23 February 2011

Ser AfroLatino

I don't wish to presume with my next essential question (much harder to formulate than the last for Spanish 2), but I do want students to compare experiences and to develop a deeper sympathy for other cultures. In that spirit, I will be asking: ¿Qué es ser afrolatino?

I intend to begin to address this question from 4 national angles: Colombian, Cuban, Dominican, and Mexican.

If narcocorridos presentations go well tomorrow (or go so terribly that they take no time at all), we will begin right after. The plan, after introducing new outside-of-class activities, will be to begin with a survey (that I need to hurry up and make) where students rate how racist different situations are, like "making a joke that refers to someone's race,"  "TV shows without black actors," or "Hiring people without considering their racial backgrounds." I hope that will open the floor for a good debate--hopefully in Spanish?

Day 2, I'll probably break out my original AfroLatinos presentation to introduce, well, the existence of Black Latinos. That and the culminating assignment.

Days 3-4, I'm working on a glog to introduce the Colombian plight, much like I did with the narcocorridos unit, where students can control their input (to some extent--darn you YouTube blocking policies!) and respond to what they observe, from an interview with ChocQuibTown as well as a few of their music videos. I'm hoping the desire to see the music videos will motivate students to check out the page outside of school. We'll probably do a class breakdown of the interview before I release them to answer questions in the glog comments section (making sure they don't use Explorer, so the comments section will show up!).

Day 5, we'll have a breakdown of problems facing afrocolombianos, probably a journal of some sort.

Days 6-8, I think I'll break out Me Llamo Celia to introduce the Cuban plight. I'm toying with the idea of jigsawing different stages of her life, and I'm pretty sure I'll have to handle the first couple of pages as a class. Not sure if I want to go the Pies Ligeros route that I tried this summer, scanning all of the pages. I mean, I have a document camera, but it IS a bilingual book that I'd have to cover up...Then again, I only have 1 copy, so the scanning might be necessary for jigsaw purposes.  I can't find Cartas a mi Mama, but I have a new copy on the way and might slip some excerpts in, so they can try reading something that's not a picture book or a song--though there WILL be music! I think a journal on overcoming prejudice might be in order at this point.

By day 9, it should be time for my secret weapon: interpersonal online interaction with THE Jose Vilson. I'd throw in some Junot Diaz if I could figure out a way to do it without getting fired. I'll introduce the students to the interview wiki, and probably show an excerpt of In the Time of the Butterflies, you know, to keep things really multimedia. Day 10 will probably involve wiki log-ons with laptops plus some journal time.

Day 11 is probably time for the Memin Pinguin talk, perhaps a platiza? It would be awesome to find some real pages of the comic online, if anyone out there knows where I could find such a thing.

Day 12 might be summary time.

Days 13-15 could be composition and revision time.

Now somewhere in there, I should probably do some common vocabulary and some kind of grammar, if only to reinforce understanding of the imperfect tense (the Cuban books both have some AWESOME examples!) For vocabulary, I might do something like my revered 11th grade English teacher did, and have students make their own lists based on the texts (interview, music videos, books, articles, wiki discussion), then pick and choose repeated/good ones.

As for the culminating activity, the goal is to get the young ones to put themselves in someone else's shoes, so they will be creating first-person narratives. I'm thinking I want them to have one from a minority in the U.S. and one of the AfroLatino groups, to be paralleled and/or combined as they choose. I will suggest interviews, poetry, children's books, songs, and/or glogs. I'll be on the lookout for more sources to supplement their understanding of their chosen subcultures.

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