Learning a foreign language for any student will always prove to be a challenging task, more so if a student has no desire to learn that language. The demographics at the Hyde School of Health Sciences and Sports Medicine play an important role in the motivations of most students. In this unit I will attempt to bridge the gap in cultural understanding and acceptance between young African American students and Latinos. I will do this by presenting two case studies on the migration of African Americans and Latinos to New York through the lens of baseball and Hip-Hop music. The students will research the lives and careers of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente as well as look at the history of the rise of Hip-Hop and explore what role Puerto Ricans had in the 1970s in Hip-Hop. Through this research students will create historical and cultural links with which they can identify. My hope is that once this unit is completed in the classroom more non-Latino students will see the importance and benefit of learning a new language and will be more engaged in language lessons.
(Recommended for Spanish and U.S. History, grades 9-12)