Noticing - At the beginning of each class, watch one of the weekly videos. Each day students will write down something they noticed in the video. After recording all of their ideas, small groups decide on a favorite idea that came up. Each small group will add this idea to a collection of post-it notes on the wall of the classroom. The next day students will watch the same video again and look for something they did not notice before. Small groups will again choose a favorite to add to the wall. At the end of the week, students vote on their favorite to research further.

Extension: Kick it up to intermediate-level! Have students use wordreference.com to look up unfamiliar words and complete the activity completely in the target language.

Bell ringer #1

Sound & Sight - Have students turn their backs to the projector and listen to the video without being able to see it. Students then create a drawing based on only what they were able to hear. In pairs, students compare and contrast their drawings. A few students can share their reflections with the whole class.


Next have students turn to the projector and watch the video with sound. Then have students compare what they see with what they imagined. What cultural assumptions became evident?

Extension: Students can interview friends and/or family to further discussions about these assumptions. Students can use old magazines to create a collage to highlight what they learn. These could become part of the classroom decor to further inspire such conversations.

Bell ringer #2

“The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”

~Wade Davis

Project #1

Voy a ser tu guía - After becoming familiar with the videos through bell ringers or other activities, students split up into groups of three to four. Students watch one of the videos and make notes of what is happening. Next they create an audio voiceover commentary of the video. This could be styled to cover any concept the class is currently covering. For example, the present progressive could be used to describe what is happening in the video (Los conductores están conduciendo en las aceras porque hay un taco*.). Alternatively, students could imagine a dialogue happening behind the camera and narrate the video in this way. A realistic dialogue could describe what is happening with lower levels of proficiency. An imaginative dialogue could be created with more advanced concepts like the conditional tense or subjunctive mood (Ojalá que no siga lloviendo...).


*taco = slang, traffic jam

El colón - Open by having students watch and listen to the ATM transaction at the beginning of the Semana 3 video. Ask students to notice the currency in Costa Rica and how much is withdrawn in the video. Does this seem like a lot?


In groups, students will research the exchange rate between US dollars and Costa Rican colones. Students can create a table that compares the price of simple, everyday items in the US compared with similar items in Costa Rica. The website https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/ will allow students to compare costs of living between different areas of the world.


Extension: Novice-level students can complete their tables by writing out the numbers in Spanish to practice their spelling. Intermediate-level students can write paragraphs or create a presentation to share what they learned in the target language.


Extension: Assign each group a different Spanish-speaking country to compare.

Project #2

"Dos andares tiene el dinero, viene despacio y se va ligero."

~ Money has two speeds, it comes slowly and leaves quickly. ~

¡Soy maestr@! - Each week one group will be assigned a video. They will choose new vocabulary terms based on what they watch. They can pause the video and grab screenshots of each term (how to create screenshots). Then using a flashcard creator like Quizlet.com, they can create a stack of cards using the new terms and images from the video. Each group will bring in their flashcards to share with class. Quizlet, in particular, offers various games students can play in class with these new terms. The next week a different group can repeat the activity with the next video. This empowers students to become more self-regulated as they engage with the terms they want to know within an authentic context.


Extension: Have each group create and grade a “quiz” on the new terms to reinforce the new vocabulary and further empower students to feel in charge of their own learning. Perhaps the highest scorer could get a small prize or extra credit point?


Extension: Intermediate-level students could research synonyms of common vocabulary they already know and look for online resources to learn slang.

Homework #2

Have a great activity idea for Los Ojos? 

Mis Ojos - For homework, students record a 7-10 second video each evening to create their own LOS OJOS video of life through their eyes. Ideally, students will be working with LOS OJOS videos in class and be familiar with the format to create their own video storytelling project. Students will need a recording device in order to use for the week. Teachers may need to check-out these devices from their library before assigning this extended homework assignment.


Extension: Students can create a commentary in the target language to accompany their LOS OJOS video. Students should write a short script to describe each day and lay the voices over their video for a personalized product.


Extension: Advanced students can narrate a commentary as a form of presentational speaking.

Homework #1

Your name and great ideas may be featured on the website!

The Intercultural Classroom

A. Romjue & J. MacDonald. (2016). The Intercultural Classroom. Updated: April 3, 2019

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