Sunday, February 8, 2015


If you do not have a teaching account on Instagram or are missing out!  I (finally) got on Instagram last year and only this year really started utilizing Twitter regularly.  They have been game changers for me!  Here is one way in particular that I have had success using Instagram:

Somewhere online I found the idea of creating an Instagram challenge.  Students would be given a list of daily hashtags (words used to group or label photos) and asked to post pictures related to those topics.  When done in the target language, this can be an effective way of assessing if students are understanding difficult vocabulary or possibly even getting them curious as to more challenging words not yet studied.  My first challenge was to promote World Language Week at school, so I came up with these for the month of March.

I posted pictures daily and used #LMSespañol along with #marzo and the daily hashtag as well.  This way, my colleagues and administrators can easily see what my class is doing by simply searching our class hashtag. I tried to think of spring-type word and I also used our school calendar to see when we had school-wide events they could incorporate. Students seemed to like seeing what I would post and coming up with their own creative ideas.  During one of our homework choice assignments, I even let students choose to participate for seven days straight in this challenge and submit it for credit.  Overall, it was a good start.

I tried a second challenge over the summer to encourage students to continue to use the language even outside of school.  As fun as I thought it was, I didn't get much student involvement.  Many of the teachers from my building who follow my school account jumped on board, however, so it wasn't a total loss!

My favorite Instagram challenge by far was our most recent one.  This December I came up with yet another list and promoted it much better this time.  I had it posted in the hallways, I posted a count down online and I even offered prizes.  Many students participated between 1-5 days, a few did more than that...and three students posted every single day!  It was a lot of fun to see their daily updates in Spanish.

Upon further reflection, I realized that a month is probably too long of a time to keep up the excitement.  I think a shorter challenge for one or two weeks will probably gain more momentum. Enjoy some of the goofy/creative submissions I received from our #diciembre challenge.  How could you incorporate Instagram into your classroom?  What suggestions would you have to improve this idea for the future?



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