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This Social Justice & World Problems Culture & Songs Unit is ideal for Spanish Two, Three, Four, AP, IB and Spanish-speaker classes.  There are cultural readings, comprehension activities, True/False assessments, songs, and numerous related videos to extend student learning about world problems and solutions.
The topics included are: Poverty, Street Children, Landmines, Colombia, Peace, Child Soldiers, Migrant Workers, Violence in Latin America, Hispanic Heroes, Juanes, El Biblioburro, How to Make A Difference & Education.  We have used this entire unit
as our end-of-the-year inspirational unit in Spanish Two Honors classes as well as for an introductory unit in Spanish Four AP/IB.

The individual lessons can be taught little by little throughout the year OR as an entire unit for one week, two weeks or even three weeks depending on how in-depth the teacher wishes to teach these topics.  Each of the songs have grammar topics as well as cultural lessons that relate to them and there are several versions of the videos, so please explore all of these resources as you plan and teach these lessons.

Follow this link to see all of the videos we use with this lesson plan!

Step One:
Assess the students’ prior knowledge and interests with the included survey.  Questions are short answer and require students to analyze what world problems and social problems they think are the most critical.  Use the student responses to decide how to best proceed with this unit.

Step Two:
Teach the students about the Colombian artist and humanitarian, Juanes with the included Power Point and biographical information.  Show some of the biographical videos about Juanes’ life and accomplishments as a humanitarian. 

Step Three:
Have the students listen to the song, "La Historia de Juan", a song that relates the story of a street child who is abandoned by his parents and loses hope.  Have the students read the cultural information about street children before or after listening to the song, depending on your students.  Also, complete the cloze activity and related comprehension activities for the song, "La Historia de Juan" and for the cultural reading.  Show related videos of Juanes’ foundation that works to help the children and impoverished people of Colombia.

Step Four:
Have the students read the cultural information about poverty that complements the street children lesson.  Discuss the effects of poverty in Spanish-speaking countries versus in the students’ own community.  Analyze the impact that poverty has on the children in a community.  You may also want to use this unit to teach about the lack of access to drinking water in many impoverished countries as one of the factors that keeps communities impoverished. 

Step Five (optional - can be taught as a stand-alone unit):
Living on One Dollar provides rich lessons about clean water shortages, poverty, and the impact of poverty on children via an interesting documentary.  Here are numerous resources to teach this wonderful documentary. 

Step Six:
Have the students read the cultural information about Colombia, the reading about violence in Latin America, and the article about Fundación Mi Sangre.  Do the included comprehension and cloze activities for the cultural readings as well as the song, "Odio por Amor" by Juanes.  "Odio por Amor" is a powerful song with a message of healing and it is perfect to pair with these videos about the recent Peace Treaty in Colombia.  This song and cultural reading include ideas for how students can have a positive impact on the world through their involvement. 

Step Seven:
Along with the previous step, teach about landmines using the included cultural reading and comprehension activity.  Show the moving video for the song, "Minas Piedras" by Juanes.  The video is an excellent discussion starter and really shows the suffering brought about by the use of landmines. 

Step Eight:
To expand the topic of violence in Latin America further, use the song, "Vamo' a la Calle" by Carlos Baute and Chyno Miranda and related cultural videos about SOS Venezuela so students will learn about the political corruption and economic crisis facing Venezuela. 

Step Nine:
Show these videos and read the included cultural reading about child soldiers.  The movie, Voces Inocentes, also beautifully teaches the atrocities of war and the impact on innocent children.  This moving film is based on the Civil War in El Salvador and is a favorite among our students.

Step Ten:
Teach students about Migrant Workers with the included cultural readings and the Juanes song, "Juntos"

Step Eleven:
Inspire students about the positive difference they can make by teaching them about CNN Heroes, Luis Soriano, El Biblioburro, and Jeison Aristizábal, founder of an organization that helps disabled children in Colombia.  Also, teach them about the Chicano hero, César Chávez.   As a final touch, show these powerful videos:
"Así Vive Juanes", "Los Niños Queremos la Paz" y "The Power of One"

If you want to teach a less intensive social justice & world problems unit, here are JUST the cultural readings

For additional quality lessons and activities, please visit our AP reading and video lessons.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. 
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
                                       - Margaret Mead