A Spanish language curriculum unit based on the study of Latin American Rain Forests
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Los Árboles Hablan
Los Árboles Hablan is a video-based curriculum unit that promotes the learning of Spanish as a foreign language through the study of Latin American rain forests. The curiculum consists of a video and accompanying instructional materials for students in grades 7-10, and integrates science, social studies and environmental education while teaching the Spanish language. The content specifically focuses on the Amazon rain forest in Brasil, the ancient temperate rain forests of Chile and Costa Rica's cloud forest.
The approach to the development of the instructional materials is grounded in INCRE's belief that language and culture are inseparable. We believe that students are more open to acquire foreign language skills and to improve existing skills if they develop an interest in and an understanding of the subject matter on which language learning is based. The curriculum focuses on the conservation of rain forests and provides an opportunity to introduce students to a critically important environmental issue for Latin America and the world.
The videotape and printed components of the curriculum have been designed to be used in an integrated manner in the middle and high school Spanish language classroom. The video and accompanying written materials are divided into twelve segments, with activities in each segment designed to take up one to two class periods. If used daily, the curriculum takes approximately three weeks to complete.
In the videotape, students are introduced to Teresa and Ricardo, two Hispanic-American teenagers who serve as their guides throughout the unit. Each curriculum day, the students view approximately six to eight minutes of video. Content and language learning are offered in an engaging, appealing format as Teresa and Ricardo receive letters and calls from relatives in Latin America, and eventually go on their own expeditions to the rain forests. Video footage from the forests of Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica has been woven throughout the production to offer students the opportunity to see the beauty of the forests and its inhabitants, as well as the effects of deforestation.
The classroom activities have been specifically designed to complement the video, with related vocabulary and language learning exercises for each day, at an appropriate level for middle and high school Spanish-language classes. Both the video and written materials contain English and Spanish sections, designed to introduce content while strenthening language skills. The written materials include scripts of the video components in English and Spanish, so that students and teachers may read the scripts before-hand or follow along as appropriate. Some Spanish segments of the video also include Spanish subtitles, enabling students to see and hear the words simultaneously. A dictionary of all vocabulary used in the unit is included.
An accompanying Teacher's Guide provides an introduction to the curriculum, an overview of the organization of the materials, complete lesson plans, a classroom-tested quiz and final test, answers to all activities, and suggestions for integration with other subject areas.
It is our belief that Los Árboles Hablan offers teachers and students a valuable opportunity to engage in Spanish language learning which is geared to and respectful of a wide spectrum of learning styles. In addition, we believe that these materials promote respect for Latin American culture, and encourage concern for the preservation of our environment.
Los Árboles Hablan comes complete in a custom-designed package that includes:
• A 55-minute videotape organized in 10 segments, including extensive footage from rain forests in Brazil, Costa Rica and Chile
• A bound, easy to use teacher's guide that includes 12 daily lesson plans and the correct answers to all activities
• A folder with black-line masters of 60 student activity sheets, with clear instructions for two-sided photocopying
• A Spanish/English dictionary that contains all vocabulary used in the unit
• A mid-unit quiz and final test
• Suggestions for a final bilingual poster project for students
• Suggestions for follow-up activities
Los Árboles Hablan is designed for students taking Spanish I and Spanish II in grades 7-10. However, grade 6 students taking Spanish can also benefit from this interdisciplinary curriculum. The unit is designed to be used at the end of Spanish I or at any point during Spanish II.
The curriculum unit takes a minimum of 3 weeks to complete, offering many opportunities for extension and follow-up activities.
View the Los Árboles Hablan Evaluation Paper
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In-Service Training Course
A one-day in-service teacher training course is available to familiarize teachers with the entire curriculum and with relevant instructional strategies. To arrange for a Los Árboles Hablan in-service course at your school, please call toll free: 1-888-INCRE-SI (1-888-462-7374).
Amazon Video Documentary Available in Spanish
In response to teacher requests, INCRE has produced the video documentary segment about the Amazon Rain Forest, which is part of Lesson 2 of the Los Árboles Hablan curriculum, with Spanish narration as a separate product.
The 10-minute video documentary, with new footage of logging in the Amazon, has been dubbed in Spanish and is available with a teacher's guide for
$39 $19. The tape includes both the English and Spanish versions of the documentary. The teacher's guide includes the full text of the narration in both Spanish and English, as well as suggestions for using the video in science, social studies and Spanish language classes.
You may order the video documentary by calling our toll-free number:
or by sending a check or school purchase order for
$39 $19 plus $3 shipping to:
366 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington MA 02474
Please ask for the Amazon Documentary Video. MC/Visa accepted.