The objectives of this curriculum are aligned with the standards of teaching Spanish as a foreign language. More precisely, it will fall into the culture, community and connection standards of the ACTFL.
The unit will be taught to a population of advanced Spanish-speaking students in the target language. Other standards of the ACTFL, such as the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational), will be applied in the lessons with the discussions and written work, or projects.
The research portion of the unit will focus on the political status of Puerto Rico and the citizenship status of Puerto Ricans. I will explore the ways in which Puerto Rico’s lack of representation in the U.S. government complicates identity debates in the U.S. and on the Island. I will examine a number of important questions, including whether and how the Commonwealth status limits people’s right to be fully represented. I will thus explore the Island’s history, starting with the end of the Spanish-American war of 1898, and examine how it affected the future of the Island of Puerto Rico.
Outline of the unit
Students in this unit will be exposed to various topics in the history of the Caribbean islands with a focus on Puerto Rico. They will be able to understand the significance of the great migration of the Arawak Indians in the Greater Antilles. They will learn that before the arrival of Columbus and the Spanish settlers, the societies in the Greater Antilles were well organized and were functioning based on a more or less egalitarian social structure. They will be able to contrast that societal structure with the new social order Europeans established, including the system of repartition, which converted the natives into slavery. Students will be also able to understand the motivations behind the Spanish-American War and the impact it had in Puerto Rico. They will able to evaluate how the outcome of the war changed Puerto Rico’s political status from Spain’s colony to a U.S. territory. After exploring what being a Commonwealth meant for the people of Puerto Rico, they will be able to explain Puerto Rico’s “dual” citizenship and how it affects the Island’s national identity and culture.