“Diarios de motocicleta”

This year I showed the film “Diarios de motocicleta” for my AP Spanish Language classes. I had not shown it for a few years because when I changed schools, I found out that my students had already seen it in their previous Spanish classes. This year I was certain that my students had not seen it in any classes so I showed it, partly because it is a compelling movie, and partly because I was exhausted and needed a bit of a break.

I was disappointed with myself about how little we did with the movie other than watch it, so I have been outlining some pre-, during, and post-viewing activities. I wrote in my blog about my ideas for using the poems “A Roosevelt” and “La United Fruit Co.” before the movie and plan to use readings, songs, and poems about Che Guevara after the film. This post is about resources available for the film itself. I like to pick and choose what I consider to be the best portions of each resource.

diarios infographic

At my previous school, I limited myself to using the the FilmArobics film and lesson plans that I purchased. The cultural notes and comprehension questions are good resources.

Here are some lesson plans compiled by other teachers for the film:



http://lrc.cornell.edu/spanish/semester3/instructor/CapTulo8/Section4/uploads/File1382114994637/CL36_Diarios_Amigo_1230S13.doc What I particularly like about this resource is an activity using the song “McGuevara o CheDonalds” by Kevin Johansen.




http://www.sparkenthusiasm.com/motorcycle_diaries.html There are free things and materials for purchase on this site.

http://goblues.org/faculty/flemingc/espanol-ivivh/ (You’ll have to scroll down to find links to resources for teaching about Che Guevara and the film.)



http://teacherweb.com/NY/AlbertusMagnusHighSchool/WeeksK/Diario-de-Motocicleta—packet.doc This is mostly in English, but there are good cultural notes.

http://ouray.k12.co.us/UserFiles/Servers/Server_179347/File/Staff%20Directory/Ms.%20Chase/Espanol%20I/Diarios.pdf This is from the textbook Cinema for Spanish Conversation by Hackett Publishing Company.

There are several lessons about Che Guevara and the film “Diarios de motocicleta” at http://pier.macmillan.yale.edu/lesson-plans-5

This a tool from TES Connect called “Blendspace” where teachers can organize links to resources about a topic: https://www.tes.com/lessons/Ll86zMwUdqN3mw/diarios-de-motocicleta?redirect-bs=1

If you want a copy of the book off of which the film is based, there is a pdf available at https://zoonpolitikonmx.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/guevara_ernesto_che_-_diarios_de_motocicleta.pdf

One thing that I did at my previous school was to assign a South America project so that the students could learn about some of the places and cultural references from the film. The students’ presentations had to be interactive, and some got quite creative. One student taught us to dance the Cumbia and another made  jigsaw puzzles out of works of art by South American painters. Here is the handout I gave; I warn you, it is very basic!


I think that another topic that could be added to accompany this film is the effects of mining on the South American people. Máxima Acuña would be a good person to incorporate here. http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/maxima-acuna/


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“La United Fruit Co.” por Pablo Neruda

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am planning to use the poem “La United Fruit Co.” published by Pablo Neruda in 1950 in a series of pre-viewing lessons for the film “Diarios de motocicleta.”


A text called Graded Spanish Reader: Primera Etapa by Cengage Learning has pre- and post-reading activities for the poem. It also has other good readings for upper level Spanish classes.

The textbook Pasajes: Literatura also has good pre- and post-reading activities. What I particularly like about this book is that it has a very nice black-and-white drawing of the poem that students can use to interpret the poem.

As with the poem “A Roosevelt” there are references to historical figures that the students will not recognize. Again, I’d like to mention Momentos cumbres de las literaturas hispanicas published by Pearson as a resource. What is particularly useful in this text is that it has “códigos” before each reading to help students to understand background information for the literary work, such as social, political, historical and geographical contexts. Someone has so kindly placed the contexts and some of the questions for “La United Fruit Co.” into a Word document.

Here is a gem that a teacher created to accompany the movie “Diarios de motocicleta.” The lessons are found at http://pier.macmillan.yale.edu/lesson-plans-5 and include “La United Fruit Co.” Just scroll down to  “Diarios de motocicleta: La evolución del Che” to access the documents. One item that the teacher incorporates that I find particularly interesting is a mural by Diego Rivera that I had not previously seen called “Gloriosa Victoria.”


Here are resources about the mural that are in English. One interesting fact about the painting is that it disappeared in 1956 and did not re-appear until 2006  It is also interesting to note that Ernesto “Che” Guevara was in Guatemala during the CIA-backed coup in 1954 and witnessed what was happening.



Another resource that not only works with the poem but also the socio-political context for the poem is the site http://atlas-caraibe.certic.unicaen.fr/es/page-243.html

If you are interested in teaching more about the United Fruit Company, now called Chiquita, the Zinn Education Project has a video clip and reading excerpt in English at http://zinnedproject.org/materials/the-united-fruit-company/.

I think the following illustration would be useful to show the reach of the United Fruit Company in Latin America:


An historical event that relates to the poem is la masacre de las bananeras in Ciénaga, Colombia in 1928, which was a confrontation between the United Fruit Company and the workers. Gabriel García Márquez included this event in his novel Cien años de soledad.

Here is a good text about the massacre: http://cut.org.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/MASACRE-DE-LAS-BANANERAS.pdf

Here is a political cartoon that relates to the text about the massacre:


Here is a short, animated video that briefly describes the conflict: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=505Q-Um1KHw

In looking at the resources I have gathered, I believe the best way to organize the lessons would be to start with a brief history of Banana Republics and the United Fruit Company, incorporated the Colombian banana massacre and the Guatemalan coup as illustrated in the mural “Gloriosa Victoria.”

The next step would be pre-reading work with the vocabulary and concepts from the poem “La United Fruit Co.” Finally we will read and analyze the poem. Since I plan for the students to read “A Roosevelt” before this poem, we can then see how Neruda’s portrayal of the United States compares with that of Darío.

At this point the students are ready to watch the film “Diarios de motocicleta.” I believe the scene where the students can most strongly connect the poems to events in the film is the one at the Chuquicamata mine, owned by the U.S. Anaconda Mining Company.

After the film, my plan is to have students explore the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the development of his revolutionary beliefs that motivated his later actions, leading to a student debate about his place in history.

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“A Roosevelt” por Rubén Darío

This summer I am hoping to put together lessons for “A Roosevelt” and “La United Fruit Co.” as pre-viewing activities for the film “Diarios de motocicleta.” I think these two poems illustrate sentiments or ideas that a young Ernesto “Che” Guevara may have been exposed to, thus giving further insight into the transformation that Guevara went through during the course of his journey across South America. I’m using my blog as a thinking space; I’m hoping the lessons will come together as I write.

It is not difficult to find resources for these poems, as “A Roosevelt” is currently on the AP Spanish Literature reading list, and “La United Fruit Co.” was formerly on the list.

“A Roosevelt”


This great illustration is just one of fourteen images of the poem that I found at https://marekbennett.com/2013/12/30/dario-1904-aroosevelt-01/.

To me, the toughest thing about “A Roosevelt” is the many references to people and things that the students may not know. I taught this poem a number of years ago, and put together a “cheat-sheet” in English for the references that I did not believe the students would recognize. In thinking of teaching the poem again, I decided to make a glossed text with the definitions at the bottom of each page in hopes that the students will be more likely to use them. Here is my version of the poem:

A ROOSEVELT poem with definitions

I used the following activity the first time that I taught the poem, and plan to use it again. In this activity, students determine whether certain words refer to the United States or to Latin America. Then they use the list to determine how Rubén Darío is portraying each one.

a roosevelt sorting activity

An activity that I have not yet tried is one that I saw on a fabulous blog by Rebecca M. Bender, PhD. In her blog entry about Picasso, she gave students an image of “Guernica” and had them write phrases from a poem near parts of the painting which, in their opinion, showed similarities and differences between the two. The painting I have chosen to use with “A Roosevelt” is Frida Kahlo’s “Autorretrato en la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México.”


Finally, I would like to add comprehension questions about the poem to help the students analyze it more closely. There are a few resources that I plan to incorporate for compiling the questions:

One of my go-to resources for teaching literary works is the text Momentos cumbres de las literaturas hispanicas published by Pearson. There are pre- and post-reading exercises for each work.

This next resource is a teaching guide. One thing that I find particularly interesting in this document is a list of songs that could tie to the poem, like “Si el norte fuera el sur” by Ricardo Arjona. This would be another great activity for working with the poem.


Other sources that I have found to accompany to poem are PDF documents with questions, found at :



Here are some more questions from which to choose: http://l.exam-10.com/other/21142/index.html

One last idea is to tie the poem to political cartoons of the time, which is a favorite activity of mine. Here are a couple of cartoons that could work for the poem:


In my next blog post I’ll share activities and resources for “La United Fruit Co.” by Pablo Neruda.






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Frida Kahlo y “Autorretrato en la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos”

Después de aprender sobre la artista María Izquierdo, los estudiantes aprenden un poco sobre Frida Kahlo y exploran su obra “Autorretrato en la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos.”

Esta es la biografía que los estudiantes usan para contestar preguntas de comprensión sobre la vida de Kahlo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uHSEWOATGg

  • Palabras útiles:
    • Trastorno—enfermedad o alteración de la salud
    • Convaleciente – en recuperación de una enfermedad o accidente
  1. ¿Por qué comenzó a pintar Frida Kahlo?
  2. ¿Qué inspiraba las obras de Frida?
  3. ¿Aproximadamente qué porcentaje de las obras de Frida son autorretratos:1/2, 1/3 , 3/4?
  4. ¿Qué causó su depresión en 1953?

La actividad siguiente es una observación de la obra “Autorretrato en la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos.” Les pregunto a los estudiantes lo siguiente:

Esta es una obra pintada por Frida Kahlo en 1932 que se llama «Autorretrato en la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos.»  Escribe lo que observas y tu interpretación de esta obra en por lo menos 3 oraciones.


Los estudiantes comparten sus ideas luego leen sobre esta obra en una descripción en español del sitio http://www.fridakahlofans.com/c0110.html. Contestan estas preguntas sobre la lectura:

Screenshot 2016-05-20 09.35.02

Otra buena fuente para interpretar esta pintura es http://www.pbs.org/weta/fridakahlo/worksofart/borderline_esp.html.

La actividad final es una lectura sobre Kahlo y Diego Rivera llamada “Una pareja famosa”  que encontré en un libro de texto, Punto y Aparte 4a edición p. 90. (Me gusta comprar copias de libros de textos usados de Amazon.com para tener una variedad de recursos.) Las preguntas que les hago son:

Screenshot 2016-05-20 09.41.29

Para enseñar más sobre la relación entre Frida y Diego, la obra “Diego y yo” es una buena opción. Aquí les comparto dos recursos para esa obra.



Para más sobre Frida Kahlo, tengo una entrada de blog sobre “Las dos Fridas.”

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Artista mexicana María Izquierdo

Mientras casi todos saben de la artista mexicana Frida Kahlo, una contemporánea de ella, María Izquierdo, quizás no sea tan reconocida. Izquierdo alcanzó su fama durante su vida, mientras la popularidad del arte de Kahlo ha experimentado su auge después de la muerte de ella.

En mi clase de pre-AP Lengua Española, los estudiantes aprenden sobre María Izquierdo y Frida Kahlo en la misma serie de lecciones.

Comienzo la lección con una actividad divertida que encontré en http://www.lapaleta.com.mx/juegos/jue-diferenizq.html. Los estudiantes tienen que encontrar las siete diferencias entre una pintura de María Izquierdo y otra que ha sido modificada. Es una manera entretenida de presentar el arte de María Izquierdo.

Luego los estudiantes leen una biografía breve de esa misma página y completan una actividad sencilla como calentamiento. Mis preguntas sobre la biografía son:

Respalda cada afirmación con evidencias del texto.

  1. María Izquierdo era zurda.
  2. María fue una pionera en el campo del arte mexicano.
  3. Explica cómo la obra a continuación es representante del arte de María Izquierdo. (OJO: selecciona solamente las pruebas relevantes del texto.)


Les enseño este video biográfico: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQbjU1Jd41g

Este video muestra imágenes del arte de Izquierdo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwxE-tqP6hw

Luego los estudiantes observan las semejanzas y diferencias entre el estilo y la temática de María Izquierdo y Frida Kahlo.

Unidad 4 Semana 2 preAP 2014-15

Unidad 4 Semana 2 preAP 22014-15

Unidad 4 Semana 2 preAP 3.jpg

Unidad 4 Semana 2 preAP 4

Después aprendemos sobre Frida Kahlo y comparamos su vida con la de María Izquierdo.

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la Malinche

La Malinche es una figura histórica que me intriga. Les quisiera compartir los recurscos que utilicé para crear una serie de lecciones sobre ella para mis clase de AP Spanish Language and Culture.

Mis dos patrias” de los Tigres del Norte

Comienzo con la letra de esta canción porque la primera línea de la canción dice, “Para quien dice que yo soy  un malinchista…” Mis estudiantes son mayormente mexicanos o mexicano-americanos, así que algunos de ellos saben qué significa “malinchista.” Les pregunto porque lo llaman malinchista y comenzamos a hablar de la historia de la Malinche.

“¿Quién fue la Malinche?”

Luego vemos este video breve que me gusta mucho.

“Women in World History” http://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/modules/lesson6/lesson6.php?menu=1&s=0&c=

En esta página de web hay recursos excelentes en inglés y algunos de ellos están disponibles en español sobre la Malinche.  En esta página uso la pintura “El sueño de la Malinche” como parte de mi lección http://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/modules/lesson6/lesson6.php?menu=1&s=7

Luego leemos una historia de la Malinche que encontré en Internet y contestamos preguntas de comprensión y análisis. Desafortunadamente, el enlace ya no sirve, pero hay varias biografías de la Malinche disponibles en Internet.

“Cortés y la Malinche” por José Clemente Orozco

La última actividad, y de hecho, mi favorita, es algo que encontré en este documento de Internet: http://enespanol.loescher.it/files/1901 Este documento contiene dos lecturas sobre la Malinche que no he usado, pero parecen ser buenas. Yo utilizo la actividad sobre el mural “Cortés y la Malinche” pintado por José Clemente Orozco. Uso las preguntas A y C que tienen en el documento y otras preguntas que yo escribí. Aquí están mis preguntas sobre el mural:

Observa el mural y responde.

2. Elige un adjetivo (o más) para cada persona y justifica tu respuesta con (1) evidencias de la pintura y (2) evidencias del artículo “¿La Malinche – traidora o heroína?” que leímos en clase. (Adjetivos: Agresiva, Autoritaria, Cariñosa, Dominante, Pasiva, Protectora, Rebelde, Resignada, Sumisa)

Cortés tiene una postura …

Pruebas del mural:

Pruebas del texto que leímos en clase:

La Malinche tiene una postura …

Pruebas del mural:

Pruebas del texto que leímos en clase:

3. Parece que la Malinche tiene los ojos cerrados. ¿Qué podría significar eso?

5. ¿Crees que Orozco tiene una opinión positiva o negativa sobre la Malinche como personaje histórico? Justifica tu respuesta con pruebas del mural.



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Pelos y Rizos

I  have been attending the AATSP conference in Denver this weekend, and what I like most about conferences is how something small that is mentioned in a session gives me inspiration. Conferences also free my mind for more creative pursuits that the structure of school does not allow.

I attended a session about Radio Ambulante and how it can be used in upper level classes, and as I scanned the different podcasts on their site, I came across one called “Miss Rizos.” I had been thinking about my first lessons in pre-AP and AP, which are about identity, and how hair can be reflected in that. The podcast is 15 minutes long, which is longer than I usually like to use, but what she says is very interesting. She talks about how, in the Dominican Republic, it is widely accepted to straighten hair and how Miss Rizos decided to eschew that custom and leave her hair natural.

That podcast made me think of the brief chapter in La Casa en Mango Street called “Pelos” where Esperanza describes the hair of the people in her family.

It also made me think of a film from Venezuela that I had heard about called “Pelo malo.” A boy wants to straighten his hair for picture day at school.  From what I read on IMDb, the film is not really appropriate for class. The trailer is more appropriate, but I would say only the first part of it.  http://www.pelomalofilm.com/

I think the Miss Rizos and Pelo malo resources would fit into a series of lessons about the afro-latino identity. I believe they would also fit with the AP theme “Belleza y estética.”

Here is an article from Univisión: http://www.univision.com/estilo-de-vida/cabello/pelo-malo-la-relacion-de-amor-odio-de-las-dominicanas-con-su-cabello


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Guinea Ecuatorial

I have had a fascination with Equatorial Guinea and its Spanish colonial past ever since I chose to read Equatoguinean authors such as Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo and María Nsue Angüe as coursework for my master’s degree. Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo is a visiting scholar at the University of Missouri-Columbia, by the way. I chose to read those authors after I attended a conference session by Chad Montuori about the Equatoguinean literature.

I would love to create a lesson or lessons that somehow involve this former Spanish colony. The conference presenter had some very good poems and a short story that I think would work in conjunction with works such as “Balada de los dos abuelos” by Nicolás Guillén. One problem I am having is that I only have the photocopied conference packet because I cannot find the books available for purchase.  One poem by Anacleto Oló Mbuy that I would like to use is “Hispania” from a book called Antología de la literatura guineana.

For now, I want to share the resources I have compiled for Guinea Ecuatorial, and hopefully one day I will be able to blog about the lesson that I created. 🙂

The online magazine Veinte Mundos has just released an article related to Guinea Ecuatorial at http://www.veintemundos.com/magazines/127-en/

Here is another article from Veinte Mundos about the writer Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo http://www.veintemundos.com/magazines/112-en/

Zachary Jones has Equatoguinean music on his Zambobazo site at http://zachary-jones.com/zambombazo/pequeno-corazon-de-africa/

RTVE has a documentary from the perspective of the Spanish who were forced to leave  in 1968 at http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/cronicas/cronicas-guinea-sueno-colonial/724500/

Global Voices en español has several articles at http://es.globalvoicesonline.org/?s=guinea+ecuatorial

This video looks promising https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhWKsV7Hax4

This is just a 1-minute video that gives a quick overview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2D7vO9wq0o

A magazine with audio about Guinea Ecuatorial for Spanish students: http://www.delearte.com/2013/12/el-mundo-con-ene-guinea-ecuatorial-n8.html

This site is in English, but I like the nice overview of the country that it provides http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Costa-Rica-to-Georgia/EquatorialGuineans.html

Another informative, though disheartening, article from 2003 that was a “60 Minutes” episode, but I cannot locate the video: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kuwait-of-africa/

If there are any existing lessons in Spanish about Equatorial Guinea, I would love to find out about them; please send them my way!

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El arte latinoamericano: Joaquín Torres García y Xul Solar

For day 2 of our focus on Latin American art, I chose Joaquín Torres García and Xul Solar. The purpose of this lesson was for students to discover how the artists attempted to draw South America out of the shadow of the northern powers, such as the United States and Europe.

I started with a Do Now activity about “América invertida.”

  1. El título del dibujo es “América invertida.” ¿Qué significa la palabra “invertida”?
  1. Observaciones: Describe lo que ves el dibujo.
  1. Inferencias: ¿Cuál es tu interpretación de este dibujo? ¿Qué mensaje nos quiere comunicar el artista?
  1. Conexiones: Relaciona la tira cómica de Mafalda con el dibujo de Torres García.
    mafalda sur norte

Students then read what Torres García said about his drawing “América invertida,” found at http://www.uruguayeduca.edu.uy/Userfiles/P0001/File/NUESTRO%20NORTE%20ES%20EL%20SUR.portal.pdf and answered the question, “¿Qué está diciendo Joaquín Torres García sobre el lugar de América del Sur en el mundo?”

torres garcia

There are more nice resources about the symbolism in Torres García’s work, but I admit that I do not feel knowledgeable enough to teach it.  Here is what I found:



Next, we worked with the painting “Drago” by Xul Solar of Argentina.
drago xul solar

First, the students watched a brief video about Xul Solar. It is for children, but it was the best I found:

After the video, I gave the students information about symbols that Xul Solar used in his art, found at http://www.xulsolar.org.ar/educacion.php in the document “Para comprender la obra de Xul” and they answered questions about the painting.

  1. Como Joaquín Torres García, Xul Solar incorporaba el simbolismo en su arte. Según la hoja de símbolos que tienes, ¿qué es el animal en el centro del cuadro? ¿Qué representa este animal?
  2. Observa las banderas:
  3. Nombra algunos países representados arriba a la izquierda.
  4. Nombra los países representados abajo a la derecha.
  5. Nombre algunos países que están alrededor del animal.
  6. ¿Por qué eligió el artista colocar las banderas de esos países en el animal?
  7. ¿Qué conexión puedes hacer entre “Drago” y “América invertida”?

Here is a nice page about Xul Solar:

After I initially wrote this post, I came across a song called “América” by Los Tigres del Norte that came out in 1987. The group later did a version of the song with René from Calle 13.  Next year I would like to ask the students what relationship the message of this song has with the artwork by Torres García and Xul Solar.

I think I will use the original version of the song: http://www.musica.com/letras.asp?letra=1512890

Here is the version with Calle 13: http://www.musica.com/letras.asp?letra=1969310

Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges were friends, and I had some time left in the lesson, so we started reading “Los dos reyes y los dos laberintos” and the students finished it for homework.

Here is the text with questions: http://clickteratura.blogspot.com/2013/01/los-dos-reyes.html

Here is the vocabulary activity that the students completed:

  1. _______ Perplejo                                            A. rogar, suplicar
  2. _______ Sutil                                                    B. decir
  3. _______ Afrentado                                        C. que da mucho cansancio
  4. _______ Implorar                                           D. confuso
  5. _______ Proferir                                             E. ingenioso, inteligente
  6. _______ Estragar                                           F. prohibir
  7. _______ Fatigoso                                           G. ofendido
  8. _______ Vedar                                                 H. dañar, destruir

Here are the questions that I asked:

  1. ¿Por qué le envió el rey de Babilonia al rey de Arabia por su laberinto?
  2. ¿Qué le pasó al rey de Arabia en el laberinto?
  3. ¿Cómo resolvió la situación?
  4. ¿Qué sentía el rey de Arabia por lo que le pasó?
    1. Admiración por el rey de Babilonia y su laberinto
    2. Alegría por haber resuelto la situación
    3. Vergüenza por lo que le pasó en el laberinto
    4. Envidia porque no tiene un laberinto tan impresionante como el del rey de Babilonia
  5. ¿Bajo qué circunstancias llegó el rey de Babilonia al reino de Arabia?
  6. ¿Qué le pasó al rey de Babilonia en Arabia?
  7. ¿Por qué se lo hizo el rey árabe?
  8. ¿Fueron justificadas las acciones del rey de Arabia? Explica.

Here is the text with multiple choice questions that I used for my exit ticket: http://13espanolhonors.wikispaces.com/file/view/los+dos+reyes+y+los+dos+laberintos.pdf

More questions and vocabulary:

If you do an image search for “los dos reyes y los dos laberintos” you will find nice visuals like these:

dos reyesHere is a video narration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZIFBwrtCAE

That is all for this lesson. Next on my list is a post on Rufino Tamayo and Dr. Atl.

Posted in AP Spanish Language and Culture, Spanish Heritage Language | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

El arte latinoamericano: Wifredo Lam

In my Spanish classes, the art unit is my favorite one to teach.  I had decided to devote a week to Central and South American artists in my pre-AP Spanish classes, but I realized that, due to my limited knowledge and resources, I did not have enough content for an entire week. My solution was to pair art and literature. I love how the lessons turned out.  I started with Cuba: Wifredo Lam and Nicolás Guillén.

I think that Lam’s most-recognized work is “La jungla” and that is what we analyzed.

Do Now:  “La jungla“
Observa este cuadro. ¿En qué te hace pensar? ¿Qué te hace sentir?


Then students read what Lam said about this painting, found here http://www.artequin.cl/portfolio/wifredo-lam/, and answered the following question:

  1. ¿Cuál de las afirmaciones mejor expresa la idea principal del párrafo?
    A.Quiere inspirar orgullo en las raíces africanas de los cubanos.
    B.Desea capturar la gran belleza natural de Cuba.
    C.Intenta demostrar la liberación de Cuba de poderes extranjeros.
    D.Añora (extraña) el continente africano de sus ancestros.
    E.Retrata la esclavitud de los africanos en Cuba por parte de los colonizadores.

Next I asked them to compare the landscape and the people in the painting with a photo of a sugar plantation and sugar cane.Jungla y foto

Next, we watched part of a video promoting a documentary about Afro-Latinos at https://vimeo.com/8705091. We watched the first 2 minutes and 44 seconds.

africa cuba

After that, we read a “cápsula cultural” from Triángulo Aprobado 5a edición about Cuba and sincretismo.  I asked them the following questions about the brief reading:

  1. ¿Qué es “sincretismo” según el contexto del párrafo?
  2. Explica lo que significa la última oración: “El sincretismo confirma que se puede dejar la casa, pero nunca el hogar.”

We could have done more with afro-latinos, but we talk about that again in AP when we read “La balada de los dos abuelos.”

Finally, we read along as we listened to Nicolás Guillén’s poem “Sensemayá.” It is a poem that really needs to be heard. In retrospect, I could have spent some time on the “son” so students could understand the poem further.

Here is the text: Sensemayá and here is the audio, recited by Guillén himself: https://youtu.be/jAo35AhaMJ8

I asked the following questions about the poem:

  1. Escucha el poema “Sensemayá” por Nicolás Guillén. ¿Cómo te suena?
    A. Un canto o ritual
    B. Una canción
    C. Un cuento
    D. Un poema que rima
  2. ¿Qué quieren hacer con la culebra y por qué?
  3. Una anáfora es la repetición de la misma palabra o palabras al principio de varios versos. Subraya unos ejemplos de anáfora en “Sensemayá.”
  4. Guillén también usa mucha repetición en el poema, como “se esconde en la yerba.” ¿Cómo contribuyen las anáforas y la repetición al ritmo del poema?
  5. Considerando el contenido del poema y la historia de Cuba, ¿por qué escribiría Guillén este poema?

Finally, this is the question that I asked as their exit ticket:

  1. ¿Cómo se podría relacionar el poema “Sensemayá” con “La jungla”?

That is all for Wifredo Lam and Nicolás Guillén. When I have time, I will continue with the artists Joaquín Torres García and Xul Solar.

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