Bethanie Drew wrote about the use of Cromos, which are basically trading cards for the World Cup, in this blog post. Based on the post and our Twitter conversations, it sounded like the cards were a ton of fun. But how could I use World Cup Cromos for my Olympics unit? Would the kids really be able to connect with the cards if they had nothing to do with what we are studying?
I decided it was time to do a little DIY. In class, the students are using pictures of real athletes headed to Rio 2016 as a point for conversation about the sports, geography, and how sports are played. These are people the students are already familiar with and they are also a great connection to the sports the students love.Why not use these athletes to create our own set of Cromos?
I did a little Google searching for an Olympics frame and Rio 2016 symbol, and I created my own template for the Cromos. (A downloadable file is available below.)
Throughout the rest of the unit and school year, students will earn Cromos for their behavior and also their use of Spanish. I’m not usually one for this type of reward, but as we near the end of the school year, I think this group could really use it. Students know that in order to earn a Cromo, they must using the highest quality Spanish they can (complete sentences for most of them) during structured activities. During unstructured time or if there is a question, students use their Spanish to the best of their ability. During this unstructured time, I am not looking for perfection, but rather effort, circumlocution, and just using what they know to communicate.
Aside from being a different and fun way to bring the Olympics into the classroom, I am hoping this will excite them about the upcoming Olympics and the many Spanish-speakers involved. Perhaps they will even follow an athlete or two this summer.
Although mine are focused on the Olympics, these cards could really work for any unit you are doing where there are real athletes, musicians, or other people involved. For example, Carrie Toth does a Music Madness in March to reflect the NCAA's March Madness. Cromos would be a great way for students to learn about the musicians and/or groups they are voting for. You can use people, groups, countries, etc. It can be quite a task to find all of the pictures, names, and information, but it is a great way to incorporate the cultural piece into any unit. Not only that, it provides students a chance to ask and answer questions about real people without already knowing all of the answers!