Every year, after I finish the big music/social awareness unit with Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Baute, my students fear that the most compelling part of the curriculum has been covered. Fortunately, we go right into a unit about Spain that has several really interesting components. Yes, it contains grammar (preterite/imperfect yet again and the present perfect), but it also has a great deal about sports and culture of Spain. I get to introduce them to David Bisbal and his ever popular Bulería, Macaco, Jarabe de Palo, and Pablo Alborán, among others. We get to discover El País Vasco, Andalucia, Galicia, Cataluña, Castilla La Mancha, Madrid, etc. AND, we also get to talk about jai-alai and la corrida de toros.
They are always interested in jai-alai, so I’ve tried to expand that part of the unit over the past several years. We will start by taking a look at
El País Vasco with this video:
and probably a bit from the Aventuras Vascas series:
For background information on jai-alai, I use these videos:
For sheer silliness, I will include the infamous Steve O and Johnny Knoxville adventure into jai-alai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwZLlwHp2zI and also a brief Simpsons clip:
I created a powerpoint on jai-alai Jai- Alai-1-2 and I can share my own personal stories and pictures from games that I have attended. Somewhere along the years, I also was given an actual cesta, pelota and sash. We leave the classroom, and I always let several students in each class attempt to throw a ball (a koosh ball, not the actual pelota), with the cesta. It’s usually something that they enjoy trying.
If you have other jai-alai resources, I would love to know about them. Or, if you have other favorite activities from teaching about culture in Spain, please share.