los medios de transporte-una actividad para nivel 1 ó 2

It’s easy to add a sustainability angle to an introduction or review of vocabulary for medios de transporte.

First, I give students this handout with drawings of  el monopatín, el coche, el metro, el tren, el autobús, a caballo, la motocicleta, la bicicleta, el crucero, el avión  y a pie.  I add the Spanish (nouns or nouns with verbs) underneath the drawings and sometimes I copy the same drawings on the back without the Spanish, so as they gain confidence students can describe the pictures without the prompts.  I project the handout on the board and students point to the pictures on their own handouts as I describe them.  If it’s a review, students can do this same activity in pairs with one student speaking and one student pointing–then they switch roles.

Next students cut out the pictures and work in pairs to group the medios de transporte according to categories I give them orally.  Pairs share their ideas with the whole class, noting and accounting for similarities and differences in their answers.  For example:  ¿Para qué medios de transporte necesitas comprar un boleto?  Pongan los medios de transporte en órden:  el más rápido al menos rápido (el más caro al más económico, etc.)  ¿Qué medios de transporte llevan muchas personas en un vehículo?  ¿Qué medios de transporte NO tienen ruedas?  ¿Qué medio de transporte es más divertido (menos divertido)?  ¿Más peligroso?  ¿Más seguro?  ¿Causa más estrés? ¿Prefieres? etc.    To end the activity I ask:  Pongan los medios de transporte en órden del medio de transporte que tiene la huella de carbono más grande al medio de transporte que tiene la huella de carbono menos grande.  Although “huella” is a new word, a simple drawing on the board makes it clear.  I’ve found that most students are familiar with the term “carbon footprint” in English and easily understand their task.  If they are uncertain, other students can explain.  (I’ve done this activity with Spanish 2 and it’s been good practice for the students to express themselves using the simple Spanish they know.)

The first time I did this I didn’t actually know the answer. However, the activity generated a lively debate and it turned out that a student who had given some surprising responses was right.  Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I presume that the greater the energy consumed, the larger the carbon footprint.  The chart below comes from the September 2009 volume of the magazine Nuestro Planeta published by the Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (also known by their English initials UNEP). You can find the complete volume and more free pdf files of their magazine here.

Another issue sometimes raised by students is contaminación vs huella de carbono.   For example, doesn’t the cruise ship pollute more / have a greater negative impact on the environment since it might be dumping its waste into the ocean?  Students can re-order their dibujos based on contaminación.  The point here isn’t necessarily to come up with THE right answer, but rather to help students begin to develop the habit of asking questions about how our actions impact the environment and each other.  Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be a “downer,” either.  Have fun and emphasize the positive.

About sustainabilityandspanish

Spanish teacher and accidental environmentalist.
This entry was posted in Ecological Living, Environmental Resources in Spanish, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s