Nepantla: Explorando la identidad a través de las narrativas

Grade Level:11-12 
Subject Areas: AP Spanish Language and Culture, Spanish for Native Speakers
Time Required:
Estimated 3 weeks (50 minute class periods)
Prepared by: 
Anna White, Spanish III and Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture, Eisenhower High School, Blue Island, Illinois.;  Kindra Young de Gómez, Heritage Spanish and Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture, Portland, Oregon
Keywords:
personal and public identities, self-expression, biculturalism, bilingualism, narratives, nepantla

Download Full Lesson Plan

 


IMG 1411Anna White teaches Spanish III and Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture at Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, traveling, and cooking. During the school year, Anna leads a group of teachers in cross-curricular professional development as well as sponsors her school’s chapters of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica and National Honor Society. Anna can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Curriculum Vitae




Bio photo

Kindra Young de Gómez teaches Heritage Spanish and Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture in Portland, Oregon, where she is also the advisor for her school’s chapter of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica. She has a passion for and maintains regular upkeep of her very obstinate horse named Guapo, and enjoys traveling whenever she can. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Curriculum Vitae



What is a narrative? Merriam-Webster defines a narrative as “a way of presenting or understanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of view or set of values.”

What is nepantla? We are informed by the work of Gloria Anzaldúa in drawing our understanding of nepantla. Nepantla is a Nahuatl word meaning “in-between space.” Anzaldúa adopted this term to describe the liminal space where transformation can occur for people who live in between layered spaces of different cultures and perspectives. Nepantleras have the ability to move among many divergent worlds and it is important to recognize the often painful dimension of this travel between worlds.

This unit presents examples of narratives in the forms of authentic materials in Spanish, including art, music, and poetry, which students will analyze through a cultural lens as it relates to how people consciously choose to portray both their personal and public identities. At the conclusion of the unit, students will practice writing personal narratives in the forms of Blackout Poetry and Six-Word Memoirs.

 


                    



1. ¿Cómo influye nuestra lengua natal en la formación de nuestra identidad cultural?

2. ¿Cómo cambia nuestra identidad en contextos diferentes?

3. ¿Qué factores contribuyen al desarrollo de nuestras identidades personales y públicas?

 

 

ACTFL WORLD-READINESS STANDARDS FOR LEARNING LANGUAGES

Communication Standard 1.1

Interpersonal Communication: Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed, or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.

Communication Standard 1.2

Interpretive Communication: Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.

Communication Standard 1.3

Presentational Communication: Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.

Cultures Standard 2.1

Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied.

Connections Standard 3.1

Making Connections: Learners build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines while using the language to develop critical thinking and to solve problems creatively

 

While the majority of these lessons can be executed with or without the integration of technology, students will need access to a device (e.g., iPad, Chromebook) for several different lessons. For Lessons #12 and #13, which focus on Blackout Poetry, the teacher will need to locate a text in Spanish to serve as a source for students to craft their poems. Students will also need art supplies (Sharpies, markers, colored pencils) to add artistic flair to their completed poems.

Teachers will need a computer connected to a projector as well as speakers for the majority of the lessons. Copies of the individual handouts referenced and linked within the unit plan will be needed as. Students will need a pen/pencil, paper/notebook, and highlighter for most days.

 

 

 

 

Engage (1 day) 

Lesson #1

To introduce this unit, start your class with an individual journal free write. Allow students adequate time (5 minutes) to reflect on the following prompt:

Piensa en un momento en que fingiste de ser algo que no eres o cuando ocultaste los sentimientos verdaderos.   Explica la situación.

Usa las siguientes preguntas para desarrollar tus ideas.

-       ¿Por qué tomaste esta decisión?

-       ¿De qué tenías miedo?

-       ¿Habían consecuencias de tus acciones?

 Have students to share out their responses.

Suggested implementation strategy:

 After students finish their journal entries, give them two minutes to reread and process what they wrote. Ask them to choose the most important sentence or a specific sentence that stands out to them. They should underline/highlight this selection. Then go around the room in an orderly fashion and have students read aloud their sentence without explanation or context. This allows for all students to participate in a non-judgemental manner and for each individual’s voice to be heard.

To continue the conversation, view the following YouTube clip: ¿Quiénes somos? - Identidad - Cortometraje. This video brings to light the metaphor of personal and public identities as they relate to the idea of a mask. After viewing the clip, use the following questions to guide a classroom discussion.

●      ¿Qué representan las máscaras?

●      ¿Por qué ocultamos partes de nuestras identidades en contextos específicos?

●      ¿Qué pasaría si nunca ocultará los sentimientos verdaderos o nuestra propia identidad?

●      Explica la frase al final del video:

○      Somos lo que hacemos de lo que hicieron de nosotros.

You may also want to use the questions seen throughout the video to spark discussion. Ask your students to reflect on these questions regarding personal and public identities.

●      ¿Quién soy?

●      ¿Soy realmente lo que quiero ser?

●      ¿Qué me hace ser lo que soy?

●      ¿Soy siempre el mismo/la misma?

●      ¿Soy lo que consumo?

●      ¿Soy libre de elegir quien quiero ser?

●      ¿Soy auténtico?

Suggested implementation strategy: Talking Chips

Students will receive a set of chips to “spend” during the classroom discussion. This strategy allows for students to strategically participate in a structured way while actively listening to one another. It also holds students accountable for contributing their perspectives and opinions to the classroom discussion.

You may also use this strategy to facilitate small group conversations as well. Provide students with the questions, but give them the autonomy to use them in conjunction with this strategy. Feel free to adapt as necessary for your classroom context.

View the following YouTube clip from the movie Selena: Twice as Perfect. After viewing the clip, use the following questions to guide the discussion.

●      ¿Cómo te sientes después de ver el video?

●      ¿Estás de acuerdo con la perspectiva del padre de Selena?

●      ¿Cuál es el propósito de este video?

Have students reflect on their viewing of both videos and complete the following prompt as an exit ticket.

Haz una conexión entre los dos videos que vimos en clase hoy:

¿Qué tiene que ver la identidad de mexicano americano con la idea de una máscara?

 Have students reflect on their analysis of both paintings and complete the following prompt as an exit ticket

Explore (6 days)

Lesson #2 - Art as a Narrative (Part One)

Start the day with a recap of Lesson #1. You may want to share out some common threads of the exit ticket responses you received.

Suggested implementation strategy:

Display a response from the previous day-- be sure to remove any identifying factors to keep the response anonymous. Designate one side of the room as “Estoy de acuerdo and the other as Estoy en desacuerdo. Ask students to move to the appropriate side. Ask them to explain their thinking with a partner and call for student volunteers to share their perspectives. Repeat with several examples as you see fit.

Students will use the following two pieces of art by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo:

Niña con una máscara de muerte (Ella juega sola), 1938

La máscara, 1945

   

Suggested implementation:

Use the following questions to guide students in a thorough analysis of each painting. The hyperlinks above give students more concrete information, which can be revealed at the end of class or following the discussion of each painting.

●      ¿Qué ves en el cuadro?

●      ¿Qué representan los colores?

●      ¿Qué simboliza?

●      ¿Cuál es el mensaje de la obra?

●      ¿Qué estaba pensando la artista?

●      ¿Cómo está presente la idea de dualidad?.


¿Cuál de los dos cuadros es tu favorito? ¿Cómo te hace sentir? ¿Lo pondrías en tu casa?   Explica porque sí o no.

Lesson #3 - Art as a Narrative (Part Two)

For part two of art as a narrative, students will analyze a third work from Frida Kahlo.

Autorretrato en la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos, 1932

 

Suggested implementation:

Have students work in pairs to complete this worksheet. Allow them approximately 25-30 minutes to work collaboratively to complete the worksheet. As they finish, allow them to check their answers on the websites provided below or review the answers as a class.

The answers/explanation that correspond directly to the worksheet can be found here. Additional information that explains specific objects in the painting can be found here.

Have students complete the following prompt as an exit ticket.

¿Qué simbolismo tiene el título de la obra?

Relaciona el título con la idea de dualidad en términos de las identidades personales y públicas.

Lesson #4 - Poetry as a Narrative (Part One)

Students will analyze this poem from Alma Flor Ada’s book ¡Sí! Somos latinos.

Suggested implementation:

Use the Poetry Analysis Worksheet to have students first analyze the poem in pairs or small groups (each with a worksheet, though they may collaborate on the answers.) Then have each student write up the final analysis on page two individually.

Lesson #5 - Poetry as a Narrative (Part Two)

Students will analyze this poem from David Bowles’ They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems.

Suggested implementation:

Use the Poetry Analysis Worksheet to have students first analyze the poem in pairs or small groups (each with a worksheet, though they may collaborate on the answers.) Then have each student write up the final analysis on page two individually. You may also use the following questions to guide students in a thorough analysis of the poem in class.

●      ¿Por qué crees que los hijos están enojados cuando llegan al punto de revisión?

●      ¿Por qué piensas que la mamá no es ciudadana?

●      ¿Qué quiere decir el papá cuando dice << Eyes peeled. Stay frosty. Learn and teach the truth >> ?

●      ¿Cuál es el mensaje de la obra?

●      ¿Cómo está presente el concepto de dualidad en la obra?

●      ¿Qué significado crees que tiene la canción mencionada al final del poema?

Students will listen to a song mentioned in Bowles’ poem from the previous activity: La puerta negra. La Puerta Negra is a classic song that describes a Romeo & Juliet situation where the protagonist describes the efforts of the parents of his love to keep them apart. Students can work individually or in pairs to answer the questions in this worksheet.

Lesson #6 - Poetry as a Narrative (Part Three)

For part three of poetry as a narrative, students will create their own visual narrative to represent the written narratives presented in the previous two days (lessons 4 & 5).

Students will use the Apple app Clips, which is available from the App Store. Use the following sources to quickly demonstrate to your students how to use this app.

Alternative option:

If you do not have access to Apple products, you can use Adobe Spark, which is an app as well as web-based.

Students will create their own Clip video based on one of the poems from the previous two days (lessons 4 & 5). You can assign students a specific source or allow them to choose their source. They should spend the remainder of the class period creating their Clip, which they will export to your preferred Learning Management System (Google Classroom, iTunes U, Edmodo, etc.)

Lesson #7 - Poetry as a Narrative (Part Four)

Students will share their Clip videos with the class. They should complete this worksheet while viewing the Clips.

Suggested implementation:

Option #1: You can choose to display each video individually and watch them as a class.

Option #2: Have students display their video on their personal devices. Students will circulate around the classroom in a gallery walk fashion.

Lesson #8 - Music as a Narrative

For this lesson on music as narrative, students will listen to the song “Latinoamérica” by Calle 13 and analyze the lyrics for cultural references. Start the class by playing the song only WITHOUT the video. While students listen, have them focus on how they feel when listening to the song.

Suggested implementation:

Have a quick, informal discussion about how students feel after listening to the song using Mentimeter. This allows all students to participate anonymously through polling and helps to spark discussion. See these screenshots for ideas.

Image Choice Feature

Feature

Word cloud feature

Word Cloud

After the class discussion, show students the “Latinoamérica” video, which is filled with vivid imagery. Continue the discussion with Mentimeter using the open ended feature and ask them to react to the video itself.

Next students will analyze the song lyrics using this worksheet. You may also choose to simplify this task by asking students to identify different themes present throughout the lyrics using this worksheet. You can find the answer key for both options here.

Explain (2 days)

Lesson #9 - Analyzing Narratives Through the Lens of Nepantla (Part One)

Students will analyze the poem Legal Alien / Extranjera Legal by Pat Mora.

Suggested implementation:

Use the Poetry Analysis Worksheet to have students first analyze the poem in pairs or small groups (each with a worksheet, though they may collaborate on the answers.) Then have each student write up the final analysis on page two individually. You may also use the following questions to guide students in a thorough analysis of the poem in class.

●      ¿Cuál es el mensaje de la obra?

●      ¿Cómo está presente el concepto de dualidad en la obra?

●      ¿Qué quiere decir la autora cuando dice, << una ficha servible, pasando de un lado al otro >> ?

You may also use the information provided in this handout about nepantla along with the following questions to guide students in a thorough analysis of the poem in class.

Lesson #10 - Analyzing Narratives Through the Lens of Nepantla (Part Two)

Students will analyze the fragment How to Tame a Wild Tongue by Gloria Anzaldúa using this worksheet. It is important to have students connect the ideas of nepantla from Lesson #9 to the work of Anzaldúa.

 

 

Extend (optional)

Task #1 - Can be completed after Lesson #3

Have students create a mask to represent their personal and public identities. See this website for lesson implementation ideas.

Task #2 - Can be completed after Lesson #8

Lesson #8 can easily be extended to an additional day if you choose to have students complete both analysis tasks. If you choose to have students complete both activities, it is suggested that you explain in detail some references in the song. See the list below with linked YouTube videos.

La operación Cóndor invadiendo mi nido: El Plan Cóndor

Un pueblo escondido en la cima: La Rinconada

Soy la fotografía de un desaparecido: Los desaparecidos en Argentina

Elaborate (2 days)

Lesson #11 - Writing Narratives (Part One)

  1. Students will write a Six-Word Memoir (una micronarrativa, un microrrelato) based on a visual source. First, you will need to introduce students to the concept of Six-Word Memoirs using this presentation. Students will learn the history of Six-Word Memoirs with this YouTube clip.

  2. Next, students will learn the power of Six-Word Memoirs by interpreting the meaning of the examples provided.

  3. Have students practice writing a narrative in the form of a Six-Word Memoir using visual sources.

Suggested implementation:

This presentation features pictures of art taken in El Paso, Texas during the 2019 NEH Summer Institute: Tales from the Chihuahuan Desert. ** Display the photos around the classroom. Have students work individually or in pairs to write a Six-Word Memoir for each photo on post-it notes. Share the students’ responses aloud. You may also want to have them vote for the best response.

** Alternatively, you can create your own source of visual sources (e.g., famous paintings from Spanish-speaking artists) for students to write the Six-Word Memoirs.

Lesson #12 - Writing Narratives (Part Two)

** This lesson will require some preparation! **

Find a text in Spanish and photocopy a single page. Make enough copies for all of your students. This will serve as an example for your students to practice writing in the format of Blackout Poetry.

  1. Students will use Blackout Poetry (poesía blackout, poesía oscura, la poesía relevada) as a medium to explore writing narratives. Use this presentation to explain the concept of Blackout Poetry to your students. This is another great source to utilize instructions in Spanish. Here you can find more visual examples of Blackout Poetry.

  2. After modeling the process of Blackout Poetry with your students, have them share their poems aloud with the class or in small groups. Be sure to discuss how although all students were given the same text, their poems can vary greatly in length and also theme.

Implementation note

You can choose to focus on just the narrative aspect of Blackout Poetry or extend Lesson #12 to another day to have students work on the artistic element of Blackout Poetry.

 

 

Evaluate (2 days)

Lesson #13 - Writing Your Personal Narrative

Students will write their own narrative that will reveal part of their personal or public identity in either the form of a Six-Word Memoir or Blackout Poetry. Through exposure to various forms of narratives and the exploration of both personal and public identities, students will craft their own narrative as a personal artifact.

The assessment handout with scoring guidelines can be found here.

Lesson #14 - Sharing Your Personal Narrative

Students will share their personal narrative with their classmates in the form of a gallery walk. Use this handout to guide the students’ interactions with their classmates’ work during the gallery walk.

Implementation note:

Assign students numbers for the gallery walk rather than display their names. Anonymity will help to diffuse any trepidation or anxiety due to the personal nature of these narratives.

This unit is text-heavy in the sense that there are multiple reading and listening tasks that require thorough analysis. Students may need extra time and a variety of work settings, including purposeful grouping, additional processing time, and/or 1:1 assistance from the teacher as necessary.  

Text sources should be viewed multiple times for reading comprehension. It may also be helpful to chunk the texts and pre-teach some vocabulary. Analysis and annotation skills should be modeled for the students as well.

If material is available in multiple languages, allow students to choose their preferred language to read the material.

If reading material is not available in English: provide an outline of material for the student before reading a selection.

Allow students to access bi-lingual dictionary.

 

Common Core Standards - Career and College Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading

ACTFL WORLD-READINESS STANDARDS FOR LEARNING LANGUAGES

Communication: Interpersonal, Interpretive, Presentational

Cultures: Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives

Connections: Making Connections, Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives

Comparisons: Language Comparisons, Cultural Comparisons

Communities: School and Global Communities, Lifelong Learning

Cross-Disciplinary Standards

Key Cognitive Skills: Intellectual Curiosity, Reasoning, Work Habits

Foundational Skills: Reading Across the Curriculum, Writing Across the Curriculum, Research Across the Curriculum, Technology

 

  

 

Ada, Alma Flor, et al. ¡Sí! Somos Latinos. Santillana USA Publishing Company, Inc., 2014.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands: the New Mestiza = La Frontera. Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987.

Anzaldúa Gloria, and AnaLouise Keating. This Bridge We Call Home Radical Visions for Transformation. Taylor and Francis, 2013.

Bowles, David. They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems. Cinco Puntos Press, 2018.

Mora, Pat. Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle. Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1993.

 

 

Anna:

My participation in the NEH Summer Institute: Tales from the Chihuahuan Desert inspired me to reframe how I define narratives as a means for storytelling. These rich, cultural experiences presented by the narratives and counternarratives of the borderland people have taken me on a journey that I will never forget. Reflecting on my microessay, I realized that both my students and I exist in nepantla. Now I am reenergized to navigate this “in-between space” and make our stories heard.

They are not voiceless:
their stories always present,
sadly never heard.

Microessay


Kindra:

This unit plan is the is the product of our work during the 2019 NEH Summer Institute Tales of the Chihuahuan Desert. While I was fully aware of the internal conflicts created within those who cross borders (linguistic, cultural, physical) regularly, I have a renewed appreciation for the multiple narratives of the inhabitants of the U.S.-México borderland. My hope is that this unit will help students to understand more about how fronterizos process this constant state of shifting identities and relate that to the linguistic and cultural borders they cross daily.

Microessay                   

 

Info

FAQs

Contact Us

R. Joseph Rodriguez &
Ignacio Martinez
UTEP NEH: 2021 Summer Institute for Teachers
(915) 747-7054
borderlandsnarratives@utep.edu


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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

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