– – – Para los profes – – –

  • Note: Students need computer/internet access for this lesson.


Download/Print/Copy the research chart for students

Daily Objective

Introduce the daily objective. You can use props, acting, and simplified language to explain it.

Step 1: Start class with the first email from Kate

This sets up the student project to research international houses.

Step 2: Show the site

Follow the link posted to show how to search for a house. You can type in a city/country or scroll down the page and click on regions like Central or South America.


Step 3: Show the sample notes page

Give students a notes page to jot down key info about the houses to help them make the online ad later.


Step 4: Give any specific expectations for the project

The requirements are broad so that you can give specifics later.

I always expect students to create at their proficiency level (novices can use bullets/lists, intermediates should write in strings of sentences/paragraphs). 

You decide if students can choose their own countries to research (which is motivating when they follow their own interests) or if you want to give them a certain country/city to research (which gives more variety in class later).

Check for Learning

Refer back to the daily objective.

You can mark their “Objective Sheets” if they can do it at their proficiency target.

If they are using the “Unit Vocabulary Sheet,” give them time to write down what they learned today.

Share your resources and ideas with the community below!


  1. hoffmanl@freelandschools.net

    Just wondering what some of the apps the students have used are? Any that you recommend?


  2. Monica Figueroa

    Yes I’m wondering the same thing. What are some programs or apps that my students can use to create an ad while using a laptop in class

  3. Kara Parker

    My favorite iPad/iPhone app was PicCollage – super easy, free and can do a lot
    For desktop/web – PowerPoint/Keynote, Canva.com, or Piktochart.com
    I also let them use what they want. Some have experience in Photoshop and more advanced programs.
    We’d love to share a few your students create if you want to email us a few!

  4. Samantha Page

    So I know you said that you grade the ad based on the proficiency rubric, but I worry that grading on proficiency alone won’t motivate kids to create a visually attractive ad.

    For instance, what if they’re writing is at the proficiency target (Intermediate Low), but all they did was type their paragraph? I feel like there should be some points for having pictures and putting effort into the design…how did you hold them accountable for creating something that required effort and was visually attractive? Like I’m confused about how to merge the proficiency rubric with other necessary requirements

    I had them draft their writing in paragraph(s) form on lined paper for 5-8 minutes during class and collected those that finished to give feedback. I don’t know if I should grade their writing now with the proficiency rubric and then give them a separate grade for the finished product: the ad????

    • Cybil Federer

      I don’t know if you had your questions answered, but I wanted to share what I did. I had determined at the beginning of the year how I would be grading, and I decided that I would weight my grades- 80% for proficiency, 10% for homework, 10% for other classwork. Adios Textbook talked about different ways to grade at this website: https://www.creativelanguageclass.com/idea-85-assigning-a-grade-to-a-proficiency-rubric/

      For this particular project, I decided to grade for Proficiency and Design. Proficiency is worth 80%, while Design falls under the “Classwork” category in my grading scale and is worth 10%.

      • Kara Parker

        Thanks for sharing what you did Cybil!

  5. Samantha Page

    Also, I want their text (a paragraph or more) to be broken up by pictures so it’s visually pleasing, but then of course I want them to have a few pages at the end that are just pictures so they can display those during their oral presentation. So I feel like I need to tell them that there will be an oral presentation, but I don’t want them preparing ahead of time for it or memorizing stuff…I feel like the writing itself needs to be graded using the proficiency rubric, and their needs to be a separate grade for a visually attractive ad that contains the writing, broken up by pics, in addition to a couple pages of just pictures for the presentation…

    I’m assuming most will use Canva.com….

  6. Samantha Page

    Sometimes it’s hard for me to distinguish Novice High Writing from Intermediate Low.

    All my students perform at least at Novice High in writing, because they all write complete sentences.

    Below is a sample from one of my strongest students. Would you say it’s Novice High or Intermediate Low, and why??

    “Esta casa tropical y privada está en Escaleras, Costa Rica. Tiene una vista muy bonita del el oceano porque está en la costa de Pacífico.

    Esta casa tiene mucho espaciosa para familia y amigos. Tiene cinco dormitorios y seis baños. Los dormitorios tienen un baño privado. Tiene mucho televisiones también.

    Esta casa tiene una cocina muy grande con mucho espacio con amigos.”

    It’s obviously at least a Novice High because the sentences are complete and very understandable. However, the sentences are still very simple. I don’t see many connector/transition words that would signal Intermediate Low…

    Any help would be much appreciated!!!!

  7. Samantha Page

    Ok, so I talked to my mentor and looked at the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines themselves, and I believe that sample, as repetitive and simple as it is, would be Intermediate Low.

    I’m using these quotes from the ACTFL Proficiency guidelines: “Novice High writers are able to recombine learned vocabulary and structures to create simple sentences on very familiar topics, but are not able to sustain sentence-level writing all the time.”

    Intermediate Low: “Most sentences are recombinations of learned vocabulary and structures. These are short and simple conversational-style sentences with basic word order. They are written almost exclusively in present time. Writing tends to consist of a few simple sentences, often with repetitive structure. Topics are tied to highly predictable content areas and personal information.”

    By these standards, I believe just about all of my students are at Intermediate Low, because, although their sentences are often simple and repetitive, they are consistently able to sustain complete sentences throughout their writing.

  8. Samantha Page

    How do you handle late work? Do you penalize a student’s project if it is not submitted on the due date?

    • Megan Smith

      This is a personal decision and depends on the school culture. I accepted late work – as long as it was turned in during the same unit. Better late then never, in my opinion! I think it’s important to be flexible because I knew that my class was just a piece of the puzzle – not their whole life.

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