Los insectos (Insects)
Lesson 01: ¿Qué sé sobre los insectos?

Submitted by Mary Bartolini


Students will...

  • Demonstrate their prior knowledge of insects.


Language: Content Obligatory
Students learning through L2 and L1
Students will:

  • Use the first person singular of the verb saber (to know) to express their knowledge about insects with the expression yo sé que … (I know that…)
  • Use nouns and the corresponding definite articles related to the topic like los insectos, las patas, las alas,el tórax, la cabeza, las antenas, el abdomen, los animales, etc.
  • Use verbs in present tense (tener, ser, vivir, cambiar, comer, picar, etc.) and adjectives (pequeños, verdes, rápidos, uno, dos, etc.) to complement statements about their insect knowledge.
  • Use the phrases estoy de acuerdo/estoy en desacuerdo/no estoy de acuerdo to express agreement or disagreement about insect knowledge.

Students learning through L1
Students will:

  • Use adjectives (algunos, todos, ningún, etc.) to specify insects characteristics like algunos insectos viven en el agua, todos los insectos tienen patas, ningún insecto tiene huesos, etc.
  • Use the verb poder to express what insects can do like algunos insectos pueden picar, los insectos pueden volar, etc.
  • Reach the above objectives without or with minimal grammatical mistakes and with much rich vocabulary.

Language: Content Compatible
Students will:

  • use the third person singular of the verb ser to present animal names (es un tigre/ es una vaca/es una abeja, etc.).
  • use common nouns and the corresponding indefinite article to name animals (un canguro/una libélula/una mosca, etc.).
  • use the adjectives vertebrados/invertebrados to name animal groups (animales vertebrados/animales invertebrados).
  • use the conjunction porque, the third person singular of the verb tener, and the plural form of the noun hueso to create affirmate or negative compound sentences (es un animal vertebrado porque tiene huesos/ es un animal invertebrado porque no tiene huesos).
  • use complete sentences (usamos voces bajas, compartimos el material, tomamos turnos, escuchamos las indicaciones, somos amables, nos ayudamos) to express rules of working in groups.

Students learning through L1
Students will:

  • use the demonstrative adjetives éste/ésta to present animals’ names (éste es un perro/ésta es una abeja).
  • use the verb pertenecer and the noun grupo to express belonging to a group like un perro pertenece al grupo de los vertebrados.
  • use the phrase porque tiene una columna vertebral to explain the rationale of their choice.
  • use the phrases es tu turno or te toca a ti to indicate turns inside the group.
  • use the pronouns and yo, and the adjectives primero, segundo, tercero, etc. to organize group work like tú primero, tú segundo, yo cuarto.

Learning Strategies / Social and Skills Development:
Students will...

  • Group/Classify
  • Use selective attention
  • Use background knowledge
  • Use cooperative learning activities

Time Frame:

50 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • T-chart (see attachment 1)
  • KWHL chart (see attachment 2)
  • Checklist (see attachment 3)
  • Poster or transparency: Trabajos en el grupo (see attachment 4)
  • Poster or transparency: Pasos para el trabajo en grupo (see attachment 5)
  • Flashcards or plastic animals.
  • Pencils, crayons, markers and paper.

Description of Assessment (Performance Project):

Preview Phase (Into) (Cloud et al.,Kucer et al.):

Activity: La bolsa misteriosa

Students take out plastic animals or animal flash cards from a mystery bag. Teacher asks for animal names and students answer using a complete sentence (es un canguro/ es una abeja, etc.). Teacher presents a T-chart and asks students to classify the animals into two groups: vertebrates and invertebrates (group/classify). Students place animals in the corresponding group and explain their choice with a complete sentence (es un animal vertebrado porque tiene huesos/es un animal invertebrado porque no tiene huesos). Teacher asks students for the name of the invertebrate group (purposely only insects) and writes it down as the title of the KWHL chart. Teacher presents the chart and explains to students that from that day on the class will be learning about insects.

This KWHL chart should remain in a visible place during the development of the unit. It would be very beneficial to refer to the chart during future lessons. This activity could be done using Inspiration. With this program you can create a KWHL chart using pictures and words. You can connect your computer to your television and all the class would observe the chart.

Focused Learning Phase (Through) (Cloud et al.,Kucer et al.):

Activity: Trabajando en grupos

Previously, the teacher forms groups of four students who will work together during the development of the unit. Students will share responsibilities in the group:

- Un director/una directora: a Spanish speaker student who will be the group leader and the language facilitator.
- Un escritor/una escritora: a student who will be in charge of writing ideas of group members.
- Un artista/ una artista: a student who will be in charge of drawing the group’s final product.
- Un lector/una lectora: a student who will be in charge of reading and presenting the final product to the class.

Teacher announces that students will work in groups of four persons during the time of insect study. With visual help, teacher explains the responsibilities of each member and assigns the groups. Teacher asks students to state the rules of working in groups (these should be develop since the beginning of the school year).

Once groups are ready, teacher explains the first group activity: making a poster writing what we know about insects.

1. The group should focus on the word insects (use selective attention).
2. Each member should think about what they know about insects (use background knowledge).
3. The director will assign turns to each member to express his/her ideas and will help with the Spanish.
4. Each student will say what he/she knows and the writer will write down ideas to make a poster with this information.
5. The artist will decorate the poster.
6. While the artist is working, the reader will read the requirements of the checklist presented by the teacher and the rest of the group will revise the poster to address the requirements.
7. The reader will present the ideas to the class and paste the poster on the blackboard.

Teacher walks around the room to observe student interactions and to guide the process.

Expansion Phase (Beyond) (Cloud et al.,Kucer et al.):

Teacher explains to the students that they will choose the ideas that will be included in the first part of the KWHL chart. To do so, teacher will read each idea in the posters and both (teacher and students) will mark the ones that will be included in the KWHL chart. Students could use the phrase estoy de acuerdo/ estoy en desacuerdo/ no estoy de acuerdo while teacher is reading each idea. In case of disagreement, the student who gave the idea could clarify and explain his/her rationale.

If possible, some commonalities could be found between the ideas of each group and could be summarized in the KWHL chart. Teacher can also go through some ideas that could be wrong and clarify them.


Observation of student interactions during group activities to check if Spanish is used, if students are working according to their roles, if students are focused in activity.

Revision of posters to check if the checklist requirements were accomplished.


NOTE: some attachments are in PDF form (get Acrobat Reader)

Attachment 1: T-chart
Attachment 2: KWHL chart
Attachment 3: Checklist
Attachment 4: Poster/Transparency - Trabajos en grupo
Attachment 5: Poster/Transparency - Pasos para el trabajo en grupo