These are the "Preguntas Esenciales" for the unit:
- ¿Qué está pasando en México ahora? ¿Cuándo, por qué y cómo empezó toda la violencia? En tu opinión, ¿cuáles son las consecuencias (sociales y políticas) en México? ¿Y hay consecuencias para nuestro país? ¿Hay una posible solución?
- ¿Cómo se retratan los "narcos" dentro de la cultura popular? ¿Es una imagen positiva, negativa o las dos? (Refiere a las canciones “La Reina del Sur,” “México,” y “Have you heard?”) En tu opinión, ¿qué consecuencias sociales tienen estas imágenes en una sociedad?
- ¿Cómo reflejan todas las canciones la realidad en México? ¿Cómo son similares y diferentes los mensajes de las varias canciones y/o los videos que hemos escuchado y estudiado?
- ¿Por qué son tan importantes las viñetas políticas en México?
- ¿Por qué es importante que las personas tengan la esperanza que se ve en el anuncio de Coca-Cola y en otras canciones?
These are the two exams:
- Speaking (presentational) exam (given midway through the unit)
- Written (interpretive) exam (given at the end of the unit)
- Something I need to create is an interpersonal assessment... ideas? Perhaps a written response in the form of a letter to the narco portrayed in Have you Heard?
These are the authentic resources that were used in this unit (all linked on the unit post of class website (scroll to bottom of post for links), some in my delicous bookmarks, and some at Zambombazo/narco):
- Four (maybe five) songs, which we listened to, watched, and sang a lot:
- México by Instituto Mexicano del Sonido (I don't recommend the video for the song, as it contains graphic images)
- Have you heard? by Ceci Bastida ft. Rye Rye - excellent video with lots to talk about (Zachary Jones has the video with an edited version of this song here)
- La Reina del Sur by Los Tigres del Norte or by Los Cuates de Sinaloa - the second video shows scenes from the telenovela and tells the story of the narcocorrido
- Tuve para dar by Julieta Venegas - another excellent video that will have students engaged.
- (El corrido del cuidadano by various artists) - good video here too
- Various articles (some in English) to better understand the current situation
- One commercial by Coca-Cola (positive image of Mexico)
- A lot of political cartoons
- An interview about narcocorridos being censored
- An interview with the president of Guatemala with his views of how to improve the situation
- What the Mexican flag looks like and what it symbolizes. The songs "México" and "Have you heard?" mention red and green, and the video for "Tuve para dar" has red, green and white prominently featured in it.
- How many Mexican states there are
- Twitter is being used to share information and help people find information about dangers in Mexico
- What a corrido/narcocorrido is
This unit is excellent. I feel like I seamlessly integrated and addressed the following standards:
- Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions
- Students wrote and talked about the songs, the videos, the interviews, the political cartoons, and other resources.
- Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics
- Students understood all of the songs, interviews, articles and other information.
- Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics
- Students answered questions about the current situation in Mexico and also talked about the songs México and Have you heard?
- Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied
- Students were able to see cultural perspectives of the current situation in México by listening to the songs.
- Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied
- The songs in this unit are products of the culture with cultural perspectives about the narcoviolence in Mexico.
- Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language
- Government, geograhpy, economics, and health were some of the other disciplines that this unit touched upon.
- Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures
- The viewpoints expressed in the songs and other resources are distinctive and could not be expressed as effectively in English.
- Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own
- By translating the songs, students made comparisons with Spanish and English.
- Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own
- Students compared the glorification of narcos within pop culture and compared it to our culture.
- Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
- Hopefully, students listened to some of the songs outside of class.
- Standard 5.2: Students who evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment
- Because there are a lot of connections with popular television shows in the U.S., some students may be more interested and more driven to understand the Spanish language and culture of some Spanish-speaking countries.
This unit could also be used for an AP class, as it touched upon many of the new recommended AP Themes.