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Story Listening in Spanish Engages Students in Exciting Lesson

Over the course of a recent lesson, Spanish teacher Megan Hayes whiteboard filled with pictures and Spanish words for her first-grade students. As she drew, wrote, and spoke in Spanish, Hayes told the story of “Guapo, el gato” (Handsome, the cat), who was so sleepy that he never ate, even when his mother called him, and he became very thin. Hayes’ teaching method is called Story Listening, which ties together visuals and spoken and written words to teach children language through stories. With Story Listening, younger students build their listening and literacy skills, and, when they are ready, they read the stories they learn in class and other books of their choice. Hayes also uses Total Physical Response (TPR) in her classroom to get students up and moving. She says phrases in Spanish, like “dance the floss” or “jump like a frog,” and students act them out.