The importance of family is central to hispanic cultures, and thus the learning of family vocabulary is a great entry point to cultural discussions, as well as an easy way to relate new words directly to a student’s life. The following storyboard activities use common vocabulary words and original narratives to practice the use of family terms. It may also be a good opportunity to select culturally relevant people like the King of Spain or to engage in interdisciplinary learning with English Literature or History.
By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!
After learning days of the week, colors, and numbers, one of the early vocabulary lessons is family. A straightforward lesson, aside from memorizing the Spanish words and phrases, students should practice associating these new words within meaningful or familiar contexts. While of course students can use the vocabulary to discuss their own families, another effective strategy is to have students pick a famous family and use the vocabulary to describe this family’s members and relationships.
The following example storyboard demonstrates this method. Have students select the spider map template and use members of their own family! Students can pick themselves or one member of the family to place in the center. Each branching cell should include a different family member and the title block should have the appropriate vocabulary term as related to the center family member. In the description blocks, it is helpful if students place the family members’ names for easier grading.
The chart below includes some of the most common family vocabulary, though it can certainly be expanded.
Building upon the last storyboard activity “Family Vocabulary”, this storyboard activity describes each member of the chosen family more comprehensively. Here the student must put the family vocabulary in context, as well as describe each member’s physical attributes and what they like to do. This activity helps students review previously learned material like gustar, ser, activity vocabulary, and personality adjectives. It also provides a fun opportunity for them to look up and learn new terms.
For this storyboard, have students select the grid layout. In the first column, students will place one family member from whose perspective the other relationships will be described. Each subsequent column heading should state the relationships in the column as related to the family member in the far left column. In each cell, have students include text bubbles for the family members to introduce themselves, including their relationship to the member in the first column.
Students will also write short descriptions of personality and physical attributes in first person for each cell. The last section in each cell is for a first person account of the family member’s hobbies. Upon completing this storyboard, students will have had the opportunity to interrelate family members and practice this relationship vocabulary from various perspectives. They also will have reviewed previous lessons in an associative manner.
Now that students have spent time learning and associating the family vocabulary, they are able to create a narrative centered around practicing this family vocabulary. In the traditional storyboard template, have students brainstorm and select a plot that will lend itself to family member introductions.
For example, in this model storyboard, the main character Lucía will introduce her boyfriend Ricardo to her family. The story unfolds from there, and along the way Lucía tells Ricardo and the reader about the members of her family. The storyboard should have at least six cells and should include at least seven different family members.