As I mentioned yesterday, I like to start the school year off with a fun activity that will spark imagination and enthusiasm in my students.
I was fortunate to happen across The Landscape Song over at Zambombazo recently and I was super impressed with the music and especially the inspiration behind it. (I should point out that The Landscape Song is a Jeep commercial, but the commercial part of it is very brief and doesn't interfere much with the music and the beautiful landscapes that inspired it.)
Zach and Betsy over at Zambombazo do an amazing job of creating unique and inspiring activities and I have used their work many times in my classes. (If you haven't been to their site yet, go now!) Usually they put up great activities when they discover songs that can be used in the classroom. But I guess they had their hands full so they did not link an activity to The Landscape Song. That gave me an opportunity to step up and create my own activity to share with my students (and with yours!).
The great thing about this is that the idea is universal. Students from Spanish 1 all the way through Spanish 5/AP were able to watch this video, hear the music, and find inspiration. And it was a PERFECT activity for the first day of class, if I do say so myself!
The activity includes, music, map skills, geography, and Spanish (of course). There are two versions of the activity because my Spanish 1 classes were on the first day of Spanish ever and I couldn't write directions or questions for them in Spanish yet. (Well . . . I did sneak a little Spanish in there - all cognates though.)
Of all the lessons I have ever done on the first day of class, I have to say that this one is my very favorite. The students seemed to enjoy it too. My band students were fascinated and we reviewed the geography of the Spanish-speaking world in a completely painless way. Win, win, win!
Feel free to use it in your class too - on the first day or otherwise. I will offer this one small caution to you. The place names appear in teeny-tiny print at the bottom of each picture, so I had to call them out as we went so that my students could complete the activity.
Do you love it, or what? It would be great to hear from you.
All the best,