Students reflect on and compare the impact of technology on their own lives and in the Spanish speaking world. They peer-teach ways to use technology as a learning tool, and read and listen to news about the challenges presented by e-trash, the digital divide, and access to technology. The unit summative assessment is in the form of an email (real or simulated) to ESL students giving advice and offering help in using technology for learning. Resources include web-based news and information sites, as well as the poem, Maestranzas de noche by Pablo Neruda and various news articles.
Students create a digital database to compare national and regional economies, linguistic diversity, infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy and other factors. They review and deepen their knowledge geographic features and climates, relating this to the countries’ economies, and read and hear of some issues confronting indigenous communities. Student read literary pieces such as Mi religion by Miguel de Unamuno, discussing and writing about religious perspectives. They prepare news podcasts to share regional events relating to the unit topics; the summative assessment includes a debate of national, regional and ethnic identities and the freedom and expression of religion in the US and the Spanish speaking world.
Students read in depth about the indigenous people of South America and compare their history and culture with that of other indigenous groups in their own culture and throughout the Spanish speaking world. Each student presents a different craft, explaining the product itself, describing the practices surrounding the object, and the perspectives reflected. We read about important cultural artifacts and their importance to cultural identity, and analyze issues regarding buying, selling and displaying cultural artifacts. The summative assessment is an essay on the ethics regarding cultural artifacts
La salud y el bienestar
Families and communities
Science and technology
Students brainstorm about health challenges and play the role of health care advisor and client, giving advice about healthy living. They read about the nutritional impact of traditional food products, and put on a health fair, inviting Spanish two students to hear their presentations on a variety of health-related topics, prepared to answer the unit’s essential questions. When possible, Spanish speaking health care providers from the community are invited to speak about innovations in health care, community health issues and the importance of Spanish language skills in health-related careers. They take traditional recipes from the Spanish speaking country of their choice and adapt a healthier solution.
Students explore poetic language and their own reactions to poetry as they study works by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and José Martí As a summative assessment, students chose a poem, record their reading of the poem and post the poem and a PDF of the text on Audacity. They also provide an analysis of the poem to share with their classmates. Then, students listen to and view their classmates’ recitation and analyses, adding their own comments, including comparisons to their own poems. We organize an open-mike poetry session one evening, with coffee, snacks and the opportunity to share original poems and songs. Literary readings include excerpts from Como agua para chocolate by Laura Esquivel as students learn about Realismo mágico.
La música … el sonido en movimiento
Personal and public identities
Students explore genres of music from the Spanish speaking world, and select a genre or artist to research in depth. They prepare a multi-media presentation, tracing the roots and evolution of the selected music. For the summative assessment, students write and discuss a curriculum for a middle-school Spanish immersion unit relating Latin American history through music.