Spanish – Puerto Rico Culture and Interests
Text #1 Puerto Rico Music and Dance
LatinFlyerTV. “Puerto Rico: 5 Basics of Puerto Rican Music & Dance.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Jul. 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obqzdsZnns8
Summary: This video text demonstrates heritage music and dances performed at a Puerto Rican festival. It also describes different Puerto Rican instruments, the history of the dances and where they originated. It also shows historic costumes used for each dance type. Some of the cultural dances have roots in other countries where some of the people’s ancestry is from. This video is a great introduction of typical Puerto Rican music and dance.
Quantitatively, this video text is around an 11th grade level. This is quite surprising because the video is something that one would see in a documentary, which should be for the general audience and a middle school level. The average word length in the sample used is 5 characters, and the sentence length is 19. Only a small sample was used to determine this score, so the sentence length might have been an anomality.
Qualitatively, the text’s grade level should be about 9th grade. The complexity of the ideas shown are about cultural festival activities, which are quite simple but entertaining. These ideas would be understood at an elementary school level, but some of the instruments discussed and the historic significance of the dances would need a high school level to understand. The prior knowledge a student will need to understand this text is which countries the majority of Puerto Ricans’ ancestry is from, and how they came to live on the island. Another prior knowledge for this text might be the history of why two languages are spoken in Puerto Rico.
Vocabulary: Diverse, Castillo San Cristobel, Jíbaro, El Cuatro, Güiro, Maracas, Conga, Bomba, Salsa, Plena
The purpose of this text is to teach Spanish students about the history of Puerto Rican culture with a focus on their music, dance and the origin of both. This topic would engage the students with a fun and entertaining look into the island’s culture. This text also touches on the history and ancestry of Puerto Ricans and what influenced their folk music and dance.
The students will answer the following: What did you find most interesting about the costumes used in this dance festival? Did any of the music you heard resemble anything on the radio today?
Text #2 Hurricane Maria Aftermath
FoxNewsChannel. “Hurricane Maria Aftermath: Puerto Rico Faces Months without Power.” YouTube, YouTube, 21 Sept. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM562jWVFOs.
This video reflects the disaster occurring in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria. The whole island was left without power and the flooding waters and mud left many without their homes and belongings. The hurricane was the most powerful storm to directly hit Puerto Rico in more than eighty years. Due to the fragileness of their power grid, the island could have no power for multiple months following the storm. Cell towers were also damaged leaving many without a way to communicate with others.
Quantitatively, this video text is between a 6th and 7th grade level. This is not surprising because the video is similar to a news report which is very clear, precise and direct. The average word length is 5 characters, which makes the text clear to a wide range of viewers.
Qualitatively, the text’s grade level should be about 9th grade. The complexity of the ideas shown are about weather patterns, how weather can destruct property and what happens when there is no power nor communication accessibility. These ideas would not be fully grasped until the high school age level. The prior knowledge a student will need to understand this text is where Puerto Rico is geographically, annual weather patterns, how dependent the economy is on import/export, and where Puerto Rico gets the majority if its food.
Vocabulary: Electrical Grid, Power Grid, Flash Floods, Mudslides, Cell Towers, Reeling, Fatalities, Resiliency, Capacity
The purpose of this text is to connect students with their peers that recently relocated to Milwaukee Public Schools from Puerto Rico due to the storm. This will help them to understand their culture and empathize with their plight. The cultural lesson given with this text will help us start discussions about what is necessary to prepare for a similar event in the future.
The students will answer the following: What kinds of weather disasters could potentially happen in Milwaukee? How are they different from what happened in Puerto Rico? What can you do to prepare?
Text #3 Hurricane Heroes
Bronstein, H. (2017, October 17). Hurricane Maria: US postmen emerge as heroes of Puerto Rico’s recovery effort. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hurricane-maria-latest-puerto-rico-recovery-effort-us-postal-service-mail-men-a7992681.html
This text is about the postal employees and how helpful they had been in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It shows the importance of services that we all take for granted, and how the postal workers went above and beyond their duties to help restore things outside of their areas, like communications, gathering information about the sick and elderly, and relaying to Federal Emergency Management Agency where the people needed help the most.
Quantitatively, this text is about a 12th grade level. The article is written for adult audiences but can be used for high school levels with some guidance. The average word length is 5 characters, but the sentence lengths are an average of 20 words, which makes the ideas more complex.
Qualitatively, the text’s grade level seems accurate. The complexity of the ideas shown are about emergency services, how weather can isolate people and what happens when there is no power nor communication accessibility. These ideas would not be fully grasped until the high school age level. The prior knowledge a student will need to understand this text is how isolation and blocked roads can impact emergency services and how dependent the population is on that infrastructure.
Vocabulary: Battering, forefront, bludgeoned, nonetheless, clutch situation, plucky, stoically
Purpose: This text will be used to show how people can respond with generosity and help others in an emergency situation. I would use this text to begin conversations about what it is to be generous and help your community. I will also use this to talk about those that abuse these types of situations (looting) and teach them a lesson on morality.
The students will answer the following: What would happen to you and your family if all roads were closed / impassable? What would the grocery shelves look like? What items do you think would sell out first? Do you have an emergency plan / kit in your home?
Text #4 Exodus from Puerto Rico
Sutter, J.D. and Hernandez, S. (2018, February 21). ‘Exodus’ from Puerto Rico: A visual guide. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/us/puerto-rico-migration-data-invs/index.html
This text is about how many people migrated from Puerto Rico to other states within the USA after Hurricane Maria. Although many migrate each year, the storm may have been the last straw to convince a mass migration in the past year. The article also shows that although over 50% of the Puerto Ricans moved to Florida, all 50 states welcomed new residents from Puerto Rico. The text also tells us that the data is an estimate at best, since there is no good way to determine the exact population that left Puerto Rico with the current systems we have.
Quantitatively: this text is about a 9th grade level. The article is written by a news outlet, so the vocabulary and sentence lengths are less complex for the general audience. The average word length is 5 characters, and the sentence lengths are an average of 12 words, which allows for a wide audience understanding.
Qualitatively, the text’s grade level seems accurate. The complexity of the ideas shown are simple and show the data of the migration of people from Puerto Rico. The ideas in the article describe how the data is unclear and which systems were used to make the estimate. The prior knowledge a student will need to understand this text is where some states like Florida are located geographically in relation to Puerto Rico. The other prior knowledge needed might be where the highest population of Hispanics reside in the US outside of Puerto Rico. This would give them an idea why certain states welcomed more new residents than others.
Vocabulary: Exodus, unprecedented, migration patterns, diaspora, demographers
This text will be used to demonstrate to the students how the current event affected their peers from Puerto Rico, and the other states that also received many new residents from the island. We can start a round table discussion about what resources are available for those that moved because of the disaster, and how humans are a valuable resource for the communities in which they live. I can let the new students share their experiences with the class if they are comfortable, and this will help to create empathy for the rest of the students.
What other events in history caused a major migration to the mainland United States? What other groups of people were affected by catastrophic events which caused them to arrive here? (example: Jews after WWII, Cubans after Castro mass-released prisoners, etc…)
Acevedo, N. (2018, July 6). ‘The push we needed’: Puerto Rico’s local farmers step up efforts after Hurricane Maria. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/push-we-needed-puerto-rico-s-local-farmers-step-efforts-n875491
This text talks about how the hurricane helped to push Puerto Rico into becoming more self sufficient for its food provision. The island had imported more and more of it’s food from the mainland over the past decades, but the hurricane convinced the government to increase the productivity of agriculture to fend off future shortfalls. This agricultural movement is also providing jobs to people who lost their employment in other areas affected by the disaster. This positive new emphasis on agriculture will help Puerto Rico avoid future crisis.
Quantitatively: this text is about a 11th grade level. The article is written by a news outlet, the vocabulary less complex for the general audience, but the sentence length is longer than an average news article. The average word length is 5 characters, and the sentence lengths are an average of 17 words, which would challenge a general audience understanding.
Qualitatively, the text’s grade level is misleading. The sentence length is larger than before, but the ideas are quite simple. I think this article would be closer to a 9th grade level. The ideas shown are how agriculture and self-sufficiency of a community helps them overcome natural disasters by reducing the amount of aid needed from outside communities. The prior knowledge a student will need to understand this text is how consumable products are shipped around the world, and what import and export can affect a state / nation. Other knowledge that might be needed is the method in which products are moved from place to place and the relative cost of each type of transportation (land, air, sea).
Vocabulary: Advocate, Import, Export, nonperishable, languished, entrepreneurship, smart farm.
Purpose: This text will be used to show the positive things that have happened in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. By using this text after the prior texts, the students will be left with hope and a positive note following the prior lessons. “There is a rainbow after the storm.”
Questions: What products are used in our area, that are produced elsewhere? Can you name some of them? What products do we make in Wisconsin that are shipped all over the world?
Text $6 Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
WGN-TV Community. “Adelante – National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Feb. 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze66UjkUst0&t=4s
This video text shows the creation of a Puerto Rican Arts and Culture center in Northwest Chicago. A national landmark was used as the location for this center, which once was a horse stable building. The project took over 14 years to complete and $8 million, but is now a proud cultural center showcasing work from Puerto Rican artists both here and on the island. It is also a research facility and will hold historic documents about the Puerto Rican community in Chicago.
Quantitatively: this text is about a 11th grade level. The video was created by a TV news source similar to a documentary. For this reason, the vocabulary is more complex. The average word length in the sample used is 5 characters, but the sentence length is an average of 23 words, which would challenge a general audience understanding. The sample used might not be representative of the complete text.
Qualitatively, I believe the text’s grade level is accurate. The sentence length is larger than usual for this kind of text and the ideas are more complex as well. The ideas shown describe how important history and culture are to a community, and what lengths are needed to be taken to create and fund a project of this magnitude. The prior knowledge a student will need to understand this text is minimal. A simple appreciate of art and culture would suffice.
Vocabulary: Historical Archive, Contributions, Isla del Encanto, Persistence, Fruition
Purpose: This text will be used to gain the students’ appreciation for Puerto Rican culture in a different way. The class will lean that there are more Puerto Ricans living outside of Puerto Rico than on the island, and how this type of center is meant to maintain knowledge of history, so it is not forgotten.
Questions: What do you know about Puerto Rican art or culture? Do you have family or friends from that culture? Is there a similar cultural center for any other group here in Milwaukee?