how to teach AP Spanish Unit 5

How To Teach AP Spanish Unit 5

Are you new to teaching AP Spanish, or maybe just frustrated with finding your own resources to teach this course? This post is about how to teach AP Spanish Unit 5, The Factors That Influence Quality of Life. I have taught this course since 2014, and I believe it’s helpful to show others how to plan and teach an AP Unit. But for those of us who are drowning, if you need a life raft, here is my ready-to-use unit 5 with everything you need linked in!

What Is AP Spanish Unit 5 About?

Having such broad themes, like The Factors That Affect Quality of Life, is both a blessing and a curse! First, you must decide what topics you want to explore. So many things can impact a person’s quality of life! In my unit, we talk about education, work and travel. But there are many more options!

From there, write your essential questions. Remember, essential questions should be open-ended and leave room for reflection. Students should have the opportunity to explore different perspectives and come to their own conclusions about their answers. They should reference ideas they’ve learned in class to support their conclusions.

Structure Your Unit

My next step is to look at how much time I have to dedicate to the unit. I plan backwards. How do I want my students to demonstrate their learning at the end? Ideas include:

  1. A short answer test
  2. A project or presentation
  3. An essay
  4. A reflection
  5. An AP Exam-style assessment

Once you have decided how your students will demonstrate their learning, you can go to the next step, which is planning for their resources!

Finding Resources

A well-planned AP Spanish unit has a variety of authentic resources for students to explore. Use a calendar and “pencil in” your plans. How many articles do you want students to read? Will you use videos or audio recordings? How will you get students talking? What will you ask them to write about?

This part can be overwhelming. But the benefit of having advanced students is that you can really get a lot out of the resources you find for them. For example; I like to assign jigsaw activities. This is when there are 2 or 3 articles related to the same topic. Students are grouped (in 2 or 3) and each person reads one article. Then, they share out the important points with their group members. Now you have an activity that involves reading, speaking and listening. And as a follow up, students can write. Ideas include a comparison, a summary, etc.

Where To Find Resources For Your AP Spanish Unit

If you are fortunate, your district may provide textbooks that are themed for the AP units. I used to rely on Temas. But when Covid hit and we were all sent home, my students didn’t have their textbooks. I found all of my resources online or created them myself.

I will not lie. It is EXTREMELY time consuming to find, edit, and create follow-up activities for AP Spanish students. That’s why, if you don’t have the time or desire to do that, I have shared all of my units on TPT.

But if you like creating, here is where and how I look for resources.

  1. YouTube is a great source for videos. I type in what I’m looking for in Spanish. Sometimes you can find Edpuzzles of these videos already made, or make your own Edpuzzle from a video you find!
  2. I used, and type in what I’m searching for in Spanish. Often, the articles I find are either too long or too complicated. I redact them or add translations and/or questions. I always cite the source, and make note that it was adapted.
  3. I use Google and search my term in Spanish, and then click images. Often there are great infographics to be found!

Don’t Forget To Embed Test Prep

One mistake I’ve made in the past is to not worry about AP Exam Test Prep until April. Starting test prep from your first unit is a much less stressful option! It’s easy to work this in if you understand the parts of the exam. (I have several blog posts about the parts of the AP Spanish Exam.)

You can use the question style and open-ended response style prompts to help students learn new content or to assess them, and that is another tool you have to help you fill in your unit design! The AP website has a lot of practice resources if you don’t have your own test prep workbooks.

AP Spanish is both wonderful and overwhelming! Have questions? Email me any time at


AP Spanish Unit 5 The Factors That Influence Quality of Life Complete Unit

AP Spanish Quality of Life Intro Activities

AP Spanish Lesson Plans for the Whole Year without a Textbook

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how to teach AP Spanish Unit 5