Box 1

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Teaching with Novels

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Resources

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Meet Sra. Wienhold

Introducing the novel Felipe Alou

We are going to take a little break from the Tumba-thon to talk about what we are currently reading in Spanish II, Felipe Alou: Desde los valles a las montanas. It is a great novel from Carol Gaab about the true story of Felipe Rojas Alou, available in Spanish, French and English. Felipe was a baseball player from the Dominican Republic, who came to the U.S. during the civil rights movement. If you are going to teach the novel in class, you have to get the teacher's guide & audio book. Besides scouring the teacher's guide, I also like to look around at what other bloggers have done with a novel for inspiration. 

Resources for Felipe Alou

Here are a couple great resources that got the juices flowing:
Cynthia Hitz's Felipe Alou Pinterest Board & Felipe Alou Blog Posts
Dustin Williamson's Felipe Alou Blog Post
teacher's guide

Dominican Republic

We started the unit completing Martina Bex's Spanish Reading: The Dominican Republic. I was actually home with a sick little boy, so this was a great reading with comprehension questions that could be completed with a substitute. If I was there I would have divided up the topics, one for each group to do a little bit more research on, and to present their finding as experts in Geography, Merengue, etc to the class. 

Videos

The next day we watched quite a few videos to show the Dominican Republic, the relationship with Haiti, and the era of Trujillo & the Mirabal sisters

image source

Movie to show with Felipe Alou 

These could be shown to introduce the novel, while reading, or to end a unit. 

In the Time of Butterflies - This movie was inspired by the true story of the Mirabal sisters who were murdered in 1960 for their part in a plan to overthrow the dictator Trujillo. Dustin Williamson shows this movie before starting Felipe Alou. 

Sugar - A fictional movie about a young baseball player who leaves the Dominican Republic to play in the U.S. minor leagues with the hope of making it big. I would show it to be able to compare and contrast, but this group watched it last year as a part of our sports unit. They thought it was pretty cool that he comes to Iowa and was filmed about 2 hours away. 

Pelotero - A documentary about baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic. 

The Perfect Game - This PG rated baseball movie is based on the true story of a group of boys from Mexico, who are the first non-U.S. team to win the little league world series. 


After reading chapters 1 and 2, discussing question from the teacher's guide, we completed this activity about schools around the world. 

**Update** Assessment
Here is the writing Assessment I use for Felipe Alou.



What resources do you use while teaching Felipe Alou?

18 comments

  1. Hi Alison,

    Did you do a summative or final exam/project with Felipe Alou?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christina,
      I do! Leave your email and I will share it with you.
      Allison

      Delete
    2. Can I also see the final exam/project for this? adiazmora5@gmail.com :)

      Delete
    3. You can now find it here
      https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assessment-Felipe-Alou-Presentational-Writing-2848547

      Delete
  2. Hello,
    Would you mind sharing the final exam for Felipe Alou? Thank you!
    My email is cortes.yvette@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could I please see the final exam too? richardsonl@masonohioschools.com Thank you!

      Delete
    2. Lauren,

      You can now get the exam here
      Assessment: Felipe Alou Presentational Writing by Mis Clases Locas on Teachers Pay Teachers

      https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assessment-Felipe-Alou-Presentational-Writing-2848547

      Regards,
      Allison

      Delete
  3. Thank you so much for posting all these resources they are very helpful. I am currently reading the novel with my Spanish 2 students. I spent the month of August talking about the olimpics that way I thought most of the sports vocabulary. I also did mini stories about dreams and nightmares because the main two themes in the novel are dreams and nightmares. For instance eating a burger for the first time and playing major league baseball is a dream. In contrast segregation, Trujillo and not knowing the language was a nightmare. I am also from the Dominican Republic and I share some of my childhood pictures and expriences with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like an amazing introduction!!

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  4. I would love to see what you give as an assessment as well. My email is mlmoore@hoover.k12.al.us. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another video of the Dominican Republic. My students really liked it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-BKX3G0BpQ

    ReplyDelete
  6. Do you think the novel would be too much for level 1 students?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The novel is technically marked as a level 1 book, but the lowest I have personally taught it is level 2. I think it depends on a lot of circumstances such as how much CI the students have had and if they have read novels before. The book is all in past tense, so your students would need to be comfortable with reading it too. While I think it could be possible with the right group, I think there are better novels suited to level 1(Brandon Brown series, Tumba, etc). I personally would rather start easy to build confidence. I am actually starting Felipe after Christmas with my level 2s, and love how deep of discussions it brings upon with Civil rights and discrimination.
      Let me know if you have more questions!
      Allison

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  7. Oh my gosh! I used to live on the same street as he did when I was 5! I don't remember interacting with him very much, but my dad tells me that one day he was out mowing his lawn when I and the gang of rowdy 3-5 years old were running by. Evidently, he stopped, and asked us if we wanted a Coke! Now I have to get this book! (Coincidently, when I was at Florida State, his son, Moises played for UF, so I got to watch him play in college--and I found out that our birthdays were exactly 1 year apart!)

    ReplyDelete

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