Tuesday, April 24, 2012

French Class vs. Spanish Class Cinco de Mayo Soccer Game!

If you are looking for a fun activity to do with your students for Cinco de Mayo other than having a "fiesta" in your class, I have a great one for you that I used to do with my students at the middle school, and at the high school. I got this idea from another Spanish teacher in the district, and then expanded on it. Since Cinco de Mayo is celebrated because the Mexicans beat the French in the Battle of Puebla, have the French and Spanish classes at your school challenge each other to a soccer game as a way to "reenact" the battle! After this activity, your students will never forget why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated! Here are some tips for setting up the event:
  • Communicate with the PE teachers at your school in order to reserve a soccer field for the school day. Since Cinco de Mayo is on a Saturday this year, you could schedule the event for Friday, May 4th.
  • Ask students to wear their country colors on the day of the match. We asked our French students to wear blue, and our Spanish students to wear Red. Since one of our Spanish teachers was from Spain, she had a lot of her classes dress up in red and yellow, but normally you would use the Mexican colors of red, and green.
  • Remind your students to wear, or bring tennis shoes!
  • One year, we even ordered T-shirts for the event from a local t-shirt shop. They cost about $10, and the students loved them! I think we sold around 150 shirts. The photos are below of the "croissants" vs. the "tacos" T-shirts :) 
  • I also brought in red and blue hair spray, and face paints. Students put these on before the games to show their team spirit! (you may want to double check with your administration to make sure this is OK).
  • The Spanish teacher/s and French teacher/s need to communicate about their class schedules in order to set up a game schedule for the day. One teacher can email out the schedule to all the other teachers, or put hard copies of the schedules in their mailboxes.
  • Each class period that there is a French or Spanish class, there will be a soccer match. For example, 1st period Spanish plays against 1st period French, and so on.
  • If one period has two Spanish classes, and no French classes, then those two classes can still play each other.
  • If there are two Spanish classes, and only one French class that period, you may think about inviting some of the other language classes to participate in the event and join the French "army". You could have the two Spanish classes, vs. the French and German classes for example.
  • Teachers can help referee the game, or join the students in playing. (I always played!)
  • You may also want to teach your students some vocabulary and team cheers, chants, or songs in the target language before the event. Here is some French soccer vocabulary and here are some Spanish terms
  • If you have students who really don't want to play, then you can require them to be "cheerleaders" and use the target language. 
  • If you feel you need to assign points for participation, you can give students points for wearing the proper attire, participating in the game, and/or cheering. 
  • The next day, or at the end of the day on the announcements, you can announce the scores for the day. Students love to hear that their team won for that period, or overall for the day. I will have to warn you that many times the Spanish teams do win because they tend to have more students and more subs, but not always. However, in a way this is kind of good, because the Mexicans won the Battle of Puebla :)

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