I assisted a colleague in preparing to teach “La hija del sastre” and I must confess that I became so fascinated with what I learned about modern-day issues in Spain caused by the Spanish Civil War that I wish I could have taught the book myself!
I typically do a good deal of research before teaching a topic, and through research for this TPRS novel I learned about a law in Spain called, “La ley de la memoria histórica.” It’s intention is to recognize the victims on both sides of the Spanish Civil War and to condemn the fascist regime of Francisco Franco.
I will share with you here some very interesting material that I would use to create lessons to accompany “La hija del sastre.” The are resources and not necessarily ready for student consumption; the language would be way above the level of the students. I would love to someday have the time to turn these resources into teaching materials. If I do, I will post them!
La ley de la memoria histórica:
Here are the main points of the law: https://www.publico.es/actualidad/diez-claves-ley-memoria-historica.html
Here are links to teaching resources about the law: https://neiljones.org/2013/06/30/la-ley-de-memoria-historica/
Some interesting teaching units: http://historicalmemory-spain.weebly.com/units.html
If you do an image search for “la de la memoria histórica” you will find political vignettes for both sides of the issue that students can interpret. There are also several here: http://pepeolivercabrera.blogspot.com/2009/11/la-memoria-historica-34-anos-de-la.html
La Valle de los Caídos: I visited this site with students many years ago, and much to my surprise, I saw in the news online that the Spanish government had decided to remove Franco’s remains from the site. This caused quite a stir in Spain, as you can imagine.
Here is a news article about the exhumation: https://www.elsaltodiario.com/valle-caidos/isaac-rosa-asi-sacaron-franco-valle-caidos
This article talks about the protests about moving Franco’s body with photos and a video of people doing Fascist salutes (terrifying!): https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20180715/45920698012/protesta-valle-caidos-exhumacion-franco.html
Removal of monuments of Franco:
Here is a worksheet created by a teacher using a news article: https://mfljones.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/la-operacic3b3n-se-desarrollc3b3-esta-madrugad1.pdf
This is an article in Spanish from NewsELA about the removal of Confederate monuments in the U.S.; I think this would be a good compare/contrast or debate topic (you need to create a free account to access the article): https://newsela.com/read/confederate-statues-procon-spanish/id/30707/
For more historical topics, students could explore images and songs, and the involvement of U.S. citizens in the conflict.
Spanish Civil War propaganda posters:
the Abraham Lincoln Brigade:
- brief video in English that gives a good summary of the ALB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqFQHOCXMf4
- lesson plans about the Spanish Civil War and the ALB: http://www.alba-valb.org/resources/lessons
Patriotic songs from the Spanish Civil War:
Another song with worksheets: https://profdespagnol.blogspot.com/2018/09/madre-anoche-en-las-trincheras-guerra.html