I have done a unit on “goals and dreams” since 2010. Each year it takes on a different shape…sometimes shifting considerably. I haven’t posted about the unit since 2014, before I knew that I was going to be teaching Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha as the next unit following “metas” (This year will be the third time reading that novel). A unit on goals and dreams is perfect to do at the beginning of January, when goals/resolutions/promises may prompt our attention. I think that it is an appropriate unit to do with any language, but obviously, I teach Spanish, so my resources are going to be in Spanish but I believe that they could easily be adapted.
1. ¿Cuáles son tus metas, tus sueños? ¿A qué quieres dedicarte? ¿Cómo han cambiado tus metas /sueños desde tu niñez? ¿Cómo vas a lograr tus sueños? ¿Cómo te enfrentas a los retos, los obstáculos?
2. ¿Cómo presentan los sueños y las metas las canciones populares?
3. ¿Quién es una persona que ha superado mucho? ¿Cuáles son las características y/o las acciones de la persona que ha superado mucho? ¿Quién es una persona que admiras? ¿Porqué? (This question we did not cover adequately this year due to snow days, exam schedule)
- La Lista (Aldrey, Venezuela)
- Vivir mi vida (Marc Anthony, U.S)
- De Tú a tú (Lasso, Venezuela)
- Creo en mí (Natalia Jimenez, Spain)
- No creo en el jamás (Juanes, Colombia)
- No me doy por vencido (Luis Fonsi, Puerto Rico)
- El Ganador (Nicky Jam, U.S.)
- Celebra la vida (Axel, Argentina)
- Las doce uvas de la suerte, La Nochevieja (to start our resolutions, goals, and cultural comparison), purchase here from Martina Bex
- Campbell Remess, (a young boy who sews bears for sick children) a “freebie” that Martina Bex posted in late December/early January?
- A visual story that I created about multiple people who have overcome physical challenges (including Frida, who we had just studied and read about in December)
- Jennifer Bricker, Todo es posible (acrobat born without legs), purchase here from Martina Bex. Leads into the song Vivir mi vida
- A story and powerpoint created by Arianne Dowd for De Tú a tú; I added background information for the current situation in Venezuela
- A story that I adapted from Zachary Jones (and have rewritten four times) about sand artist Kseniya Simonova. I originally read about her back in 2009 (I think) in a post in the original Zachary Jones blog! Leads into the song Creo en mi
- A story that I wrote for Malala (based on a BBC article that I read). Leads into the song No me doy por vencido
- A story that I wrote about Juanes and his personal struggles following his rapid successes from 2000 – 2006 (based on his autobiography, Persiguiendo el Sol). Leads into the song No creo en el jamas
- An oral history of the life of Nicky Jam and why his new album is called “Fenix”. Leads into the song El Ganador
- Lyricstraining (choose two of the songs that we covered)
- Free writes
- Mixed media presentation that tied at least two songs with at least five lyrics to each students’ personal life, philosophy, goals and dreams
- A multitude of partner and small group informal assessments from discussions, questions, reading interpretations, etc.
- Individual and partner creation and translations of tweets about #metas # propósitos #sueños #nomedoyporvencido #retos, etc.
Many of the materials above are available, free, on my wiki. I would just ask that you not claim the work as yours when using it, if that is what you choose to do. Several of the files are too large to load on the wikispace, such as the SMART files, but I am willing to share via email if asked. Please do not ask me to share Martina’s fabulous work that I purchased, or Arianne’s creations that she freely shared with me. You may purchase them or contact them.
We will wrap this unit up tomorrow. The surprise of the unit was the release of the song by Nicky Jam (El Ganador), which occurred yesterday! I knew as soon as I heard the lyrics that it was going to be an awesome conclusion to the unit. The song is essentially the life story of Nicky Jam and how he overcame some major obstacles to rise, like the proverbial phoenix, to success. I had virtually no time to prepare it and went into the lesson today with what I knew about his life, supplemented with the song. I showed the video first, they were hooked (it is essentially trap music….which is huge in this area right now). Next, I orally told the story of his life, supplementing it with pictures I pulled up as I was talking and prior Nicky Jam songs that we have studied (Hasta el amanecer won our December bracketology). I then replayed the video for El Ganador, stopping every few seconds to talk about what he was saying. The students could understand it so well! Next year I will prepare, probably, a much more formal lesson/reading to go with it, but for today, it was a great success.
One final thing about the unit. In one of my three sections of Spanish IV we had an intense discussion about school/education versus the joys of learning. For that class I used this video the following day Alike. I highly recommend it.
Our next unit is Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha and the goals and dreams unit provides a wonderful foundation for the extended vocabulary/rich discussions that we will have as we read the book. We talk about the goals/dreams of the narrator, the challenges/obstacles that he may overcome, etc. We can compare their goals and dreams with those in the book because their mixed media presentations will be hanging all around the room.