miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2014

El Salvador: La Guerra Civil y La Mara Salvatrucha


I am continuing to love using the leveled-cultural-novels from TPRS Publishing. This is why I love using them:
  • They tell engaging stories.
  • They include tons of cultural connections.
  • They are comprehensible.
  • There are so many connections that can be made to other authentic resources
  • The Teacher Guides are very useful with pre and post questions, slideshows, and a wide variety of activities to do with the books.
  • Some of my favorites so far are: La Llorona de Mazatlán, Robo en la noche, Noche de Oro, La Hija del Sastre, Esperanza, Felipe Alou, Noches Misteriosas en Granada and La Calaca Alegre (haven't used this one in class yet... but I will!). And I'm looking forward to new ones too!
In our next unit in Cultura y Civilización, we will be using the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. This book is a bit heavy, but I think it will be engaging and students will think about and process a variety of topics. It will also be a great segue to our immigration unit. These are the essential questions for the unit (thanks to Crystal Barragán for some of these):
  1. ¿Cuáles fueron las causas detrás de la guerra civil en El Salvador? ¿Cuáles fueron los dos lados opuestos en la guerra civil en El Salvador? ¿Cuáles son las repercusiones de una guerra así (con niños soldados)? ¿Qué pasó a las personas ordinarias que vivían en el medio del conflicto durante la guerra civil?
  2. ¿Cómo se formó la pandilla Mara Salvatrucha o MS-13? ¿Por qué existen las pandillas? ¿Por qué se juntan algunos jóvenes a las pandillas? ¿Por qué es tan difícil salir de las pandillas?
  3. ¿Por qué a algunos jóvenes les interesan / les fascinan los pandilleros y la cultura de las pandillas? ¿Por qué es la cultura de las pandillas glorificada dentro de la cultura popular? ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de eso?
  4. ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de los conflictos en otros países para los Estados Unidos?
In order to understand how La Mara Salvatrucha formed, we are going to spend a week learning about the civil war in El Salvador. The main resource for doing this is the movie Voces Inocentes. 
I have compiled resources from Spark Your Enthusiasm (including this this movie packet) and I also created discussion questions to go over the movie as we watch it. The movie is a bit heavy, so to break it up, we will be learning some of the songs from the movie soundtrack, including these:  Mi país, Casas de Cartón, La cumbia del brinquito (super-pegajosa!), y la de la mochila azul (super tierna). I particularly love these two:
La cumbia del brinquito
La de la mochila azul

At the end of the week, students will have a speaking assessment. They will have to tell me a summary of what happened in the movie.

After that, we will read the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. The Teacher's Guide is very helpful! To focus on Essential Question #3, we are going to use two songs. One is "Soy Raka" by Los Rakas (idea from Carrie Toth) and in opposition to that song we will study "Adentro" by Calle 13. I might also include "Sueño americano" by Los Rakas (Zachary Jones has a great worksheet to go along with the song).

For the end of unit assessments, this is what I have planned. There are three options and students will choose one of the following. (I may decide to change this as the unit progresses.)
  • Make an infografía or a presentation that shows how the movie "Voces Inocentes" connects with the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. Focus on answering Essential Questions within the context of the resources.
  • Write a an illustrated fictional story (draw or make a presentation) about someone from El Salvador who lived through the guerra civil and eventually immigrated to the United States. Use elements of the movie "Voces Inocentes" and the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha.  Within your story, focus on answering the Essential Questions.
  • Make an infografía or a presentation that focuses on the music of the unit. Use at least two of the songs from the unit and show how lines from the songs relate to the movie "Voces Inocentes" and the book Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha. Focus on answering the Essential Questions.
Have you used this book in class? Do you have any suggestions or ideas? I have also found some great Pinterest boards with resources for the book, including this one from Sharon Birch/

**Update** I created this slideshow that describes in very basic words a bit of El Salvador's history and the civil war. It is a simplified version, but it is comprehensible to my students. We went over it before starting the movie. Also, students listened to this NPR podcast (in English) the night before we started the movie and took notes in Spanish.

**Another Update** I created this vocabulary sheet with vocabulary words for each chapter. We will go over the words and fill in the English before we read each chapter. Many of the words they will know, but because there is a very wide variety of levels in the classroom, this will help to make is comprehensible for all students. The words are in the order that they appear. The Teacher's Guide does include a list too, but this format will make it easier for my students and me.