My students recently suggested that they study their Spanish commands by creating a cooking show in Spanish and filming it with their video editing skills (mostly done in Imovie). Because our thematic unit currently covered foods in Spain, they chose to cook Spanish menu items such as la paella, la tortilla de patatas, los churros, y el gazpacho. Knowing that my students were suggesting a project that, if done properly, would require more work than they were expecting I gave them the week off from homework so they could organize an awesome design, create clear scripting, practice cooking, talk and cook at the same time, film, and edit that film. I also made sure that they knew that a fracaso (failure) was OK to film as well as un éxito (success). I felt it important to let them know that they did not need to make the same thing more than once and that the experience was just as important to film as well as anything.
To help them organize responsiblities, I divided them into groups of three where each group had un cocinero (chef), un presentador (show host), and un videógrafo (video editor). I gave them basic responsibilities, but my students at Chatsworth Hills Academy were able to use that scaffolding as a launching pad for even more creative shows and unique outcomes in their videos.
The project overall was a success, and while I don’t feel comfortable sharing their videos at my blog site, I might get permission from their parents to use this in a presentation or a conference in the near future. The students relished the fact of using their video creation skills learned in our tech classes for academic work, and they enjoyed cooking, eating, using Spanish commands, and working together outside of school speaking Spanish. The project was so successful that I would do this in the future because it promotes outside usage of Spanish in unique ways that I did not expect and the community of students in my classroom became stronger as human beings and responsible students. I highly recommend finding time to provide activities like this that allow students to merge video technology skills with learning Spanish. There are so many more ideas that I can now attempt because of this success, and I can’t wait to do more interview shows with other grade levels.