Eighth Grade Spanish for Fluent Speakers

This course reinforces and develops students’ Spanish skills: writing, listening, reading, and speaking. Students improve their proficiency by analyzing pieces of literature, connecting ideas, writing responses to readings, doing research, writing stories, and making oral presentations. The goal is to increase students’ confidence as writers, listeners, and speakers of the language, and to broaden their appreciation for other cultures.

Unit 1: Oral Tradition

How do stories pass from one generation to another in settings where writing was not essential? Cultural context: La Nueva España before and after the Conquest.

Reading: La Llorona

Movie: La Llorona

Grammar: preterit tense, regular and irregular verbs

Project: Analyze the movie and the reading; compare and contrast both characters and plot.

Unit 2: The Day of the Dead in the Mexican Culture

We focus on the Indigenous holiday, Día de los Muertos, celebrated in Mexico. How did it begin? How and why is it fused with the new religion brought to Aztec territory by the Spanish?

Cultural context: México in the time of Porfirio Díaz, José Guadalupe Posadas, Diego Rivera.

Readings: El Altar, La Ofrenda, La Catrina

Movie: El libro de la Vida

Grammar: Present Progressive

Project: Write a new ending for the movie

Unit 3: Dictatorships and their consequences on people

What does it mean to live under a dictatorship? Why is it important to document and tell a story?

Historical context: The Dominican Republic under Rafael Trujillo’s rule.

Reading: Antes de Ser Libres by Julia Alvarez

Movie: In the Time of the Butterflies

Grammar: Conditional and Imperfect

Project: Write an essay explaining the meaning of “Libertad” according to the book and the movie.

Unit 4: Mexican Independence/Guanajuato

In preparation for the Mexico Trip, this unit focuses on the history of Mexican Independence, as well as the preparation of the students’ presentation for this trip.

Historical Context: events leading to the Independence movement in Mexico in 1810.

Reading: Research on the Mexican Independence movement

Movie: Héroes de la Patria

Grammar: Review of the concepts learn to prepare their lesson plans,

Project: Prepare a lesson plan to present and work with the children in the rural school we will visit.

Unit 5: Poetry

In preparation for the Spanish Poetry Contest, students review the concepts of poetry writing.

Readings: A variety of poems by Spanish, Chicano, and Latino-American writers

Project: Illustrated Poetry Portfolio