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In the Spanish World Language Classroom: Discovering Form and Content in Bilingual Poems

The focus on this curriculum unit will be to help students develop an awareness and appreciation for poetry in the target language, in this case Spanish I & II.  My hope is that by sharing poetry selections bilingually, students will be able to compare and contrast the poems’ forms, syntax, and semantics. As the students read and re-read their poems, they will be able to apply critical analytical skills that arise from class or small group discussions about the form of each of the readings, and their interpretation of the poet’s meaning, as shaped by that form. Through careful close reading and questioning, the students will be able to recognize cognates, determine meaning from context, make inferences, relate personally to the poets’ message, offer their perspectives and make judgments about the readings.  

In addition, I hope that the students will come to appreciate the universality of the literary elements used by many Latino poets, and will be able to identify these devices, as they have learned to do so in their first language.  And lastly, I hope that students will be able to create and present to the class their own poems in pairs, chorally, or individually.

This curriculum unit is designed for High School Spanish I and II students between the average ages of fifteen to eighteen years old.  It will be research –based as students will be required to investigate the poet’s country of origin, the poet and his or her works, and the political or social context in which the work was produced.  Among the resources that students will need to use are the computer, library books, various text books, and local speakers from Latin America. The amount of time for the poem curriculum will be about ten 45 – 50 minute sessions, culminating in a final presentation that will be rubric-based and assessed by their classmates.

Mary Anne Stuppy

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