Plugging through Poor Anna

I need to look at Bryce’s Poor Anna suggestions. They’re on the TPRS collection page (in the sidebar). And I’m considering that maybe I should buy his book, even if it’s in Spanish, to help me teach Poor Anna. I had a talk with my first-year kids today, telling them I know all the stuff that is not positive about this book, and then really revving them up about how reading is the best way to learn vocabulary and grammar. They perked up and had a MUCH better attitude about getting out the books.

Then we started reading, and about every paragraph, I would have them draw a picture and put everything possible into it. Then I’d read it again, and they’d raise their hands if they had put various details into their picture. That meant that they got more small pieces, and paid better attention. I asked about things not mentioned–is there a dog on the street there? Is Anna smiling? Are the pies meat or potato? Are there three bananas or two? It was my Blaine-style answer to my desire to keep moving on through this book. I really don’t want it hanging over my head later!!

We finished a whole chapter, and almost everyone looked a lot happier than they had the last time we were reading.


4 responses to “Plugging through Poor Anna

  1. Very timely post. We are plugging through “Le Voyage de Sa Vie” I’ve done a Power Point, acting, drawing, re-reading, dialogue, and still it feels almost painful. (and we are barely on page 20!) It makes me feel that I am missing something important. I really do want to be able to finish this book and help them improve through reading.

    I get to see Carol next week for a one day workshop and will try to pose some questions about reading technique to see if I can find some inspiration. Wish me luck! I’ll share what I learn!


  2. I’m doing “Mi Propio Auto” with my Spanish 2s, and I have to say, it’s like pulling teeth. They understand most of it, but the enthusiasm level is low, and it’s really hard to get anything interesting out of them. Sometimes I have them translate out loud and discuss it, and sometimes they read in small groups. Maybe I’ll get more energy from them once they start their VoiceThread project (they will be posting scenes and characters to a class VoiceThread and talking about the novel as a project).


    • I keep thinking I’m going to steal ideas from Jody’s blog and then I forget. She’s on fire.

      Maybe it’s just the time of year? We all want to “get through (a particular book),” when really what we need to be doing is enjoying the heck out of these kids.


  3. Just found this post by Susie too.

    “Yes, translating is reading. You ought to vary the way you do it (random, around the room, choral, even small groups if you want.)

    Discuss the book in Spanish, of course. Personalize, dramatize, quiz, readers theatre, etc. It is your job to keep interest as high as you can through discussions. You do this by being enthusiastic, by showing interest in the story, by asking thought-provoking questions (NOT recall of facts), by personalizing, by inviting them to act out cool scenes, by asking them if they have ever had a similar situation, how they would react, who do they know with the same personality, How would you cast this is if it were a Hollywood movie, etc. All the good “book – club” kinds of things you can apply to whatever book you are reading.

    The occasional pop-up will help clarify how the language works also!

    Get your enthusiastic “I love to read” hat on and show them what FUN it is to be a Spanish student!”


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