el fin del niño malo (Span 3 story)

forestI wrote this story for an intermediate level class (Spanish 3). During PQA and storytelling I use any verb form as it appears naturally. Students have explicitly learned about the present, imperfect and preterit (although not through a traditional grammar approach). They have been exposed to the subjunctive, because it comes up naturally in speech. Last year I didn´t make much of it, but this year I have decided that I will explicitly teach structures with all verb tenses embedded into them.

Structures: (you don´t have to teach them all at once)

no le hace caso: he doesn´t pay attention to her
sin querer: without meaning to, by accident
fíjate donde pisas: watch where you step
se fijó en algo: he took notice of something
pisa algo: he steps on something
las huellas: footsteps, tracks

PQA ideas (all in the tú form, but answers are commented on in 3rd person):

¿Tus padres siempre te hacen caso cuando quieres algo?
¿Qué haces cuando no te hacen caso?
¿Tus amigos te hacen caso cuando tienes un problema?
¿Qué haces cuando alguien no te hace caso?
¿Hay lugares donde quieres que nadie te haga caso?
¿Has pisado una serpiente? ¿un perro durmiendo?
¿Te gusta pisar los pies de los demás?
¿Qué pasa si no te fijas donde pisas?
¿Siempre te fijas en los cambios físicos de los demás estudiantes?
¿Has pisado la mano de alguien sin querer?
¿Qué haces para salir sin dejar una huella? )
(barrer el suelo, borrar las huellas)
¿Por qué querrías salir sin dejar una huella?
¿Dónde miras para buscar las huellas de una persona? )
(el suelo))
¿Dónde es fácil ver las huellas de una persona? )
(la playa)

Class story ideas (if nothing grows naturally out of the PQA process). Replace underlined variables with whatever the class suggests:

Billy es un chico que necesita desoderante. Tiene que cruzar un puente para ir a la tienda de desoderante, pero hay un problema. Hay un hombre loco gritando. Billy no quiere hacerle caso, pero el hombre loco grita mucho. El hombre loco está mojado debajo del puente, como un monstruo. Billy cruza el puente, pero también mira el hombre loco. El hombre loco le grita, «fíjate por donde pisas» pero Billy no le hace caso. Billy no se fija en el hueco grande y, sin querer, se cae al agua. Ahora Billy está debajo del puente, mojado, gritando como un loco.

(this could be repeated having several more students on their way to buy something ridiculous fall through the hole in the bridge because they didn´t watch where they were going).


The story is titled El fin del niño malo. Sometimes we do these at home, sometimes we start them in class. It comes with a list of target structures, boxes for students to make drawings (great for retells later), comprehension questions that mimic a circling session and two open-ended questions for creative expression. When these are passed in as homework I give the students a five question oral quiz; they have to get at least 4 of 5 correct or they do not get credit. I stress that their homework is to know the story, not fill in blanks; otherwise they often will just copy answers from each other. Click here to download the reading

A few days later I open this power point full of pictures that students made to illustrate the story. The pictures are not in order; we use this as a warm-up where students describe what was happening before, during and after each picture. It is a fine refresher so that the structures are reviewed quickly.

Extension ideas:

Juanes has a song about landmines called Fíjate bien (click here to open a page with lyrics and video). A great way to keep things compelling is to vary between goofy and serious subjects. The stanza that repeats throughout the song:

Fíjate bien donde pisas
Fíjate cuando caminas
No vaya ser que una mina
te desbarate los pies

1 comment

  1. This is great. Cute story, loving the handout you created. It’s my plan to do more advanced structures with my Spanish 3 this year as well, pulling mainly from the novels we’re reading (Vida y muerte, La hija del sastre) and hoping that we really get enough exposure before we get reading. My 3’s are still on mastering the basics — quería, tenía, era/estaba, etc. Wish I could do something like your lesson so early on! 🙁

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