Elsa M. Calderón
This unit is prepared for a Spanish class at the high school level. Students should have reached the Spanish 2 level of proficiency. This unit attempts to infuse Caribbean culture into the Spanish curriculum, with a focus on Puerto Rico. The vehicle for this is literature that uses food as a symbol. The authors specifically included are Rosario Ferré, Sandra Cisneros, Esmerelda Santiago and Julia çlvarez. Oral literature (“refranes”) is also examined. The students examine the geography, food and literature of the Caribbean, with a focus on Puerto Rico. Hands-on activities and cooperative group activities are integral to this unit. Students will observe, sample and prepare the foods in addition to reading or listening to the literature about the foods. The foods examined are rice, plaintains, guava, mango and quenepa. A component of this unit is student research into the Puerto Rican community. Lesson plans cover the introductory class for the literature component (pre-reading strategies) and a science class in Spanish. The appendices include “refranes,” “canciones infantiles,” and vocabulary. The bibliographies are arranged according to geography and history of Puerto Rico, literature of the Caribbean and cookbooks.
(Recommended for Spanish 2+, Spanish for Hispanics, and AP Spanish/Honors; grades 9-12)