Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lesson Plan with Music Videos about Immigration

by Ann Abbott

Again, I'm trying to vary the dynamic in my classroom as we head into the final weeks of the semester. So today in "Spanish in the Community" will be dedicated to music videos related to immigration--as long as enough students bring in smart phones or laptops.

Step 1. I will set up five "stations"--one for each music video. The stations will include a copy of the lyrics, except for the mix. For the mix, I will ask students to jot down lyrics that they hear.

  1. "Clandestino" Manu Chao
  2. "Frijolero" Molotov (OJO: some strong language)
  3. "Mojado" Ricardo Arjona
  4. "Venezuelan en New York" King Chango
  5. Narco corridos mix, DJ Rojo Mix
Step 2. The students will go to one of the five stations, and fill out the following information on a note card:
  1. Nombre de la canción y artista-grupo
  2. Un comentario sobre la letra.
  3. Un comentario sobre la música.
  4. Un comentario sobre las imágenes.
  5. Una pregunta.
  6. Estrellas--de una a cinco.
Step 3. After viewing the video, students will partner with someone who saw a different video. They will explain the songs to each other and then compare and contrast them.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until students have seen all videos or until time allows.

Step 4. I will write the names of the songs on the board and all students will have to come up and put a tally mark beside their favorite. We´ll see which one wins, and hopefully have time to find out why.

Update: Class #1's favorite song by far was "Mojado."
Class #2 had a more even vote: "Frijolero" (3) "Mojado" (2), "Clandestino" (2) and "Venezuelan en NY" (2).


  1. I wrote a lesson plan using Arjona's song "Mojado" at a previous institution. The chair asked me not to discuss immigration in the classroom. (Too controversial). The next semester at that school, I didn't ask, I just brought up the topic. In a racially diverse community, the first thing the three African-American students said when I explained Arizona's governor's stance was "that's racial profiling!"

  2. Thank goodness you went back to that topic. How could anyone even imagine teaching Spanish in the US without bringing up immigration? And college is exactly the time and place in which we should help students tackle controversial topics.
    I'm glad to see that many of my Anglo students understand racial profiling and other topics once the facts are presented to them. But if we don't present those topics to them, who will?
    Thanks for your comment, Sarah!

  3. What are the "estrellas--de una a cinco?"

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