A year and a half ago, in the span of less than two months, tragedy in the form of an earthquake struck both Haiti and Chile. This past spring, it was Japan. The world responded in many ways. For my classes, we followed the news with multiple videos and written accounts in Spanish. We also focused on the song “We are the World”. Students in 2010 were enamored of the song that was redone using big name celebrities of today: Usher, Kanye, Justin Bieber, Pink, and Celine Dion are just a few of the 81 who got together to record the song that Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote in 1985. At just about the same time, I learned that Emilio y Gloria Estefan were also working on a version in Spanish, called “Somos el Mundo”. As soon as both the new English and the new Spanish versions were released, I had a new lesson plan, one that I expanded upon this year. I spent parts (never the entire period) of four classes using the various activities that I developed.
We began by viewing the 1985 original, the 2010 version in English, and then the 2010 version in Spanish. We spent a good deal of time reviewing the lyrics in English and comparing them to the Spanish lyrics. letras Somos el mundo We also compared the artists who sang the various parts in the 1985 original, the 2010 English and the 2010 Spanish. This was an interesting activity for the students since many of the 1985 artists were artists that they had heard of by name, but didn’t recognize, and many of the Spanish artists were familiar but just as many were new to them. We did a cloze activity with the Spanish lyrics Somos el mundo fill in Once we had worked with the Spanish version several times, we also played a game that I developed from an idea at EFL Classroom 2.0 I chose to use this in an attempt to cement some of the vocabulary for the students. Here is the game template and the playing cards that go with it, full instructions are with the game template. Somos el mundo game board Question-Card-Template Set A Question-Card-Template-set B
We sang the Spanish song multiple times in class, as well as the newest English version. We discussed geography and culture of the countries affected. After several days of exposure to the videos, I had the students complete a comparison of the three versions. At this point in time, I already knew that they preferred the 1985 version to the 2010 version, and more than half of each of the Spanish III classes thought that the Spanish version was more inspirational and emotional. We are the world 3 song comparison The last activity that I had the students do was a reflection on the three versions. This was assigned as homework and collected a few days later. Las 3 versiones de We are the world Reaccion As I mentioned in an earlier post, a group of students chose to sing “Somos el Mundo” at the induction ceremony for our chapter of La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica. Additionally, I had several students choose to work with this song for their performance assessment in the music/social awareness unit.
Through these activities students were exposed to very useful vocabulary, learned a great deal about various Spanish artists, and were able to make some relevant comparisons between English and Spanish. Lastly, the song “Somos el Mundo” became part of the iPod rotation for many of them, creating a lasting connection for them.