Sioux Falls, SD
Doing the same old reading and writing exercises in class can make learning a second language kind of a drag. But one Spanish class at O'Gorman is making lessons a little more fun and exciting.
Colorful, sequined outfits are setting the scene for a crime these O'Gorman students need to unravel.
"You have to dress in character for the crime scene; that's part of the points," O’Gorman Junior Allie Vognild said.
The students are presenting a murder mystery with the added challenge of doing it all in Spanish.
"The whole project is coordinated in Spanish, so all of the questioning, all of the testimonies, all of those things are being done in the target language," O’Gorman Spanish teacher Kelly Brose said.
Spanish teacher Kelly Brose says a fun murder mystery is a way to engage the students and challenge their language skills, especially listening and speaking.
"It's actually a lot more difficult than I thought. We had to use a translator a lot, and then hearing the language is a lot different than reading it in a textbook," Vognild said.
Each member of the group has to memorize their testimony in Spanish, and then it's up to the audience to translate it and decide who committed the crime.
"The students really get to be creative. Use that side of their personality that the multiple choice tests wouldn't offer them an opportunity to," Brose said.
While the upper level Spanish exercise isn't easy, the students agree it will help them in their future goals.
"I think it looks really good on a job resume; just being bi-lingual can help you in a lot of situations later in life," O’Gorman Sophomore Sam Olson said.
"I think it's really beneficial to know the language, be able to speak it fluently," Vognild said.
It’s something that will stick with them, funny costume or not.
"They have just done a tremendous job of showing me their abilities," Brose said.