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)