Title: Spanish Influence on the Caribbean
Islands (This lesson would be appropriate to space out over the
period of three days.)
Materials: slips of paper (two for each
student), response journals for the students, one copy of Isla
sectioned into groups of five pages
- Groups of students will look up and list,
fromIsla' s glossary, the meanings of an assigned portion
of Spanish words used in the book Isla .
- Students will participate in a discussion
about the Spanish influence on the Caribbean islands observed by
slips of paper collected each time a student
- Students will respond to a question about
cultural influences in a response journal.
- Divide the class into five groups.
- Assign and give five pages from the book,
Isla, to each of the groups.
- Give each group a copy of the book's
- Have the groups go through their pages and
write all of the Spanish words.
- Instruct groups to consider what their Spanish
words mean based on the context of the story.
- Have groups look up and write the meanings of
their Spanish words from the book's glossary.
- Instruct groups to have lists checked off by
teacher when they finish.
- Re-assign groups so one member from each of
the original groups is in a new group.
- Have each student share the meanings of three
of the Spanish words from their lists.
- Re-read the story and have students listen for
the Spanish words they have studied.
- Arrange the students' desks into a circle, so
the environment promotes communication.
- Give each of the students two slips of paper.
Ask them to put their names on each slip. Instruct them that each
time they contribute to the conversation they must place a slip
into the middle of the circle. Encourage the students to
participate but mention that once they run out of slips, they must
let others in the class contribute.
- Ask the questions: 1) What specific example
does the grandmother give of the Spanish people settling the
Islands? 2) What Spanish influences did you notice in the story
and illustrations? 3) What do you think the Spanish people thought
when they landed on the Caribbean Islands hundreds of years ago?
4) Why do you think the Spanish people left Spain in the first
place? 5) How do you think the girl and Grandmother influence
their present New York community?
- At the end of the discussion, gather the slips
of paper in the middle of the circle and give a point to all of
the students who contributed.
- Pose the question, "What if the Caribbean
Islands were settled by a different group of people such as the
Japanese or Egyptians? What do you think the Islands would be like
today? What would be the similarities and
- After students have had a chance to write in
their journals, ask for a few volunteers to share their
- Collect journals.
Evaluation: Check off each group for
writing the meanings of the Spanish words from their assigned pages
from the book. Also, give points to the students who contributed
during the guided discussion and check off responses in students'