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El Origen y el Uso de la Tortilladora By Sheila Cockey
Unique Utensils Used in Kitchens Today Around the World: La Paellera by Sheila W. Cockey
Unique Utensils Used in Kitchens Today Around the World: El Molinillo by Sheila W. Cockey
A visit to a Spanish Restaurant by Louis Hemans and Andrew Franklin
Paintings - A Medium for Oral Communication by Dr. Andrea Varricchio
The windmill scene from Don Quixote
The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)

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Articles

January 2010

El Origen y el Uso de la Tortilladora
By Sheila Cockey

¿Te gusta el crujido de Fritos o Doritos? ¿Sabes de dónde vienen? ¿Sabes qué son los ingredientes? Pues, el deleite de estos bocadillos está basado en la comida más antigua de México y Centro América: el maíz. El orígen de estos sabrosos picoteos yace en la tortilla, esa panqueque de harina de maíz y manteca que se fría en un comal. Pero, ¿cómo se hace una tortilla? La manera tradicional es formar la tortilla con las manos. Hay una manera más moderna y más fácil: la tortilladora. La tortilladora es una máquina útil que hace tortillas del mismo tamaño y del mismo espesor. Y todos sabemos que la tortilla es la base de muchas recetas mexicanas y centroamericanas, y aún nuestros Fritos y Doritos, por lo tanto es importante saber como hacerla y de donde viene.

La lección que acompaña esta introducción cubre el producto (el maíz), el instrumento (la tortilladora), y la comida mexicana (la tortilla). Toma la forma de investigación, preparación de un póster, y presentación oral sobre la información. Hay una selección de temas, con la idea de cada alumno escoja un tema distinto y que al fin y al cabo, toda la información esté presentada para un conocimiento bastante claro y profundo de la tortilla.

Se puede ir más allá, con investigación de varias otras recetas que tienen el maíz como ingrediente esencial. Por ejemplo, el maíz es ingrediente importante en el pozole. Otra idea puede ser la preparación de un buffet en el cual cada plato tiene el maíz como ingrediente: del antojito, pescado, carnes, legumbres, postres, hasta las bebidas. Requiere imaginación, pero también abre las puertas de la creatividad entre los alumnos.

Espero que les encante esta lección a Usted y a sus alumnos. Y sobre todo, que les apetezca el maíz y la tortilla.

Printable Version of Lesson Plan

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August 2009
Unique Utensils Used in Kitchens Today Around the World

La Paellera
by Sheila W. Cockey, contributing editor

This lesson plan is based on the utensil used to cook the traditional dish, paella.

"El quintaesencia plato español es, claro, la paella, esa combinación plebeya de arroz, pescado, mariscos, pollo, chorizo, y carne de cerdo, con sazón del otro ingrediente tan español, el azafrán. Es un plato de celebración, de reunión, de familia, y de amigos. Cuántos más, mejor. Es verdad que se puede preparar una paella deliciosa en una cacerola en el horno, pero la verdad es que la mejor paella se prepara en una paellera sobre una fogata al aire libre. Pero, como cada plato tradicional, hay tantas variaciones como cocineros."

Para saber más sobre los tipos diferentes de paella, mirar como se puede usar la paellera en su sala de clase, o encontrar otros sitios útiles, vaya aquí.

Printable Version of Lesson Plan

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July 2009
Unique Utensils Used in Kitchens Today Around the World

El Molinillo
by Sheila W. Cockey, contributing editor

The primary purpose and intent of the Culture Club website is to bring cultural information to teachers. We look at all facets of culture, from the “big C” art, music, literature to the “little C” daily life things. If you look through the different rooms of our Club House, you will find one, the Teachers’ Lounge, that has fabulous lesson plans on a wide variety of topics. The wonderful thing about them is that, even though they may not be directly applicable to your language and culture, they will certainly jog your creative juices to frame a lesson that does pertain to your students and curriculum.

This month we are introducing a series of lesson plans centered on kitchen, cooking, and eating utensils that are unique, and common, to a particular culture. This month’s unique utensil is the molinillo from Mexico. Each lesson plan has a bit of history and culture, as well as how the particular utensil is used today in modern urban households.

The two lessons that are ready for posting all have a similar format and outcome. They take the student through a process of investigation, illustration, and reporting. Obviously one can adapt the style of presentation to something more technical than a poster. However, in addition to having them available in the classroom, one of the purposes of these lessons is to have self-instructional visual learning aides for posting in the hallway outside the classroom, telling the story of the utensil and thus introducing the entire student body to the wide variety of utensils and foods from around the world. Even if the students do not study the language of the poster, the images will enable some learning.

The components of each lesson, along with a brief description are as follows:

  • Short introduction. A few brief paragraphs that introduce the item to be investigated. It makes connections to other places or foods. Example
  • For the teacher. Guidelines for the teacher in preparing for the lesson, including process, objectives, and rubrics. Example
  • What do you know about…? A pre-test for the students based on image identification and interpreting the story of an image. Project information. Poster project directions and options. Example
  • Recipe. A simple recipe for a dish which incorporates the utensil. Available here in Spanish and English. Example
  • Bibliography. A few Internet resources about the particular item. The bibliography is separated into two sections: one for articles and one for photographs. Example

The full lesson plan is available here

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cuttleryA Visit to a Spanish Restaurant
by Louis Hemans and Andrew Franklin

This month’s lesson plan is designed for teachers of Spanish who teach at the secondary or post-secondary level and was created by Louis Hemans and Andrew Franklin, two participants in the NCLRC Summer Spanish Immersion Program for Teachers directed by Sheila Cockey.

Título:
Viaje a un restaurante español - Preparado por Louis Hemans y Andrew Franklin

Nivel:
HS, Niveles 2-3

Estándares:
1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.1,5.1

Propósito:
El propósito de esta lección es darles a los estudiantes la oportunidad de poner en práctica la lengua española en una situación cotidiana y auténtica; la de comer en un restaurante español.

Preparación para el maestro:
El profesor dedica dos lecciones, previas al viaje, a presentarles a los estudiantes lo siguiente:

    restaurante
  • Vocabulario de la comida
  • Los cubiertos
  • La tapa: lo que es y los diferentes tipos
  • La bebida
  • Las verduras
  • El postre
  • Expresiones que se pueden usar para pedir
  • Me gustaría / Querría / Quisiera . . .
  • ¿Me podría traer . . . . por favor?
  • Expresiones para hablar de la comida
  • ¿Es picante?
  • ¿Se sirve pescado?
  • ¿Tiene carne?
  • ¡Está rico/a; Están ricos/as!
  • ¡Qué delicioso/a/os/as!
  • ¡Me encanta(n)!
  • Cómo comportarse bien en público
  • Siempre dar las gracias
  • Siempre decir "por favor"
  • Siempre decir "de nada"
  • Siempre dar propina (en los EE.UU.)
  • Enseñarles la diferencia en cuanto a la propina entre España y EE.UU. – No se les da en España, está ya incluida.

Materiales
- Fotografías de distintas comidas
Para encontrar fotos de las varias comidas, sólo hay que ir a Yahoo!, teclear la comida particular en el hueco y buscarla en Images. Para ver un ejemplo, consulte este sitio.
- Fotografías de los cubiertos (Seguir el mismo proceso de arriba)
- Un menú ejemplar (por ejemplo, el que se encuentra en http://www.latrocha-casajulian.com/2004CartadeTapas.jpg)
- Permiso escrito de los padres
- Dinero para comprar comida en el restaurante

Tiempo requerido para completar la actividad:
Una semana, culminando con el viaje el último día de la semana escolar.

Direcciones al estudiante
- Saber de memoria el vocabulario dado
- Practicar el desempeño de los papeles de camarero/a y cliente
- Contar dinero
- Comunicar en español de manera eficaz en el restaurante
- Cómo comportarse bien en público

Evaluaciones
Antes del viaje:
- Pruebas de vocabulario
- Calificación de los desempeños de papeles
Después del viaje:
- el uso de la lengua
- el comportamiento durante la comida

Versión para impresión / Download Printable Version

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Lesson Plan: The windmill scene from Don Quixote

Language: Spanish (but can be adapted to any language by choosing another novel)

Proficiency Level: Elementary School, 2nd through 5th grade (but can be easily adapted to high school or post secondary)

ACTFL Standards Addressed: Communication; Culture; Connections

Brief Overview/Summary: The lesson includes a brief and illustrative summary of the classic novel Don Quixote. Once the children have a good idea of who the characters are, they choose roles and perform a skit of the Windmill scene. They then illustrate their favorite character through drawings which are displayed for all the school and perhaps judged by an art teacher.

Objectives: to improve speaking skills; to make the students familiar with a literary classic

Materials Needed: Children's and adult versions of the novel with illustrations, a map of Spain, copies of the skit, black and white construction paper for the character illustrations, larger construction paper to serve as a frame/border for the illustrations, crayons/markers/lead pencils/gel pens/chalk, (extras -movie, display items, prize for illustration)

Preparation:
Introduce the students to the novel with who, what, where, when, and why questions. With each part, show illustrations.

  • Who - wrote the novel - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (talk a little about his life - the parts that perhaps influenced the novel)
  • When - Part I of the novel appeared in the early 1600s (1604/5) and Part II was published in 1615.
  • Where - Cervantes may have written some of the novel from his prison cell. The novel itself is set in Spain.Show Spain on the map.
  • Why - How the novel was mocking/poking fun at knighthood and chivalry.
  • What - Retell the story in very short form. To do this, read the Wishbone version of the novel and then turn to the Internet for condensed versions. Finally reduce the story to just its main events and characters. Show the students the actual novel (various copies in Spanish and English) and point out the way that various illustrators depicted the characters and scenes. Bring in children's versions (easily found in public libraries) and show illustrations while recapping the story.

Presentation:
Once the children had a pretty good idea of who the characters are, ask them to identify with one and take that part in a small skit featuring the windmill scene. (If there are more children than parts, they can take turns.) Before performing the skit, discuss the following targeted vocabulary in the skit:

  • molinos de viento - windmills
  • ¿que pasó? - what happened?
  • era el mago con su mágico especial - it was the magician with his special magic
  • estoy bien - I'm well
  • vamonos - let's go
  • Rocinante - nag (explained English as well)buxom knight (talked about qualities of knighthood and difference between night and knight)
After the performance, let students look at the various illustrations of the novel's characters and scenes and ask them to draw their favorite character or scene. Provide white paper or black paper with a large, bold colored sheet to serve as the drawing's background or frame. Students can use colored pencils, lead pencils, or crayons for the white paper or chalk or gel pens for the black paper. If there is not enough time in class, this could be homework. The children can mount their illustrations on the bold colored sheet and then display the illustrations for the rest of the school to see.

Evaluation:
Students are generally very enthusiastic about this activity, and teacher evaluations should not be rigidly formal but encouraging and constructive.

Expansion:
Throughout the week after the skit, display (at a central location at the school) the various versions of the novel and some items that pertain to the characters and scenes (a statue of don Quixote, a windmill, a portrait of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, etc.) Have an art teacher judge the illustrations made by the students and award a prize (children's version of the novel) Sponsor a "movie time" during school hours. There is a children's version of the movie in the Teacher's Discovery (Elementary) catalog. It is a year 2000 color movie in English (boo!) and 120 minutes long. Its product number is AV1012 and its cost, $14.95. In addition to the movie a flashcard/bulletin board set, an activity guide, and a mini book of the adventures of Don Q are offered. Have an evening showing of the movie Don Quixote for parents and friends and host a display area with copies of the novel and any memorabilia available pertaining to the story and characters.

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Lesson Plan: Paintings - A Medium for Oral Communication
By Andrea Varricchio, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Spanish

Language: Spanish

Level: Any proficiency level from elementary to advanced: any educational level from elementary to post-secondary. (Note: Paintings/slides used in this particular lesson are of a graphic nature and may not be suitable for elementary students. The same activity can be successfully used with younger students by simply changing paintings/slides).

Objectives: This activity is designed to practice specific language structures and to introduce vocabulary, as both relate to the description of a painting. The painting provides a visual context to help students remember vocabulary and structure.

Materials: Slides or photographs of paintings projected on a large screen, a slide projector or a computer; a handout with a brief explanation of the grammatical structure to be practiced, and pertinent vocabulary words and questions pertaining to the painting.

Description of the activity: Students will respond to a series of questions about one or more than one painting. The questions about each painting will elicit the use of a particular language structure and incorporate new vocabulary pertinent to the painting.

Preparation: Select a painting or paintings whose subject will easily fit the language structure to be practiced. The structure may be advanced or elementary. Consider the vocabulary needed to discuss the events or subjects depicted in painting. Elementary students will perhaps need a more extensive vocabulary list than advanced students.

Prepare a handout consisting of three parts: a brief explanation of the language structure to be studied, a vocabulary list, and pertinent questions about the event or subject of the painting. The questions will be composed with the specific language structure. It is more effective to project the image of the painting on a large screen either with a slide projector or a computer rather than to use a small photograph. If a computer is used, a Power Point presentation may be created that incorporates the pertinent vocabulary and the questions about the painting.

Presentation: In order to practice ser and estar, the Spanish verbs to be, use Goya's painting of The Third of May, 1808 shown below.

tres_de_mayo

Students will need to know words such as:
  • execution
  • condemned
  • peasants
  • prisoners
  • dead
  • soldiers
  • rifles
  • independence
  • French occupation
  • war

In order to practice ser, students will identify the French soldiers and the Spanish peasants. Students will respond to questions that ask what the event is, when it took place, and where it took place. Students may answer questions with either the historical present tense or the past tenses. In order to practice estar, students will describe the location of the soldiers and peasants, and their conditions. The same painting, as well as The Second of May, 1808, can be used to practice the preterite and imperfect tenses in Spanish. After reviewing the specific uses for both tenses, introduce several new verbs related to the action of the paintings, for example: to rebel, to shout or scream, to execute.

All questions about the paintings would contain either the preterite or imperfect tense. Questions using the preterite would focus on the specific actions of the paintings. Who rebelled? Who executed the peasants? What happened to cause the executions? Questions with the imperfect are: How were the Spanish peasants carrying out their rebellion? What were the peasants doing while the French fired upon them? The Echo of a Scream by the Mexican painter, David Alfaro Siqueiros, also lends to a practice of the past tenses. Some pertinent vocabulary words are: hunger, war, and pestilence. Key questions are: What happened to make the child scream? Why was the child screaming? What were the causes of the scream?

zapata

Zapata by Diego Rivera, shown on the left, can be used to practice command forms.
Vocabulary words may include:

  • freedom
  • rebellion
  • sword
  • agriculture
  • spade
  • peasants
  • leader

Ask students to image what Zapata might say to the group of peasants following him:
"Come follow me. Fight for freedom." The peasants might say: "Long live Zapata."

Evaluation:

  1. After practicing the questions and vocabulary during one class, in another class, students could write a short description of the painting using the language structure and vocabulary studied the previous day.
  2. Students could give an oral description of the painting.

Expansion:

  1. Several paintings by the same artist may be discussed and compared.
  2. Paintings by two different artists may be compared and contrasted.

Adaptations:

  1. Instead of paintings, use slides of people, places, and events from another country.
  2. Create a Power Point presentation that includes a summary of the specific language structure, several slides of images, all the pertinent vocabulary words, and the questions with the specific structure.
  3. Teach students how to create a Power Point presentation in the target language. This could be an individual or a group project. Student presentations should be no longer than five slides including text and images.

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Lesson Plan: The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)

Author: Marcel LaVergne

The context for this cultural reading activity is presented in Marcel LaVergne's article, "Making the Día de los Muertos Come Alive: Reading in the Cultural Mode" in the Speaker's Corner.

calalilies

Step 1. Knowledge of the facts (Achievement based)

After the students have read the article "Day of the Dead is a Time to Remember " (Boston Globe, November 2, 2003) or a similar text on this subject, preferably as a homework assignment, the teacher would divide the class into three groups and would assign a different topic to each group:

Group 1 would list all the products mentioned in the article.
Group 2 would list all the practices mentioned in the article.
Group 3 would list all the perspectives mentioned or assumed in the article.

Each group would then present its findings on the whiteboard to the rest of the class. In this step, the students would be learning the basic words and facts expressed in the article.

The information presented would look like this:

The products:
  • cempazuchil: a flower the color of the sun
  • pan de muertos: bread of the dead: sweet bread sprinkled with sugar or decorated with icing and shaped like human figures or round loaves topped by small knobs symbolizing bones
  • chocolate caliente: hot chocolate
  • gifts of food and drink
  • cemeteries
  • ofrendas: altars dedicated to the memory of family members and friends
  • paper streamers
  • candles
  • photographs of the dead
  • candy in the shape of skulls and skeletons
  • calaveras: skulls
  • calacas: skeletons
sugarskulls
The practices:
  • bringing gifts of food and drink to the gravesites of family and friends
  • decorating cemeteries and homes with elaborate altars, adorned with colorful paper streamers, candles, photographs of the dead, and candy in the shape of skulls and skeletons
  • baking pan de muertos
  • making and drinking chocolate caliente
  • remembering loved ones and the country they left behind
  • making candy in the shape of skulls and skeletons
  • decorating with the cempazuchil whose scent guides the dead back for their yearly visit to this world
skeleton_mannequin The perspectives:
  • belief in the soul and the after-life
  • honoring ancestors
  • remembering the dead and embracing the continuity of life
  • death is always present
  • remembering the country they left behind
  • praying for the dead
  • mix of Christian and Aztec beliefs

Step 2: Expansion of the facts (Research based)

The groups would research on the Internet to find photos of the products, descriptions of the practices, and explanations of the perspectives in preparation of group presentations to the whole class. In this step, the students would enrich and expand their knowledge of the Day of the Dead.

A Google search of the topic Day of the Dead reveals many references to that holiday. The following two give the history of the observance, describe the rituals, show colorful photographs of the artifacts of the holiday, and explain the meanings of the tradition: http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead
http://www.dayofthedead.com

Step 3: Analysis of the facts (Proficiency based)

The class would then engage in a series of Cultural Comparison activities such as:
  1. Compare and contrast the Day of the Dead with the following:
    Memorial Day
    All Souls’ Day (November 2)
    Halloween
  2. On the Day of the Dead, families erect an altar at home to remember the dead loved ones. How do we remember our dead in our homes?
  3. On the Day of the Dead, people remember the country they left behind. How does your family remember the country of your grand- or great-grandparents?
  4. Gifts and food are left at the cemeteries on the Day of the Dead. How do we decorate the graves of our loved ones who have died?
  5. What role do candles play in our remembrance of the dead?
  6. The Day of the Dead celebration seems to be a joyous event. Do we feel the same when we remember our dead?

This step transfers the Day of the Dead from the article into their own life as they relate this custom to what is done in their own home or in their community.

skeleton_hat

Step 4: Demonstration (Proficiency based) The students will recreate the Day of the Dead in their classroom as follows:

  1. Create an altar to a fictitious character or to an important figure from the past.
  2. Decorate the classroom with flowers, paper streamers, and candles.
  3. Bake pan de muertos and skull candy.
  4. Make chocolate caliente.
  5. Hang student-made posters of the various products and practices of the Day of the Dead around the room.
  6. Discuss the person remembered.

This step attempts to make the Day of the Dead come alive as the students participate in the event.

Step 5: Evaluation (Proficiency based)

In this assessment phase, the students can demonstrate their understanding of the Day of the Dead through various means such as:

  1. Compare/contrast the Day of the Dead and Memorial Day by means of a Venn Diagram.
  2. Debate the topic: Is remembering the dead a joyful or a sad event?
  3. Produce a travel brochure designed for tourists promoting the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico.
  4. Write a brief essay or a newspaper article about the belief system (perspectives) that underlies the Day of the Dead rituals (practices).

In this step, the students show what they can do with what they know.

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