We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams. – Jimmy Carter.
Tolerance is a key component of a World Language class. To learn a foreign language is to open oneself to others; this includes to open oneself to other beliefs and cultures. That is why I try to integrate culture awareness whenever possible. Canary Islands day (on May 30th) is a great opportunity to implement a fun, educational and cultural lesson plan.
Since I am from these islands, students get really excited with this plan; there is a personal connection with this place. They receive first-hand knowledge from a Canarian native: me! I always do this at the end of the year. Not only it is a perfect set of exercises for those last days of school, but also it matches the real Canary Islands day celebrations on May 30th!
This the lesson goes:
1. Does the word Canary Islands sound familiar? Does it sound like a beautiful place? Let’s check it out with this amazing video:
and this one:
2. Exercises about video:
a. What is its main idea? Do you like the islands? Why?
3. Now we will learn the geographical location of the islands. I point at a map and I give an oral introduction (a bit of English, a bit of Spanish) about its location and the particularities of each island.
4. We will be doing some research online about the Canarian Museum and some key Canarian words. Students receive the worksheets (below). Note: Please make sure that the research is done using http://www.google.es
5. San Borondon Legend. Reading and exercises (below)
6. Homework: What are “Pintaderas Canarias”? Students must research and write a paragraph about their importance. They will choose their favorite one and will explain its meaning.
7. Receta de las “papas arrugás¨.
Worksheets: Dia de Canarias
8. What about some music? Let’s sing and dance while we learn the vocabulary with this song. Here is the video:
9. May 30th: Canary Islands Party! We will be eating Canarian Food that students have previously researched and cooked at home. Some of the food that we will be having will include bananas, papas arrugadas con mojo, gofio y tortilla española.
We also sing the song ¨Vivo en un Archipielago¨, and we will listen to traditional Canarian music while we dance Canarian Folklore:
This is an easy song to dance:
La Punta y el Tacón Lyrics
10. We will be coloring and researching Canarian drawings. Students will choose two drawings from the ones provided and will explain to the class their importance in the Canarian culture. Here they are.
11. Today we will be having a Skype conference with the Museo Canario! This is the power point that they will be showing us. We will also be able to see real Guanche materials, live!
Presentación del Museo Canario.
12. For homework, students will search current events in the islands. They will write a summary of one of the news that they find most interesting using one of these two Canarian newspapers: Canarias7 or La Provincia.
13. Lesson plan finale: Tshirt painting! Students will design Canarian Tshirts as a way to wrap up everything learned these days. They can choose to draw a pintadera, lucha canaria, the islands or even Canarian words. Creativity is always highly encouraged.
I hope that you enjoy this lesson plan and that you are able to incorporate it in your course. Students certainly have a blast, and I enjoy teaching them my culture and language. ¡Feliz día de Canarias!