was referring to your comment above “You could use the stories from my units (they are all free and linked on this page); just don’t invest in the units.” When you were writing to Casey.


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