Throughout the course of this unit, students will engage in each of the 5 Cs. Students will be able to communicate in Spanish using appropriate vocabulary. Students will be able to ask questions about and give personal information, discuss cultural components, and describe people. Students will be able to properly use the verbs "ser" and "estar" to describe identity, culture, location, and emotions.
By the completion of this unit, students will be able to define 'identity' and describe its relation to culture. Students will be able to utilize a variety of resources (in English and Spanish) to obtain information, then use this information to identify and explain aspects of Hispanic cultures, histories, and regions. Students will be able make connections between Hispanic cultures and identities and their own.
Communication is the primary goal of any language education. As a Spanish teacher, my number one concern is to teach my students as much of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultural points as possible. It is my job to encourage language learning and cultural appreciation. This appreciation needs to first be fostered in the classroom, and is most effectively attained through creative, interesting, and relevant lessons.
Students will take what they learn from various English and Spanish sources, interpret it, and relay the information to others. Both formal and informal assignments will give students opportunities to share knowledge with each other. These written and oral tasks will not only offer assessment opportunities, but will comprise aspects of presentational communication.
Students will speak with one another on many occasions in Spanish about a variety of topics related to the themes of identity, history, and culture. As they engage in this interpersonal communication, students will speak in Spanish with me as well. In this way, students will have ample practice both hearing and speaking Spanish. Students will also be able to celebrate their own identities and heritages, increasing their confidence levels and personal pride.
Students will make comparisons between English and Spanish vocabulary and language structures. As they draw parallels between historical and cultural points in Spanish-speaking regions and those of the U.S., they will note differences and suggest causes for both similarities and variations found. I find that this type of comparison aids greatly in building self-confidence because it allows students to recognize the wealth of knowledge they already possess or can easily access.
Students will learn about several aspects of the cultures of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Bolivia. They will compare and contrast these cultures and infer from lectures, readings, music, art and other media reasons for similarities and differences between the different cultures. Students will also explain how history and geography have played important roles in shaping those cultures.
This unit provides an excellent opportunity to draw in interdisciplinary connections. Students will use previous knowledge as a basis to incorporate new material from this unit. Lessons will combine aspects of history, geography, art, math, science, and technology with Spanish language learning to create a broad view of Hispanic culture. This wide-ranging view will encourage students to seek out connections-- in other classes, and in their own lives.
Through the examination of these cultures, students will get a glimpse into the lives and stories of other people, helping them to connect what they learn with what they see on a daily basis. Discovering and examining evidence of diversity within Hispanic communities (in the U.S. and abroad) will offer students numerous opportunities to find and perpetuate learning outside the classroom walls.
The 5 Cs & The 3 Ps
National and local standards state that world languages should always be taught in a cultural context, and lessons must include the 5 Cs (See Appendix A for a list of the national standards). The 5 Cs are Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Connections, and Communities. Emphasis should also be placed on the 3 Ps – the Products, Practices, and Perspectives of the people who speak the language being studied.
The exploration of each and every one of the 5 Cs is facilitated through the incorporated study of the products, practices, and perspectives of Spanish-speaking populations (especially those of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Bolivians). In studying the 3 Ps of different Hispanic peoples, students will gain a more comprehensive understanding of the cultures found in Spanish-speaking regions.
Examining the products created by a given group lends itself to drawing comparisons, as well as suggesting cultural, historical, and geographical information. Students also have an opportunity to seek out examples of these products in their own local communities. Naturally, learning about the products offers subject matter upon which to base Spanish communication.
The practices of a people represent clear examples of culture and tradition. These practices may also reflect historical influences. Students enjoy discovering the many differences and similarities between the cultural practices of others and those of their own. Discussing cultures and practices is one of the easiest ways to inspire children to communicate (in any language).
Students can take what they know and learn about the products and practices of an ethnic group and draw conclusions about the perspectives of that group. Students can make inferences about how these perspectives have come about, and why. Students who are introduced to the perspectives of a group of people can compare these views with their own, and with those of Americans, generally.