How do you say storytelling in Spanish?

I have traveled back in time! A return to my formative years. At least that’s how I felt the minute I stepped into Jenny’s Spanish III class as students were putting the finishing touches on their fable and fairy tale presentations in Spanish. I had the chance to see students reenact stories like Puss in Boots, The Intelligent Boy and Little Red Riding Hood. One group performed a play, another presented a digital narrative, while one more used magnets, poster board and intricate 3-D figure drawings of characters to tell their stories in Spanish.

“I wanted to provide them with an opportunity, a fun way to practice vocabulary and improve their usage of the preterite and imperfect tense. We also managed to work on the subjunctive and conditional tense. Everyone knows fairy tales, so if a student is having trouble understanding and following the story, this project presents a perfect way for them to push through that,” says Jenny Wells ’88, World Languages faculty, who is also an alumna of White Mountain. Jenny returned to White Mountain this year after spending 10 years living abroad in Spain and speaking Catalan.

Students took advantage of this opportunity and introduced phrases like vivieron felices y comieron perdices, which means ‘happily ever after’, to their classmates. Pulling inspiration from websites like Storybird to present their stories, the class proved to be the perfect combination of creativity and academic rigor. Students embraced the opportunity to relive some of their favorite stories and I enjoyed hearing them in Spanish, even though I can only speak and understand a few words and phrases.

Senior Julia Bews and Junior Alana Bonilla presented Little Red Riding Hood. Their classmates gathered in a circle on the floor in front of the whiteboard, ready for storytime. They used magnets to hold up poster board with a colorful drawing of the first scene. They acted out the infamous story in Spanish, furiously doing set (or rather poster board) changes along the way, so as not distract from the storyline and vocabulary. As with groups that had gone before them, they presented a list of words unknown to the class at the end. They, along with their classmates, practiced using them in context, with Jenny’s guidance.

Julia comments, “For our class assignment we had to look up some traditional children’s stories, or fairy tales in Spanish. Alana and I picked Little Red Riding Hood. We thought it would be a good idea to create a storyboard with stick characters, and a poster as a background while we acted out the story.” Por supuesto! 

Check out other World Language course offerings here.

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