Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha with Kat Dahlia and @losrakas

Vida y muerte twitter feedMy students LOVE the novel Vida y Muerte. The whole thing is so engaging and the accompanying study of gang life reaches everyone. I have always used the film Sin Nombre with the novel and this year I am adding a music study.

Week one (this is my first week of the semester after a week of snow days!) I will assign the Vengo de Panama project but our song will actually be Gangsta en Español by Kat Dahlia. Week two (on Monday we’ll do the project) our song will be Vengo de Panama by los Rakas. Week three, our song will be Soy Raka, also by los Rakas.

We will listen to the songs each day of the week, we will do the cloze first, we will look at Panamanian slang in the two Rakas songs, we will learn some Panamanian culture through Vengo de Panama. We will watch the lyric video for Gangsta (she does mention a blunt, FYI) and the SXSW video for Soy Raka. In week 3 (when we will also be finishing the novel and the film), we will discuss the common themes of all media!

Our ongoing project throughout the unit will be the attached “Twitter Feed”. I’ll tweet out some pictures of our phony Twitter wall. (I hang the Twitter logo and use sentence strips to post tweets all over the wall) It was a great success last year! Hoping for an even better wall this year! @placido has done this as well and I believe she would say that it was very engaging too!

Gangsta en Español cloze

Gangsta en Español

Soy Raka cloze


Twitter Logo

Soy Raka

Vengo de Panama project

Los Rakas Vengo de Panama (1)

6 thoughts on “Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha with Kat Dahlia and @losrakas

  1. What age do u teach? Do u show the entire movie or skip certain scenes? Thought it was a powerful movie but not sure parents/ admin wld agree???

    • I teach the unit in level 3 (mostly juniors.) I cut the sex scene and the rape attempt. I send out a form the first week w all of our films and my rationale for using them! Works well!

  2. I like the Twitter wall idea! Do you just write tweets on the strips and post them or do students write them as well on the strips and post them? What will you tweet about on the wall? Are they about the novel theme?

    • The kids actually write all of the tweets. They’re all based on the context of the novel. One girl tweeted a subtweet today! Lol high order thinking! It said “Cuando alguien mata a una mamá en frenetic de un niño de 6 años.. <<<<< #pandillerosnomeimpresionan"

  3. Pingback: My top 10 “hooks” for teaching novels – CI Peek

  4. Pingback: Fluency Matters | Kristy’s top 10 “hooks” for teaching readers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s