Families Long Ago and Today: An Integrated Unit in Spanish

Have you wondered how to engage your class in the topic of how families nowadays are the same as families in the past?  And how they are different?  Hold on to your seat, because we are going to dive into all this and more in this blog post, PLUS I will show you some fun ways that you can get your class engaged in the fun of families long ago and today--in Spanish!

Families Long Ago and Today:  An Integrated Unit in Spanish

This is a set of resources for you to teach your class about the differences and similarities between families now,  and families long ago, totally in Spanish, and it covers the following standards:
The last standard is true to the state of Illinois, but this can easily be adapted for any state that teaches about comparisons of families now and long ago.

After checking out the standards (above), it is important to look at the test, and the objectives, or what I like to call the 'Big Idea'.

The 'Big Idea' in this unit is as follows:

Students will read informational texts about the differences between families now and long ago and they will ask and answer questions about the text as they identify text features so that they can write informative sentences and paragraphs about families now and long ago.
Click the image to see the resource in my TpT store.

The end goal for this unit is for first graders to write an informational piece about families now and long ago.  But how do I get the class to that point?

Here are 5 steps that will help you to take your class from knowing none of the differences between families now and long ago have, to being able to write an informational piece about those differences.

1.  Engage your class in reading opportunities so that kids can learn by seeing illustrations, and by hearing you read about those differences.
Click on the image to see the resource in my TpT store today.

There are many books that offer information geared toward primary readers on this subject.  My favorite book for this is The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.  I encourage you to have a plethora of read - aloud books that you can turn to every day at the same time for your daily read-aloud time.  Display the books in a special place so that the kids can browse the books.

In this unit I have included a story about a family from long ago, and I have shown many differences in the way this family lived, and the way that we live now.  Some of these differences include transportation, water, heating and cooling, and even toys.  The 'book' includes a compare/contrast illustrated glossary.

The needs of families are still the same, but the way those needs were and are met now are very different.

2.  Once you have started to read and display books for the kids, begin to teach vocabulary in engaging and fun ways, including games and word sorts.
Click on the image to see the resource in my TpT store today.

You will have vocabulary cards that show differences and similarities that apply to families now and long ago.  The similarities are that we have the same needs as people long ago, but the difference is how our needs are met, and were met long ago.  

You can begin teaching some words, and then teach kids how to play memory.  

After your kids are well acclimated to some of these new vocabulary words, you can start to introduce some of the games that are intended to teach vocabulary for the unit. 

Students need a good knowledge base of the unit vocabulary so that they can start to learn and practice the skills that you want to teach them.

3.  Use sorts to teach vocabulary.

You can start both reading and teaching vocabulary on the first day that you introduce the unit by introducing a word sort for the vocabulary that you choose, and by selecting a read-aloud for the day.

When you download, you will have different types of vocabulary cards that you can easily use for word sorts so that kids can quickly identify similarities and differences between families now and long ago.

Here is one of my favorite ways of introducing vocabulary and your unit on day one:
I love to divide the class into small groups of about 4 kids in each group.  I'll give every group the same set of cards.  On the first day/first week I teach kids to create an open sort in their groups.  An open sort is giving kids the freedom to sort the cards in categories that they create together.  After about 5-7 minutes every one stands up and I have the class do a 'Carrousel Walk'.  This is where groups walk clock-wise and get a chance to see how others made their sorts.

At the beginning of the second week, I divide the class similarly, but I have them do a closed sort where they divide the cards in groups of 'Now' and 'Long Ago'.  The Carousel Walk is one of the funnest parts.

Creating sorts in small groups is so engaging for kids, and it will super-charge you as a teacher to see your class so engaged and learning!


4.  Teach students text features.

Click on the image for the resource!

The quickest way to start teaching text features is with read-alouds.  The title of the book is the first thing that they need to know.  Beyond that, when you read informational texts, be sure to point out labels (with or without arrows) and headings.

In the story that I included in this resource, you will have an illustrated glossary.  Show it to the class, and show them how to compare and contrast life now and life long ago by pointing out that our needs are the same, but we use different things to meet those needs.  For example, families always have needed transportation, but now we use cars, not horses.  

One activity you could do is print and laminate the glossary, and have kids work with partners.  Partner A can read the word, and Partner B can circle the image with a dry-erase marker.  Then they can switch roles until they have circled all the images.

You will also have printable sheets for practice with labeling and writing out the words.  Students have a word bank to help them with the writing and spelling of the words.

5.  Engage your class in writing every day.
Click on the image to see the resource.

The objective is for students to become informational writers about life as a family long ago, and today.  It is essential to practice writing every day for this reason.  You will receive writing sheets that you can use for practice and for the final test.  The sheets have a built in rubric for "5-Star Sentences".  Every day during your writer's workshop, take the time to teach kids how to write a 5-star sentence and show them how to use the rubric so that when test time comes, they will be able to pass with flying colors.
The sheets and rubrics are differentiated enough so that you can teach kids to create a descriptive picture with realistic colors, or teach them to write one sentence, or give them the space to write a paragraph or more.  Writing every day will start to create the habit and skill that first graders need.  In addition, this will help ensure that they have had the time to learn proper sentence structure with the 5-Star Sentence Rubric that is built in.

As a bonus, I added a writing activity for the process of making soup in a kitchen today.  In my school we have a kitchen for student use, so I love to do this activity every year.  The kids love to eat the soup, and I usually have a couple of moms come in to help with the activity.  

In conclusion

First Graders can learn to write an informative piece about families now and long ago by reading informational books, by learning content-area vocabulary, and by practicing writing every day.  This set of resources for your integrated unit will help First Graders to learn vocabulary because they will have illustrated vocabulary cards that you can repurpose for playing games like Memory or Go-Fish, plus you have games to print up for centers.  They will learn to create and identify certain text features as well.  This unit has been super engaging for my class, and I have seen my kids learn to write using the rubrics and practice sheets.  I hope you can enjoy this with your class as well!

If you are interested in purchasing this all Spanish resource, the please CLICK HERE to go directly to the resource in my Teachers pay Teachers store.

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