Here is a VERY basic outline of what I do in each of the classes that I teach. Every year it changes a little: new novels, new themes, new ideas. All of my classes are done by backwards planning from a novel and done in comprehensible input.
The first few weeks I do a Circling with Balls type activity. We talk about what they did over the summer working on the past tense. It is fun, totally personal, and all in the target language.
We read two novels: El Nuevo Houdini and Esperanza by TPRS Publishing We do many of the activities in the teacher’s guides that have a lot of great culture.
We also do a chapter or two in Cuéntame Más throughout the year. We watch the movie El Norte with Esperanza and talk about Guatemala. I also do a lot of songs, among them Senor Wooly’s Billy y las Botas and Billy y la bufanda.
Just like Spanish 2, during the first few weeks I talk about the students.
We read at least two novels: La Maldición de la Cabeza Reducida and Problemas en Paraíso. Again, I use the teacher’s resource guide for each novel which adds a lot of culture.
Movies: I show La Misma Luna, Motorcycle Diaries, Al otro lado, among others.
I do a thematic unit from Kristy Placido about Lo Sobrenatural. We also start El Internado, Laguna Negra.
We start out the year by talking about what they would do if they had a million dollars. This gets really fun, interesting, and a great introduction to the conditional.
We read at least three novels: Noches Misteriosas en Granada, Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha, and La Hija del Sastre.
With the novels we do culture themes such as the Spanish Civil War and the civil war in El Salvador.
We continue watching El Internado. Among the movies that we watch: Pan’s Labyrinth, Devil’s Backbone, Sin Nombre, and Voces Inocentes (all related to the novels and themes).
I do songs in every class as well.