Thursday, October 4, 2012

Presidential Lesson Plans

In the middle of a tight Presidential race, my Spanish 4 classes are learning about our own national culture and politics in Spanish class instead of those of Spanish-speaking nations. 

Usually political and cultural lessons in my classes focus on Spain and countries in Central and South America, but as I tell my students, the United States is a large part of the Spanish-speaking world with a large percentage of our population speaking Spanish.  And, this population is very important in the upcoming election.

Last night's debate will be the topic of discussion in our classes today.  In the textbook we use, my students are focusing on a future tense unit that highlights environmental issues in our world, and those topics fit perfectly with the debate and the race for the White House.  We will start with in-class discussion about the debate in general and then focus on what the candidates said about the future of the country. 

Then, we are going to use some of the most relevant materials Spanish teachers have today.  We are going to watch the candidates Spanish language TV ads and some of the moments when they have spoken in Spanish to the Spanish speaking population of the US.  These are real, current, and exciting moments in our political history that YouTube can bring right into the classroom.  Spanish is a powerful language in our country, and even the presidential candidates have to use the langauge if they want to win the election.  What a powerful message to our students. 

Though it is in English, this is a good CNN video on how speaking Spanish helps or does not help the candidates and a bit about the history of candidates speaking Spanish in their campaign ads: Presidential ads target Spanish voters
After discussion and review of the videos, the students will prepare for an in-class mock-debate next week.  To preview the assignmentEach student will be given a question ahead of time and assigned a position.  They can prepare their remarks ahead and then will be asked to argue their point to their peers and defend their views in class.  They will also have a copy of the rubric below to know what I expect from them and how they will be graded on the debate. I am very excited for this project.

0-1 puntos
Así así
2 puntos
3 puntos
4 puntos

*No oral participation.
*No written notes from the debate at hand.
Así así

*No oral participation.
*2-3 sentences of notes from debate at hand.

*Some participation (voice heard at least once).
*4-5 sentences of notes from debate at hand.

√Participated frequently(voice heard more than once).
√Paragraph or at least 6 sentences of notes from debate at hand.

*Argument/Statement is not stated at all.
*Grammar and usage both have many errors.
*No relevant vocabulary.
Así así

*Argument/Statement is vague or unclear.
*Grammar and usage have frequent errors.
*Little to no relevant vocabulary used.

*Argument/Statement is somewhat stated.
*Grammar and usage have some errors.
*Some relevant vocabulary used.

√Argument/Statement is clear and easy to follow.
√Grammar and usage are correct-minor errors.
√Relevant vocabulary is used.

*No relevant facts or details provided to support the argument.
Así así

*One fact of information supporting the argument.
*Little to no detail supporting the fact.

*Two facts of information supporting the arguments.
*Adequate details supporting the important facts.

√Three or more facts of information supporting the arguments of the discussion.
√Adequate details supporting important facts.

~ La profesora

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