Legends, Folktales and Urban Myths in Latinx Cultures

Author: Gabrielle Tompkins

School/Organization:

Palumbo Academy

Year: 2019

Seminar: Storytelling Traditions of South Asia and the Middle East

Grade Level: 9-12

Keywords: folktales, latin culture, legends, storytelling, urban myths

School Subject(s): Languages, Spanish

This unit is designed to be taught for Spanish III or at the end of the year for Spanish II. It incorporates Comprehensible Input strategies, jigsaw and group activities, and a wide variety of legends, myths and folktales from different Spanish-speaking countries. To incorporate some of the readings done during the seminar class, 1001 Nights (Las mil y una noches) is a leveled-reader for the Independent Reading Novels (Advanced/Heritage Speaker) and the Vampire/Zombie stories of Vetala is used as a preterit versus imperfect activity in context. The grammar for this unit is preterit VS. imperfect so students should already have a grasp on the conjugations of both in isolation. By the end of the unit students will have read, heard, or seen at least 8 stories from Latinx cultures and will have retold about as many. There are two main assessments for this unit. One is the comic strip (written) where students retell in past tense the plot of their IR novel. The second is the Urban Myths (speaking) done on or close to Halloween. For level III class, this unit is ideally taught near Halloween as most of the stories have spooky/creepy elements to them.

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Full Unit Text
Content Objectives

After taking many Teaching Proficiency Through Storytelling (TPRS) and Comprehensible Input (CI) workshops to improve my own teaching of second-language acquisition (SLA), I wholeheartedly agree that stories are the best way to acquire a language, whether it be our first language or a second or even a third. Additionally, this method of learning or, better yet acquiring a new language is backed by the research of notable linguist Dr. Stephen Krashen (Krashen, 2004).

Palumbo is vastly diverse, with (according to the diversity breakdown on GreatPhillySchools website) approximately half of the student body identifying as African-American, about a quarter or the students identifying as Asian and around ten percent identifying as Hispanic/Latinx and around ten percent identifying as white. Meanwhile the remaining percentage identifying as other and/or mixed. As many studies have pointed out and many first-hand accounts of minorities have stated: representation matters. Therefore, I want to be able to honor that diversity. There have been many articles and blogs and research done in recent years about the “whiteness” of classroom libraries and classroom curriculums. For example, in articles by Kristian Wilson for Bustle and Tayla Edlund for Edutopia, we can see that 73% of all stories in classroom libraries feature white protagonists. The next leading protagonist that is featured isn’t even another ethnicity—it is animals, trucks, fantasy creatures, etc. When given both this alarming statistic and then glancing at the highly diverse population I serve, it just makes sense to create a unit that hones in on honoring diversity. Originally, I enrolled in this course at UPenn to become better versed in the schema and background knowledge and cultures of the students that I teach. Stories can be formulaic; however, the standard formulas are different depending upon what culture the story comes from. Everyone has an important story to tell and everyone tells stories. Storytelling is a means of sharing experiences with others. By sharing experiences, we also are able to interpret them and because everyone comes with a different lens from which they view the world, everyone can interpret stories in different ways.

This unit is entitled “Legends, Folktales and Urban Myths in Latinx Cultures.” Within this unit, the guiding grammar focus will be the two main past tenses. In Spanish there are many different past tenses, all with different purposes, formations, rules and uses. In this unit we will focus on the two most common, but also most difficult to use properly: preterite and imperfect. This is a logical choice because the preterite is taught during the 2nd and 3rd quarters in Spanish II and the imperfect is taught during the final quarter of Spanish II; however, the curriculum has them taught in isolation from one another until level III. In level III, the curriculum for the School District of Philadelphia (Asi Se Dice) has the students applying both preterite and imperfect at the same time; therefore, they must be able to distinguish between when to use which tense and how to form each one. Because there are many origin and birth stories around the world (for myths, folklore and religion in particular, but also in popular culture), the preterite and imperfect tenses will flow nicely into them.

At the end of the unit, students will be able to write their own origin story. By “own,” students may interpret this as autobiographical, or they may create a character to write that character’s origin story, or they may delve into their own culture or cultures that we studied to write an origin story that we have not seen. In order to apply the multiple intelligences and learning styles into this unit, students will be given a choice of how to present their story. They will be able to create a comic strip, a poster, a PowerPoint/Prezi, or a children’s book. However, this is not an exhaustive list of choices and students are very creative so they may ask the teacher “For the final project, can I do X?” Additionally, students will be able to compare well known narratives from different cultures that have similar storylines. Finally, students will be able to answer the essential question: “Why do we tell stories?” This essential question will be further divided into smaller focus questions to help guide students. Students will give a short presentation on their answer to the essential question. All final products will be in the target language of Spanish.

The first story we will look at will be Don Quijote. Rather than reading the original text by Miguel de Cervantes because that is way above students’ levels, the class will look at a modified text by Karen Rowan called Don Quijote, el último caballero. Additional stories will be from various TPRS authors and/or written as a children’s novel (libros infantiles) so that the Spanish is comprehensible for students. If a particular story is not available in either of the aforementioned sources, the teacher will create the story in Spanish with comprehensible past tense (using both preterite and imperfect). By reading stories in Spanish with the target grammar already embedded into the reading, students will begin to notice the grammar, according to Dr. Stephen Krashen’s “noticing hypothesis,” which accompanies his i+1 hypothesis on which all of the TPRS and CI methods have been based.

In order to prepare oneself for teaching this unit, it is recommended that the teacher reads and understands the reading references listed below. A highly recommended text is the article “Cultural Background and Storytelling: A Review and Implications for Schooling” (Mccabe, 1997). This article focuses on how different cultures tell stories and what is considered important to focus on when telling a story. By reading this article one will gain insight into how the diverse population at Palumbo may produce a story as the final product at the end of this unit.

Additionally, taking this course at the UPenn TIP program “Storytelling Traditions of South Asia and the Middle East,” has greatly helped shape this unit. This unit focused on the ideas of traditions, how and why we tell stories, and the differences between legends, myths, folktales, and urban legends. This unit draws inspiration from topics, stories and themes that were discussed in the UPenn TIP program seminar entitled “Storytelling Traditions of South Asia and the Middle East” that was taught by Dr. Deven Patel. In this seminar, there was a bunch of readings and stories to cover; however, notably we discussed The Arabian Nights, the Panchatantra, The Conference of the Birds, The Dream of the Red Chamber, Vetala stories, and the Mahabharata. While reading these notable works from South Asia and the Middle East, a common theme was the frame story, or rather a story within a story, which is something that will be touched upon in this unit, especially with the Advance/Heritage Independent Reading Novel: Las mil y una noches (1001 Nights). Many of the stories read in class were the epics of their respective cultures and/or had universal themes such as love or good triumphing over evil. In this sense, this unit also touches upon these things: the Don Quijote: el ultimo caballero is the epic of Spain by Miguel de Cervantes and most of the stories mentioned in this unit deal with good triumphing over evil. Finally, during the seminar we discussed how difficult it is to categorize stories into specific titles of “fables,” “fairy tales,” “folklore,” “legends,” and “myths.” Nevertheless, as a seminar group we were able to find and create the characteristics that distinguish these different subcategories of the overarching “Stories” (see appendix: Tipos de historias for more details). As discussed in this seminar, it is important to stress to students that this format of categorizing the stories is just a guideline and that sometimes stories will have overlap and will not fit neatly into one category or another.

This Preterite vs. Imperfect Legends, Myths and Urban Legends in Latinx Cultures unit is intended for students in a Spanish level III class, but could be adapted down to a level II class. If one is adapting it down to a level II class, it is highly recommended that this unit is taught towards the end of the academic year; meanwhile, if it is taught at the Spanish III level, it ideally should be taught during the first quarter of the academic year. This unit will heavily focus on the stories told in Spanish-speaking countries (países hispanohablantes); however, there will also be opportunities to incorporate stories of the countries of the students that are represented in one’s classroom. This unit was written with class periods where students spend approximately 56 minutes per day with the teacher and meet 5 days a week. This unit is intended to supplement the School District of Philadelphia’s Asi Se Dice curriculum. This curriculum intertwines the cultures of both Hispanic/Latinx/Afro-Latinx countries and that of the cultures of the students within the room. The objectives of the unit will include the following and will address the following key skills as laid out by the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL):

  1. Communication: Learners are able to communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.
  2. Cultures: Learners interact with cultural competence and understanding.
  3. Connections: Learners connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career-related situations.
  4. Comparison: Learners develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence.
  5. Communities: Learners communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

Teaching Strategies

In order to teach this unit successfully, one has to enact a variety of different teaching strategies. Although Comprehensible Input (CI) and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) are the main overarching strategies for this unit, they are not the only ones. Comprehensible Input is defined by Dr. Stephen Krashen as one of the five hypotheses of second-language acquisition. In this hypothesis, he states that learners are able to progress in their knowledge of the language when they comprehend the input that is just slightly above their current level. This is the i+1 (where i represents the learner’s current level of language and the +1 is the slightly higher level). This is important to be using what World Language teachers have deemed “staying in-bounds” with the language input for their learners, or rather, using language that is only slightly above the current levels and using cognates to aid with comprehension. If a teacher just talks, no matter how slowly, that does not necessarily mean that he or she is producing or practicing comprehensible input strategies. The teacher must use language, grammar and vocab that students already know to build upon their language.

Independent Reading and discussion groups are implemented as well as comprehension checks and short answer responses. The Independent Reading novels will be “due” each Friday where students will discuss what they read for the week with their group. The process and the discussion group questionnaire have been adapted from a fellow English Teacher and former colleague of mine, Ms. Ellen Speake. These have been attached in the appendices of this unit.

Direct grammatical instruction for review of preterite, review of imperfect and the difference between the two will also be implemented. The mnemonic “SIMBA CHEATED” will be used and referenced to help students remember when to use either preterite or imperfect. SIMBA is for preterite (Single action, interruption, main event, beginning/ending action, arrivals) while CHEATED is for imperfect (Characteristics, Health, Emotion, Age, Time, Endless activities, Date). Students will also be required to choose between preterite and imperfect in context. This will be used with a variety of texts that are teacher-created Cloze activities; however, it is also important to use these kinds of activities with summaries of the legends, myths and urban legends that have been previously read in class. By using summaries of the legends, myths and urban legends that have previously been read in class, the teacher is able to apply more of the Comprehensible Input strategies to aid in the acquisition of the preterite and imperfect tenses of the students in the classroom. A Cloze activity is where the paragraph or summary has the verbs or vocab words missing and students must fill in the blanks.

Ideally, this unit will have been taught directly after initial Preterite vs. Imperfect unit. In this initial unit, I typically give students the ending of a story (i.e. “And that’s how I woke up on the bus without shoes. The end.”) or the beginning of a story (i.e. “The silence woke her.”) and the students have to complete the story in past tense by being creative. They are only allowed to ask the teacher for 5 words, which encourages them to stay “in bounds”, as mentioned prior, as well as prepare them for the AP level class the next year.

For the three children’s books (Cucú/Moon Rope/Lizard and the Sun), these will be presented as a “kindergarten day” style read. In this model of presenting a story, the teacher sits on a stool and students sit on the floor (the plan for my classroom is to move them to the auditorium stage because there is not carpet in my room and the library is in use for senior seminar classes; however, if another teacher implementing this unit has access to flexible seating in their classroom, access to the library or carpeting in their classroom then they can adjust accordingly) and reads the story aloud just like a kindergarten teacher would. It is a dramatic reading, but the teacher also points out the pictures as well as stops to ask comprehension questions as well as stopping to ask the students to make predictions.

Jigsaw activities (called “Actvidades de Rompecabezas”) will be used frequently to maximize the number of folktales, legends and myths we are able to discuss in the classroom. Jigsaw activities also allow for a teacher to level out several different texts to better differentiate to a diverse group of learners. It allows for the advanced learners to be challenged while not having the struggling and mid-level learners feeling overwhelmed. In these Jigsaw activities, students will be pre-divided into groups based on their ability level in Spanish. Ability levels can be determined in a variety of manners depending on the teacher and classroom. Additionally, it is important to remember that some students’ ability levels are different when reading a non-fiction versus a work of fiction. After being divided into the initial groups, the students receive their pre-leveled reading. Students may elect to Volleyball Read (detailed description of rules and implementation of volleyball style reading on the Week 3 lesson plan below).

Another strategy that will be used in this unit will be Activity Stations. Students will work in small groups and move through the stations. Each station will address a different criteria or objective. This strategy is useful for reviewing towards the end of the unit on all of the different stories as well as vocab and grammar taught in the unit, but still in a fresh way for students.

Content objectives for this unit will be aligned to the national standards set forth by the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages. These standards are what are used in the World Language Department at the Academy at Palumbo. These standards are easily and equally applicable to language learners of all levels as well as both second-language learners and heritage speakers. Although this unit aims to hit all five of the C’s of the ACTFL standards, the three main standards will be Communication, Cultures, and Comparisons.

The Communication branch of the ACTFL standards is divided into three main subsections: Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational. The Interpersonal standard reads “Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed, or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.” The content objectives related to this will be as follows:

  1. Students will be able to retell legends/myths/folktales to their peers.
  2. Students will be able to discuss, answer and ask questions, and analyze their Independent Reading (IR) novel.

The Interpretive standard reads “Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.” The content objectives related to this branch will be as follows:

  1. Students will be able to answer comprehension questions based on reading of a Mayan legend (Popo e Itza).
  2. Students will be able to identify and analyze stories from Latinx communities.
  3. Students will be able to compare/contrast stories from Latinx communities to their own.
  4. Students will be able to identify structural elements of different types of stories and compare/contrast the overlap between these types of stories studied in class. (see “Tipos de historias” in appendices)

Finally, the presentational standard reads “Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.” The content objectives related to this branch will be as follows:

  1. Students will be able to present an urban legend important to their culture in their own Spanish words in the past tense (using both preterite and imperfect tenses).
  2. Students will be able to create a comic strip (with captions in Spanish) to relay the plot and key details of their guided reading novel.

The Comparisons branch of the ACTFL standards is divided into two main subsections: Language Comparisons and Cultural Comparisons. In Language Comparisons the standard reads, “Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.” For this standard, students will be focusing in on the past tense. In Spanish there are more tenses and more rules about the tenses than in English, so the goal is for students to be able to not only identify these tenses and their rules and differences but also to apply them. In the Cultural Comparison the standard reads, “Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.” This will come into play after having read and viewed several different stories because then students will be able to compare legends and myths that they know from their own cultures as well as the ones being read in class. Students will also be able to compare the Latinx stories to one another and talk about the elements of legends, myths and folktales. Additionally, according to the AP Spanish curriculum and guidelines, “community” can be defined as one’s “family, school, religious affiliation, race, ethnicity, city and/or country.” This is not an exhaustive list. As Spanish III is a class that is supposed to bridge the gap between level II and AP, I always use this definition of “community” when doing cultural comparisons so that students are accustomed to it when/if they take the AP class.

The Connections Discipline of the ACTFL standards states: “Learners connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career-related situations.” This will be addressed through any and all of the stories as students will have to pull from their knowledge and schema from other disciplines (mainly English/Literature/Language Arts and History classes). For this reason, I have reached out to fellow English teacher and former colleague Ms. Ellen Speake to assist with the IR portion of this unit as she has been doing a “Book Club”/IR novel discussion groups in her class for 4 years now and has worked out many of the kinks. The Book Club portions in the appendices is in English; however, it will be translated for implementation of this unit as this is for a Spanish III class. Students will be expected to use and to apply the strategies and terminology learned about analyzing texts from their history and literature/English classes. They will be guided by the teacher in this process and given the necessary terminology for discussions in Spanish.

For grading of classroom activities, specifically speaking and writing, I use a scale of the following categories: Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Approaching Expectations, and Not Meeting Expectations. Obviously, any teacher adapting this unit can choose to grade however he/she/they choose, I just like the verbiage of the aforementioned categories. Depending upon the ultimate goal of the individual activity, I will modify what the expectations specifically are (and of course letting the students in on the expectations because grading should not be a secret). For example, for the independent reading assignment and discussion group the expectation would be that students are reading their books and are writing discussion questions in Spanish. Then they are participating fully in the discussion in Spanish. The expectation for this particular activity would not be perfect grammar or fluency, but being communicative. Whereas, on the end of unit project/presentation, the expectations would be more focused on the grammar and the content. A final written unit assessment will be given as well. This assessment will consist of the key questions talked about in classes. Students will also have to read summaries of the different texts in Spanish and identify which of the stories the summary is talking about. Another section will be where students must pick between preterite and imperfect tenses. Finally, students will have to write a story in Spanish (they can choose to retell a legend, myth or folktale or create their own) and apply both imperfect and preterite tense.

Classroom Activities

Timeline for completion of this unit is approximately 6 full weeks. Ideally this would be taught during the first quarter of Spanish III directly after reviewing materials from Spanish II and establishing routines and rules for the classroom. Because many of the myths and legends are “spooky” in nature or have elements of “horror” or “gore” in them, it would also be best to plan them around Halloween-time to fit with the themes. One of the issues in the World Language classrooms across the nation is finding highly-engaging authentic texts that are accessible to the World Language learners rather than just heritage speakers, so the themes, myths, legends and folktales have been specifically designed to combat this problem.

In my Spanish III classrooms, students do not complete a traditional “do now” or “bellringer”. Rather, I have a vast classroom library of Spanish books, picture books, guided readers, and magazines and each day students read as their warm up. If your classroom does not have such a library, I would recommend creating a “key question” for each legend, myth or urban myth that will get the students thinking about the text even prior to reading (or while continuing to read). Additionally, at the beginning of the year, I provide the students with a blank Verb Conjugation Packet that we fill in as we learn new tenses. It is a good resource for students throughout Spanish III and can be used if they continue to IV or AP in the subsequent years. The packet has present (regular and key irregulars), present tense shoe verbs (stem changers), reflexive verbs, present progressive, imperfect, preterite, future, conditional, present subjunctive and imperfect subjunctive.

The texts will be La Llorona, El Silbón, Las mil y una noches, Don Quijote: el último caballero, Cucú, Moon Rope, and Lizard and the Sun. There are also several Youtube stories from HBO’s mini series “Fantasmagorias” which will be used: La Llorona, La Sayona, Las Gemiltas Malditas, Silbon, and Ouija. The first 4 texts listed will be Independent Reading (IR) books that students will be assigned pages to read at home and will create discussion questions for each Friday. These texts were specifically chosen for two reasons: they are leveled for a heterogeneous classroom (including Heritage Speakers) and because they are well-known myths, folktales or legends of the Latinx cultures from which they come. When all groups are finished reading their books, students will create a comic strip (which Spanish captions) that is 8 panels long to describe the plot of their story. This will be in place of a written exam on the books. The rationale for not giving a written exam on the IR books is that then the teacher must create four different exams because there are four different books. On the back of the comic strip, students will write (in either language) what elements of folktales/myths/legends their story addressed.

On Halloween, students will be divided into small groups to tell each other urban legends from their community (speaking in Spanish even though the legends may not necessarily be from a Latinx community). They will vote on which urban legend was the “spookiest” and the winners will present their urban legend to the class. A final vote will take place to determine which urban legend was the spookiest.

Below is the general layout of the themes and topics covered for each week, as well as sample lesson plans for each of the weeks.

Week 1

Introduction to unit: “Why do we tell stories”, introduction of elements of folktales, myths and legends, review of preterite and imperfect, Introduction to IR books and discussion groups. The four leveled books are El Silbón (novice-mid), La Llorona (intermediate), Don Quijote: el ultimo caballero (intermediate-high), and Las mil y una noches (advanced/heritage)

Objective: SWBAT conjugate verbs in preterite and imperfect tense in context by applying key phrases (i.e. every day, last night, when I was a child, etc.).

SWBAT answer comprehension questions about a Hindu legend Vetala (Zombie/Vampire legend).

Lesson Flow:

Bellringer—10 minutes of SSR. Students (and teacher as model) read for ten minutes a novel, magazine, children’s book or graphic novel/comic book in Spanish to boost their reading comprehension, decoding skills and language acquisition. Timer used.

Teacher will instruct students to take out their Verb Conjugation Packets. As a class, they will fill in the conjugation charts for regular and irregular preterite and imperfect. One section of the packet has key phrases. Students will fill in that section with key phrases for each tense (for example preterite: last week, last summer, last year, etc. and for imperfect: every day, every Friday, sometimes, frequently, etc.)

Students will pass out the whiteboards and the markers. The teacher will project 5 sentences on the board with the verb in parenthesis but not conjugated. Students will have to decide on which tense to use and how to conjugate it correctly. Students should converse with peers to come to the correct answer. Teacher will cold-call on students to ensure accountability and check-for-understanding. This process is repeated twice.

Teacher will give students a short story (one of the Vetala legends from the class at UPenn, adapted into Spanish) with the verbs in parenthesis but not conjugated. Students will have to conjugate the verbs in the correct tense according to the context given. To ensure comprehension, students will answer 5 comprehension questions about the story and will turn in for credit.

Materials: SSR books, timer, verb conjugation packets, white boards, Vetala stories

 

Week 2

SIMBA CHEATED—for preterite vs. imperfect, reading of Cucú and Moon Rope, IR discussion groups on Friday

Objective: SWBAT discuss and analyze their IR novel with their peers in Spanish.
Lesson Flow:

Bellringer—10 minutes of SSR. Students (and teacher as model) read for ten minutes a novel, magazine, children’s book or graphic novel/comic book in Spanish to boost their reading comprehension, decoding skills and language acquisition. Timer used.

Pre-class prep: Students will have been reading their IR book up to the designated page number and will have written 3 thoughtful questions in Spanish to discuss with their peers.

Students will move into their groups for discussion. Each group will have a self-selected leader (this would have been chosen during the previous week). The leader’s job will be to guide discussion and ensure that all members of the group are participating. Teacher will suggest that students always start discussion groups with how they felt about what they read (i.e. did something surprise them? Was it interesting? Was it confusing? Etc.) After the “temperature check”, discussion leader will open the floor to the group for questions. (Think Socratic Seminar style lesson). Teacher will also provide each group with a short list of questions in case they get stuck or run out of questions, etc.

The teacher will move throughout the room to monitor discussions, keep students on task, and guide students when/if groups get stuck.

During the last few minutes of class, each group will elect a representative (NOT the discussion leader) to retell what is happening in their novel so far.

Materials: SSR books, timer, IR novels, guiding questions in case students get stuck

 

Week 3

Popo e Itza (preterite vs. imperfect in context), IR discussion groups on Friday

Objective: SWBAT identify preterite and imperfect conjugations in context.

SWBAT retell the story of Popo e Itza in their own Spanish words in past tense.

Lesson Flow:

Bellringer—10 minutes of SSR. Students (and teacher as model) read for ten minutes a novel, magazine, children’s book or graphic novel/comic book in Spanish to boost their reading comprehension, decoding skills and language acquisition. Timer used.

Teacher will pass out copies of Popo e Itza legend. She will give the background (country of origin) of the legend. Students will then pair off with a partner of their choice to read the story Volleyball style. This is one of my favorite techniques for reading stories because it allows students to practices their pronunciation skills in a safe environment (because they pick their own partners) and it ensures comprehension. Additionally it allows for students to help their peers with both pronunciation and comprehension because I cannot be in 32 places at once. As I circulate through the classroom I look at what words are written down on the paper because students are instructed to only write down the translations of words they had to look up or their partner had to define for them. This is quick data and trend collection for me and allows me to be more responsive in subsequent lessons. See below for how to volleyball read.

Volleyball style reading:

1.     Student A reads sentence #1 aloud in Spanish. Student B verbally translates sentence #1 into English.

2.     Student B reads sentence #2 aloud in Spanish. Student A verbally translates sentence #2 into English.

3.     Student A reads sentence #3 aloud in Spanish. Student B verbally translates sentence #3 into English.

4.     Repeat process until the entire story has been read.

5.     Do I need to write down my translations? No! Only words you had to look up (because you already translated it all verbally!)

The second activity for this story: Students will take two different colored pencils or two different colored highlighters and will circle all the instances of imperfect in one color and all of the instances of preterite in the second color (verbs in context).

Finally, students will draw 4 pictures and select four lines from the story to summarize it in Spanish on the back of the worksheet. It is collected and graded.

Materials: SSR books, timer, Popo e Itza adapted reading, colored pencils/highlighters

 

Week 4

More preterite vs. imperfect (in context with more legends), HBO Fantasmasgorias (jigsaw activity) , IR discussion groups on Friday

Objective: SWBAT retell a Latinx legend in past tense by applying preterite and imperfect tenses to their peers in a jigsaw activity.
Lesson Flow:

Bellringer—10 minutes of SSR. Students (and teacher as model) read for ten minutes a novel, magazine, children’s book or graphic novel/comic book in Spanish to boost their reading comprehension, decoding skills and language acquisition. Timer used.

Students will be divided into 4 groups. They will divide a paper into 4 parts and for each part they will write (in Spanish, but written in English here in lesson plans) “Title of Legend”, “Country of Origin”, “Summary of legend”.  Teacher must take care that the students who are reading Silbon and Llorona for IR books should NOT be viewing those Fantasmasgorias videos so that they are viewing and retelling new legends. In these four groups, students will view the Fantasmagorias clip. Teacher will prompt students to watch it at least twice, to help with comprehension and acquisition of vocabulary. In their groups, students will fill in their paper with the title of the legend, what country it originates from, and a brief summary in Spanish.

Teacher will then create new groups of 4 (1 person per clip into the new group). Students will teach their peers about their legend in Spanish. Peers must write down the information on their paper. Paper is collected and graded.

IP: Students will write their opinion about each of the legends they learned about and will write what elements each of the legends had.

Materials: SSR books, timer, 4 laptops/tablets/phones, YouTube clips of Fantasmasgorias (see annotated bibliography for links), student groups for jigsaw activity (planned ahead of time)

 

Week 5

Last IR discussion group: Independent Reading novels finished, creation of comic strip

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate comprehension of IR novel and apply the use of preterite and imperfect tenses by creating an 8-panel comic strip with Spanish captions.
Lesson Flow:

Bellringer—10 minutes of SSR. Students (and teacher as model) read for ten minutes a novel, magazine, children’s book or graphic novel/comic book in Spanish to boost their reading comprehension, decoding skills and language acquisition. Timer used.

Students will group together with peers who read the same IR book. They will have ten minutes in the group. They will create a list of key plot points on a piece of chart paper. This brainstorming activity is guided and group work; however, each student must create his/her own comic strip as a final project. During this collaboration time, students will also brainstorm what elements of myths/folktales/legends their IR story addressed and how. They will also have decided which of the 3 categories their novel falls into and why. When timer goes off, teacher will present the checklist/rubric (see below) and hand out printer paper. Students will have the remainder of the class to work on their comic strips.

As students are brainstorming with their groups, the teacher will move throughout the room to monitor discussions, keep students on task, and guide students when/if groups get stuck.

Checklist (written in English here, but would be presented in Spanish for class)

Your comic strip must include the following components:

·        8 captions in PAST tense Spanish to retell the most important aspects of your novel

·        8 pictures (with color) to accompany the Spanish captions

·        Title of the novel + its category (myth/legend/folktale)

·        On the back: A short paragraph about what elements we discussed in class for myths/legends/folktales your novel addressed and your overall reaction to the novel

The intention is for this project to be completed by the end of class; however, the teacher may decide to give students extra time as necessary.

Materials: SSR books, timer, IR books, chart paper for brainstorming, rubric/checklist for students, blank printer paper, crayons/markers/colored pencils

 

Week 6

Urban legends, “Why do we tell stories”, final unit assessment

Objective: SWBAT retell an urban legend to their peers by applying the preterite and imperfect tenses in Spanish. SWBAT vote on which legend is the spookiest/creepiest.
Lesson Flow:

Bellringer—10 minutes of SSR. Students (and teacher as model) read for ten minutes a novel, magazine, children’s book or graphic novel/comic book in Spanish to boost their reading comprehension, decoding skills and language acquisition. Timer used.

Students will be given 5 minutes of brainstorming time (silent and independent) to come up with vocab and key details to retell an urban legend. After five minute timer sounds, teacher will count students off into 5 small groups. The students will retell their urban legend in Spanish to their group and will vote on which legend is the spookiest/creepiest and should be told in front of the class. As students are working in groups, the teacher will move throughout the room to monitor discussions, keep students on task, and guide students when/if groups get stuck.

A representative from each group presents their urban legend in front of the class. The class then votes on the creepiest/spookiest urban legend. Representatives and final winner receive prizes (Halloween candy and stickers).

*Ideally this lesson would be done on or as close to Halloween as possible.

Materials: SSR books, timer, Spanish-English dictionaries

Resources

For teachers:

How to Tell Stories Across Cultures. (2018, June 29). Retrieved from https://www.intermissionmagazine.ca/festivals/summerworks/tell-stories-across-cultures/

*This is another article to accompany the one listed below (by Mccabe). It expands upon how different cultures tell stories. This article is more general whereas the article below is directed towards classroom implications. I recommend reading this article first to get a general idea about cultural differences in storytelling and then reading the Mccabe article to get a more specific idea of classroom implications.

Krashen, S. (2004) The Power of Reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

*Article by Dr. Stephen Krashen about reading and language acquisition.

Mccabe, A. (1997). Cultural Background and Storytelling: A Review and Implications for Schooling. The Elementary School Journal,97(5), 453-473. doi:10.1086/461876

*This is an excellent article for teachers to reference. It pertains to how different cultures tell stories and what different cultures find important. As a society, we tend to focus a lot on the Euro-centric way of telling stories (especially because of Standardized Testing), but this can alienate students of different cultures that values are varied from the Euro-centric way of telling stories.

Patel, D. M. (2016). Text to tradition: The Naiṣadhīyacarita and literary community in South Asia. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Pvt.

*Book by the professor of the course. Talks about how stories can become part of a culture’s “canon” and why they have emotional power and value even after many generations.

Penprase, B. E. (2017). Creation Stories from Around the World. The Power of Stars,87-111. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-52597-6_3

*Creation stories are well-known myths of cultures and often have similarities. By reading this and taking some of the stories, one could create easy comparison activities.

Thompson, S. C., Thompson, K. S., & López, L. L. (2007). Mayan folktales = Cuentos folklóricos mayas. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

*This is a good resource for a variety of different Mayan folktales. It will be easy to adapt into the classroom. I have adapted the myth Popo e Itza from this text.

Yaccarino, D (2016). I Am a Story. New York: HarperCollins Publishing.

 

*Picture book in English. Talks about how story has evolved from drawings on caves to the printing press to tablets and text messages or social media stories. Drawings are well-representative of different cultures.

 

For Students/Classroom Use:

 

Ada, A. F. (1999). Lizard and the sun. Turtleback Books.

 

*Children’s picture book. Mexican folktale about why lizards love sunbathing on rocks and why there is a sun festival in Mexico. To be used as a “Kindergarten Day” reading lesson.

 

Baker, K. (2013). La Llorona de Mazatlán. TPRS Publishing.

 

*Spanish reader made for language students. This will be a story that is read in class as part of a reading circle groups. Discussion groups meet during class every Friday. Novice-mid/novice-high.

 

Dexemple, C. (2015) El Silbón de Venezuela. TPRS Publishing.

 

*Spanish reader made for language students. This will be a story that is read in class as part of a reading circle groups. Discussion groups meet during class every Friday. Novice-mid/novice-high.

 

Ehlert, L (1997). Cuckoo: A Mexican Folktale=Cucú: una leyenda mexicana. New York,

NY: Harcourt.

 

*Children’s picture book. Mexican folktale about how the cuckoo lost her beautiful feathers. To be used as a “Kindergarten Day” reading lesson.

 

Ehlert, L (2003). Moon Rope: A Peruvian Folktale=Un lazo a la luna: Una leyenda

peruana. Orlando: Harcourt.

 

*Children’s picture book. Peruvian folktale about the fox on the moon and why moles are nocturnal. To be used as a “Kindergarten Day” reading lesson.

 

M, M. B. (2017, August 31). Fantasmagorias: La Llorona (with English Subtitles).

Retreived from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YuCNPC19G0&list=PLElDc-Fu-uAliyszgs6OaJ6DelgtHAGRw&index=39

*YouTube clip used for Jigsaw activity during week 4. This has English subtitles.

 

M, M. B. (2017, September 02). Fantasmagorias: La Sayona (with English subtitles).

Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHX9SZK6a5g&list=PLElDc-Fu-uAliyszgs6OaJ6DelgtHAGRw&index=40

 

*YouTube clip used for Jigsaw activity during week 4. This has English subtitles.

 

M, M. B. (2017, September 01). Fantasmagorias: Las Gemelas Malditas (with English

subtitles). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHtBziU_mBQ&index=41&list=PLElDc-Fu-uAliyszgs6OaJ6DelgtHAGRw

 

*YouTube clip used for Jigsaw activity during week 4. This has English subtitles.

 

Pujado, M. (2017). Las Mil y Una Noches (edición adaptada). Madrid: Clásicos a

Medida.

 

*Adapted edition of 1001 Nights. This story will be used as part of reading circle groups. Discussion groups meet during class every Friday. Intermediate-high/Advanced-low.

 

Rowan, K., & De, C. S. (2014). Don Quijote, el último caballero. Manitou Springs:

Fluency Fast Language Classes.

 

*Spanish reader made for language students. This will be a story that is read in class as an introduction to storytelling. Intermediate level.

 

U, J. (2015, September 03). El Silbon HBO Plus. Retrieved

from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72_mGYSZ2pQ&index=39&t=0s&list=PLElDc-Fu-uAliyszgs6OaJ6DelgtHAGRw

 

*YouTube clip used for Jigsaw activity during week 4. This has English subtitles.

 

Materials:

  • Writing guides/brainstorming guides/templates etc.
  • Speaking rubrics
  • Writing rubrics
  • 501 Verb Book
  • Verb conjugation packet (cheat-sheet)
  • Art supplies
  • IR novels
  • “SIMBA CHEATED” mnemonic for preterite vs. imperfect use in Spanish
  • https://ideas.ted.com/how-stories-are-told-around-the-world/
  • Article: Some Hints to Help You With “Close Reading” (for those of us who find, or have found, it difficult) by Michael Gamer UPenn
  • Article: Reading Poetry: Some Hints to Help You Read with More Pleasure and Understanding (for those of us who find, or have found, it difficult) by Michael Gamer UPenn
  • Popo e Itza (Mayan myth, adapted)
  • Student whiteboards + markers

 

Appendix

This unit uses the National Standards set for by the American Council for Teaching Foreign Language (ACTFL). As mentioned in the Course Objectives section, this unit has been designed to meet all five of ACTFL’s “C’s”. The national category standards for World Language are Communication, Comparisons, Culture, Community, and Connections.

  1. Communication
    1. Interpersonal: Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings and opinions.
    2. Interpretive: Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.
    3. Presentational: Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.
  2. Cultures
    1. Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied.
    2. Relating Cultural Products to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the products and perspectives of the cultures studied.
  3. Connections
    1. Making Connections: Learners build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines while using the language to develop critical thinking and to solve problems creatively.
    2. Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives: Learners access and evaluate information and diverse perspectives that are available through the language and its cultures.
  4. Comparisons
    1. Language Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
    2. Cultural Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
  5. Communities
    1. School and Global Communities: Learners use the language both within and beyond the classroom to interact and collaborate in their community and the globalized world.
    2. Lifelong Learning: Learners set goals and reflect on their progress in using languages for enjoyment, enrichment, and advancement.

Generic Writing Rubric