Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Los decendientes africanos en Latinoamérica (African descendants in Latin America)

¡Hola familia!  In keeping with Black History Month, 7th and 8th grade students will be viewing a 4-part documentary on the presence of African descendants within the Latin American community.  Over the last two classes, 7th and 8th graders have seen starting watching a series titled, "Black in Latin America," hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates.  Below is a link to the first episode, "Haiti and the Dominican Republic: The Roots of Division." It explores the history between the two nations, their economical differences, how slavery impacted each country differently, the things they have in common, and the many differences between the two communities.

Students have been given instructions on the assignment, which are listed below.  They will answer the 10 questions on a separate sheet of paper, and prepare to have a 20-25 minute discussion in class on Thursday, February 9th.  The minute markers in parentheses indicate points in the video where students can find their answers.  Parents, please feel free to watch this very enlightening documentary with your students. ¡Hasta pronto!

Spanish Online Assignment (7th and 8th Grade)
Due Thursday, February 9th 2017
Documentary Viewing and Class Discussion
30 points, Homework Grade

1.    In class, students have started watching “Black in Latin America Episode 1 – Haiti and the Dominican Republic: The Roots of Division” in class.
2.    At home or online, students will finish watching the documentary on ImagineSpanish.blogspot.com.  Look for the February 7th blog article.
3.    Discussion questions will be posted along with the documentary.  Students will write down answers to their questions.

4.    Students will prepare to have a discussion about the documentary, their answers, and opinions about what they learned in the video.

Answer the following questions with 2-4 sentences each.

1. What is the name of the capital of the Dominican Republic, the first city in the Americas to import slaves ( see 1:40)?
2. What is merengue? ( see 1:59)
3. How do Dominicans describe themselves in terms of ethnic/racial background? What it their viewpoint in regards to their African ancestry? ( see 5:40)
4. The economy and slavery systems between Haiti and the D.R. were very different.  Explain the differences between their natural resources and how slaves were treated in each country. ( see 8:01 and 27:45)
5.How did the 1822 Haitian occupation of the D.R. affect public opinion of Haitians? ( see 12:20)
6.Who was Rafael Leónidas Trujillo? How did he affect relations, if any, between the D.R. and Haiti? (see 18:59)
7.Who was Jean-Claude Duvalier? What affect did he have on Haiti's economy? What did Duvalier have in common with Trujillo in terms of the United States and their stance on Communism? (see 47:21)
8.What is Vodou (aka "voodoo")?  Expain Vodou's importance to Haitian in regards to their African ancestry and their war against the French. ( see 31:30).
9. Explain why is the river along the Haiti/D.R. border called "Massacre River." (see 21:30)
10.Discussion Question: Can you see similarites between the historical struggle between these two nations and the current events we see in the U.S. (i.e., closing of borders, racial division, social and ecomonic classes based on race)?

Food for Thought (not mandatory for assignment): What aspects of the video grabbed your attention the most? Did you learn something you had not known before?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

El mes de herenicia hispana (Hispanic Heritage Month); La primera prueba (First Quiz)

¡Hola, familia!

On Thursday, September, 15th, we began our coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month.  For the next 30 days, we will explore different aspects of Latin-American countries, culture, and people.

The students learned that September 15th is also Independence Day for five different countres in Central America.  In 1823, the following five countries won their independence from Spanish rule:

  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
In addition, September 16th is Mexico's Independence Day (not Cinco de Mayo!).  The students learned that in 1821, Mexico won its independece from Spain, which paved the way for Central American independence.

We also talked about two successful people in the Latino community: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and musical conductor Gustavo Dudamel.  

Sonia Sotomayor, a Nuyorican (New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent), is the person of Latin-American descent to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.  She is an Ivy-League graduate, receiving her bachelor's degree from Princeton University (same college as First Lady Michelle Obama), and her law degree from Yale University (same college as Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton).  Below is a video the students watched of Justice Sotomayor presiding over a very classic case: Goldilocks vs. Baby Bear!

Gustavo Dudamel, a venezolano (Venezuelan) is an accomplished orchestra conductor, having led the Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar (Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra).  He also led the orchestra recording for the soundtrack of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."  Below is a video of Sr. Dudamel leading the LA Philharmonic in playing the Star Wars theme.

Students completed geography and timeline worksheets concerning Central America and Justice Sotomayor.  I gave them the weekend to complete them, and we will review in class.

For 7th and 8th graders only:

7th and 8th graders will have their first prueba (quiz) on Tuesday, Sept. 20th.  It will be 20-question, 20-point, assessment of the following subjects:

  • How to say "Hello"
  • How to say "Goodbye"
  • How to say "Please," "Thank You," and "You're Welcome"
  • Numbers 1-30
  • Days of the Week
  • Months of the Year

Students were given a study guide for the quiz, which can be found on page 17 of the online Spanish textbook.  Passwords for each section can be found in this previous blog article:

This week, we will continue our coverage of numbers, date, time, and weather.  We will also explore more Latin-American culture and history.

¡Hasta luego!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Los saludos, las despididas, y la cortesía (Salutations, Farewells, and Courtesy)

¡Hola familia!

5th and 6th graders now have their own Spanish names!  There were some very creative names this year.  Please check the Assignments section of Schoolmax for your student's name.  

Daily attendance will be called by Spanish names, and we will soon start having conversaciónes, such as introducing ourselves AND introducting other people.  Please help your student memorize their name...I mean, a person should know their own name, right?

In all classes, we discussed how the attacks on 9/11 affected the Latino community.  The students learned that people from several Latin countries such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico lost their lives that day.  Below is a short video with Univision reporter Maria Elena Salinas remembering that day, and discussing how 9/11 has affected the Latino community in America: 

Maria Elena Salinas on how 9/11 affected the Latino community

This coming week, we will learn numbers, date and time.

¡Hasta pronto!

Las Contraseñas (Passwords)

¡Hola, familia!

I recently gave 7th and 8th graders online access to the ConnectED website.  This website contains the online version of the textbook we use in Spanish class.  For the sake of posterity, I have provided usernames and passwords for each section.  Please refer to this post for future homework assignments.

701 (Mr. Anderson's room)

  • Username:SPANISHA4
  • Password: spani638

702 (Mr. Greene's room)
  • Username:  SPANISHB1
  • Password:spani328

801 (Mrs. Lawrence's room)

  • Username:SPANISHC
  • Password: spani770

802 (Mrs. Velasco's room)

  • Username:SPANISHD
  • Password: spani246

This past week, both 7th and 8th graders started in the beginning of the Spanish 1 text, learning different ways of saying hello and goodbye, and speaking politely ("Please," "Thank You," etc.).  In this coming week, we will focus on numbers, date and time.

¡Hasta pronto!

Monday, September 5, 2016

La semana del 29 de agosto al 2 de septiembre (The week of August 29th to September 2nd)

¡Hola, familia!

Last week, all Intermediate and Middle School students got the chance to pick out their own Spanish names!!  If you are interested in seeing your student's name (or in case they forget), it is available for view in Schoolmax.  Search the Assignments and look for "Spanish Names."

The Spanish names will be important for our upcoming lessons.  This week, we will learn los saludos y la cortesía (greetings and courtesy).  All students will practice greetings, goodbyes and social etiquette with each other in class.

In addition, Spanish 1 and 2 students will begin the Así se Dice curriculum.  All students will begin at the beginning, Chapter 1.  However, the 8th graders will move at a slightly faster pace, as this is review of last year's material for most of them.  Student online access to the text and workbook materials will be available soon.

Stay tuned for more news articles and updates.  Until then, enjoy your holiday!

¡Hasta luego!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Las letras y los sonidos (Letters and Sounds)

¡Hola, familia! (Hello, family!)

Today, the 5th and 6th graders learned about the letters and sounds of the Spanish alphabet.  The following video contains a song, which sounds similar to "The Farmer in the Dell." It helped the students understand letters, sounds, and some Spanish words:

We also watched a skit from Sesame Street, titled, "Murray Has A Little Lamb."  Murray and Ovejita ( literally, "Little Lamb") teach viewers Spanish terms for items found at different types of escuelas (schools).

¿Puedes identificar los artículos y cuál escuela ellos están visitando? (Can you identify the items and which school they are visiting?)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

La Foco Cultural: ¡Laurie Hernandez, la emoji humana! (Cultural Spotlight: Laurie Hernandez, The Human Emoji!)

¡Hola, familia! (Hello, family!)

If you watched this year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, you may have noticed a bubbly, energetic young lady on the U.S. women's gymnastics team.  Remember her?:

This is Lauren "Laurie" Hernandez, from Old Bridge Township, New Jersey.  Here are some fun facts about her:

  • Laurie is a second-generation Puerto Rican.
  • At age 16, she is the youngest member of the U.S. gymnastics team.
  • She won a gold medal in the Women's Team All Around and a silver medal in the Women's Balance Beam event.
  • She is the first Latina in 30 years to represent the United States in gymnastics (Annia Hatch, another Latina-American, competed for Cuba in 2004.)
  • By winning the gold medal in the Team All Around, she became the first person born in the 21st century to win an Olympic gold medal.
Check out Laurie in action here:

Her upbeat personality and funny faces have earned her the nickname, "The Human Emoji".  Watch below to see why: