1. My students in New Haven are mostly disadvantaged African-Americans. They need to increase their knowledge and understanding of geography, different peoples, events, history, and languages in order to develop a sense of the world around them. By means of a dialogue between selected students and imaginary immigrants from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Cuba, my fourth grade students will learn about the countries, lives and music of these four immigrant groups. They will understand what it means to be an immigrant; why people left their countries, what made their countries special to them, how have they adapted to the new one, thus developing more respect for different groups of people in our society.
2. By using music as a common thread, students will learn to enjoy, to participate in, and appreciate the music of different peoples. They will learn the roots of different music from these countries, and what music has “immigrated” to the United States. They will understand the role of music in the country of origin, as well as in the immigrants’ new life.
3. Twenty-one student activities will include listening to music from different Latin countries or styles, and being able to identify the repeating and contrasting sections, style (steel band and calypso, plena, salsa, meringue, rumba, Miami sound, contemporary Dominican Republican, reggae), instruments, and understand the lyrics used.
INTRODUCTION TO THE CARIBBEAN (
See student activity #1
Although originally created in Trinidad, steel bands are popular throughout the Caribbean. There can be up to 100 players and 300 of these drums, made out of different sized oil drums.
As music of a steel band is playing, my fourth grade students will locate Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Trinidad on a map in front of the classroom. They will write two or more paragraphs about their families; where they’re from, or if they have lived here all their lives, or if they have ever moved, and what it was like.