Thursday, October 16, 2008

Free curriculum online

When I was tutoring, I always tried to find free materials online before purchasing anything. Yes, I'm frugal. One has to be in this day and age.

During one of my searches I ran across Cuadros de familia - A Standards-Based Thematic Unit which is geared toward middle school students, but certainly could be adapted for elementary students which is what I did. It's available in PDF format.

The unit was developed by Katia Parviz-Condon, Donna Kleinman, Joseph Brown and Angela Roa. It was created as a result of a summer institute sponsored by the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center at Iowa State University.

It's based on the book Cuadros de familia by Carmen Lomas Garza which is about everyday life in a traditional Hispanic community in southern Texas. She also illustrated the book.

Among the teaching strategies used are Total Physical Response, Gouin Series, magic box, pair activities, language experience story and predicting and graphing. The first three are explained at the beginning. I could go on and on about this, but I would recommend you take a look for yourself.

Another great place to find curriculum is the thematic units page at Here you will find four thematic curriculum units covering El Día de los Muertos for intermediate students, El Bosque Tropical for beginning Spanish students, Convivencia (Medieval Spain) for intermediate students and finally CuentaColombia (Colombian folklore) for intermediate students. They're available in PDF format. Be sure to check out the other teaching materials available not only in Spanish, but also French, Italian, English, Mandarin Chinese and Thai.


diane said...

Thanks for these great resources. I took a look at the Cuadros de familia and it looks fantastic! The K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center at Iowa State is incredible. I'd love to take part in a summer institute. I've attended workshops by Marcia Rosenbusch, the director, and always come away inspired and equipped with great ideas. I've been using TPR and Gouin series throughout my entire career with great success. I hope they make more of their resources available as free pdf files. I'm dying to take a look at the French. Another great find :-)

Tricia said...

I bought that book last year to share with my classes! It's like Christmas to find out that there are lesson plans to go with it. Thanks!

Karen said...

@diane - I hope they make some more available for free as well. :)

@tricia - Great! Merry Christmas! ;)