Friday, March 9, 2018

Resources for International Women's Day or Units on Women

Are you looking for resources for a unit on women, or more specific on Hispanic women, to showcase their role in history and their contributions to society in science, medicine, exploration, sports, etc? 

In my Spanish 4+ class, I have a unit simple titled "Las Mujeres" which introduces my students to several hispanic women that they most likely are not aware of, and also provide reading material for them in Spanish on women that they have learned about in their other classes such as art, Frida Kahlo; social studies, Sonia Sotomayor and Marie Reiche (originally from Germany); science, Ellen Ochoa; and music, Gloria Estefan & Celia Cruz.

These are some of my favorite sources and how I use them in class:

Cinco mujeres latinas que tú debes conocer

This is a resource from The Comprehensible Classroom (Martina Bex), that I purchased from TeachersPayTeachers last fall. The biographies are of Rigoberta Menchú, Michelle Bachelet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Eva Perón, and the Mirabal sisters.

First, I printed out the pdf of the powerpoint slides and posted them around the room.  I divided the students into five group, with 2-3 students per group. (I used this with my small class of 13 students. **For larger classes, read the comment at the end of this section for suggestions.) Then I gave each group 5 pieces of construction paper - each group had a different color.

Each group went to one of the posted photos and information and read the information. Then they decided which fact/sentence from the information they wanted to sketch on the construction paper. They completed the sketch, underlined the phrase or sentence that they sketched, and taped their sketch next to the posted information.

After students had circulated through the five stations, they returned to their seats and we talked about each women, with one person from each group explaining how their sketch related to that woman's life.

The materials also include documents with a shortened version on each woman with short comprehension activities for students to complete. 
**If my class had more students, I would have altered this activity either by providing those documents and having students complete them in between completing the sketches, OR half of the students would have completed the sketches and the other half of the students would have written two comprehension questions per woman and the students would ask those comprehension questions to their classmates.

Frida Kahlo, by Kristy Placido

The novel, Frida Kahlo, is the backbone of my "Las Mujeres" unit. It is a 58-page biography about Frida Kahlo in which Kristy took care to include aspects of Frida's growing up years that will be of special interest to high school students (such as Frida caring for a family of rats, the mischievous acts at her school, and her struggle to "fit in" with high society). 

This is the first semester that I have the Frida Kahlo Teacher's Guide from Fluency Matters to use when reading the novel. It is packed full of extension activities, Can-Do Statements, comprehension questions that elicit higher-order thinking, Reader's Theater scripts and a fun, interactive section called Shake it Up! and more. To my surprise, I only realized after using the teacher guide for a few chapters that there is also an Online Supplement to the Teacher's Guide, especially useful for teachers in 1:1 schools. You don't need to come up with the ideas - they're all provided for you with detailed explanations. You'll save yourself hours of planning time with this resource!

In addition to the Teacher's Guide, many teachers have freely shared their ideas and activities to go with this novel. The first two are my current favorites and the others are additional resources to check out:

Kristy Placido - Incorporating Selfies and Self Portraits with Frida Kahlo unit

Somewhere to Share, Carrie Toth - Snap Chat with Frida Kahlo novel

Several posts from this blog
- Autorretratos inspired by Frida Kahlo novel
- Novels, Making Connections

Mundo de Pepito - Frida Kahlo in the Elementary Classroom (get inspired from these activities and adjust them to work in a secondary classroom)

The Feisty Language Teacher - Frida! Frida! Read All About Her! 

Vidas Impactantes, by Krista Placido 
Vida's Impactantes is another novel in which you will find biographies of hispanic women that have made a notable impact on society. You'll find information on Celia Cruz, Maria Reiche, and Azucena Villaflor. I've read this book, several times, and I'm in the process of pulling biographies of several people and inserting that into other Spanish 4 and Spanish 4+ units. I don't have the Teacher's Guide yet, but I know it will also be an invaluable resource.

As a side note, as you can see by the photo of the book cover on the right, this book also has 3 biographies of hispanic men!

A-Z Reading resources
If you have a subscription to A-Z reading, you automatically have a nice selection of online readers of famous women.  My students do SSR several times a week in which students choose a novel to read. During two weeks of the "Las Mujeres" unit, I request that students read the stories on A-Z reading (you can print them out or upload a pdf of the books to a learning management system such as Schoology).  

Several titles of books that are in Spanish are: Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Gloria Estefan, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Hillary Clinton, Hispanoamericanos Famosos, Mujeres Estrellas (Mia Hamm, Venus & Serena Williams, & Bethany Hamilton), Primeras Damas (Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy, Hillary Rodham Clinton), Ruby Bridges, Sally Ride, Sonia Sotomayor. See, I told you there were a lot of books on women!

I'm sure these resources are only the tip of the iceberg! 
If you have favorite resources related to hispanic women, please share, as I'm always open to learning!

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