3 AM

jjtt I think you could build an entire Spanish curriculum on the latest Jesse y Joy album.  I probably won’t do that, but here is a three-day lesson based on their song 3 am, which includes vocals from Tommy Torres.  If you are not a Spanish teacher, there may still be some value in seeing how a unit can be developed by adding back story to a song.


  • Slides – A slide presentation used for several parts of the unit.
  • Documents – Text for the lyrics of the song, vocabulary structures and 2 versions of a story to expand the song (simplified and complete) in an embedded reading format.


  1. Distribute the documents packet to students.
  2. Play the song while students simply follow along with the lyrics.
  3. Ask questions about general comprehension.
  4. Read “El Cuento – Versión 1” – the first version of the embedded reading.  Use necessary strategies (translating, reading several times, retells) to be sure the content is understood.
  5. Use slides 3-11 to introduce and practice the vocabulary structures.  Students write definitions on the second page of the packet.  You may want to change your focus structures.  For me, the first 4 structures were emphasized, used and internalized more.  The last three were defined to aide in comprehension of the story and song.
  6. Project slide #12 and instruct students to discuss in pairs.  Then, lead class in discussion of questions.
  7. (Beginning of day 2 for me) Project slide #13, which contains phrases from the song translated to English.  Students search for the same phrases in Spanish in the song and mark them.  Play the song while students are searching.
  8. Read “El Cuento – Versión 2” on the second page.  Select three actors to act out the parts of Joy, Tommy and Joy’s mother.  They act and read lines as the story is told.  Slide #13 includes and image that can be used while explaining the “gato por liebre” line of the story and song.
  9. Comprehension quiz.  Before the story, I informed students that there would be a short quiz afterward that they would complete without using the text, so attention and comprehension were important.  This is the quiz I used: V2 Comprehension Quiz
  10.  (Beginning of day 3 for me)  Slide #16 contains a link to a lyric video.  At this time, I was not able to find an official video for the song.  The linked video shows lyrics and who (Joy or Tommy) is saying each line.  There are a couple errors in the text.  I hope a better video will be available soon.
  11. Slide #17 contains a prompt for a short writing assignment.  I instructed my students to write in the blank space at the end of version 2.  After writing, students shared with a partner and some shared with the class.
  12. In pairs, students translate sections of the song to English.  As they were reading their endings to each other, I marked a paragraph of the song for each pair to translate and be ready to share with the class.


This entry was posted in Authentic Resources, Embedded Reading, Music, Stories/Storytelling. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 3 AM

  1. spanishplans says:

    Daaaaaaaaaaaang, that story took a quick turn at the end. 😉 Jaja,
    Great embedded readings though!

  2. Ellen M. Roberts says:

    I LOVE the idea of adding a back story to a song! I wish I could use this one, but it’s probably a bit too much for my middle schoolers in level one Spanish. But, I will keep it in mind for other songs! Thanks, as always, for your amazing ideas and so generously sharing them with us!

  3. Pingback: Brillante Viernes: December 16, 2016 | Maris Hawkins

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