Y Amigos: Publishing Bilingual Books
Project URL: www.teachersnetwork.org/TeachNetusa/tjackson/spanishbook.htm
In Libros Y Amigos, students publish bilingual books in hard copy and on the
Web, using basic Spanish phrases and vocabulary that tie in with their class's
current thematic unit. They write, illustrate, and publish using a variety of technology. Each child, or team of
students, is responsible for one page of each book. Each student gets
a "published" copy of each book, with individually designed
covers, to share with the class, other students, and family. Each
title then becomes part of a growing collection of resources from
which current and future students can benefit. Students learn the foreign language content and writing skills in both
the classroom and the computer lab using a variety of software. Text
and illustrations are created in the classroom and lab
depending on the topic and the technology being used to support it.
program gives all students a hands-on way to reinforce
and share their learning as clear and effective communicators,
and integrative and informed thinkers. Each child has a sense of
ownership and pride in the final product, as they have been involved in
brainstorming and creating the genre, text, illustration, and
layout. The program also enables students to think about and present new
knowledge in a variety of ways. Using product descriptors for each step gives
them clear expectations for their work. In this way, all students are able
to succeed. The students meet the targeted standards by reading their
finished book to a variety of audiences, including the world via the
Internet. Each book project is concluded with a student self-assessment to allow for personal reflection, student/teacher
conferencing, planning, and goal setting for future projects.
project enables students K-5 to meet the following Guiding Principles
of the Maine Learning Results: Students use oral, written,
visual, artistic, and technological modes of
expression; read, listen to, and interpret messages from multiple
sources; use English and at least one other language; apply knowledge and skills in
and across various subjects; and comprehend relationships among different modes of
thought and methods associated with the traditional disciplines.
It also allows
students to meet the following K-2 Standards and Performance
Indicators: Students develop communication
skills for direct conversation and written correspondence; develop reading, listening, and viewing skills
to obtain and
interpret information in a second language; and demonstrate
understanding of simple oral narratives and short conversations on familiar topics in a second language.
This program requires the use of a computer, scanner, digital camera,
IMovie camera, HyperStudio, an art center, Jumpstart Spanish and Pepa Software,
and Adobe Photoshop.
We are a rural school in Wiscasset, Maine. This program involves
all 14 students in my first grade class. Most students come from low socio-economic
backgrounds where the average education of the parents does not exceed
high school. Thirty-five percent of our student population qualify for
free or reduced hot lunch. We have no foreign language program, but
attempt to meet State standards through innovations
such as Libros Y Amigos. Any student in grade K-5 at any ability level
is suitable for participation.
Students at this age have great enthusiasm and aptitude for
learning languages and exploring other cultures. The wide range
of learning involved in this program is an effective
way for teachers to teach more, in greater depth, and in an integrated
way. The level of student learning, enthusiasm, pride, and excitement
illustrates why other teachers might want to
adapt it for use in their classrooms. It can easily be adapted for all students in grades
K-5 to enable meaningful acquisition of any second language,
and allows all students to be successful in a collaborative effort.
I would be happy to advise anyone who might like to adapt this
program. The time frame for each book project can be very flexible and
is easily integrated into any unit of study!
About the teacher:
Tracy Jackson has taught first grade in Wiscasset for 16 years.
the past three years she has focused professional development goals on
using technology to enhance and support student learning. She is a
past winner of the National Semi- conductor Internet Innovator award,
and has been both a SEED Grant Adaptor and developer. Her projects
have been featured as Global Connections Lesson Plan of the Month and
she is a contributing author to How To Use The Internet In Your