27 January 2011

Drugs in the classroom

I have been rolling this idea around in my head since last year, but just now feel ready to take it on.  Below are my ideas for a unit on narcocorridos and the proposed ban on their production.  Think it'll work?  What can I do to make it work better?

We're just starting, and the "Plátiza" and video engagement have been awesome *knock on wood*, and I want to keep the momentup going

Essential question: 
Should narcocorridos be banned in Mexico?

  • Interpret lyrics from the song "La Granja" by Los Tigres del Norte
  • Analyze and discuss reasons "La Granja" has been censored
  • Analyze and discuss the effect of drug trafficking on Mexican culture
  • Interpret a designated narcocorrido in a small group
  • Present positive and negative qualities of the selected narcocorrido
  • Produce an advertisement for or against the banning of narcocorridos
 "La Granja" vocabulary:
ladrar, morder, romper, jaula, perra, ganancia, caerse, granjero, alimentarse, cerco, zorro, gavilán, cuerda, soltarse, perder, puerco, conejo, arrepentirse, espantar, deber

Grammar demonstration opportunities:
Irregular preterite forms, plural preterite, reflexives, impersonal "se"

Other selected corridos:
"La Reina del Sur," "Jefe de Jefes" - Los Tigres del Norte
"El Jefe de la Sierra" - Los Tucanes de Tijuana
"Corrido de Chito Cano" - Ramón Ayala
"Chuy y Mauricio" - El Potro de Sinaloa
"Los Dos Jefes" - Banda El Recodo

Week 1
Plátiza (chalk talk): ¿Cuándo es aceptable censurar?
Vocabspiration with music video and lyrics
Glog symbolism questions (comment responses in Spanish)
Plural preterite P.A.C.E. (supimos, ayudaron, comentaron, tumbaron, espantaron, pusieron)
Journal: Por qué censuraron "La Granja"
Irregular preterite P.A.C.E. (supimos, pusieron, vino + hizo, hicieron, dijo, dijeron, pudo, pudieron)
Class discussion: Review events of "La Granja" in Spanish (using preterite)
Small group discussions: last weekend
Journal: classmates' weekends
Chain story fables/allegories about U.S. (wiki?)

Week 2
Group assignments and narcocorrido "shopping" (play music, display lyrics)
Personalized group vocabspiration by song
Group character/setting breakdowns
Reflexive P.A.C.E.
Text song summaries to classmates (polleverywhere.com?)
Guided class interpretation:  Canciones vedadas en México
Journal: Pro/Con censurar tu narcocorrido
Jigsaw small group discussions: censurar o no?
RAFT assignment, planning

Weeks 3 & 4
RAFT planning
RAFT presentations

I'm not sure whether or not to include grammar quizzes and vocabulary quizzes to build from lower-order thinking skills to higher (and thus lower the affective filter?). I also wonder if I should do more to bring all the latest beheading and massacre news in.


  1. Hello. I love this lesson plan. I saw that video and have been wanting to do something with it. Your "essential question" was perfect for me. I am going to create a unit similar to this! Love all your ideas. I am new to twitter and that is how I discovered your blog. I am thinking about starting a blog myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

    How did this all work? Any suggestions?

  2. I'd have to say it went pretty well. I should have had more follow-through, more application on the vocabulary and grammar to solidify the concepts. Also the RAFT thing ended up pretty lame for the most part, so I'm going to have to tighten it up, probably at least discuss roles and audiences more.