Assessment: Technology and Transportation



This document outlines a series of three alternative assessments I would add to my culture unit on transportation in Madrid.  This overarching assessment will gauge the level of ability and comprehension students gained during the unit on transportation in Madrid.

Students will work in groups of two or three to complete the following assessments:

  • one oral assessment
  • two written/visual assessments

Each pair or group of students will be graded together using the rubric provided.  These assessment activities works to fulfill both interpretive and presentational communication standards by devising and recording their skits, while also allowing students to reflect on and implement specific products and practices of Spanish culture by learning Metro routes and watching Spanish commercials (ACTFL Standards 1.2 and 1.3, 2.1 and 2.2, respectfully).  The assessment also collaboratively meets ISTE NET Standards 1, 2, and 5 by allowing students to create and upload original documents; interact , collaborate and publish with their peers, while also exhibiting safe and responsible practices by using only protected accounts and trusted sites.

Using a Tumblr blog as a platform, students would perform and record a skit on flip videos or cell phones and upload it to my educational YouTube account (email address and password provided in the instruction outline).  Students would need to first create a Tumblr blog, assign the blog a domain name (their last names), and then if time, customize the site to enhance the look and feel of the site.  Each Tumblr site is password protected with a class-wide password, so only the students in classes and I can access the artifacts they upload for class.

The group’s first assignment is to script and perform a YouTube video, referencing a particular route on the metro.

The skit should:

  • be no more than three minutes long
  • include two verbs conjugated in the command form per person
  •  reference one metro line change
  • reference at least two metro stops
  • mention one Madrid landmark
  • incorporate commonly-used verbs associated with traveling on the metro (bajar en, subir en, cambiar linías, etc).

The skit should be grammatically sound and flow nicely.  After the skit is completed, each group will upload the assignment to their individual Tumblr blogs by first uploading their videos to my YouTube account.

After the video recording has been completed, students will use a free photo editing software (  to map the directions they gave or received in the video; using an up-to-date electronic copy of the Madrid metro (they each received a copy of this map earlier in the unit).  After editing the metro map to show these directions, each group will upload the edited map to their Tumblr sites along with a written list of the directions they gave or received in bullet point form.

For this activity, points will be awarded based on whether each group:

  • uploaded the map
  • gave correct directions
  • marked the map correctly
  • used appropriate metro vocabulary
  • successfully incorporated formal or informal commands in the written instructions.

Finally, students will design and upload an advertisement that they might find in the metro system.  First, each group will be required to watch three different television commercials that have aired in fairly recently in Spain.  Each of these commercials refers to the culture or city of Madrid, so their ads should also do this. Students will then be required to choose one of these commercials as a group and create at least one print ad for the company that they could imagine displayed in the metro stations throughout Madrid.

The completed anuncio(s) should meet the following requirements:

  • two verbs in the command form
  • be relevant to the people/culture of Madrid
  • accompany or play off of one of the three commercials shown in class, and lastly
  • be visually appealing to the masses.

To see these assessments in action, please feel free to visit my own Tumblr site.  I’ve also provided storyboards with screenshots below to convey a thorough step-by-step process to explain the procedure to students in my classroom.


PASSWORD: Teaching Second Languages


Technology and Transportation


Spanish Transportation Unit



This transportation unit serves to familiarize students with the many forms of transportation available in Madrid, Spain. I thought this unit had considerable value considering our current location, and that many foreign language students throughout the state of Iowa are not familiar with urban culture and may be traveling abroad or to eventually to another city from a relatively rural community.

An overwhelming number of foreign language students in my area are on the college track, taking courses that will eventually qualify them for admission to colleges and universities throughout the state and country. It is my hope that this until will familiarize them with many methods of public transportation, while also exposing them to the cultural norms and facets of transportation available to the public in Spain’s capital city.

From what I have observed in high schools, travel is a hot topic. If students continue taking classes at the high school level, many programs will offer a senior trip to a foreign Spanish-speaking country. Of course, these trips are generally quite pricey, and a lot of the financial burden relies on the students. As a future Spanish teacher, I hope to one day have the opportunity to travel with my Spanish class to a number of different countries. I believe it will be my responsibility to expose students to what they would expect when traveling to that region, regarding routines and rituals widely and universally accepted bythat specific culture. By introducing students to the many forms of transportation, I hope to engage students by using technology to immerse them in the culture, and allow them to explore and discuss their observations.

The purpose of this unit is not only to give them a topic they are excited to learn about, but also to provide them a means to compare their own experiences with another cultural perspective. This unit can also be adapted to examine the modes of transportation for a variety of Spanish-speaking countries and give students an opportunity to consider what traveling or eventually living in that culture would be like: how would they use these modes of transportation and how would their perspectives change?

The lessons in this unit are listed in order below:


And now a disclaimer of sorts: this unit is designed with the understanding that the students are already familiar certain vocabulary. Because this unit caters to a more advanced Spanish foreign language classroom, the students should already be acquainted with and tested over vocabulary pertaining to: pleasantries, colors and numbers, special prepositions, and vocabulary pertaining to travel and vacation. I have set these parameters after consulting the textbook my studentsare currently using (Blanco & Donley 2008).

Transportation Unit

ELL Lesson: September 11, 2001

Why Make a Lesson for ELLs on September 11, 2001?

september11blogWell, quite honestly, for a number of reasons:

First and foremost, we are entering an era where our students were very young or not even born when the planes struck the twin towers.   Although that day may remain vivid in our minds, our students will never comprehend the magnitude of that day unless they study it in a way that is both informative and tangible.

Secondly, the events of September 11, 2001 are a part of American history – and an important aspect of our culture.  As ELL instructors, it is our responsibility to not only advocate for these students, but also serve as understanding and knowledgeable ambassadors  of America and all it stands for.  By presenting reliable information in an organized manner, we can dispel myths and work to counteract stereotypes both inside and out of our classrooms.

Finally, after doing extensive research, I realized that the lesson plans founded by the 9/11 Memorial Foundation – although rich with information and creative resources – were also quite patriotic in nature.  Many ELLs come to our country with their parents, leaving behind distinct facets of their cultures, traditions, and routines.  With that said, I believe it is imperative for ELL students to understand the magnitude of these events on their own terms and from their own cultural perspectives in order for the events of that day to truly resonate on an individual and personal level.


September 11, 2001 Unit

My Musings on Teaching



I guess I’ll start this blog by introducing myself.  So…’ello World Wide Web! -I’m Elsabeth Hepworth (see fancy title above) and I am currently a second-year MAT student (working toward my Master of Arts in Teaching) at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  I decided to write this post because, quite frankly, I needed a place to share my thoughts and ideas.  Venturing into the world of education, I have so many frustrations, questions, observations and interests.  This is an ideal venue to showcase these queries – and hopefully a few of the triumphs, as well.

This idea came to me while I was surfing Pinterest and haphazardly repinning everything even remotely interesting to my teaching boards – I thought, perhaps I should return the favor.  Instead of hopping on the train of mindless re-pinning, why not contribute a little.

So without further ado, a little about this blog: over the past two years, I have been working toward a primary endorsement in Secondary English (in the state of Iowa, this means I will be qualified to teach grades 6-12).  I am also earning supplemental endorsements in Secondary Foreign Language (Spanish) and ESL (grades K-12).  I am a Simpson College graduate with bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish.  During my undergraduate years at Simpson, I was fortunate enough to spend a semester studying in Seville, Spain.  In the past two years, I have logged over 400 hours in classrooms ranging from elementary ELL and after-school enrichment programs, to high school Spanish and Reading Strategies.

My hope is that this blog will serve a number of functions: first, it will serve as a place for me to voice my ideas, insight, and frustrations as they pertain to education and the teaching profession.  With that said, I want this site to also be a refuge – a place where I can go to share not only my bad days – but the projects, units, lessons, and experiences that make this job so rewarding.   My hope is that you feel the same way when you come to this site.  I feel truly honored to be entering a profession where I have colleagues and peers the world over.

So welcome to Mrs. Hepworth’s Musings on All Things Teaching.