Guernica- The Art of War- Resources for teaching Guernica

 

The Art of War 

The Art of War is my unit title for teaching about Guernica. I started this unit a few years ago as a middle school teacher, and now that I am at a high school, it blossomed considerably. Our finale to the Spanish Civil War unit, for which you can access information here, was this mini-unit on Guernica, which includes a PBL action component. After learning about the reasons undergirding this powerful piece of protest art, students had to dig deep and find a cause that was Guernica worthy and start the creative process of bringing awareness to their issue. Guernica was our inspiration or muse for the resultant personal projects (collages are below, but this is only the first part). You can see the planning documents and the first part of the projects below. 

Starting with Guernica

To pique students’ interest in Guernica, I used a few videos on the subject from Youtube, one being this awesome trailer of Guernica to the left. Although students had some familiarity with the topic, due to our unit on the Spanish Civil War unit, they were very interested in this trailer, and of course, they wanted to watch the movie (maybe just to pass the time in class).


Click here for Trailer 

Guernica 3D video 

Prior to the video that is highlighted below, I projected the painting of Guernica and had students jot down what they observed. Students could readily identify the following: 

  • El toro
  • Las personas
  • La luz

We discussed how the painting portrayed the atrocity of Guernica, and students responded accordingly.  I asked them to list and to add an interpretation of each of the items they pointed out.

Side note, the last time I implemented this unit, I had the Guernica Image painting enlarged. I had 15 printed and students gathered around in groups to view, more microscopically, the elements of the painting. This year, I had a different approach. I found this really nifty video on Youtube video that showed the painting three-dimensionally. The room was silent as students were so tuned-in to the slow moving pieces parading across the screen. 


 Short Expository Video about Guernica 

Click here for the video 

We watched this quick video about Guernica in Spanish. It supported the first video, because it give an interpretation of the events.  The video does not have subtitles, but I stopped periodically and asked questions such as: 





1. ¿Quién estuvo en París?  

2. ¿Qué hacía el hombre en París?

3. ¿Cuáles fueron las ciudades bombadeadas? 

4. ¿Qué significa la bombilla? 


After learning about Guernica and the causes that compelled Picasso to denounce the Fascist campaign. Students had to develop their own artistic “campaigns” that were “Guernica worthy.”  Below is the first page of the packet that recapped “el siniestro” and led-in to their project.  

Here is what followed (this was done over two 90- minute classes, I think): 

1. Students read the prompt, which discussed Guernica in Spanish (more comprehensible input).  They then paired up with a partner and thought 5 global issues that Picasso would take on, this is part of the packet. 


2. After thinking and discussing the issues, I gave them this article that I compiled and modified from sources online. It is from the #Niunamenos Campaign, decrying the violence against women in Spain. I listen to Radio National every morning, and this was central to much of the reporting.



3. Students read the article, responded to the questions (the usual). 


4. They were given the prompt below, which was a collage I put together on the issue of #Niunamenos, to give them an example of a powerful issue (this was to weed out topics such as “Call of Duty is the best game ever!). For this collage, students had to choose 6-7 powerful images that would visually depict their topic. The goal was to: 

-Create a visual portrayal of their issue, much like Picasso did

-Conduct preliminary research on their issue

-Present the collage to the teacher first, for an oral interview. 



PBLL Connection 

The collage is one of several assessments and products we are producing.  Students will eventually create a presentation of their issue to create awareness of other learners of the language (some class time was devoted to research, which was carefully scaffolded through the packet information). Stay tuned so your students can check them out!


Discussing collages 


Side note: prior to speaking about their collage, they had a quick write (best idea ever!). For this quick write, they could discuss any part of their project that choose. It was not graded but will give them feedback right in time for the next writing assignment. 


Below are some examples of student collages. Today they had their interview, where they explained their problem, causes and effects and solutions that have been attempted in solving the issue. 


Since they have been working on this for a few classes, I was really impressed with how knowledgeable students were when presenting their problems. Students who struggled with fluency in the beginning of the year had grown leaps and bounds from the structure and constantly revisiting their research. 


You’ll notice that most collages have words around them. I had the research 15 words related to their topic and post around the boards of the collage. When they had their interviews, most incorporated these words naturally into their discourse. Some of the topcis were: 


Racismo ambiental 

Matrimonios forzadas 

La pobreza entre los veteranos 

El blanqueamiento de la comunidad Latinx

(the packet they received walked them through every aspect of the research!)

Gracias for checking out my blog post!



Stay tuned for Las Sombras (sci-fish series).  

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Casi me mata el celular, suspenseful, comprehensible and undeniably gracioso!

Casi me mata el celular, a short story for Spanish class!

     Reviewing the preterite and imperfect tenses? Check out this Spanish novel, for teens learning Spanish as a second language. The updated version is even more suspenseful and “killer.” Your students will love this comprehensible crime-thriller. And, don’t you dare worry about creating activities- get Teacher’s Manual of activities, absolutely free.

Click here for the novel and the 2 chapter preview

Click here for making your life easy while teaching this novel 

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Last summer, I wanted to write a story that would pique the interest of young boys/men in the class. There is quite a body of L1 research highlighting the discrepancy between girls and boys reading habits, and frequency. In the world language classroom, I have seen with my own students, how the girls gobble up literature and the boys, well, they take time in finding their “reading stride.” This novella, Casi me mata el celular, was conceived with the purpose of “enganchando” the boys in the class and adding details that would involve them in the story. There is a little bit of guy humor, mild violence, and allusion to popular video games that surrounds the problem-saturated drama.  Although this novella, is great for boys, the girls won’t shy away, there is something here for everyone (very odd blooming romance from two unlikely characters-unnervingly hilarious).

So, if your students are looking for a crime/suspense novel with a bold adventure, Casi me mata el celular, will satisfy your students’ thrill-seeking quest. The story could be a great addition to your FVR library or even a quick class read. It comes with a Teacher Manual with 26 activities that include speaking, writing and reading comprehension in addition to vocabulary lists. Check out the specs:

Vocabulary: Technology related/ Crime 

Target structures: Preterite, Imperfect, some subjunctive

There is a mild gun violence (3rd chapter), it is the crux of what they see. 

Synopsis

Federico and his friends have a pretty simple life. They love to play basketball, soccer and go skateboarding at the park. They also love to go to their favorite hangout out, La librería Curioso: the only abandoned building left in a slowly up and coming town. This space gives them the privacy they need to practice pranks and other hilarious stunts to upload to Youtube. But the night of Friday the 13, their joke goes sour. While shooting the breeze and popping firecrackers, they stumble upon an uncanny situation. In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, they witness something will change their lives forever. Now the boys have to try to make it out of this situation, alive. 


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