Student-art inspired review for Robo en la noche!


by Kristy Placido

In my school, we have 2 tracks for Spanish 2: College Prep and Regular. Since Michigan has a graduation requirement of the successful completion of 2 consecutive years of the study of a world language, my Spanish 2 students are coming to my classroom needing to pass the class and reach novice high proficiency in order to graduate. For many of my students who are weaker readers to begin with, this is no small feat. Many of them have developed a distaste for reading in general and have not experienced much success in school. For most of these kids, in order to acquire the most commonly used words and structures of the language, they need multiple exposures to a variety of texts, and, here’s the tricky part: I must get them to engage with the text.

One thing that I have found that gets my students more engaged is having them draw pictures in response to reading. They are not much for writing, but drawing is something they will do. I also sweeten the deal a bit by offering them a bonus point on their test if I select their artwork for use in a class activity or for the test itself!

I scaffold the way I collect their art differently in different classes. In my stronger classes, I give them a blank template. One the right side of the template they select events from the text itself and copy it down, and on the left side they draw an image of it. (Here is a free download of the template I created for my students to use!). For my weaker readers, I select excerpts from the text myself, write them on the right side of the template, and then photocopy it for my students to add their drawings. If I need to collect some art quickly, I may have each student draw one or two images. Last week, I was out for a day and had a sub and I had each student read and draw me 20 pictures as my sub plan. Lots of art to choose from! I encourage simple stick figures, and I generally in class use a variety of student art, not JUST the best examples!

I’ve included here a SAMPLE read and draw for you to try if you are teaching Robo en la noche. The complete activity is available in the Online Supplement to the Teacher’s Guide. (The Online Supplements are included now with all Teacher’s Guides from Fluency Matters. If you previously purchased a Teacher’s Guide for any of our Comprehension-Based Readers and would like access to the Online Supplement at no additional charge, simply send us an e-mail at We will verify for purchase, then send the access information to the e-mail address on file from the purchaser.)

How to use the listen and draw template:

Copy the included text excerpts (or write your own excerpts on the blank template). Give each student 1, 2, or more of these excerpts. To the left of each excerpt there is a blank area for students to draw the scene being described.

I like to assign each excerpt to multiple students because I am more likely to get quality drawings for each one. Encourage students to add as much detail to their drawings as they can. Stick figures are GREAT!

Collect the drawings/excerpts back. Select the best drawing for each excerpts and make one or several sets. Cut the excerpts and drawings apart carefully. If you like, laminate them for use in future years!

Next, have students in groups match the pictures to the excerpts and then put them all in order. I like to have groups then rotate to another group, check their work, then mix everything up and rotate to the next group and do it again! It makes a great multi-step and fun review of the reader!

I also use these drawings for many other activities and assessments! I snap photos of them using my phone, then I am able to paste them into a PowerPoint, Word document, Google Slides or Google doc.

◊ Here are some ideas:


Paste several student-created images into a PowerPoint or Google Slide. Project the images onto the wall or the whiteboard (I don’t recommend projecting onto your smartboard…you’ll understand why.). Divide the class into teams and play FlySwatter. Two students approach the projected images, each holding a flyswatter (use clean ones, please!). The teacher then describes one of the images in the target language. The first student to swat it wins a point for his or her team. Keep it fast paced and play for 5-10 minutes!

Feather game

Have students sit in pairs, on the floor or at a desk. Give each pair a set of images. They should place the images face-up between them and their partner. The teacher describes one of the images. The first student to touch the correct image gets to take it. The person with the most images collected at the end wins. In keeping with the Robo theme, buy some colorful bird feathers at a craft store and give each student a feather. Make them touch the image with the feather!

Marker game

Make a slideshow with one image per slide. I like to jazz up the hand-drawn images with clip art from Pixabay. Have students pair up and describe the images with their partner in the target language. Go through the slideshow again and play the marker game.

Online games

Take a bunch of different images and import them to an online game such as Kahoot or Quizlet. Create a game as you normally would, but with the student images! Here is an example of a Kahoot I made for my students. For this Kahoot, they had to listen to me! I made PowerPoint slides with 4 different images per slide. I saved them as .jpeg and uploaded them to my Kahoot. I then describe a different image to my students for each question and they race to select the image they think I am describing. Super fun! (If you want to use my Kahoot, the answers are D,C,B,A,C,D,B,D,B,D.)

*NOTE: Be sure not to randomize questions or answers for this Kahoot or it will be really messed up! 

Do you use student-created art in your classes? We’d love to hear more about it! Leave us a comment!

Kristy Placido
 is the editor of the CI Peek blog. She is the author of several readers for Spanish learners and presents workshops for teachers on teaching with comprehensible input. She has been using comprehensible input and acquisition-based approaches in her own classroom since 1998. Check out her blog at and follow her on twitter and facebook!

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