Saturday, November 8, 2014

¿Cómo Cambiarías el Mundo?

How would you change the world?  It is a question I asked my Spanish IV students as we were beginning a chapter on ecology.  With so many ecological issues very present in our everyday consciousness, we hear a lot about cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink.  There is a lot of talk about getting trash up off the roads and recycling - both in our textbook and everywhere around us.  I thought my students would all be drawn to conversations about climate change and the environment, and many of them were. 

But many others chose to focus on things that were issues of personal importance to them instead - hunger, religious freedom, equality of education.  I was surprised by how honest they were and how they resisted the path that had been laid out for them by the textbook.

The project consisted of choosing a topic of personal importance, stating a desire to improve the world using the present subjunctive, and presenting it in an attractive way on a 10" x 10" square.  I provided class time in which we wrote our statements in the subjunctive, peer edited them, and I helped with grammar and phrasing.  (There are still errors in some of them.  It is student Spanish, after all.)

The creativity part was done, by in large, outside of class.  I did provide materials and artistic suggestions, but the students were given full creative privilege to do what they chose.  We discussed symbolism and how to represent our ideas using pictures, and I suggested that students might want to use three-dimensional elements in their design.  (The one above has actual sand on it.)  When I displayed them all together, wow . . . the results were beautiful and the message was so positive.

Hasta pronto, amigos.



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