sábado, 25 de mayo de 2013

UbD Units

At my school we use the Understanding by Design model for our curriculum. As part of the end of the year, we have to turn in a binder with all of our units. So, I have been revising and updating all of the units that I taught this year in my Cultura y Civilización course (Spanish 4 or 4+ for some). I thought I would share them in case anyone else uses the UbD model, which I really like. The Essential Questions are an excellent way to guide the units, and I think I will be able to adapt many of these units for AP Spanish next year (teaching it for the first time).

As I revised and updated these documents, I became very proud of how well my students have done this semester with some complicated Essential Questions that do not necessarily have a "right" answer... and of course, in Spanish! They have improved so much this semester, and learned a lot of other things along the way.

These are the eight units that I will have done by the end of this year. I have blogged in detail about most of them on this blog. All of the units revolve around songs and music videos (= more engaging), but they include many other authentic resources as well.  Big thanks to Zachary and Betsy Jones for all their work, which made my work easier when creating all of these units!

I also realize that these units will always be evolving and, hopefully, improving, so if you have any suggestions, please share!

martes, 14 de mayo de 2013

Unidad Didáctica: Desafíos Medioambientales

Image Source


Image Source
**UPDATE 2/1/15** I have added the TPRS book Noche de Oro to this unit. I highly recommend it and the Teacher's Guide.

In my Cultura y Civilización class, we just finished a unit called Desafíos Medoambientales. I was very pleased with this new unit and with how well my students did with all of the authentic resources. They have come a long way since the beginning of this course and I am very proud of them! They delved in to some real life issues, thought about opposing forces, and possible solutions to some of environmental problems... in Spanish!

These were the essential questions for the unit:

  1. ¿Quiénes son algunos cantantes que cantan del medio ambiente? ¿De qué se tratan sus canciones? ¿Cómo son diferentes y/o simliares? ¿Cómo reflejan la realidad? ¿Por qué son importantes estas canciones?
  2. ¿Cuáles son algunos problemas del medio ambiente que existen en Latnoamérica? ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de estos problemas? ¿Por qué existen estos problemas? ¿Cuáles son algunas soluciones para los problemas?
As with all the units in this course, music and music videos were a focus of the "puntos de partida" from which we explore a theme. Before delving in to the songs, students did the following:
After doing those activities and discussing what students read, heard and saw, we delved in to the song Río by Aterciopelados (wksht here). Students learned about Aterciopelados and the Río Bogotá. The video for Río is a little strange, but very engaging. The lyrics of the song are also pretty comprehensible for these students. The song emphasizes the importance of water in general with a specific call to save the Río Bogotá. 
Río by Aterciopelados


Next, we viewed this PSA about megaminería in Argentina:

Students did this worksheet to go along with that PSA. They learned a lot from this PSA and were able to interpret it fairly well. The images and the activities they did before helped them to understand better.

After having a bit of knowledge about megaminería in Argentina, students were able to understand this song:

!Basta Ya! by a collective of artists and produced by Conciencia Solidaria


Although a bit cursi (and with some interesting singing voices), the song is informative, catchy and engaging. Students may not have liked the song, but they learned from it! (wksht here).

We also did some of the activities on this wksht (from Zambombazo). related to the song Agua by Vuelo Adentro. This song is good because it has a good message of hope and change. I particularly like this line, "Veo una luz que se enciende en los niños de hoy" 


I would have liked to have spent some more time on this song and some of the others on the class website, but we only had so much time and I did not want to rush through the unit. 

At the end of the unit, students (individually or with a partner) explored an environmental program and created a presentation to share with the class (see below for detailed description). The projects were good and most were presented to the entire class. The interpersonal assessment had to be about one of the environmental problems that they learned about from someone else's presentation.

These are the assessments for the unit:
 EXAMEN - (INTERPRETIVE) (click here for more details) (writing) OR  Make a video for ¿Qué beberé? or Agua.
PROYECTO - (PRESENTATIONAL) (Click here for details) (speaking) - Make a presentation describing an environmental problem in Latin America. Describe the opposing forces in relation to the problem. Describe the benefits and consequences of the situation. Describe some (2-3) possible solutions and choose one that seems fair and reasonable.

INTERPERSONAL Writing (click here for details)(writing) - Write a short letter (8-10 sentences) to one of parties involved in the environmental problem, and do one of the following: express sympathy, offer a solution, express opinion, ask questions, offer help.