So remember how I mentioned that I have an intern this quarter? Well, she’s awesome. It has been SO GREAT to have someone to talk through ideas with. Two brains are better than one, that’s for sure! We just finished a killer CI-friendly introduction to -AR preterite verbs (since I am backtracking and trying to do a systematic introduction of the preterite tense now that we’ve already read a novel in the past tense…oops).

We worked together to write this script (it was an embellishment of a story idea that one of my students wrote on a day that they were complaining that we never do interesting stories anymore) that focuses almost entirely on -AR preterit verbs, and Julia (my intern) suggested using this short film for a MovieTalk that pairs with it just beautifully.We wrote up a reading based on the action in the film that also includes almost exclusively -AR preterit verb forms. Flush it out with some targeted grammar activities, and voilá! A beautiful introduction to the -AR preterit conjugations. Download the five-day plans here. If you want, you could also add on these -AR preterite verb notes, although they are not included in the plans since many teachers don’t prefer to use them or have their own that they like to use already.

Click here to learn how to use a story script!



  • se acercó a – s/he approached (came close to)
  • se la(lo) llevó – s/he carried it away with him/her
  • vio que había – s/he saw that there was


  1. El muchacho se acercó a la muchacha porque ella era muy bonita.
  2. El ladrón agarró el diamante y se lo llevó.
  3. El hombre vio que había una camisa nueva en el clóset de su esposa.
  4. El bebé se acercó al perro, y el perro se levantó.
  5. Mi madre vio que había un mosquito en la sopa al restaurante, y por eso el camarero se la llevó.


Había una vez una muchacha que se llamaba Maya, y ella caminaba al parque para jugar antes de regresar a casa para comer con su familia.

Mientras caminaba, ella vio que había un animal en la distancia. Era una ardilla. Ella se acercó a la ardilla. Ella miró la ardilla y pensó, «Esta ardilla es preciosa. ¡Voy a llevármela!» Ella agarró la ardilla, la besó y se la llevó.

Entonces, Maya caminó un poquito más con la ardilla y vio que había otro animal en la distancia. Era una vaca. Ella se acercó a la vaca. Ella miró la vaca y pensó, «Quiero leche. ¡Voy a llevármela!» Ella agarró la vaca, la besó y se la llevó.

Entonces, Maya caminó un poquito más con la ardilla y la vaca y vio que había otro animal en la distancia. Era una mosca. Ella se acercó a la mosca. Ella miró la mosca y pensó, «Este pobre mosca no tiene amigos. ¡Voy a llevármela!» Ella agarró la mosca, la besó y se la llevó.

Maya caminó un poquito más con la ardilla, la vaca y la mosca cuando pensó, «¡Ay! Tengo hambre! ¿Qué hora es?» Ella miró su reloj y exclamó, «¡Ay! ¡Ya son las ocho de la noche! ¡Tengo que regresar a casa para comer!» Pero entonces vio que estaba en un bosque. Ella buscó el camino, pero no vio nada que reconoció. Ella caminó durante horas, buscando un camino. Ella tenía mucha hambre y tenía frío también. Ella no tenía comida ni tenía chaqueta. Ella pensó, «Si yo no encuentro comida, yo voy a morir». Entonces, ella miró los animales. Los animales miraron a Maya. Ella les dijo, «Lo siento». Entonces, ella mató a la ardilla y la comió. Ella mató a la vaca y llevó su piel como chaqueta. Pero ella no mató a la mosca porque no quería quedarse sola en el bosque. Ella vivió en el bosque con la mosca por cinco días, cuando por fin llegó la policía y la rescató.


There once was a girl named Maya, and she was walking to the park to play before returning home to eat with her family. While she walked, she saw that there was an animal in the distance. It was a squirrel. She approached the squirrel. She looked at it and thought, “This squirrel is cute. I’m going to take it with me!” She grabbed the squirrel, kissed it, and carried it away with her. Then, Maya walked a little more with the squirrel and saw that there was another animal in the distance. It was a cow. She approached the cow. She looked at the cow and thought, “I want milk. I’m going to take it with me!” She grabbed the cow, kissed it, and carried it away with her. Then, Maya walked a little more with the squirrel and the cow and saw that there was another animal in the distance. It was a fly. She apprached the fly. She looked at the fly and thought, “This poor fly doesn’t have friends. I’m going to take it with me!” She grabbed the fly, kissed it, and carried it away with her. Maya walked a little more with the squirrel, the cow, and the fly when she thought, “Oh dear! I’m hungry! What time is it?” She looked at her watch and exclaimed, “Oh my! It’s already 8:00pm! I have to get home to eat!” But then she saw that she was in a forest. She looked for the path, but she didn’t see anything familiar. She walked for hours, looking for a path. She was very hungry and very cold, too. She didn’t have food or a jacket. She thought, “If I don’t find food, I’m going to die”. Then, she looked at the animals. The animals looked at Maya. She said to them, “I’m sorry”. Then, she killed the squirrel and ate it. She killed the cow and wore its skin as a jacket. But she didn’t kill the fly because she didn’t want to be alone in the woods. She lived in the forest with the fly for five days, when the police finally arrived and rescued her.

21 replies on “La muchacha y la ardilla Script

  1. Perfect timing! I just started the preterit! I’m going to have to try to incorporate this, you always create such awesome stuff! Thanks!

  2. Martina, what level would you use this for? I have not introduced past tenses to my 8th grade Spanish 1 yet, but this might be a good way to do it? Or would you use with Spanish 2, who has already been introduced to pret/imp??

    1. Next year, when I am a better teacher than I was this year, I will teach it while introducing the past tense. I would teach high frequency irregular structures first (like fue, dijo, etc…I have individual plans to teach those verbs floating around on this site somewhere…) and then get right into this. The kids would need to have a fairly strong vocabulary already in order to recognize the verbs in here that are not target structures (agarra, besa, piensa, etc.), but I intend to use these plans to really dig into the preterite for the first time.

  3. You are already a great teacher: and inspiring teachers like me to embrace anything BUT the book we’re given!
    I have your webpage on my favorites: thanks so much for sharing!

  4. I downloaded these activities and it talks about -ar preterite notes. What are those and where do you have them?? I have looked everywhere. I am like you, I have worked with the preterite but have not officially introduced them. Sometimes I like to go over them without having to completely rely on those charts.

  5. The ones I use are on my TpT site, but you can use any -AR preterite notes that you have (every language teacher has them kicking around somewhere, right?!). I have really enjoyed the focused preterite study that we’ve been doing over the past three weeks–we’ve done storytelling, MovieTalk, horizontal conjugations…all of the typical CI tools, but my students are really doing a killer job with producing accurate verb forms since I have been systematic and intentional with the instruction. I need to work this into my Spanish 1 unit plans for next year with present tense conjugation! I am still doing just pop-up grammar with them, but I want to be more intentional to target specific constructions in each unit. We’ll see…

  6. Hi, I just bought your plans for introducing the AR preterite, but in the story script, it’s half in the imperfect. I’m not sure what the curriculum looks like at your school, but for us, spanish 2 starts the imperfect at the end of this year. do you have any suggestions on how to change your plans to accommodate this?
    Thank you!

    1. You should be able to use the terms without teaching the imperfect–the words that are used are regular, and kids understand the meaning even if they haven’t studied the grammatical concept. If they DO notice and are curious, just put the terms on the board with translations (caminaba – she was walking). With TPRS, we shelter vocabulary but not grammar. Kids can make sense of more than we give them credit for!! I had never studied the imperfect when we did this script, and so I just didn’t focus on the imperfect terms. The time period (past) was established by teaching ‘había’, and they are so comfortable with the verbs ‘caminar’, ‘llamarse’, etc. that when they hear those stems, they get it.

  7. I just started this unit again this year – it’s one of my favorites. This year I added a little “movie talk” even though it’s not a real movie. I saw a story on the news about a boy who was attacked by a dog, and a cat came and chased away the dog. The video of the attack is on youtube. Here’s the link: It fits the vocab for this story perfectly. I hope it can be useful to everyone – maybe just a little way to repay all the great stuff I’ve gotten from this blog!

  8. I’m confused as to why the short film Oktapodi is posted in La muchacha y la ardilla script. It has nothing to do with Oktapodi short film.

    1. The structures that are targeted with the script are the same target structures used to MovieTalk the short film–the great thing about teaching high frequency vocab is that you talk about all sorts of things using the same structures!

    1. This is an intro to preterite unit; so students are just being exposed to it. Contrasting the present tense movie talk with the past tense reading helps students to make connections between the two tenses!

    1. I don’t always…it depends on my goal for the lesson! Sometimes I’m reinforcing a tense, sometimes I do it in one tense so that I can contrast it with another tense in the activities that follow…

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