Celebrando Black History Month in Spanish Class

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In our current unit in IB MYP Spanish I class, Clemente freshmen students will be reading and learning about the following famous African Americans: Martín Luther King, Jr., Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Michael Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall—all ¡en español! Students will be assessed on their ability to comprehend written text, identify basic details, determine main ideas and supporting details, and connect to their reading by writing a personal response.

To attain these great skills, students began by learning new vocabulary words related to self-identity as well as determining what factors contribute to identity; could it be Society? Family? Self? All? None? And as reflective learners, students are identifying strategies that assist their comprehension and best support their learning. Scaffolding from utilizing visuals to determine meaning,  students progressed toward building their vocabulary comprehension by learning cognates—words that look, sound, and mean the same in English & Spanish—while also being aware of false cognates, those words that look the same but don’t have the same meaning.

Finally, when unfamiliar with content, students must utilize their critical thinking skills to determine what context clues can aid with comprehension. Would you be able to match a person to his or her identity…in Spanish? After reading and identifying basic details about our famous African Americans, students will then connect to their learning by determining the IB Learner Profile of each person and writing about whom they are most alike and why.

As a finale to our Spanish Black History Month Unit, students will learn about and celebrate the African influence in Mexico, the state of Veracruz, Yanga, and the rich cultural influence on our people, food, music and history.