Cameron Taylor in Japan has written a nice complement to the Natural Approach books. Here is his introduction to it:
Many of us are required to have standards, enduring understandings, essential questions, objectives, assessments, and can-do statements ready at a moment’s notice. It is sometimes difficult for our administrators, parents, learners and even colleagues to see what we do in our classrooms does meet the standards. Planning a unit or lesson can feel as if we are trying to put a square peg in a round hole! As teachers we do not have to feel frustrated just because our subject is different. We do meet the standards! Tina and Ben asked me to write a correlation of the activities presented in their book, A Natural Approach to the Year. I have compiled ACTFL World-Readiness Standards, Common Core / College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards, Enduring Understandings, Essential Questions, Learning Objectives, Assessment Evidence and NCSSFL-ACTFL Can Do Statements for each of the instructional activities explained in chapter 5 of their book. It is my hope, this will help you better communicate the learning that is happening and make it easier to write your unit and lesson plans.
ACTFL World-Readiness Standards
Not every activity meets every standard and you may adapt an activity to meet another standard. I have made suggestions to the right of each standard as to how you are meeting said standard. When in doubt, focus on the verbs in the standard to help you define what the learners must do.
Since the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards uses the word learners instead of students I have used learner throughout this book.
Common Core/ College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards
Like the ACTFL standards these are the suggested standards being met. They do not require for learners to be using the L2, however much of what we do in the CI classroom has a crossover. Keep in mind that learners do not have to meet these standards in their L2 at the same level as their L1.
Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions
The majority of these came directly from Jay McTighe’s Essential Questions for World Languages document that is free to download from his website. The link is in the references.
There are both language objectives and content objectives. I wrote general objectives that you can tweak to meet the needs of your class. I used Writing and Using Content and Language Objectives by Shoreline Schools to help me which I have cited in the resources at the end of this book. Keep in mind these are not the only objectives possible. These are suggestions. I recommend reviewing the Shorelines Schools document when writing your own language and content objectives. Tina also wrote many of the objectives listed.
Tina and Ben have written some great assessments in their book A Natural Approach to the Year. These are referenced in this book. They are very adaptable.
NCSSFL-ACTFL Can Do Statements
The new Can-Do Statements that came out in 2017 are much better than the previous checklist version. I highly recommend you download the free documents. The great thing about Can-Do Statements is that they can be rewritten and adjusted to meet what you are doing in the classroom. At times it was difficult to write new Can-Do Statements because it depended so much on how the activity would go. When in doubt as what to put on a board or in a lesson plan, use the benchmark statements, then during or even after an activity write out a new Can-Do Statement. Even have the learners get in on the creation. What can they now do that they couldn’t before? How are they meeting the benchmark? This is a great activity to do if you have some extra time during assessment week (aka SPA Week).
This compilation is not perfect nor is it complete. There are so many variables. Hopefully this will become a valuable resource that will allow you to put those lesson plans together faster so you have more time to enjoy the acquisition going on in your room.