The Chinese and Japanese teachers in our district have these awesome illustrations where students "climb" the Great Wall of China or Mount Fuji from novice low up to intermediate. But us Spanish teachers didn't have anything nearly as cool and culturally relevant. So this summer I decided to make a proficiency level pyramid using Chichen Izta in Mexico.
I introduced it to my fourth and fifth grade this past week and they loved it! I printed one large one in color to put on my bulletin board and each student got a half sheet in black and white to keep in their folders. I explained that even in English we aren't born speaking in complete sentences. We are at the top of the pyramid in English but at the bottom in Spanish working our way up.
We also looked at pictures of the real Chichen Itza and reviewed the taco rubric from Mundo de Pepita. Both the pyramid and the taco rubric really gave them good images to associate with their learning in Spanish class. And I know it was working when they asked me how they could get to intermediate. Do you talk about proficiency levels with your students? How do you explain them? Share in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #earlylang!
Get the large version here.
Get the half sheet student copies here.
Clip art by Phillip Martin - check out more great clip art here.