Thursday, November 3, 2016

Brandon Brown Quiere Un Perro- teaching it again and rockin' it! - Activity suggestions for Chapters 1-4


I love teaching this book.  It is SUCH a blast.  I have gotten so many resources from other teachers, so I thought I would share what I do here.

Please note: Due to copyright concerns, I do not feel comfortable actually posting my materials.  Most of the materials I created are taken directly from the teachers guides, and I want to honor and respect the work of the authors.  That being said, it has taken just a little bit of time to create the activities, so I think it is worth sharing. Seriously- low or no prep is the best!

This is not a complete list, just activities that I have added for my Spanish 1A  (8th grade) class that are outside of the teacher's guide.  If you are thinking of teaching this novel, buy the teacher's guide.  It is worth every penny, even if you teach high school.

I should say that one activity that I am doing for each chapter is that I read it out loud and ask students to act it out.  Every time.  I think that the first time, they need to hear me read.  I usually ask them to re-read it a second time, either with a partner or alone.  Then, I move to review activities.  I also do almost all of the reader's theatre activities that are included.

Chapter 1

  • Review: Kahoot Quiz using the questions and responses from the comprehension questions.
  • Pre-teach: Asked kids to email me pictures of their pets and a brief bio.  I put them into slides and present a new one every few days.  Super engaging.  

Chapter 2

  • Review: I used the comprehension questions  in Spanish and the numbered heads together strategy to have teams find and write the answers on whiteboards.  This activity never goes as well as I want to, but they read parts of the chapter about a million times, so it got the repetition in!  
Chaper 3
  • Review: I made a chain reaction game out of the comprehension questions and answers to review.  Teacher tip from my elementary years: In order to make this game re-usable and keep it organized, I do the following: Copy on card stock.  Take colored markers and color code (by drawing a line, an x, or the quickest way possible) on each sheet, making sure each card is marked.  Mark the same number of envelopes with the same colors.  Cut in stacks with your paper cutter.  Then, quickly sort each card by color (or have a helpful kid do it!).  I always label the envelopes with the color name in the TL and remind the kids to keep them organized by color.  Super smooth game making and it goes quickly!  
  • Pre-teach: I also found a list with pictures of all kinds of household chores and created a people-find activity to review ¨tiene que" (since we targeted that structure last year) and talk about household chores and responsibilities.  
  • Pre-teach: Because we haven't learned lleva and recoge (carries and pick up), and I thought we needed to review ve and va (sees and goes), I created a story about a student who was in his room,  in bed, when someone famous calls him, and he has to go to a place, pick up something, and carry it to someplace else.  When he arrived, the famous person asks him when he was going to return home.      Underlined words are new or recycled vocabulary.  It was a smash hit!  
  • Pre-teach: I used the story I asked and did a Paper Airplane reading.  (I did individual airplanes, not teams, because my kiddos did not need the partner support, but I gave crummy directions and they all picked the first sentence.  I also didn't assess.  I let kids throw planes at me, at selected volunteer from the class, and at each other.  Super fun.  Next time, I will give better directions.  However, what a FANTASTIC Friday afternoon -last class of the day- activity that is also a "secret input" activity.   

Chapter 4

  • I used the "Charades" game as suggested in the teacher's guide, and then used the cards for a very simple game.  Directions: Spread the cards out on the floor, either English or TL facing up.  Use the word in a sentence (TL) and one student has to find the English word they heard.  Give the TL word and someone else has to find the English.  
  • Top Eight (I did eight, not ten, for time). I had kids in groups of four pull the top eight events then we decided, as a group, which were the most important.  That part never goes as well as I want it to though.  
  • Use the top 8 for Running Dictation .  I am always looking for engaging activities to do with this particular group on a Friday afternoon, so this seems like a good one.
  • Gallery walk / cut and paste:  Now, I think this group still needs MORE INPUT so I don't think they are ready to read questions and write accurate answers. I created regular page size sheets with questions.  They will be posted around the room.   Students will cut apart the many answers that I provided them (including 5 or 6 incorrect answers) and match them to the correct question.  Yep, they can just see what other kids paste on, but they are still getting the input!  (This is one of those activities that took me about 10 minutes to create.  They will do the cutting as their starter, so I don't take up too much class time for that.  
I hope this blog post is useful.  Remember, you can use almost any of these activities for almost any reading!  


  1. Thanks so much! It was very helpful. I did the paper airplane translation as a way of reengaging the group after Christmas break.
    I play to use the gallery walk. Thanks for your ideas.

  2. This is great! Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration. What are your over specific unit goals when you teach Brandon Brown quiere un perro?