In Spanish 3 we have just begun our last unit of the year: ¡Ecoturismo! With spring break quickly approaching and interests waning, I wanted to do something that would spark some interest and enthusiasm for our new unit. A few years ago I fell in love with the movie 180° South. The movie (while mostly in English, unfortunately) is a documentary about a Jeff Johnson’s journey to Patagonia. He addresses the many environmental problems the area faces as well as what is currently being done to resolve these problems. While in Patagonia, Jeff meets with the founders of North Face and Patagonia brands who talk about their love for the area and their attempts to protect it. The references to brands my students are familiar with really drew them in! There are also some spectacular shots of the landscape.
See the trailer here.
Warning – The video does have a few instances where strong language is used. I watched the movie ahead of time and simply muted it at times.
The day before beginning the movie I did a lesson recalling any previous vocabulary we had learned to talk about the environment. My students did a unit on the city and the country and they were able to come up with an extensive list of terms during our brainstorming session.
Película y discurso
While watching the movie I gave my students a sheet of topics to consider for discussion after. Most took notes to use during the discussion. It took us about 3 days to what the movie and on the last day we arranged the desks in a circle and talked. My students were able to talk using only Spanish for an entire class period about the movie. Not only was I impressed, but my students were impressed with their abilities as well!
While the movie is mostly in English and did not provide my students with as much opportunity for listening as I would have liked, it did elicit some great conversation! My students also really enjoyed it and are now excited to learn about ecotourism and travel! I’m looking forward to the rest of the unit and so are they!