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Adopt a Family Project
Description of the project:
The proposal involves a Grade 11 Spanish class which adopts an immigrant/refugee family who are natives to the country of the language being studied (e.g., a Colombian family for a Spanish class). The theme vocabulary focuses on food, clothing, numbers, and colours. The grammar content focuses on adjectives, indirect object pronouns, and verbs in the present tense.
The students in the class are grouped. Each group is assigned a day of the week to plan a menu in the target language including breakfast, lunch and dinner following the guidelines of the food guide in the target language. Each group describes in writing in the target language a number of items of clothing (including the colours) that they will be donating to the family. Each group will write a letter of introduction in the target language welcoming the family and describing a few personal details about each member of the group.
The written portion of the project is handed in and evaluated according to a
marking rubric. Groups then present their project orally, one by one, until the last day, when the family is invited to the class to receive the bounty of the students' efforts. They can relay to the students why they are in Canada, some aspects of their home country and other pertinent cultural details.
Ms. Coburn writes, "Our school has participated in this project six times now, each time with tremendous public success and school-wide awareness. Our community initiative began with the Salvation Army and we now work extensively with the Calgary Immigrant Aid Society. It is so wonderful to see the looks on my students' faces when they are using their Spanish to help a needy family!"
Helen Coburn has taught both Junior High and Senior High for the last 20 years. She began her career as a French teacher and for the last 6 years has taught Spanish at Bowness High School in Calgary. She has helped write curriculum for the new Spanish bilingual school in Calgary.