Eduardo’s Blog #4 – Disciplinary Text Sets

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.

Text Complexity:

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

Purpose:

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.

Question:

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.

Summary:

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.

Text Complexity:

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

Purpose:

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.

Question:

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

Alfredo Martinez, a postman for the US Postal Service delivers the mail at an area damaged by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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

Summary:

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.

Text Complexity:

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.

Questions:

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

Summary:

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.

Text Complexity:

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

Purpose:

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.

Questions:

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…)

Text #5 Positive effects due to the Hurricane

Image:

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

Summary:

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.

Text Complexity:

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

Summary:

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.

Text Complexity:

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?

Eduardo’s Blog 3 – UWM Currins 545

Eduardo’s Visual – Puerto Rico

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.

Eduardo’s Blog 2- UWM Currins 545

The topic I plan to research this summer is: “How can I learn and include relevant material about the Puerto Rican culture in my lessons?” There is a large population of students from Puerto Rico in my school and although I am a native Hispanic, I have little understanding of Puerto Rico and its culture.

After hurricane Maria last year, many families were forced to move to the mainland, so we saw an influx of students at Milwaukee Public Schools. Many of my recently relocated students found themselves with the need to learn not just Spanish, but English as well. The difference between levels of understanding forced me to use translanguaging in most of my classes. Students became afraid to speak English for fear of ridicule from their peers.

I wish to incorporate relevant material about Puerto Rican culture in my classroom next year for two reasons.  The first is to engage the Puerto Rican students with subject matter that they can relate to and alleviate their fears about speaking aloud. The second is to give some cultural lessons to the rest of the student population (not from Puerto Rico) to help them empathize and relate more with their new peers.

I have been to Puerto Rico only once and it was years ago.  Although I am Hispanic, I had to go through naturalization to become a US citizen.  I have a better understand of other Hispanic countries and their issues than I do those of Puerto Ricans since they are already US Citizens. I also know that the customs, diet and issues about living on an island are vastly different. Because of this, I would like to know more about artists, music, food and authors from Puerto Rico.

I notice that the Puerto Rican population in the school tends to alienate themselves because of these differences, and because of that they are more difficult to control than students from other ethnic groups. Having a better understanding of their background and culture will allow me to help these students assimilate into our local culture and customs.

Some resources I may use to help me understand this topic are:

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture

Puerto Rican Music from “Welcome to Puerto Rico”

Puerto Rico Lesson Plans

Smithsonian – Puerto Rico History and Heritage

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

 

Music Video

Who is Eduardo Cabrera as an educator?

Hello! My journey started in Queretaro, Mexico. I was completing my degree in Law when I met a young redhead from the US that was there working as an expat. After a few months with her, it was obvious that we would end up marrying.  She convinced me to move to the US when her assignment ended, which was about 23 years ago.

Since I can’t practice Law in the US (the law system is different here), I began to teach Spanish, first at a University in Ohio, and after moving to Wisconsin, I began to teach at the High School Level.

Teaching at an inner city school is difficult, so my personal goal for the future is to find a way to reach students that are being influenced by the wrong element. It is especially gratifying when I can instill a love for foreign language learning and foreign culture with a student that has little or no experience outside of Milwaukee.

Here is a website that I often turn to when looking for a good resource for teaching foreign language.  It is operated by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

 

ACTFL.org