Frida, chapters 2 – 4

coverThis post is called Frida on the fly……   It’s that time of year, and we are all super busy.  However, I wanted to share three activities that I created and used with some success for chapters 2, 3 and 4.  I apologize in advance if these are ideas from other people. I am a scavenger and avid reader of other blogs.  Sometimes those ideas spark my ideas.  I created the following activities, but they may be based on the idea of someone else!!

Chapter 2  Dos Familias

My kids last year ( my first year with the book) found chapter 2  with the two families a bit confusing.  This year I created a family tree document to help them as we read.  It’s not much, and certainly could be added to, but it’s a start.  I had students fill it out with names, birth order/deaths as we were reading. We also drew additional details (like a Smash doodle) that made the chapter more comprehensible and memorable (the night of the death of María and the visit of Wilhelm/Guillermo to Matilde; daughters sent to convent; photography; best friend Cristina, etc.) Chap 2 Family tree of Wilehlm

Chapter 3  Monstruos

This is the chapter in which Frida gets polio. I looked at using some infographics for polio but decided to take a more “physical” approach to helping students to understand what polio is/was.  (Sidenote:  Carrie Toth has a SUPERB activity for the outbreak of polio on her blog!) I took basic information about polio and separated it into individual incomplete sentences.  I printed them on cardstock and posted them in random places around my room.  I had the students find a partner and gave them a paper that had the missing information from the individual sentences.  Once they had all come up with a complete paper, we checked their responses together in class and I had them complete Part II of their paper.  When done correctly, the answer spelled out Pata de Palo, which is the title of Chapter 4! We then immediately discussed what pata de palo is, where they have seen it (movies), and read the chapter! Chap 3 polio search 2017 spells pata de palo

Chapter 2, 3, 4

Somewhere, in the blog world, I read this idea and do NOT remember where.  Please let me know if it was you and I will credit you!  I took key words/events from chapters 2, 3 and 4, printed them on colorful card stock and gave one to each student.  The student had to think about the word/phrase and the connection to those chapters in the novel.  They shared the sentence with a partner, listened to their partner’s sentence and exchanged cards and moved to a new partner. I did allow them to refer to the book when necessary.  It did not appear that the book was frequently used. In two classes, I used Inner/Outer Circles and in the third class I just let them move around freely. It was a great activity to “refresh” our story after Thanksgiving break. Once we had worked with partners, we shared some sentences as I randomly held up one of the cards.  Chap 3 and 4 output information sentences

 

Advertisements

Starting the novel, Frida

This week my Spanish IV classes are starting the novel, Frida by Kristy Placido. I’m posting very quickly (and probably with some errors! :)) how I am beginning it for the second time.cover I decided that one of the first activities that we would do would be to work with the song, Soy Yo by Bomba Estéreo.  Kara Jacobs has a great unit on her blog for Level I Spanish students with additional materials available on TPT (Sherry Nesbitt also has some materials here.). I took her basic google presentation or powerpoint and revamped it for Spanish IV.  It is available for download (free) below.

Bomba Estereo – Soy yo – revised for blog

Here is my three day plan:

Day 1

  1.  I used Kara’s original story and rewrote it for an upper level class. I am not sharing it because it is part of her unit that is available on TPT. Students read it aloud with a partner, answered questions, identified vocabulary. (I had previously assigned them a quizlet with key words from the song).
  2. We watched the video.
  3. We brainstormed what “belleza” meant.  In groups of three, they had 10 minutes to prepare a powerpoint (as a group) of things/people that are beautiful.  We did a quick gallery walk to view the finished products.  Each group then wrote a definition of beauty.  It is my hope to return to these powerpoints later and see if they would change anything.

Day 2

  1.  I used the powerpoint for Soy yo by Bomba Estéreo (Bomba Estereo – Soy yo – revised for blog).  We took the time to discuss the slides throughly.  When we got to slide 6, with the message from the group about the song, “No hay nada mejor que ser tú” I began to tie it into Frida. I referenced a poster of her in my room, and we talked in general terms about when she was born, what was happening in the world during her lifetime, the “unibrow” and facial hair, why she might want to look like that (in historical terms) and what people might say about her.  Slides 9 – 11 were crucial in continuing the discussion.
  2. Next, I gave each group of 2 students a set of cut up lyrics (printed on card stock and cut out) soy yo lyric arrange strips  For my own sanity, each set was printed on a different color in case any strips were dropped on the floor (!) they would be easily identified as to what group was missing the strip.  Within the first 10 seconds of the music, students identified how very difficult it was going to be to put the strips in order….but that was a great challenge that they really enjoyed.  I had to play the beginning three times before they got the order correct for the first 4 – 6 strips.  As we did it in sections, we also talked about what the lyrics were saying (quizlet came in handy!). Finally we had the entire first verse and chorus done.  I had them “make meaning” with their partner of the lyrics, and we checked our thoughts.  Then……we tried to “rap” it!  Such a blast!!! We did it several times.
  3. We worked with the first part of the Zamba: Excursión al Museo de Bellas Artes, Frida Kahlo. We watched it and shared what we saw and heard. There were MANY questions about it; I encouraged the questions but didn’t give answers yet.
  4. Finally, we played quizlet live with our Soy yo lyrics.

Day 3

  1.  I plan to open with a cloze of Soy Yo. Soy yo cloze day 2  The document also contains a space to write a 25 word summary of the message of the song. I’m pretty sure we will have to sing again!
  2.  We will work with the Zamba video again. Kara Jacobs has a great activity for this.  Arianne Dowd also has a terrific unit on TPT for Frida and the Zamba video!
  3. We will read chapter 1 of Frida

Looking ahead, we will begin working with Caótica Belleza on days 4/5.  See my blog post from last year here. Additionally, I hope to add this song in later chapters: Yo Soy Así by Redimi2 and Funky. I’ve already had it playing in the background and they are very “into” it.  When I get it done, I’ll post it here or on my wikipage.  A sampling of the lyrics:

Acéptame, recházame
pero no quieras cambiarme
Sé que mi estilo de vida
no se parece a tu vida pero
que le puedo hacer
Yo soy así

Yo no voy a hacer
lo que todos hacen
seré diferente
aunque me rechacen
conmigo mis amigos
no se complacen
quieren destruirme
pero no la hacen

Adding MIENTES to La Llorona de Mazatlán

This is now my fourth time using La Llorona de Mazatlán by Katie Baker with my Spanish IV classes.  While there are standard activities and creations that I use with all of our novels each year, I never do anything the same way twice. This year has been made a bit more complicated since I decided that we would start the year with both FVR and El Internado once a week (as opposed to just second semester), effectively eliminating one day of the week.  However, I still want to cover the same amount of material and novels as last year, so I have to really consider how much more I add to each novel! It actually has worked out well, as I have had the students read about half of the novel on their own, and half with the whole class and therefore still been able to add in all the little “extras”.  This past week we finished chapters 9 and 10 (the fracturing of the friendship of Laney and Desi and the gift of la pulsera from Luis to Laney). We also have begun our readings of other legends (El Sombrerón, El Cucuy, El Chupacabras) as well as the first versions of La Llorona (thanks to Bryce Hedstrom!).  The first part of Chapter 11 is the huge argument between Laney and Desi, when Laney lies about the giver of the gift. My students certainly know the nouns “mentiroso/a” and “mentira” but I did not feel that they were as familiar with the verb “mentir.” With oral assesments coming up, I really want them to be comfortable when talking about the people who lied: Laney and Luis. In addition to that, the lyrics tie in beautifully with the book and the legend of La Llorona: You came into my life to teach me; with eyes closed I followed you; you’re not the person that I thought you were; you hurt me; I’m better off without you. Last year, AFTER the chapter, I used the terrific song Mientes by Camila, and they really enjoyed it. However, I made a note to use it BEFORE the chapter this year, and it worked really well.  Note: I did not use the video at any point in time; it is not appropriate and absolutely not needed. Here is the order of what I did.

  1.  Quickly went over present and past tense of mentir, with some PQA 1
  2. Shared some memes and images 2.PNG
  3. Had some discussion about famous liars (I gave them a few, they added more). 3.PNG
  4. Had some discussion about our own lies, and why we lie 5.PNG
  5. Talked about consequences of lying; this was deliberate to incorporate some unfamiliar words in the song Mientes:  hace daño, conseguiste, quedan ganas6.PNG
  6. First listen to the song and work with a traditional cloze chap 11 MIENTES Camila
  7. After listening to it twice, checking the words that they filled in, and making sure that meaning had been established, most of them were begging to sing it. One of my classes had to sing it three times and we have decided that this week they will come up with gestures for the song.
  8. Read the first two pages of Chapter 11 (the fight) and was delighted when so many of them started yelling:  Mientes, Laney, mientes!

This upcoming week

  1.  Review the song again, singing with all classes, adding gestures with at least one of those classes
  2. Pull out specific lines to emphasize 7.PNG
  3. Use Pictograms Chap 11 Mientes picto  8
  4. And/or use Pictograms as a game (projected on SMART)
  5. Act out the fight scene between Laney and Desi, using the actual script in the book first, then creating their own script

If you are interested in seeing the rest of what I have done with La Llorona de Mazatlán this year, use this link.  The page is in chronological order so that the most current plans are at the top.

La Casa de la Dentista: New Graphic Novel

Typically, I am a patient person. But I have a confession to make: I watched as one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and EIGHT reviews were published, reviews for Señor Wooly and his new graphic novel, La Casa de la Dentista and I became more impatient with each one! Why? Señor Wooly had contacted me, as he had several other people, to ask if I would like to review his soon to be released graphic novel. What a question?!?!? Who wouldn’t jump at that opportunity? I have been a follower of his website for years and have seen the evolution of his work and phenomenal creativity.  So why did I become impatient? Because I live in a rural area and my mail is always slow…but this time, it also landed in a neighbor’s mailbox who didn’t bring it to me until the next day! So, I watched as Allison Weinhold, Cynthia Hitz, Maris Hawkins, Arianne Dowd, Martina Bex, Kelly Ferguson,  Kara Jacobs, and Dustin Williamson ALL posted their reviews. And I tried not to read them, just skimmed the opening paragraphs!!! I wanted to read the graphic novel without too much prior knowledge or opinion. And the suspense was KILLING me!

When I was teaching Spanish II many years ago (at least back in 2010 or 2011 ) my students enjoyed many of his early creations (I am almost ashamed to say that we must have chanted, in that sly voice, fui, fuiste, an infinite number of times) but most of all, they loved Billy la Bufanda. I have continued using the site, finally getting a pro subscription last year, and my students have continued to reap the benefits of his sense of humor, compelling lyrics and oh, so sneaky repetitions! Last year the favorites were PAN! and ¡Qué Asco! So, while Jim was emphatic in requesting an honest review of La Casa de la Dentista, favorable or not, I was pretty certain that his memorable brand of humor,  his finely tuned sense of what appeals to students and his novel approaches to offering comprehensible input would be immediately evident in his latest creation. I am not surprised at all to say that I was correct!

Now that I have read La Casa de la Dentista, I have also read the reviews, in totality, from the people previously listed. It appears that we are unanimous in our overwhelming approval and recommendation of this new graphic novel.  All of the previous reviewers have shared a multitude of ideas about how to use the novel as well as the links to the helpful tutoring session by Jim and Carrie (Toth) on how to teach with a graphic novel. Therefore, what might I add to what has already been said??

I will say that the very first opinion that I formed when I opened my copy for the first time was, “WOW! This book is beautiful!” Visually, it is stunning! The manner in which the story has been illustrated, the shaping of the characters, the vivid use of colors to portray emotions and moods and the layout of the frames on the page are immediately impressive. Even the size and weight of the book and, I know this is weird, the smell of the pages when you open it, take me back to my own childhood and teen years when I could not wait to dive into a particularly inviting book.  And this book IS inviting….it is literally begging to be opened. I believe that even a reluctant reader is going to open this book without prompting.  Just the cover of the book is eye-catching, with the beam of light from the flashlight, the aura of light from the match and the play of light on the faces practically insisting that the book must be opened. dentista-graphic-novel-hardcover-reducedOnce inside, the illustrations aid in stimulating the imagination, heightening the readers’ emotional response and perceptions, and definitely holding the attention of the reader while helping the reader move through the narrative. These illustrations are actively involved in assisting the reader comprehend the input that is repeatedly, creatively and uniquely expressed in the written words.  Jim’s inspired, gifted narrative is marvelously enhanced by the illustrations of Juan Carlos Pinilla (Colombia), colorization by Davi Comodo (Brazil) and lettering by Lucas Gattoni (Argentina).

Dentista-page2-3-reduced

As many have noted in their reviews, this book is not written with the elementary student in mind. I would use it with middle and high school students. Many “horror or terror” movies or shows are rated PG13 because teens are usually the targeted demographic of that type of media. I think that statement may hold true for La Casa de la Dentista, too. I typically am not a fan of scary movies….I do not like to be scared! However, while the twists are many and the “fear factor” rich, it is a fascinating, coercive read. I fell into the rhythm of the dialogue and could not pull myself out. (Images from the preview of the first 18 pages)

Capture2       Capture

Last year I purchased a classroom set (30 copies) of Billy y las Botas for use as a whole classroom novel. For me, I think that I will prefer to use La Casa de la Dentista in our FVR parts of each week. I did not want to be interrupted as I read this graphic novel….I wanted to be free to pause, to savor, to re-read, to ponder, to imagine, as I wanted to. I think that I will want students to run their eyes over all of the great reading material that I have accumulated for them, scanning the covers and coming to a halt as their eyes encompass the cover of this one. This is just my personal opinion and wish; I am positive that others will be highly successful using this as a whole class novel.

I know with certainty that when I add my beautiful hardcover copy of La Casa de la Dentista to the shelves of our classroom library, there will be some jockeying to be the first one in each class to read it. That will be my problem! My MOI (materials of instruction) funds are gone for the year, and I feel that several students in each class will want the book at the same time!

Goosechase: a scavenger hunt for today’s world

goosechase freeze frame2This image is a “freeze frame” mission from Bianca Nieves y los Siete Toritos by Carrie Toth, using the app Goosechase. The team pictured was recreating the scene in which El Julí  gets gored by the vicious bull, Sábado, complete with reaction from the crowd.  Does it appear that these boys were “into it?”  I think so!!!

I first read about the app Goosechase in Maris Hawkins’ blog and Arianne Dowd’s blog last May. Last week, at the iFLT 2017 conference in Denver (which I vicariously attended through Twitter), Arianne mentioned Goosechase again in conjunction with a session by Darcy Pippins and referenced my use of the app. tweet

Since I had posted quite a few of my students’ completed missions from the last few weeks of the school year on Twitter and Facebook, they suggested I might blog about the experience.  Additionally, I participated in a small part of a 10 day cultural exchange program with 49 middle school students from China last week.  I used Goosechase with them successfully….after overcoming some language and tech hurdles!

When Maris blogged about Goosechase she was studying directions and city vocabulary; Arianne used it with the novel La Hija del Sastre.  The first time that I used it was with the novel that I wrote called Amigos, Abrazos, Aventura: Argentina. It was the end of May, our weather had been uncharacteristically cool and rainy for weeks, the kids were “blah”, just waiting for school to be over….I needed something new and instantly engaging. Goosechase was an immediate hit with my juniors and they requested to do it again. But, as Carol Gaab frequently says, “The brain craves novelty.” so, while Goosechase is a great activity, it is ONE strategy to go into the basket with all of the other strategies! I would recommend using Goosechase perhaps once a semester, certainly no more frequently than once a marking term.  The second time I used it as one of the final activities with the novel Bianca Nieves y los Siete Toritos. Again, it proved to be an instantaneous success with my sophomores who also requested to do it again. The third time that I used it (last week) was to review all of the activities that the Chinese students had participated in over the week:  visiting Assateague, the Ward Wild Fowl Museum, the Salisbury Zoo, a K9 presentation, etc. For most of those students it was a positive, enjoyable experience, but for several, the language was not comprehensible for them.

The free app is easy to use.  Students divide into teams (or you can designate teams). One team member has the app on his/her device (phone, tablet), logs in and searches for the name of your game. Once he/she finds it, a password is entered (optional, but I used one to make sure that only my students were progressing through the Goosechase), the students determine a team name (and can upload an image if desired….some do), and the missions become visible to them.  The students can work through the missions in order or, as I did, they could randomly choose which to do first.  The teacher assigns the point values for the missions, therefore if random is an option, some students might opt to work on the higher valued missions first. Goosechase bills itself as “a scavenger hunt for the masses.” I can see how it would be an excellent tool on a field trip to a museum, neighborhood, restaurant, etc.  For me, I used it as review and reinforcement of material that we have covered….providing yet another repetition of comprehensible Spanish. I love that using the device, the students click “submit” and a video or photo is submitted in real time and I can view it as they are submitted. I can determine whether it meets the requirements and let the points remain (instantly added by the app) as stated, or delete the submission because it doesn’t meet the requirements OR add extra points if the submission is above or beyond what I expected. I love that there is a leaderboard that is being projected on my device (and that students checked frequently). There is also an activity feed, which shows the submissions in chronological order as well as a submissions page, where all submissions are gathered to be viewed in their entirety by points or by team.

goosechasegoosechase2

goosechase3

The free edition of this app allows for just 5 teams, which worked fine for me. I had students make teams of 4-6 students and that covered the class.  Since I have multiple sections of each class, I just created the game two – three times, depending on how many classes.  It sounds like a lot of work, but it really took less than 3 minutes to recreate the game once it was made.  All of the mission that you create are stored in a “mission bank”, so it is merely a matter of going to the bank and clicking the missions you wish to include. There also is a master list of missions from the site itself and other users, but they aren’t really useful for me right now. Below are the missions that I used for my Argentina novel and then for Bianca Nieves.

goosechase4goosechase5

As I’ve already stated, my students really enjoyed the activity.  They loved the novelty of it, the “escape” from the classroom, working with partners of their choosing, recreating what they had learned, and the competing to finish as much as possible in the time limit imposed upon them.  The time limit is something that you set (and can adjust as needed during the game). Once time is ended, students are no longer able to submit missions and return to class.  A colleague of mine used the Bianca Nieves Goosechase with her students and had similar success with one exception.  She had a team of boys who decided to merely goof off during the Goosechase.  This team accomplished one mission! She therefore had to “grade” the Goosechase, reflecting the fact that all other teams completed many missions to the one mission of these boys.

I would suggest that you notify staff and administration well in advance of the Goosechase activity.  Since students may be all over the school grounds during a regular class period, it helps that others understand what is happening.  It might also be advisable to have each group carry a hall pass from you, the teacher.

When I use this strategy again, I will probably try incorporating more of a “breakout” type environment, where students will need to finish missions in order and solve puzzles or riddles (upload the evidence) in order to advance in the “game.”

Below are some images from the two games.  Unfortunately, I can not upload videos to this “free” version of wordpress anymore. I wish that I could upload the speaking missions, because I was really impressed with what my students could express “off the cuff.” And I REALLY wish I could upload the videos where they sang, danced or acted out (freeze frame or actions) scenes from the novels.

I hope this helps give you a visual for this app.  I would love to know what you might do or create with it!

Bodymapping Argentina (first two), Spain

goosechas body mapping A goosechase body Arg

goosechase body mapping

Drawing Missions: food from Argentina, clothing from Bianca Nieves, ranch in Bianca Nieves, the letter A in the Argentina novel. Below those, imitating and honoring from Bianca Nieves

Cabaret, a celebration of cultures, languages and arts!

cabaretNine years ago, in 2008, I attended a world language conference in Maryland. It was in a session there that an idea was planted in my head. I wish that I could remember who the speaker was, but I don’t. She shared with us the idea of a type of talent show that featured talent in many languages.  The next year, in 2009, the first Cabaret at James M. Bennett High School took place. Indeed, it was a celebration of talent: singing, dancing, skits, poetry recitation and instrumental selections that came from a variety of languages and cultures.  Since then, we have held a Cabaret about every two years.  I feel very strongly that one of my major responsibilities as a world language teacher is to open a window on the world for my students of rural Delmarva (rural, but with a quite high immigrant population) and to build bridges leading to acceptance and understanding of other cultures. Last night, we held a Cabaret that achieved that, and I will always remember it.  It was so very special that I will cherish the warmth, the love and the good feelings for a very long time.

This year, for the first time, my committee for the Cabaret was not just world language teachers.  Instead, it was made up of me, a Latin teacher, an English teacher, two science teachers, a history teacher, a media assistant and an ELL teacher.  We began our planning the first part of January, meeting so that I could explain what was involved and then dividing the work load.  The English teacher was responsible for decorations and theme (cinco de mayo, since it was held on May 5th), the science teachers were responsible for the international desserts, the history teacher was responsible for the beverages, the ELL teacher was responsible for tickets and finances, the media assistant was responsible for publicity and the Latin teacher and I covered auditions, program, power points, school promotion (morning announcements and videos), technical needs, and stage crew. We made a phenomenal team.

We charged $4.00 a ticket, which included a beverage and their choice of an international dessert.  Additional desserts were available for $1.00.  Since our principal assisted us with some discretionary funds, we were able to make almost $600. We decided at a planning meeting in early April that the profit would be used to begin a scholarship in memory of our guidance secretary who passed away suddenly in March.

We chose two outgoing senior students to be our emcees for the evening, and they were wonderfully high energy, involving the audience from the opening minute of the show. They introduced each act with information about each performer.  There were more than 62 performers in the show, and another 25 involved in decorating, baking, serving and stage crew. The event was well attended by our students, who were polite, receptive and enthusiastic in their support of each other.  We began promptly at 7:00 and finished at 9:20, including a 20 minute intermission break for more dessert and dance (described below).  I prepared two enormous power points, one that played for 20 minutes prior to 7:00 that featured music, pictures and quotes for all languages encompassed in our show and a second power point that had a slide or two for each act, featuring lyrics or trivia about each act and performer.  We used our Clipper Galley (the cafeteria) as the venue because we would be able to eat as students performed.  The very nature of a Cabaret is an intimate gathering with food and entertainment.  By removing many tables and chairs, leaving only 24 tables with 10 chairs at each, we were able to create a very welcoming environment. We did have to add more chairs due to a higher than expected attendance.

All of this years’ acts were by student performers.  In the past, we had several faculty participants, but none this year.  Here is the First Act:

  • Song, Wilkommen from Cabaret, in German, French and English
  • Song, Dana Dana, in Arabic
  • Instrumental (flute, violin, trumpet), Santa Lucia, Italian folk song
  • Dance, BBoy, American
  • Song, Fate, Korean
  • Song, Bulleya, Hindi
  • Instrumental (clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, saxophone) Serenata, Spanish American
  • Song, La Fleur que tu m’avais jetee from Carmen, French
  • Poem recitation, Fakat al tanfus, Arabic then translated to English
  • Song, Konfie m nan De, Creole
  • Instrumental, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Saint-Saens, French
  • Song and guitar, Malagueña, Spanish
  • Dance, Garba meets Bollywood, Hindi

Intermission featured the most popular Just Dance videos from my Spanish III Baila Viernes (Bailando, Limbo, Bailar, La Bicicleta) as well as an additional Bollywood and Korean Just Dance and a special tag team Free style by our break dancers. Intermission was an overwhelming success, with at least 50 students up dancing together in front of our giant screen.

Act II

  • Fashion show with narration and music with 17 models featuring attire from Ghana, Morocco and Algeria (all of the clothes belonged to students from Northern Africa)
  • Song, Como la flor, Spanish
  • Song, The Sound of Silence, English
  • Dance, original dance choreographed to Caótica Belleza, Spanish
  • Poem recitation, Y si el hombre, Spanish
  • Skit, Latin
  • Dance, popping animation, American
  • Song, Fotografía, Spanish
  • Dance, Bangra Bollywood, Punjabi
  • Song, O cessate di piagrarmi, Italian
  • Song, A Million Reasons, English
  • Dance, JMB Dance Team, street dance, American
  • Song with saxophone solo, At last, English

Conclusion of the Cabaret featured another 20 minutes of Just Dance videos as students were reluctant to leave and just kept asking for more! I lost track of the number of student participants (and parents) who thanked me profusely for allowing them to share their language and culture and the student audience members who said that they couldn’t wait to be participants in the next show!

The idea to embrace and celebrate our very diverse population at JMB is one that is of tremendous importance. It was more than just beautiful to watch the multitude of culture, language and art converge in our Clipper Galley, it was inspiring, and hopeful, and oh so very necessary. To present those cultures, languages and arts through song, dance, poetry and drama was more than entertaining, it was good for our hearts. I am so very, very proud of the representation of languages and cultures: Spanish, Creole, Hindi, Latin, Punjabi, Korean, Arabic, Italian, German, French, and English. Additionally, we embraced students whose cultural identity includes: the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Ghana, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, India, Pakistan, Italy, Germany, France, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and the United States. It absolutely was one of the best nights ever of my long teaching career. Watching these diverse students support each other, cheer for each other and come together at intermission to fill the “dance floor” as they danced through at least 7 Just Dance multicultural videos (and to do the same AFTER the show was over) was something that I know had to impact those in attendance. If you don’t already have such an event at your school, I would encourage you to consider doing something similar. It is so very worth it.  I will leave you with the following message that a student emailed me last night:

“Everyone was so supportive and kind and light and friendly that everyone else just couldn’t help but let their guard down and relax with them. I 100% believe that without this, without multiculturalism among the Stars and Stripes of our American flag, we would not enjoy life to the fullest extent. Whatever help you need in planning future Cabarets, I’m on board. Here’s my email. My phone number is (443) *** ****. I would hate to see people of future generations miss out on an opportunity for something as amazing as what we all witnessed tonight. ESPECIALLY considering the giant thumb known as Donald Trump, is constricting every piece of diverse culture America contains into boxes marked “over the wall, you go.” You have provided me with a window into these lives, a door into different cultures, and a way to immerse myself in all of their beauty. Thank you so much for that. Your hard work and effort really glimmered tonight, my family and I send our thanks and appreciation to you and the rest of the participants/teachers/staff.”

cabaret2

audience

fashion show

Locura de mayo 2017

music

And back, by popular demand from my Spanish IV students, is their third round of musical mania. And this is a TOUGH one!!! I had a very, very, very hard time getting down to 26 titles. Latin music has just exploded the last few months with songs and styles that have  captured the attention of my students.  All of the songs in my playlist are songs that I have already played at least once as our “starter” music each day (the music that is playing when they enter class) so nothing is brand new to them. The only clear cut favorite that I can select right now is the Justin Bieber version of Despacito with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. (And I am hoping it is just because it IS so new.)  Another that has really stood out for them is Desencuentro by Residente (Calle 13) which I first introduced at the end of Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha.  Did I hear you say “What??????”  For those of you familiar with that novel, the narrator and Analía encounter a crisis with critical action. The lyrics from Desencuentro include:

Dentro de los accidentes, imprevistos y las posibilidades
Eventualidades, choques estelares                                                                                                 La casualidad de poder vernos se escapa
Somos diferentes cielos en un mismo mapa
Y tú aquí y yo allá. Y yo aquí y tú allá

When I introduced it, there was no official music video. Now there is…..and it is NOT at all what we expected…..but they LOVE IT!

CNCO is also a huge pleaser, and I have used both Reggaeton Lento (from last year) and the just released Hey DJ!

Nicky Jam has been prolific in releasing videos for his new album, Fénix.  I have included El Ganador (which we also used in Vida y Muerte) which appeals to many of my “trap loving music” students and El Amante.

Juanes is tremendously active right now, too (Mis Planes Son Amarte). I must say that I have not been entranced with his new music, but they have been interested in Hermosa Ingrata and on Friday immediately responded to the just released El Ratico. I also added the very unusual  Amárrame with Mon Laferte which has puzzled them.

Shakira is all over the charts, so I’ve included the older (last summer) La Bicicleta (with Carlos Vives), the newer Deja vu with Prince Royce, and the just released Me enamoré. I could NOT bring myself to include El Chantaje.

It will be interesting to see how less famous groups fare. Most students love the voices of La Marisoul from La Santa Cecilia and Jesse y Joy, so I’ve included two selections from them.

And of course, there are the eternally popular artists like Enrique Iglesias (Súbeme la radio) and Gente de Zona (Si no vuelves) and Nacho, from Chino y Nacho (Báilame).

There is music that my students really like that I will not use because of the lyrics or because of the videos. I have REALLY struggled with including the Despacito video because of the nature of some of the dancing. I also struggled with the lyrics to Súbeme la radio (Traiga el alcohol), among others.  Many times I will only “selectively” play sections of these videos, but in the case of Súbeme la radio, the alcohol line is part of the chorus, repeated and repeated.  It’s a fine line, for sure.

Here is the link to my playlist for Locura de mayo 2017. Round one of the contest will feature 2 minutes of 2 videos followed by a vote.  Round two will feature the winners from round one, but using the lyric videos, followed by a vote. Round three will feature the winners from round two with both the lyric and music videos, followed by a vote.

Predictions? Either Enrique Iglesias, CNCO, Nicky Jam or Despacito……..  LOL!