As a foreign language teacher, I not only teach the Spanish language, but I also teach about different Hispanic cultures. Continuing with my theme of Puerto Rico, I created this interactive visual starting with the map of the island of Puerto Rico (click the link above). This seemed to be the easiest place to start and where I would start my lesson on where the island is geographically, how large it is, and what other islands and countries are neighboring. I wanted to create some interesting links to make the visual interactive, and pique the interest of my students.
Going around the map, I began with a link to a video of some popular Puerto Rican music. I wanted to have something that the students can relate with and the music is very energetic and fun! Because I have so many students in my class from Puerto Rico, this will give them the opportunity to share with me and the rest of the class some other popular musicians they know of. Then, going around the map clockwise, we get to a video of some paintings produced by famous Puerto Rican artists. Although the video doesn’t describe them, we would begin our discussion about the art and the artists, which include: José Campeche, Carla Negron, Rafael Tuffiño, Soriada Martinez, Luis Germán Cajiga, Francisco Oller, Angel L. Cruz Manso, Augusto Marín, Olga Abizú and Osiris Delgado. This discussion would be about the scenes portrayed and the class can try to predict what the artist wanted to portray with his/her painting. The next stop on our map will be a link to an article about current events in Puerto Rico by CountryReports. Many of the recent articles on this page discuss the aftermath of the hurricane that left destruction on the island. I have many students that have moved to Milwaukee since the hurricane, and this discussion will allow those students to share what the hurricane was like and how it affected them. This will also allow the other students to empathize and hear about current events that they might be familiar with. The next stop on our map is a lighter subject, which might be needed after the current events discussion. This stop visits a webpage that talks about typical food dishes in Puerto Rico, and encourages anyone traveling there to taste them. After this, the next link takes us to a Smithsonian website that discusses the history and heritage of Puerto Rico. This brief article has many historical facts from when the island was discovered and by whom, to how it became a sovereign part of the United States. Our last stop on the map has a link to a video showing ten natural wonders that can be found in Puerto Rico. This video was created by a travel company as a promotional video, but I feel that seeing these beautiful parts of the island will help my class to realize what beautiful scenery exists there and finishes this lesson on a high note.
Choosing the right links and videos for this interactive visual map was difficult. I wanted to have a variety of topics to explore, but I had to be careful not to include links to websites that are unreliable in their content. This process helped me to learn more about the island, its beauties and its history. I believe it will make an exciting lessons and give my students a chance to start interesting dialogue with each other while learning about an important culture.