Opening Strategy: Quick write
- Draw dividing lines down the class whiteboard, creating 3 sections. If no whiteboard is present use chart paper.
- Ask each student to come to the board and write 5 words that come to mind when they hear the term Americano. Encourage them to come up in groups and don´t worry about repeat answers. Keep all answers in one section of the board.
- Once everyone finishes, take a moment to analyze the words with the class. Point out the words that appear most often. If this is a new concept then words will probably include red/white/blue, president, flag, 4th of July, and more.
- Play the song ´América´ and ask students to write down vocabulary words that they hear. Once finished, lead students through creating a collective list of recognized words in the second section of the board. Remember that this is an interpretive assignment. The goal is to recognize words, phrases, and simple sentences from the authentic source.
- Play the song a second time. Ask students to think-pair-share as they work together to identify the main idea of the song. Allow students to share their thoughts.
- Ask students to work in pairs and assign each pair 2-3 lines of the song to translate. Encourage students to use an online dictionary rather than an online translator for difficult/new words. Remind students that literal translations may not make sense. Encourage them to look at their translations and to create their interpretation of what the phrase means. This is a great time to remind them that translations are about meaning, not specific words. A list of phrases to translate has been included in the advanced preparation section of this lesson plan.
- Students present their translations to the class. As students come across the names of people groups, identify where the groups live on a map of North and South America. Also, as the translation is pieced together, pique their curiosity by asking questions. For example, students typically agree that the first line is talking about America (as in the USA). As the translation develops ask them to revisit this first section and they will realize that it is talking about America (as in North, South, and Central America).
- Revisit the term American after translating the song and ask students to express their personal opinions. If someone born in Europe is European, is someone born in America called American? Address the fact that the term America evokes passion among people in the US. The same word evokes the same passion for those from other nations located on the American continent.
- Ask students to consider the following:
- What is the term for someone from Mexico? Mexican
- What is the term for someone from Canada? Canadian
- What is the term for someone from Colombia? Colombian
- Following this pattern, what is the term for someone from the United States? Introduce the word estadounidense or United Statesian. The students usually find it to be an amusing word but after a little discussion, they realize that the term United Statesian better defines those from the US more than the term American. All of the words they used to describe the term American at the start of the lesson are actually describing someone from the United States. This is a key vocabulary word for students as they begin to understand the Latino perspective.
Closing Strategy: Revisit the Quick Write
- Finish the lesson by revisiting the original question. Using a global perspective, what comes to mind when you hear the word Americano. Have students return to the board and write 5 words that represent the word Americano. Write these words on the opposite side of the board from the original answers.
- Take time to discuss the most common words as a class and point out how their perspective on this term has changed.
- Finally, ask students to share what they now believe to be the main idea of the song.
- In Activity Step 1 - analyze the word list created by students to determine the words they were able to recognize. If needed, repeat the first half of the song to allow for better recognition of words, phrases, and simple sentences.
- In Activity Step 2 - consider student responses. Keep in mind that students will interpret the song based on their own perspective of the word American.
- Examine the responses provided in the last quick write activity. After the activity is completed, you should examine to what degree the students have grasped the Latino perspective of the word Americano.
- At the end of the lesson, examine the responses provided by students when they explain the main idea of the song. Assess whether or not their answers now reflect a more global perspective towards this term.
- Before beginning the lesson, divide the classroom whiteboard into 3 large sections. The first section will be used for the first quick write, the second section will be used to gather recognized vocabulary, and the third section is for the last quick write.
- Locate a copy of the song "América" by Los Tigres del Norte. A You-Tube video has been linked to this lesson but the song can also be downloaded from any online music store.
- Note that there are many music video compilations online using this song. Some videos will prematurely give away the perspective that you want your students to discover for themselves. Others, including the one linked above, may offer comments that give away the idea being presented. For this reason, use the video link included as an audio source only. Consider playing the link through a site like http://viewpure.com/ which will eliminate the comments from view.
- Lyrics: Here are a list of key phrases that students should translate in step 2 of the activity above.
- Haber nacido en américa is como una bendición.
- Tierra de bellas imagenes
- Mosaico de mil colores
- Soy gaucho que galopa por las pampas
- Soy charrua
- Soy equimal, principe maya,
- Soy guajiro, soy charro mexicano
- El color podra ser diferente
- Como hijos de Dios somos hermanos
- Por que America es todo el continente
- El que nace aqui es Americano
|Variation Tips (optional):
Other activities associated with this song:
- Before listening to the song for the first time, have students label a map of Spanish speaking countries. Instruct them to label the country and the nationality of each country in Spanish.
- The song addresses a wide variety of people groups located throughout North America. If time permits, divide the students into groups and have them briefly research one of the groups addressed in the song. (examples: guachos, eskimos, and chapino)
|Notes or Recommendations (optional):
Los Tigres del Norte is an award-winning musical group that is popular throughout Mexico and parts of the United States. Consider stressing this group and their style of music as a product from the Spanish culture.