The songs that anchor my units

ship-anchor-red-clipart-1  I have written so many times about music and my teaching.  I literally have been using music in my classes for the past 37 years!  Yes, I know, I’m ancient. What doesn’t ever get ancient is the music.  This post is going to be a bit different.  I’m trying to consolidate; instead of writing a post about a specific unit I am going to simply list all of my units and the music that anchors each of them.  There is NOT ONE unit that doesn’t begin with music, not one. Music is always part of my “hook”.  It may not be the only hook, but it always is one of the hooks and the music “plays” on throughout the entire unit.

Spanish III

  1. Esperanza, the novel, written by Carol Gaab

2. La comida (Puerto Rico), story and unit developed by Sharon Birch

3. La ropa, story and unit developed by Sharon Birch and Megan Matthews

4. Robo en la noche, the novel, written by Kristy Placido

5. Colombia, Juanes y Los Colores de la Montaña, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch

  • A Dios le pido, Juanes
  • La Historia de Juan, Juanes
  • Segovia, Juanes
  • Minas Piedras, Juanes
  • Sueño Libertad, Juanes
  • Bandera de Manos, Juanes
  • Odio por amor, Juanes
  • La Tierra, Juanes
  • No queremos minas, Yerson y Stuard
  • Los Caminos de la vida, Los Diabolitos

6. Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos, the novel, written by Carrie Toth

Spanish IV

  1. La Llorona, the novel, written by Katie Baker

2. El Arte (Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Picasso,Dalí), stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch     I hope to add the novel, Frida, written by Kristy Placido

3. La Comida de México y Perú, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch, original ideas from Kara C. Jacobs  and Cristina Zimmerman

4. Las Metas y los Sueños, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch

5. La Guerra Civil en El Salvador y Voces Inocentes, stories and unit developed by Sharon Birch, original ideas from Kara C. Jacobs

6. Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha 13, the novel, anonymous

7. La Inmigración, unit developed by Sharon Birch

8. La Narcoviolencia, unit developed by Sharon Birch, original ideas from Kara C. Jacobs, Cristina Zimmerman and Zachary Jones

9. Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos, the novel, written by Carrie Toth     I taught this in Spanish III and IV this year due to some extenuating circumstances (having to pick up a 6th class in March, no more funding for a new book, etc.)  Next year I hope to have the novel Felipe Alou, Carol Gaab, here.

 

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Luis Fonsi! No me doy por vencido AND Corazón en la maleta

My Spanish IV students are almost done with our Metas y Sueños unit, and this week we were really focusing on the Luis Fonsi song: No me doy por vencido.  It was the perfect song to continue our work with goals, challenges, obstacles, and not giving up! Additionally, since reflexive verbs are part of the curriculum at this point in time, it also neatly helped in that regard, too! Initially, most of them didn’t think that they liked it very much, but after several days working with it, they had changed their minds and were singing enthusiastically:  Yo, yo no me doy por vencido….. yo quiero un mundo contigo…..”

I did not use the video with them until the third day.  We listened to it, did a cloze activity, practiced reading it, did some whole sentence direct translation to assist with the next step: partner work to determine meaning, identified reflexives, etc. Metas no me doy por vencido   On the third day, when the lyrics were very familiar for them, and immediate comprehension was possible, I allowed them to watch the video.  After watching, in small groups they discussed what they thought the video meant, what the three “stories” were in the video, etc.  We continued using it all week (playing as they were working on other things, singing it when entering class, etc.). This song is also one of their five choices for their performance based task to create a visual representation of how the lyrics fit into the Metas y Sueños unit.

No me doy por vencido was such a success that I was thrilled to see (via Twitter @luisfonsi) that Luis Fonsi was releasing a new song.

My Spanish III classes have been in a travel unit.  The new song that Luis Fonsi released is called Corazón en la maleta and has many of the vocabulary words/phrases that we have been targeting, such as:

  • quedarse
  • en avión
  • por tren
  • por mar
  • maleta
  • firmar
  • sube/baja
  • recordar
  • cambiar

And, it has lots of present indicative and preterite verbs!  Perfect for my Spanish III classes.  (Additionally, it has lots of reflexives, and I’m going to use it with the Spanish IV classes this coming week!  I’ve already been playing it in class, so they will recognize it.)

I had played the video for two days as students were entering the classroom, therefore, when I began to seriously work with it, the music was familiar for them.  I used this worksheet for two days with them: Corazon en la maleta Luis Fonsi

The first activity was for them to read the boxes in the first half of the paper and to then identify as many of them as possible, with a partner.  I told them that some of the words were in the song that we were going to listen to, and I asked them to check the ones that they heard or that they saw in the video.  I did not tell them that EVERY box was in the video, but every box is.  After a first listen, I asked them to share a few that they heard.  We then listened again, and shared some more.  Based on what they had checked on their papers, what they heard and what they saw, I asked them to make some guesses about what the song was about.  The next day, I had them review the boxes with a partner, and then they worked through the 8 true/false statements for meaning only.  We watched the video again, and they marked the true/false and tried to come up with the transportation words.  There are only three in the song, but I included lo que sea because it is a phrase I want them to begin understanding/using, and it was used in context with “whatever transportation means necessary”.  Individually, they completed the verb section of the paper.  We did not have time to finish the synonym/ antonym section, but I will pick it back up briefly on Monday.

Premio Lo Nuestro aired on Thursday night, so I shared the live performance/premiere of Corazón en la maleta. It also served as a beginning discussion about that awards show, and the situation in Venezuela that many of the artists referred to.

I hope this gives you some new ideas for ways to incorporate music into your lessons.  As always, I would really be interested in activities that you may be using with music.