Horacio Quiroga is sometimes called the Poe of South America. He was born in Uruguay and spent much of his life in the frontier land of Argentina. The author’s life was marred by tragedy after tragedy, which is reflected in his stories, many of which are centered around death, mental instability, and the struggle between man and nature. High-school students are drawn to Quiroga’s tales, possibly because of the stories’ morbid nature. The unit objective is for upper-level Spanish students to learn about Latin American culture and regionalisms along with Spanish grammar and vocabulary through the study of the tales La gallina degollada, El almahadón de plumas, and El hombre muerto. They will work separately and together while using writing, speaking, listening, reading and artistic methods to extract meaning from each story. They will be assessed for understanding of La gallina degollada and El almahadón de plumas along the way. Their culminating activity will allow them to write their own ending to the story El hombre muerto with help from the teacher.
(Developed for Spanish IV, grades 10-12; recommended for High School Spanish IV, grades 10-12)