En guerra and Real Battles

When I saw the Sebastian Yatra/Camilo video for En guerra, I was immediately drawn back to some of my darkest hours as a teen/young adult. I just didn’t love who I was and there was truly a storm raging inside of me. I couldn’t stop listening to this song. I immediately sent it to EVERYONE I knew.

En guerra speaks the truth of so many of our adolescent students and our own children! I knew from the moment I saw the video for the first time that I wanted to use it in class… but when you watch the video, you’ll see why I knew it had to be packaged in just the right unit. I will warn you that you need to evaluate your school setting before deciding to show it. I am holding it back for my Spanish 4 students and I have planned it into a unit on adolescent mental health.

Self-esteem and mental health are such a delicate topic and yet so relevant for the students we see every day. I wanted to honor the message of the song AND let students know that mental health issues are not something to fear or be ashamed of. This is the reality for most of them! In this unit, they’ll explore the song but also some stats about adolescent mental health, a movie talk about Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, and some posed and unposed photo experiments.

(This unit could EASILY be used with a lyric video in place of the official video. The other activities are all 100% universally acceptable.)

I hope that this unit can be the start of opening a discussion about self-image and the importance of keeping lines of communication open with parents and other trusted adults throughout the teen and young adult years!

En guerra unit

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at gmail.com.

3 thoughts

  1. Thank you for highlighting this video. It is a great platform to lead into discussion in an upper level class with mature students. I look forward to using it! You are correct — it has to be packaged just right and students need to be in a safe place to discuss the many issues and emotions that probably will arise in this discussion. It’s really a beautiful song! Gracias!

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