There are so many wise and wonderful blogs out there adding activities to the ever growing selection of TPRS/CI novels, and I benefit from each and every one of them. I so appreciate the tremendous sharing that goes on in our PLC! I hope that what I will post here will be beneficial to those who may be working with the same novel.
This is my second year teaching La Llorona de Mazatlán , and as opposed to going faster since I am more familiar with it, it is very definite that I am going much, much slower! Some of that pacing is coming from the plethora of activities that are possible with each and every chapter and some of it is coming from the music that I have added (on top of what I added the first time around!). As I have stated many times before, when I am planning a unit, I always consider the music (my hook) from the very beginning of the planning stages. Each one of us has a passion to add to this TPRS/CI landscape, and mine is music. Music has been a constant addition to my teaching for all of my 38 years!
Last year I shared activities for La Llorona with the great song Me equivoqué by CD9. The song was a favorite for my students last year, and it was no different this year. It just resonates with so many of them. Many of them know the lyrics by heart and have downloaded it into their various music sources. Having previously posted about it, I won’t repeat. This year I added several more songs, and each of them has been a hit with most of the students. I’ve written about Vasquez Sounds before, but this year I purposely inserted two of their songs into different chapters of La Llorona. In Chapter 3, Laney leaves for Mexico and in Chapter 4 she has arrived. I used the song Me Voy for two specific reasons: the past tense verbs and the act of leaving with the accompanying reasons/emotions of Laney. She thinks that Norman, Oklahoma is dull and boring. Using the lyrics to the song, I hope to support and help to reflect similar emotions
“Se pinta el cielo gris aquí “; “Me voy como un cowboy “; “Me iré por lo que quiero
Aunque hagan agujeros
En mi sombrero soñador “; “Me voy con mis botas marrón ” and “Y cruzare el desierto
Veré estrellas sobre mi
Y así más días de color”
I feel that these lyrics accurately reflect some of Laney’s thoughts and feelings, and we were able to make those comparisons. Additionally, the song lyrics include the idea of a love duel/dispute/figth which is an indicator for what will happen, more of less, in the story. Also, the lead singer (Angie) in Vazquez Sounds is right around the age of Laney! Here is the cloze activity with some verb work that I used Me voy por Vásquez Sounds but the discussion and comparison was done orally. Here is the video for the song; you will need to skip the first 30 seconds of commercial that they inserted into the song.
My students enjoyed that song (and others from Vazquez Sounds) so much, that I decided to use Buenos días, Señor Sol at the end of chapter 4 (Laney has seen Luis)/beginning of chapter 5 (the sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day for the auditions, she’s feeling on top of the world in beautiful Mazatlan). Again, there were several reasons for choosing the song: we’ve been “noticing” future tense verbs (there are several in the song), we’ve been focusing on two verbs (seguir/tratar) which are in the lyrics, and the song accurately reflects Laney’s emotions at this stage of the book. Hoy como otros días seguiré tratando ser mejor
Y sonriendo haré
Las cosas con amor
Buenos días alegría
Buenos días al amor
Buenos días a la vida
Buenos días señor sol
Yo seguiré tratando ser mejor
I used this Chap 5 Buenos dias Vazquez Sounds to work with the song and discuss similarities. There are several videos for the song, my students enjoyed these two:
At this stage of the book, Laney has auditioned and the focus of the music switches to soccer. I used several of the songs and activities that I have posted about previously for the World Cup unit. The songs included, but aren’t limited to, Waka Waka, Lalala, La Copa de Todos, Waving Flag, De Zurda, and La Vida es Tombola. In addition to this music, I try to find music most days that reflects what is happening in the book at that point in time, or that matches the emotions of the characters.
I am in the middle of one of my largest additions, musically, to the book this year. I have always loved the music of Gaby Moreno, and I have used her beautiful Ave Que Emigra to begin Esperanza. I decided that I wanted to do more with the actual legend of La Llorona and I wanted to include other legends, too. There is a beautiful song, El Sombrerón, that Gaby sings and it is based, I believe, on the Guatemalan legend of the same name. I feel that it is complementary to the La Llorona legend. The two share some common elements: night, moon, shrouded faces/eyes, spirits that capture souls, etc. Additionally, it gives a legend with a male character to balance the female La Llorona, and this is a male character who is responsible for creating some misery for the female (some information even states that El Sombrerón comes from Mexico). This may tie into the male figure that deserts or abandons La Llorona, prompting her actions. I’ve been proceeding slowly with the song, working with just bits and pieces for a few days as we are building up to the books’ version of La Llorona in Chapter 13. At the same time, we are reading versions of La Llorona that are different from the version that they will get in Chapter 13 (thank you Bryce Hedstrom and Martina Bex ). This is the document that I have used, slowly, over the course of three days: El Sombrerón. We have spent some interesting, productive time describing our illustrations to partners and creating/sharing sentences based on those drawings. I have a SMARTboard presentation that goes with this worksheet, and we have only worked through the first two slides, meaning that we will get to the actual legend this coming week (the remaining files). Here are some of them:
Of course, once we read Chapter 13, we will also work with the various versions of the song La Llorona.
As always, if you find errors in my Spanish (I’m definitely not a native speaker), please let me know!! I hope that some of you who are using this great TPRS novel may find some of this interesting and useful.