Back-to-school Resources for Spanish Heritage Speakers Class

Sneak peek: Low prep to Back-to-school resources for heritage Spanish class to start your year off with a bang!

The first few weeks back to school are an adjustment for everyone. The month of September is a blur! For me, the whole month is spent operating at a blistering pace simply trying to learn new names, set classroom expectations, and remember to pack my lunch. Not to mention, that early alarm clock can be dreadful if we’re being completely honest. 

Going back to school may be a grind, but the good news is I have some ready-to-go lessons you can use to help ease you back into your heritage speakers class. If you are the type of person who believes spending a little money is worth it if it saves you loads of time in regards to planning and prep, then this post is for you. 

Here are some getting started lesson ideas for you:

Editable Syllabus

This syllabus is designed specifically for heritage Spanish class! I have three different versions, each pertaining to a particular year-bundle you might be teaching: Year One, Year Two, and Year Three. Your students will love the visual design and don’t worry, the text is editable so you can customize it for your class.

These are included in the Ascendencia Year-Long Curriculum Bundles.

Hexagon Connect Icebreaker

Trying to ensure you have a fun way to quickly get to know your new group of students? This hexagon connect icebreaker resource uses hexagonal thinking and doesn’t require a lot of language output from students. In fact, depending on preference, students can choose to solely draw images instead of adding any text. Great for the beginning of the year jitters!

Students will color and cut out their hexagon according to the instructions on the worksheet. When they are finished they should share with their table-mates or elbow-partner about what they included on their hexagon. Next, students connect their hexagons in small groups by finding something they have in common with someone else in the group and matching those sides together. When everything is said and done, this activity additionally serves as a great way to create a colorful bulletin board as a class.

This is not included in any of the Ascendencia Curriculum Bundles.

Todo sobre mí

Here you have a digital student survey.

I loooooove this resource because it helps me learn more about my student’s particulars. Let’s face it, learning 150+ names is difficult on its own, not to mention… birthdays, hobbies, and family information all in the first week of school. So, since the survey is digital, all of that information that helps me be a more thoughtful and considerate teacher, is saved in my grade book in case I need to pass back over it again later! 

I narrowed down all of those get-to-know-you questions to ones I actually want to remember about my students because they help me understand them better.

To each their own, but I’ve found it to be most effective to implement this resource by assigning it to my students in our learning management system and then using the slides for interview content with each of them.

Once students are finished creating their slides, I ask each student to sit in a chair by my desk as I pull up their slideshow on my computer (while the rest of the class is working on drawing their life journey project (la historia de mi vida). Doing this one-on-one interview seems to additionally act as a way of normalizing students approaching me with questions as we’ve now already connected on a more personal level. It helps me get out from behind the huge class sizes that have been growing larger each year, and really establish a personal connection with every student. 

Flipping through their slides, I ask them follow-up questions to better understand them, grading their work along the way as I conduct the informal little interview with them. You could also have each student present their slideshows in small groups or to the class.

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Two Curriculum Bundle.

First day of school questionnaire

Sometimes you just need the first day to be quick and easy. The questionnaire serves as a trusty worksheet to survey your students. It’s a 2-page printable worksheet designed specifically for heritage Spanish speakers. 

This is included in the Ascendencia Year One Curriculum Bundle.

Quién soy yo

In this lesson students create a slideshow presentation about their life to share with the class. Instructions & rubric included! This one will take your class one week to complete. I also went ahead and included an English version and a Spanish version so you could even use this with L2 classes as well. A nice and easy project to start off the year.

This is included in the Ascendencia Year One Curriculum Bundle.

La historia de mi vida

This FREE icebreaker activity is a hit! Students draw their life journey on 11 x 13 paper and then use their drawing to share about their life in small groups. You can read more about this project in this post.

This is included in the Ascendencia Year One Curriculum Bundle.

Crecemos en comunidad

In small groups, students list things they all have in common in the flower pot, while listing what makes each person in the group unique on one of the leaves. I love this because it requires each student to participate in the group. Students have a shared mission and conversing is required! Grab these worksheets for FREE here.

This is not included in any of the Ascendencia Curriculum Bundles.

El examen del español con Pero Like- an activity for heritage speakers class!

This FREE worksheet accompanies a Youtube video by Pero Like. It’s nothing serious, just a fun activity to do with your class. Play the video and have students fill out the worksheet at the same time. Easy peasy and relatable!

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Two Curriculum Bundle.

Los dos lados de mi vida

The purpose of this assignment is to introduce the concept of hybrid identity to your heritage speaking students. It is available for FREE in a printable version and a digital version. Students draw their Spanish speaking flag on one hand and the American flag on the other hand. In each hand they write cultural elements from that part of their identity. This is a fan favorite and many people comment that they use this year after year because it is such a hit with their students!

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Three Curriculum Bundle.

Poema acróstico

Perfect for creating a gallery wall or bulletin board in your classroom, students highlight words that define their identity and then create an acrostic poem using their first or last name. They draw and color each of the items they listed in their poem making it classroom decoration ready!

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Three Curriculum Bundle.

FVR Wishlist & Tracking Sheet in Spanish

If you have an FVR library, this wishlist and tracking sheet is a fun way to start out FVR with your class. Get them interested in what you have in your library with this worksheet. Students will take turns exploring the library and writing down books they would like to read this year.

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Three Curriculum Bundle.

Monarch Butterflies & Frida Kahlo Readings, Icebreaker & Bulletin Board

A two-day lesson for heritage speakers that includes an icebreaker, two readings, and bulletin board materials about Monarch Butterflies and Frida Kahlo. Icebreaker, content, and a bulletin board all in one? Yep, you heard that right!

Here’s what teachers are saying about this resource:

“I love the combination of monarcas and Frida Kahlo in this unit. So culturally-focused! I’m thankful for this unique activity to make a beautiful classroom display around Día de Muertos.” – Shanna C.

“My students really enjoyed this activity. I have heritage learners mixed in with my non heritage learners which made this activity especially great. I needed to build a bulletin board and the butterflies were beautiful.” -Anne Haffey

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Two Curriculum Bundle.

First week of school

If you are interested in lesson plans for the entire first week of school for heritage Spanish class, you can find some here and I also have a blog post where I explain them in detail. I love using the emoji grouping cards to lower everyone’s stress finding a seat on the first day.

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Three Curriculum Bundle.

Bilingual Struggles for Heritage Speakers Class “LA LUCHA ES REAL” BUNDLE

This handout has a lot of tweets about the struggles of being bilingual. What a great way to get students talking about the struggles and beauty of knowing two languages! This lesson is very relatable for Latino students who feel insecure about their Spanish skills.

This is included in the Ascendencia Year One Curriculum Bundle.

Dados de conversación #1 Advanced Spanish Conversation Dice Icebreaker

An icebreaker activity that inspires conversation between partners. Students roll dice to determine which conversation question from the section they need to respond to. There are a total of five sections (30 potential conversation questions). I also have more where this came from if your students like this activity!

This is included in the Ascendencia Year Two Curriculum Bundle.

Ascendencia Heritage Speaker Curriculum Scope & Sequence Preview

Interested in seeing what my entire curriculum includes? View this free Scope & Sequence preview to see the curriculum map of the Ascendencia year-long curriculums for heritage Spanish.

Pssst…don’t forget to grab my Digital Get-to-know-you Survey, Digital Comprehension Assessment, Mini Interview Template, and Emoji grouping cards from my free resource library

And are we inbox friends yet? I have even more free resources to send you via email if you become a subscriber (by signing up for my free resource library you will automatically be enrolled).

For more icebreakers for heritage speakers class, check out this blog post.

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