Lisa Howie, OFLA Executive Treasurer
Spanish Teacher, Smithville High School
I learned about this activity, like so many others I use, at an OFLA conference several years ago. Actually, I believe my colleague first showed me one in German and it took me a couple of years of hearing about it to try it. I did, last year, and my kids LOVED it. I used it in Spanish 3, but I know another teacher who used it in Spanish 1 and 2.
I wish I could give credit where it is due, but I searched all over the website SpanishPlans.org and I can’t find the author/owner of the site. Whoever you are: Thank you! This activity is so well-prepared that we don’t have to do anything and can implement it immediately, as this year’s bracket is already online.
So what’s the activity?! March MUSIC Madness in Spanish! The site has a bracket all prepared with the newest, cleanest, music in Spanish. (Of course, you should preview each song/video yourself and make your own decisions about appropriateness for your particular district and students.) When you go to the site, click on MMM22 and you will get to the main page. There are links to lesson plans, FAQs, voting and results. There are playlists for Spotify, YouTube and lyric videos. You can also see past brackets and winners from the last 8 years. Right now there is a qualifying round taking place, but that may be done by the time this is published.
When I used this last year, I played the two songs that are going head to head each day. (I actually just played half of each song, no videos, for the first round to save time.) Then the students followed the link I put on Google Classroom for them and voted. I gave them a paper copy of the brackets so they could write in their favorites and keep track of the winners. The next day we checked the national results and then listened and voted again. This is such a great activity to help break up the long month of March! And it’s an awesome way to find new songs and artists. But don’t wait. Voting for the first round starts on February 28th.
I use a lot of music regularly in my classes. When the tournament was over, we used the winner in class with a variety of activities for the next month. My seniors still break out with “Muchacha, muchacha…” from time to time. We were face to face last year, but if you have to go remote, this is a very easy activity to implement long distance. It can help build a feeling of unity among your students as they discuss their opinions and vote; seeing how their opinions are similar/different to their peers across the country.
Normally there is a German version but I haven’t been able to find it yet this year. There is a French one at https://www.maniemusicale.info/bienvenue. If you know of others, let us know on the listserv.