Something to share with my friends… I am trying to add some depth of discussion to Spanish four while maintaining heavy input in the language. I don’t like to do shallow cultural units because I want the kids to have time to get invested in the topic. I think they need to make it personal. For the last 3 weeks we have been doing a unit on Bullfighting in Spain. I tried to front load the unit so that when we got to the culminating project, they would have a lot of language and cultural knowledge to use as they expressed their opinions…. If you have other resources or suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I feel like I learn more from you guys than any workshop I could attend!
Big Idea: Students will use complex language and cultural information to defend their opinion of Bullfighting.
What happens during a bullfight? What is the current political climate in Spain with regards to bullfighting? What are the names of some key Autonomous Communities of Spain? Who are modern day bullfighters? Who was Manolete? What is PETA’s stance on bullfighting?
Activities and Assessments:
1.Cultural lesson about bullfights. Students complete a note sheet as we speak (in Spanish) about the bullfight. Students learn about the three parts of the fight, the participants, the fate of the bull, the festival of San Fermin in the Autonomous Community of Pais Vasco, the bullfighting ban in Cataluna, etc.
2. Manolete: Students read the Wikipedia biography of Manolete and use it to come up with a list of 7-10 facts about him and his life that we share as a class. Master list is written on the board as students share their findings. Students watch two short YouTube videos of Manolete’s fights in the 1940s.
3. Blood Brothers (60 minutes excerpt downloaded from YouTube). Students watch the segment and discuss the brothers’ commitment to bullfighting in spite of their close calls.
4. Manolete bio: Students search for pictures of Manolete on the internet and create a biographical poster showcasing their knowledge of his life.
5. Reading Assessment: I copied and pasted from PETAlatino the organization’s stance on bullfighting. I grouped students in 2’s and asked them to use decoding skills to read the authentic document for important information. It didn’t matter what they COULDN’T read, I wanted them to tell me what they COULD read. They listed the things they found out and then as a group we shared our answers.
6. Film Study: A Matador’s Mistress Film is in English but discussion is in Spanish. Students watch the biography of the life and death of Manolete. Discussion of the ideas of foreshadowing and metaphor allow for some MAJOR critical thinking on their part.
7. Speaking Assessment: Students call my GoogleVoice and leave a message sharing their favorite and least favorite parts of the film.
8. Writing Assessment: Students write a persuasive essay in which they try to convince me that bullfighting is right or wrong. Grading rubric is based on evidence of the vocabulary studied during the unit, knowledge of the parts of the bullfight, and ability to express themselves comprehensibly.
I had a great time with this unit and the kids loved it. Several told me it was different than anything else we had done and that it was their favorite film study so far!