I taught Spanish 1 and 2 for 3 years after switching to TCI, and here is what I ended up creating–keep in mind that this is just what I did, and even if you are using my curriculum, you are free to do it differently than I did! Use the curriculum maps provided below to determine what you will need for next year, and purchase it tomorrow or Wednesday (May 3-4) to save 28 percent during the TpT Teacher Appreciation sale!

Spanish 1

I taught this over two years at the middle school level (Spanish 1A/1B), although many other units were mixed in there (some that you can buy, like holiday units, and some that I have not made available for purchase). I designed this curriculum backward from the novel ‘Esperanza’, using the vocabulary from the novel as the basis for this curriculum and linking each set of structures to a cultural topic. I would recommend teaching “Brandon Brown quiere un perro” and “Agentes secretos y el mural de Picasso” as novel units even before you reach Esperanza (and have your students read still other novels during free voluntary reading time!). If you want to make it through the full curriculum in one year, use the estimated teaching length in the following document to figure out which supplemental units you want to work with and which to skip. You could also bump Esperanza to the beginning of Spanish 2 if you run out of time in Spanish 1.

Spanish 2

When I started teaching this course to my 8th graders, it was a special course approved just for my students to get them a high school credit. This was because mine were the first students in the district to complete a full three years of Spanish at the middle school level. I had to align my 8th grade curriculum with the high school Spanish 2 curriculum so that my kiddos could get credit. They needed to be competent in past tenses, so each unit in Level 2 targets a specific past tense construction (-ar preterite regular verbs, for example).

SOMOS Spanish 2
Click on image to access Level 2 curriculum map

Also–if you are using my complete Spanish curriculum for Level 1 and/or Level 2, please join this Facebook group that Sara Chronister started. It’s a place where teachers that are using my curriculum units can share ideas and ask and answer questions.


14 replies on “What to teach in Spanish 1 and 2?

  1. Martina, I cannot say enough how much you have helped me with my transition from traditional to CI. I started five years ago and you have been with me every step of the way. I have seen you evolve with your activities and with each one that you put out for us, I am left even more amazed. Your activities are always spot on and they are truly a success in my class. The biggest stumbling block that I have is when I teach Spanish 2 to kids that come from traditional classes ( and these kids are mixed in with my CI kids). I feel like I have to start Spanish One all over again. The Super Seven and the Sweet Sixteen is usually where I start and from there I can take off. Your Spanish 2 Curriculum is perfect for those that come from a Spanish One CI to a Spanish 2 CI. I guess what I am asking is what would you advise to those of us that have this problem?

    1. I’d start off with Bryce Hedstrom’s La Persona Especial! It will get students into the feel of a TCI class and will introduce all the important verbs.

  2. Thanks for your awesome workshop today – this is what I was asking you about after 🙂 Quick question… do you think startin Brandon Brown quiere un perro earlier would be doable? Or do you think it is important to wait until after unit 18? I would love to try a novel earlier in the year – maybe a more simple one like Brandon Brown dice la verdad? or El capibara con botas?

    1. Oh you could totally do it earlier. And Brandon Brown dice la verdad would be even easier to do earlier. Capibara con botas is also a great early read, there is a bit more vocab that isn’t targeted with my units but the vocab is so limited that it would be easy to add those structures before reading.

  3. Thank you for your organization and awesome blog. I am a native speaker but I been frustrated for years on the lack of Spanish my students retain each year. For that reason, we are actually in the process of transitioning from a regular FL classroom to a CI classroom. This will be the first year that the whole department (2 teachers – hahaha) integrante CI in all levels at our school. I am not going to lie and just tell you I feel very overwhelmed but I find comfort in the fact that I have your curriculums to guide my way. We are actually going to use your Spanish 2 curriculum for my current Spanish 3 class. The idea behind that is that they have never been exposed to CI and to raise the level we need to ease them in. At the beginning I was hesitant to do that but I think it should be ok and as we continue to integrate CI in the classroom we will be able to raise the bar.

    That said, I am going to read three novels with them this year: Esperanza, Bianca Nieves y los 7 Toritos and La Llorona. Do you think that is a good mix? We started with a simple one to introduce them to reading in Spanish and increased the level as we move through the year. Do you think it is ok for me to do the novels as I complete your curriculum? We have 90 minutes blocks and I don’t want to cramp 2 of your lessons in one to make a full 90 minutes lesson. I was going to divide the class in two sessions of 45 minutes (Spanish 2 curriculum 1st half and Novels 2nd half). What are your thoughts? Well, thank you for all your help! I am doing this thanks to your hard work!

    1. I would recommend doing the novels on their own–spending all of class time working with them while you read them. Otherwise, it gets too drawn out and students lose interest. Other than that, sounds like a plan that should really work!

  4. Hello Martina, I absolutely LOVE your lessons as they really help me as attempt, attempt and re-attempt to use CI into my classrooms. I am wondering where you would recommend teaching Brandon Brown Dice la Verdad in your curriculum. I don’t get my students a whole year. In seventh grade I have them a quarter and I use your first five units. In eighth grade I have a mixtures of those who took 7th grade Spanish, and a mixture of those who did not and I would like to use the novel Brandon Brown Dice la Verdad. I found teaching Brandon Brown quiere un perro too difficult for new beginners. Any thoughts? Advice? Thank you.

    1. I LOVE Brandon Brown dice la verdad!! It is best to read a class novel when it is EASY for the students to read through it all–not stopping between chapters to introduce many new words. So, depending on pacing…midway through 8th grade? Maybe even at the end of their 8th grade year?

  5. Martina, have you used any of this or heard of others using it with adults? I’m referring to Somos and the TPRS novels. Gracias de antemano!

  6. What length of class is the recommended pacing/lesson length based on? I have my HS level 1 kids 90 min every day for one semester.

    1. The lessons were written for 45-50 minute class periods that meet every day for a full year (2 semesters), and there are many teachers that use them on a block schedule and/or a semester schedule. I’d recommend connecting with them in the SOMOS Collaboration group so that you can see how they adapt!

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