I love Federico García Lorca’s poem “Romance Sonámbulo.” I have used it in Spanish IV class several times, but the students need a lot of scaffolding to understand it. I color code the poem so that the students can separate the narration and the dialog. I also have to give them quite a bit of vocabulary. I think I could do a better job with introducing the vocabulary before or while we read so they could get it in a contextualized way rather than my telling them in English what the words mean. I could still use this poem with the new IB format with the theme of Cultural Diversity.
I use this poem as a springboard for talking about Gypsies in Spain and the region of Andalucía. We read a Scholastic magazine article called “Boda Gitana” and answer comprehenstion questions similar to what my students would see on the IB exam. Scholastic has another article called “Los nuevos gitanos.” I could also use the poem to talk about the Spanish Civil War, as García Lorca was one of the first casualties. Flamenco could be a topic, as well. We listen to some music from the Gypsy Kings for ambiance.
I like to have the students read “The Highwayman” in English by Alfred Noyes to compare with “Romance Sonámbulo.” I have them fill out a Venn digram in Spanish to compare the two poems. Here are also questions in Spanish about “The Highwayman.”
Here is my glossed version of the poem with different colors for the narration and the speakers: ROMANCE SONÁMBULO
Online resources about the poem:
http://spanlit.wikispaces.com/Romance+SonAmbulo (be sure to open the Word document)
In-depth information about the poem for the teacher:
Information about the aljibe (cistern for collecting rain water):
http://quizlet.com/5584344/romance-sonambulo-flash-cards/ (Spanish definitions)
Audio with lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJUZCU6W1uI
Interview with a gitano, not easy to understand, but uses a lot of descriptive adjectives:
Some documents that I downloaded in pdf format but cannot find their original websites:
verde te quiero verde lesson (geared for elementary, I think, but interesting)
gitanos readings (might be good for jigsaw reading, as it is divided into 5 short texts)
I taught the poem again this year to my heritage Spanish speakers, and I learned more about the poem that helped me to understand it more than before.
Information about the bandoleros in Spain, particularly in Andalucía http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandolerismo
Simbolism in Lorca’s writing http://www.slideshare.net/mvaldesr/lorca-smbolos