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Using Art, Film, and Literature to Explore the Hispanic Identity, by Elsa M. Calderón

Guide Entry to 01.04.02:

This unit is specifically designed for a pre-AP Spanish course such as Spanish 4 Honors, and for an AP Spanish course.The intent of the unit is to supplement these courses with art and film in order to enrich the literature component traditionally stressed in these courses and in order to explore the issues of race and ethnicities in Spain and Latin America. The central question is what is the Hispanic identity in terms of race and ethnicities. Themes to examine are those of inclusion, racial layering, and the buried mirror as defined by Carlos Fuentes in his book and videos of the same name. Metaphors to explore are the buried mirror, the buried cities, and the Aleph, as defined by Jorge Luis Borges.

The unit includes three of the recommended AP authors: Jorge Luis Borges, Federico García Lorca, and Gabriel García Márquez. Other authors mentioned are Julia de Burgos, Carlos Fuentes, Nicolás Guillén, and Pablo Neruda. The artists in the unit are Fernando Botero, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Wifredo Lam, Antonio Martorell, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Antonio Ruiz, and Rufino Tamayo.

Student activities include thematic analysis, comparative studies, and research projects. Art activities include interdisciplinary projects such as drawing a personal Aleph, drawing a buried mirror of a personal nature, and making class murals. Film activities include using higher level thinking skills to compare the films with the literature. Writing projects include Aleph poems, identity poems, daily journal writing, lengthy descriptive essays, comparison essays, persuasive essays, and timed writing assignments using the AP rubrics.

(Recommended for Spanish 4 Honors, AP Spanish Language, AP Spanish Literature, and Spanish for Spanish Speakers Advanced Level, grades 9-12.)

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