In Spanish, it is common to use recipes or how-to’s to practice Imperatives/Commands (corte, pele, pique,…). The usual scenario would be to ask students to choose a simple recipe and use either formal or informal imperatives to then show the class how to make it.
Are you wondering how to add the technology twist to this activity and have students really enjoy practicing Imperatives/Commands?
The answer is Snapguide. Snapguide is an app (available for iphones, ipads and ipods) that allows you to create beautiful “how – to” guides of any sort. It is as easy as snapping or uploading pictures and writing the appropriate text for every image. It also allows video.Guides can then be viewed both on mobile devices or on the web. They are saved under the account you create.
Below is a Snapguide I just made on “How to make authentic Colombian café con leche”. When viewed in a mobile device it looks like a beautiful flip-through guide. It is not yet possible to embed guides, therefore, please click on the image below to be taken to the guide.
How I would use Snapguide in my Spanish classroom
The app is new, so I have not used it in my classroom yet. But I will be posting updates as soon as I do. In the meantime, these are some ideas:
- Recipes: show a short video recipe in Spanish (preferably of a Hispanic country). Ask students to write down all the vocab related to recipes and food. Brainstorm as a class and write the words on the board. Classify these words as nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Leave the list on the board. Have your own short Snapguide recipe ready. Present it to students and go though every step orally. Again ask them to take note of any new vocab. Add it to the list on the board. Divide them in pairs and ask them to create a how-to of their favorite short recipe. Have printed short recipes in the classroom as a resource. Give them a clear guide of what should be included. It will probably take students a few lessons to complete the project. When ready have them present it in class. To adapt to different levels:
- assign a recipe: short easy recipes for beginners, longer more difficult recipes for advanced students.
- let then choose a recipe: advanced students who have more vocab could choose a recipe from their own country/region and also talk about similarities and differences with Hispanic cuisine.
- How to guides according to specific vocab: how to dress for winter (clothes unit), how to greet in Spanish,…
- Infinitives: commands can also be expressed using infinitives (cortar, pelar, cocinar). If you have not yet taught imperatives but want to get students started with the app, ask them to create their guides using “infinitives” (you could follow the same procedure explained in 1).
- Simple how-to’s to practice grammar and conjugations: for example how to conjugate regular -ar verbs in present, or -er verbs, or -ir verbs.
- Practice pronunciation: using the video option, students could make guides on how to pronounce certain words or sounds.
- How to remember things in Spanish: I find students are very good at coming up with tricks such as “play of words” or “acronyms” to remember Spanish rules. Have them create how-to’s of their favorite tricks to share with the class. The video option can be used here, so it is easier to swap and view guides without having someone there explaining. For instance, the “How to increase your Spanish vocab in an instant” guide shown below (click on the image).
Other Snapguide uses in the foreign language classroom
- Interdisciplinary projects: advanced students could take this project a step further and create guides that could be used in other subjects (i.e.: a science or math how-to’s in Spanish)
- Flipped classroom instruction: create your own subject matter how-to guides. Like the “How to pronounce “Qu+vowel” combinations” guide below and have students study them at home (click on the image to be taken to the guide).
How to use Snapguide Tutorial
A Snapguide on “How to use Snapguide” (click on the image to be taken to the guide)
- Tap & Drag: to reorder steps, tap on a step and hold, then drag to the desired place.
- Editing after publishing: click on “Me” at the bottom. Then click on the blue pencil that appears next to the guide name. Now add/delete steps as needed (click image)
- Privacy settings: you can’t control privacy settings, therefore, all guides will be available to the world after publishing. A good idea would be to create a class account and have ipads already signed in to this account before you give them to students.
- Sharing: A link to the guide on the web is always provided. Alternatively, sharing is possible through social media platforms such as FB, Twitter, g+ and Pinterest. Currently it is not possible to embed guides.
- Archive collections: to show future classes and use as a teaching resource archive the outstanding projects. You can also view all your guides online (@ snapguide.com)
- Differentiation: if a student has difficulty typing, it is possible to use “voice dictation” by clicking on the little microphone that appears on the text window (click image). Unfortunately, it only works with English right now.
- No voice recording: it is not possible to record your voice on guides with pictures, so if you need your voice heard use the video option.
Spanish Imperatives lesson: The Spanish omelette & el imperativo
How else would you use / have you used Snapguide as a tool in your foreign language classroom? Please share in the comment section below.