Comprehensible Input, Novels

Diego’s Comprehensible Poetry for the Win! Lesson, resources, ideas & activities

It’s no secret, I really enjoy using reading, writing and using poetry in the classroom (see my previous post here on Free Voluntary Reading) This semester, I used one of Diego Ojeda’s poems from his poemario “Poesía gramatical”. You can pick up your copy at the retailers below.

I love the depth and yet simplicity of the poems and how easy they are to incorporate with any unit. While finishing up our unit on Hispanic Heritage Month (in October), I thought it would be a great idea to celebrate one of my fellow teacher educators: Diego Ojeda. You can find more information about his trailblazing work here:

Pre-reading activity

I always to have some type of bridge to the lesson. We embarked on the pre-reading questions and activities to help students gain a better since of the poem. The poem we studied was “¿A qué te dedicas? This poem is about the different professions that one can have.

  1. I asked them questions about poetry in general such as: ¿Te gusta no te gusta? ¿Tienes un poeta favorito? Many students are reading some type of poetry in English class so the responses varied.
  2. I asked them about what profession they wanted to pursue. Since we’d just finished the Super-7 verbs (within our previous unit), they were familiar with “quiero ser“.
  3. They looked up their future profession, wrote out a sentence and shared with other students. En el futuro, quiero ser__________. This was a great connection to the poem!
  4. I ALWAYS like to include some type of speaking. Therefore students went around asking the profession questions and writing down the responses of their classmates.
  5. What’s the picture below? The activities and a short biography I wrote about the author.

Pre and Post-reading Questions

Priming students for the actual poem

  1. Students skimmed the poem to make a list of cognates first. This is usually my first line of defense. It’s very important for them to see how much they know as it builds confidence.
  2. I pulled some of the more difficult words out of the poem, essentially, the words I knew they wouldn’t able to be able to define such as: hago, protejo, soy, quiero, and tengo. Students wrote several sentences with these new words. I had them follow the template below:
    • Yo hago________________ (something you do)
    • Quiero_________________( something you want)
    • Soy ___________________(personality description)
    • Protejo_________________ (something you protect and value)
    • Tengo __________________ (something you have)
  3. You can see some examples below.

I had them actually annotate and read the poem. We used the both cognates and new words to play Bingo.

Later, I read it to them. She my video below.

Post-reading activities: Getting to Know the Author!

I wrote this biography of Diego Ojeda along with some comprehension questions. The students really seemed to enjoy this lesson and learned a lot! I am looking forwarding to adding more poems to class as it’s a great way to expose them to creative language.

Click this link to access the biography and activities.

Novels and Resources by A.C. Quintero

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A.C. Quintero Literary Partners!

CIBookshop Europe

Fluency Matters

Teacher’s Discovery

Command Performance Language Institute

Teaching Spanish Made Easy (TPT) Catalog


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