The end of the year is tough, I know! Students are simultaneously exhausted and buzzing with energy… thank you, sun! You need lesson plans that teach themselves, and I’ve got one plan that will do just that.
Try out this no-prep, hands-off “3 – 2 – 1” lesson for current events… or any texts!
3-2-1 News Article Lesson Plan
All you need for this lesson plan is a pile of articles (or other texts). An easy way to do this is to print out a past subscription to El mundo en tus manos – each year gives you about 100 articles that are written for Spanish language learners to understand.
Choose 3 articles
Tell your students to sort through the pile and pick THREE articles that look interesting to them. El mundo en tus manos is great for this, because the articles are about such a wide range of topics: sports, animals, politics, entertainment, science and technology… there is something for everyone!
Write 2 sentences
Once students have their three articles, have each student write TWO sentences about each article: one saying why they like it or find it interesting, and one summarizing the topic of the article.
Depending on students’ proficiency level, you could require them do this in their first language or the target language; or you could let them choose. The INPUT (reading the article) is the most important thing about this activity, so the language for their writing in this step ultimately doesn’t matter. If you DO require them to write in the target language, consider giving them sentence frames in your target language such as “I like this article / I picked this article / This article interests me because… “.
Create 1 Smash Doodle™️
Finally, tell students to pick the ONE article that stands out to them the most and create a one-pager or Smashdoodle™️ about it. What is a Smash Doodle™️? Well… it’s an assignment I came up with a number of years ago that combines elements of smash books and doodle notes. The idea is that students are writing, drawing, AND scrapbooking (gluing on small items) to create a one-page representation of a text. The Smash Book/scrapbooking element isn’t very practical for language teachers, though, so at this point when you see the term “Smash Doodle™️”, it really just means that students are combining handwritten text and hand-drawn images on a single page to show what they understood or how they connected with a text or topic.
Read this blog post to learn more about Smash Doodles™️ »
Download Smash Doodle™️ starters
For many students, the most challenging part about creating a Smash Doodle™️ is being creative with it. They know that they want the page to look fun, but they’re not really sure how to get started.
I’ve got a FREE pack of Smash Doodle™️ starters that you can download and print for your students. Have them choose one of the pages to use as inspiration for creating their one-page Smash Doodle™️ about the article that they chose for the final step of this 3-2-1 lesson plan!
The Smash Doodle Starter pages can also be accessed in the ‘Forms’ folder of the Subscriber Library.
When you try out this lesson, be sure to tag @comprehensibleclassroom on Instagram or @martinabex on Twitter to share your students’ work with me!
4 replies on “No-prep lesson plan with news articles”
Is there a French version of “El mundo “?
Yes, Toward Proficiency publishes Le petit journal francophone!
Hi, Martina! So I just purchased Smash Doodles from TPT. There is no way to take a template and type on it or draw on it using a computer? Maybe that is defeating the purpose, but it interests me. Thanks!
Hi Bronwyn! We can totally work on getting something like that added!!