During the first quarter, our second and third graders learned about emotions and feelings in Spanish class, and they used their new vocabulary to recite poems or tell jokes in Spanish.

To learn the different sentimientos, the students first used iPads to take photos of their classmates making faces with their assigned emotions, which they uploaded into Keynote presentations with identifying labels such as “yo estoy nervioso” and “yo estoy feliz.” Students also drew facial features on a chart showing a variety of feelings. After learning the vocabulary, Ms. Benton role-played talking with a student who was experiencing a certain sentimiento and then had the rest of the class identify the correct one. During these lessons, students also had to practice using different pronouns in Spanish.

Not only did students learn new vocabulary, but they engaged in discussions about having empathy for others by understanding a wide range of feelings.  When watching the award-winning short film El Regalo, or The Present, students were prompted to identify different emotions the characters were experiencing and then explain why each character was having them. El Regalo tells a surprising story about of puppy with three legs, who is given as a gift to a young boy.

When she asked students to take pictures with posters showing different feelings, Ms. Benton was pleasantly surprised at their comprehension: “What I really liked is that I didn’t tell them how to make the expressions in these, but they did them anyways!” Enjoy seeing a wide range of faces in the photos below.

Originally from Guatemala, Claudia Escobar Benton is enjoying her new role as a Spanish teacher at St. James after teaching as an assistant in our preschool.  She has previously taught in a bilingual preschool and as a college-level design instructor, and she also has career experience in Graphic Design as well as post-graduate studies in Strategic Design and Innovation.