Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Foreign Languages K–12

A Library of Classroom Practices

Latin: Music and Manuscripts
Connect to Your Teaching

Reflect on Your Practice
As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.

  • How do you balance enrichment activities with analytical activities?
  • How do you use content to promote higher order thinking, even as students are developing communication skills?
  • How do you design group work so that students remain on task and move smoothly through the assignment?
  • What aspects of culture can you teach so that students experience making a product or doing a practice? How does this experience further understanding?
  • How do you help students interpret literature as both a cultural product of another age and as a source of ideas for today?

Watch Other Videos
Watch other videos in the Teaching Foreign Languages K-12 library for more examples of teaching methodologies like those you've just seen. Note: All videos in this series are subtitled in English.

Politics of Art (Spanish) illustrates cultural experiences students can simulate in the classroom. Interpreting La Belle et la Bête (French) is another example of using interdisciplinary content, different media, and adaptations of authentic texts.

Put It Into Practice
Try these ideas in your classroom. Where it’s not already evident, reflect on how to adapt an idea that targets one performance range for application to other performance ranges.

  • Introduce topics from different disciplines that use material in your target language or are associated with the target culture. Ms. Dabbieri used lyrics from Mozart's operatic aria and illuminated manuscripts to connect to the Cicero text. Brainstorm a list of topics from the arts, history, geography, science, and more, that might integrate with an authentic text you are teaching. Or introduce adaptations of authentic texts (for example, the musical Rent from the opera La Bohème) to enrich the text and appeal to student interests and their multiple intelligences.
  • Use the Cultures standards to help students relate products and practices to culture. When students understand cultural perspectives, they are more likely to abandon stereotypes. Ms. Dabbieri moved from a tangible product -- the illuminated manuscript -- to the practices associated with its design, in order to help students understand why it was highly valued in Roman and medieval society. To organize your thoughts, draw a triangle and label one corner of the base "products" and the other corner "practices." At the peak of the triangle, write the word "perspectives." Then hypothesize about the values and attitudes of the culture rather than idiosyncratic practices of individuals. Once you organize this triangular framework, you can easily design a lesson incorporating products, practices, and perspectives.
Image of triangle

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