Sneak peek: Here’s a fun way to teach the creative writing concept of personification with your heritage speaking students!
Netflix has put out a really neat documentary series about different types of tacos in Mexico. They even explain some unique taco varieties that my students had never heard of like tacos de canasta.
When I watched this series, I instantly saw a great opportunity for teaching students about personification. The narrators in the series speak passionately as though they are the tacos themselves, bringing to life the personality of each taco. The creative explanations of the tacos are really engaging and my students enjoyed watching it… although it did make them hungry!
I already planned on having students do a food project, so I decided to begin the mini-unit on food with a couple episodes of Taco Chronicles. We watched the first two episodes using these question sheets and I began pointing out the personification used by the narrating voices.
Here is a summary of what our two-week schedule looked like (keep in mind that my class periods are 57 minutes long and we begin class with 10 minutes of free reading every day).
Taco Chronicles episode 1. Discuss what personification is and have students explain how this writing style is used in the documentary.
Taco Chronicles episode 2. What human-like characteristics does the taco give to himself?
As a class, we practice the creative writing principle of personification, students create posters of a family favorite recipe and later practice their public speaking skills in presenting these posters to the class (more details and instructions for these days are included in proyecto de la comida).
The final day is, of course, a class party! The party is the chance for students to actually cook and bring in their recipe for extra credit and for building rapport among the class.
If you need some tips on how to throw a great class party, check out this blog post.
If you want to teach this mini-unit on food, you will need:
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