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Oye como va: African and Hispanic Influences on Music

The curriculum unit will focus on exposing students to the historical impact that the slave trade had on Latin American society. Students will be exposed to not only the African influence on Hispanic music in Cuba but also the Hispanic influence on Reggaeton found in the United States. Students will discover that learning the culture of a country is just as important in the Foreign Language classroom as learning the grammatical and vocabulary aspects most often times taught in the classroom. Students will use authentic songs from Latin American musicians to see how these cultures have influenced each other throughout time. They will also be required to complete listening activities using these songs, writing activities based on the cultural information, and vocabulary lesson stemming from musical terms in the foreign language. As we discuss the slave trade, students will apply critical thinking skills and make predictions and comparisons, and determine cause – effect relationships. Furthermore, the students will have the opportunity to research further into topics that interest them, and will use the target language in displaying what they have learned to the class. The use of song lyrics allows students the opportunity to not only listen in the foreign language but also to read the foreign language. Students will be given the opportunity to creatively write and speak in the target language. The overall intentions of this unit are to provide students interesting, relevant materials that are authentic in nature in order to teach a historical concept that allows students the ability to see how cultures can work together to co-exist and create success in the arts. By doing so, I hope to show students a different point of view which will hopefully allow them to look at the culture in a new light.

This curriculum unit is intended for a Spanish 1 high school level class. The unit should extend across a 2 week period, with a number of lessons and a variety of assessments.

Diana Shortall
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