LEARNING STRATEGY: Use Real Objects
STANDARDS: Culture2.2, Comparison 4.2

A COLOMBIAN ARTIFACT: THE BOLILLO

Language:Any language. Example in Spanish

Proficiency Level: Intermediate

Brief description of the activity: Learners describe and compare a kitchen utensil that they are familiar with and a target culture kitchen tool that they may have never seen. They will gain cultural insight by writing a short paragraph comparing them and describing what each one is used for.

Objectives:

  1. Students will develop speaking skills.
  2. Students will practice the language used to describe objects.
  3. Students will explore target culture culinary products and practices and compare them to home culture culinary products and practices.
  4. Students will be able to use real objects to help them better understand and remember new information.

Language focus: Oral communication, Culture

Materials:a bolillo, a whisk

Procedures:

  1. Introduce the content
    Tell learners that they are going to describe and compare a kitchen utensil that they are familiar with and a target culture kitchen tool that they may have never seen. Then they are going to write a short paragraph about what each one is used for.
  2. Introduce and model the learning strategy
    Give learners the word for a spatula in the target language Try to describe it and invite your students to help you if they can. Then bring out a spatula and use it to help you describe it. Make sure you find more effective words when you have the spatula in your hand!

    Explain to the students that it can be easier to remember aspects of the target language and culture when you can actually see and touch real objects and artifacts. Tell them that you are going to give them the opportunity to see a real object and to touch it.

    Tell them that associating new terms and concepts with real objects like a whisk can help them learn more effectively. Using real target culture objects can also help them understand their own culture and the target culture by making comparisons and reflecting on the similarities and differences between various cultural products.
  3. Practice
    Show the class a bolillo. Ask them if they know what it is and what it is used for. Give the students an opportunity to look at and touch the utensil. Have them describe it in pairs and then guess what it is used for. If they are unable to guess correctly, tell them that it is used for stirring hot chocolate in Colombia and other Latin American countries. Then demonstrate how to hold and move the bolillo.

    Next, show the class a whisk and ask what it is used for. A student or the teacher will explain that it is used for whipping cream or eggs. Give the students an opportunity to look at and touch the whisk. In pairs, have them describe the whisk and then ask them to compare the whisk and the bolillo. How are they similar? How are they different? Why are they different? Have learners write a short description and comparison of the utensils.

    In a class discussion, ask learners to describe how using real objects helped them with the lesson.

Expansion

  1. Have learners do some Web research to find a Spanish recipe that uses a Bolillo.
  2. For an oral presentation, require learners to bring real objects to help them introduce and discuss the material.

Teacher Resources (to help teacher enhance activity):
You may have shops in your city that sell products from the target culture. You can probably find food products at your local supermarket.