Friday, September 10, 2010

Lesson Plan About Latin American Film Festival

by Ann Abbott

I'm very excited about the 2010 Latin American Film Festival put on by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I won't be able to see them all because of family duties, but it seems to me as if they are all good.

I created a series of activities around the Film Festival's poster, and I think that it went very well with both of my Business Spanish sections today. Feel free to use the activities with your classes, tweaking them to fit your own course.

1. Ask your partner to answer these questions then discuss the answers. [In my class, the average was 4 for both questions.]

  • On a scale of 1-5, how much do you like el cine?
  • On a scale of 1-5, how much do you like Spanish?
2. [Pass out a copy of the film festival's poster and schedule to each group.] Now look at this poster and discuss the film festival, the individual films and other related topics with your partner.

3. Take out your planners or your phones and open your calendar. Compare your schedule with your partner's and choose what movie you will go to see with each other. Do not make plans at a time for which you have another obligation! [At this point students will ask, "Do we really have to go?" I told them, "Make your plans and then we'll talk about that."]

4. Now, write your appointment with your classmate in your planner or type it into your phone's calendar. Muy bien.

5. Quiz.

  • 1. What movie will you see and when?
  • 2. Why did you choose that movie and time?
  • 3. Why did we do this activity in a Business Spanish class?
6. Hand in your quizzes, change partners, and compare your answers for #3. Now share your answers with the class.  Answers included:
  • In business, you have to coordinate schedules and plan meetings.
  • Everyone needs to have balance in their lives: work and fun.
  • To practice our Spanish.
  • The movies show you about Latin American and Spanish cultures, which is important when you do international business.
  • It gives you something to talk about with your business colleagues and clients (whether they're from the Hispanic world or not!).
  • That then shows that you are knowledgeable about the Spanish-speaking world, its cultures, its art, etc. 
7. Finally, how many of you plan to actually go to the Film Festival? [In my class, only about 1/4 of the students raised their hands.] Okay, so in activity #1 the majority of you expressed a lot of interest in both cinema and Spanish. With your partner, explain why are so few of you going to go to the Film Festival if it combines those two interests.

Students talked a lot and were very engaged with the topic. They had to solve a problem using real information from their own lives and then understand why what they just did was important to their learning.

I hope the activities go well with your students, too. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how it goes!


  1. I wish I was in your class! It sounds like great fun!

  2. MaryJo, I wish you were here so that we could go see one of these movies together!