10 years of teaching social awareness through music….

I finished my 10th year of teaching social awareness through music with my Spanish III classes this week.  And, as has happened every year since I created this unit, it got longer and more involved, and the kids were terrific!  When I started 10 years ago, I used 3 songs (two from Juanes and one from Juan Luis Guerra).  This year, I used 15 songs (Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Baute and Yerson and Stuard).  I spent about 6 weeks in the unit full time, but I actually started the music as we were finishing a unit about travel.  Within the teaching of this unit, I also incorporated preterite and imperfect, present subjunctive, geography of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and South America in general, history of the three focal countries and background information with authentic readings of all of the artists except for Yerson and Stuard.  I plan to post the entire unit here this summer, when school is done; however, you can see the bulk of the work here.

This year, as I have done for the past 6 years, the students all chose one song as their focus, and created their own interpretation of it.  This was the assignment: PBT La Música 2013.

With this unit, I give the only “test” of the year, which is essentially identifying the geographical and historical points for the 3 countries studied in depth, identifying positive and negative vocabulary, choosing their own vocabulary to show me what they have learned, writing what they know about Juanes, and using the lyrics of the songs to support the themes of the unit.  The last part of the “test” is to let me know what they may have gotten from this unit.  Here are some of their responses.


Additionally, I had some students create extra things, and I had one class, my smallest, ask to create their own Bandera de Manos.  I’m posting some of the projects below as well as pictures of the Bandera de Manos and some shirts that students created.

Minas Piedras 2

Bandera 2Bandera 3bandera 4bandera 5bandera 6 groupbandera 7Bandera de Manossuenos

9 thoughts on “10 years of teaching social awareness through music….

  1. First off, I love your blog and have been using your ideas for a few years now. I have been studying your Music and Social Awareness unit on your class page and your blog. I was wondering if you would be willing to send me your links to the PhotoStories you created for this unit and what are your guiding questions for the students. Thank you for already sharing so much. You have been a great help. I do not have to follow a text book and I teach 4 levels of Spanish. This is my second year without having to use a textbook, while I love the freedom, I still have a lot of work to do on developing my curriculum.

    • Thank you for your comments. The Photo Stories don’t have links that I can send, and unfortunately, they are too big to send by e-mail. When you create a Photo Story, it simply gets saved on your flash or on your computer. I’m sorry, because I have shared them at conferences, letting people copy them from my flashdrive. I’ll be revamping the unit again in just a few weeks, and I’ll be posting the essential questions then. Good to hear that you are another teacher who has given up the textbook!!!

  2. Wow, I love your blog!!! I am a student teacher for Spanish level 4 and 5 so I’m just trying to get ideas. I LOVE your use of music and teaching on social awareness, while at the same time reinforcing grammar and vocabulary. Some day I want to be able to teach independently from a textbook and have my own curriculum. I’m inspired by your work, thanks SO much for sharing!

  3. Hola! I’m working on my units for this upcoming year and would love to incorporate some of the work you’ve done using music in this way. I’ve gone to the wiki where you said you have posted the majority of your work, but I am having a hard time finding them. If you’d prefer not to share, I understand. Just thought I’d ask! Gracias as always for your hard work and great ideas!

    • Thank you, Laura. I’m not sure what you might be looking for. I did close some pages for about 2 months after I discovered my work being claimed by several others. However, I thought that I had opened most of it back up. Let me know if I have missed something.

      • You’re so kind to reply and for being willing to share! In this post, you say that you can see the bulk of the work for this unit here and you link to a wiki. I’ve “requested” to be a part of the wiki, but it says my membership is still pending approval. Is that the place where you’ve posted the info for the music through social consciousness unit? I understand you’ve gone through a lot with people claiming your work and I can assure you I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and plan on giving you credit for the work you’ve done 🙂

  4. I have been in such a rut this year and this blog is helping me find my teacher voice again. Thank you for being so generous with your creativity!!

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