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Presidential Ambassador Project
Teacher Reference


Action Plan | E-journal | Picture Dictionary | KWL: Latinos in the United States | Travel Brochure | Presidential Power Point Briefing | Spanish-Speaking E-Pal | E-journal Rubric | Picture Dictionary Rubric | KWL Rubric | Travel Brochure Rubric | Presidential Power Point Briefing Rubric | Contact Presidential Ambassador Project Director | Teacher Reference

This project is designed to be used in pieces or as a whole.  Good luck with your e-ventures, and feedback is welcome!!!


Unit Title: Presidential Ambassadors to the Spanish-Speaking World Project

Name: Elizabeth Haskell

Grade: 9/10

Discipline:  Spanish I/American Studies I & II           



·          To explore Latino influence and prejudice in the United States in the past and present.

·          To gain an appreciation for the Latino culture present throughout the U.S. today including music, entertainment, food, language, and politics.

·          To learn about different Spanish-speaking areas of the world.

·          To use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources,  process data, and communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

·          To participate in activities that are aligned with the Massachusetts Frameworks Curriculum Standards for United States History I, Foreign Language Stage 1, NETS Standards, and the curriculum requirements for the district (Dartmouth, MA).


Description:  Students will learn the definitions of political, social, economic, and cultural and how to categorize their research about Spanish-speaking countries.  Students will learn what it means to be Latino, and about Latinos living in the United States.  Through research, students will locate and create a travel guide for the most highly populated Latino areas in the U.S. today (according to the U.S. census from 2000).  In addition they will explore the political, social, economic, and cultural implications of Latinos living in the United States today.  Using the Internet, CD-ROMs, books, and other research materials, students will create a Power Point presentation on a Spanish-speaking country including criteria developed by the students.  Students will also make cultural connections watching and discussing VH1 Behind the Music: Selena, and West Side Story.  Communication skills and cultural appreciation can be improved by establishing communication via e-mail or snail mail with a Latino or Spanish-speaking student.  The use of KWLs and e-journals provides students with the opportunity to self-assess their learning.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to grade themselves on the activities to be turned in.




Standard (Use text not codes)

Essential questions: What is political?  social?  economic?  cultural?


·          Students will predict the definitions of these terms.


·          Students will look up the definitions in the dictionary, share examples with the class, and record information on graphic organizer (grid) or create web using Inspiration (depending on availability of labs).

·          Read excerpts from The Americans Chapter 3.

·          Sort terms into 1 of the 4 categories.

Mass Frameworks U.S. History I Standard 26: Describe the causes, course, and consequences of Americas westward expansion and its growing diplomatic assertiveness.

Length of Activity: 86 minute block


Instructional Mode:

Read & define (entire class)

Categorizing (individual)

Essential questions:

·          Who are Latinos? 

·          Where are Latinos from? 

·          Is there a difference between Latino and Hispanic?

·          Do you know of any famous Latinos?

·          Do you know any Latinos personally?

·          Where in the United States do most Latinos live?

·          What are some other questions that you would like to know the answers to (refer to KWL)

·          What are some of the issues concerning Latinos in the U.S. today?

·          What are some of the keywords we will need to use to find the information that we are looking for?



·          Begin KWL (What you already Know/What you Want to know/What you Learned) Topic: Latinos in the United States (discuss W)

·          As a class we will brainstorm some of the keywords that might help us find the information we seek.

·          Teacher will introduce the use of symbols and the Boolean method to broaden or narrow a search using a search engine.

·          Students will research using keywords from the brainstorm.

·          Students will answer the essential questions in pairs (turn in 1 copy per person).

·          Discuss answers to essential questions as a class

·          Students will make an entry in their e-journal including what they learned about doing research, how it will be useful, whether they used any other skills that we learned in class.


Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Stage 1 Standard 4.3:  Identify distinctive cultural aspects of the target culture presented in stories, dramas, films and photographs.


Length of Activity: 86 minute block


Instructional Mode:

Brainstorm (entire class)

Online research (pairs).

Discussion (entire class)

E-journal (individual)

Essential questions:

·          How many Latinos live in the United States?

·          Where do most Latinos live?

·          Does this affect U.S. politics?  U.S. society?  The U.S. economy?  The U.S. culture?  How?

·          How useful do you think it will be to know how to speak Spanish in the next 10 years?



·          Students will take make predictions about the numbers of Latinos in the U.S. at the last census (2002).

·          Students will brainstorm all of the information that might be contained in a travel guide (look at examples after brainstorm).

·          Complete Microsoft Word Tutorial (if necessary).

·          Students will choose one of the 3 most highly populated Latino areas in the United States (San Antonio, Los Angeles, Miami) and create a travel brochure using a word-processing program, clip-art, and other graphics.

·          Students will make an entry in their e-journal including what they learned, how it will be useful, whether they used any other skills that we learned in class.


Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Stage 1 Standard 6.4:  Identify and discuss cultural characteristics of the target culture and compare and contrast them to cultural characteristics of their own culture.


Length of Activity: 3-86 minute blocks (research and brochure)


Instructional Mode:

Brainstorm (entire class)

Predictions (pairs)

Research & Answer essential questions (pairs)

Travel Guide (pairs)

Essential questions:

·          What is Tejano music?

·          Do you listen to any music that has Latino influence?

·          Students will read about Tejano music in En Espaņol.

·          In groups students brainstorm which artists sing in both English and in Spanish?  Time is limited and group with the most artists gets a treat.

·          Students will watch the En Espaņol video about Tejano music answer questions.

·          Students will listen to different types of music with Latino influence.  They will be given a variety of art supplies and paper to create a picture from what they hear.  They will create a title for their creation when the song is complete.

·          Watch VH1 Behind the Music: Selena



Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Stage 1 Standard 4.5:  Identify distinctive contributions made by people in the target culture.

NETS Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.


Length of Activity: 4 86 minute blocks


Instructional Modes: 

Predictions (individual)

Brainstorm (groups of 4)

Listening/art creation (individual)

Video questions (individual)

Videotaped movie review (2-3 students)


Essential Questions:

·          What is prejudice?

·          What is a stereotype?

·          Do the attitudes portrayed in West Side Story still exist today?



·          Students will watch the movie West Side Story.

·          Answer questions that accompany the film.

·          Class discussion:  Prejudice in the United States.



Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Stage 1 Standard 4:  Students will demonstrate an understanding of the traditions, perspectives, practices, and products of the culture studied, including human commonalities as reflected in history, literature, and the visual and performing arts.


Length of Activity: 3-86 minute class periods


Instructional Modes:

Questions (partner)

Discussion (class)

Essential questions:

·          What do you know about Spanish-speaking areas around the world?



·          Brainstorm a list of Spanish-speaking areas around the world.

·          Students will research a Spanish-speaking area (Latin America, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Spain) working in pre-chosen groups of 4 using the Internet, CD-ROMs, encyclopedias, books, travel brochures/guides.

·          The class will brainstorm the different information that should be included in their Power Point presentation about their Spanish-speaking country/area.

·          Students will take the list of criteria and put each criterion in the appropriate category (political, social, economic, cultural.)

·          Student presentations will be given using Power Point, after completing a Power Point Tutorial




·          Students will also need to supply authentic Latino music for the background during their presentations.

·          Final presentations will be available for viewing on the Dartmouth High School website or our class website via

Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Stage 1 Standard 4.7:  Demonstrate knowledge of the target cultures geography by naming features such as rivers, mountains, cities, and climate on maps.


Length of activity: 5-86 minute blocks from start to finish.


Instructional Mode:

Groups of 4 (research & presentation)

Create Power Point presentation (entire class)

Essential questions:  What is the vocabulary you are responsible for related to (vocabulary topics will vary)?



·          Students will continue to learn and practice new vocabulary and grammatical concepts.

·          Students will create an illustrated dictionary using a word-processing program, paint program, scanner, or digital camera to produce an illustrated dictionary of terms.

·          Completed dictionary will be bound or put into Power Point.

Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Stage 1 Topics for listening, speaking, reading, and writing: personal biographical information, family, friends, school and classroom, school subjects and schedules, leisure activities, likes and dislikes, clothing, size, quantity, weather, seasons, colors, shapes, numbers, days, dates, months, time, daily routines, foods/eating customs, music, sports and games, geography, money and prices, shopping, major holidays/celebrations.


Length of Activity:  4-20 minute sessions


Instructional Mode: Individual/Pairs

Essential Question:

·          How will students and teacher keep track of  individual tasks, group tasks, sources,  progress, easy access information, roadblocks, etc.?



·          Students will maintain an e-journal that will include responsibilities, sources, progress, etc. to be graded using the E-journal rubric.


Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Technology Competencies: Students should be able to Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, and communications.

Length of Activity:  Ongoing activity to be used when appropriate.

Instructional Modes:  Individual


Essential Question:

·          How can students keep their work and have access to it throughout their Dartmouth High School career?


·          Students will save work to their individual network folder.  If the work is not completed on the computer, then arrangements will be made to take digital pictures and save them in the individual network folder.

NETS Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.

Length of Activity:  45 minutes to learn how to save to server.  Ongoing activity to be used when appropriate.

Instructional Modes:  Individual


Essential Question:  How can we use the knowledge that we have gained about Latinos or the Spanish language.


Extension Activity:  Find a Spanish-speaking e-mail pal to correspond with, living either in the United States or in another Spanish-speaking country.  Write in Spanish if possible.  Ask questions about the persons culture in order to gain a better understanding of Latino culture.


Mass Frameworks Foreign Language Stage 1 Standard 8.1: Apply knowledge of the target language and culture beyond the classroom setting.

Length of Activity: Ongoing

Instructional Modes: Individual/Class


Tools and Resources:

·          Text: The Americans: Reconstruction through the 20th Century. 

·          Computer labs (some combination of PC and Mac depending on availability at time of projects)

·          Software: word processor (Microsoft Word, or Apple Works), Power Point, CD-ROMs (encyclopedia), World Wide Web, Inspiration, Novell Network folders

·          Text and Resources: En Espaņol 1

·          Various art supplies

·          Different types of Latino music

·          Video camera (preferably digital)

·          Video:  VH1 Behind the Music: Selena

·          Video: West Side Story




·          Latinos in the United States

·          Tulane Hispanic Health Initiative:

·          Distribution of Hispanic Populations in the U.S.:

·          U.S. Census 2000:

·          Census date 1999:


·          Latino News Network:

·          Patriotic sentiments grow among Latinos after terrorist attacks; research study reveals strong support for President Bush & affinity for United States:

·          United States must reject Mexico's amnesty demands:

·          Latinos in the United States:

·          Young Americanos: Melting pot vs. Salad bowl:

·  Americanos: Latino Life In The United States:

·          Christian Science Monitor:  Latino Voter Influence Reaching New Levels:

·          World History Archives: Social History of the United States (primary sources):


·          Project Tools

·          Internet Lesson by Gabriela Garger:

·          Oanda currency exchange:

·          En Espanol website: Student Key:  MCDLWPH3AJM1H

·          Power Point Tutorial:

·          Creating an Illustrated Dictionary:

·          Microsoft Word Tutorial:

·          Music downloads:






·          See the terms sorted into appropriate categories on grid and in picture dictionary.

·          Answers to essential questions

·          E-journal entries

·          Students will assess each other and themselves on participation in research on their Latin-American country/area. 

·          Power Point presentation

·          Travel  Brochure.

·          Visual from music creations.

·          Illustrated dictionary

·          E-mail Pal correspondence

·          Formal assessment test and quiz for section.


Baron, A.  (1998).  Buds Easy Research Paper Computer Manual  (2nd ed.).  Lawrence: Lawrence House Publishers.

 Curtis, D.  (2001).  Start with the pyramid.  Retrieved October 20, 2002 from:

 Danzer, G.A., Klor de Alva, J.J., Woloch, N., & Wilson, L.E.  (1999).   The Americans: reconstruction through the 20th century.  Evanston: McDougall Littell.

 The Education Alliance at Brown University.  (2000).  Best practices evident in good models of teaching with technology (GMOTT).  Retrieved September 29, 2002  from:

 Gala, E., Carlin, P.H., Heining-Boynton, A.L., Otheguy, R., Rupert, B.J., & Capetillo-Ponce, J.A.  (2000).  En espaņol.  (2000).  Evanston: McDougall Littell.

 International Society for Technology in Education.  (1999).  National educational technology standards for students.  Retrieved October 4, 2002 from:

 Massachusetts Department of Education.  Retrieved October 10, 2002 from the World Wide Web:

 November, A.  (1998).  Creating a new culture of  teaching and learning.  Retrieved September 10, 2002 from the World Wide Web:

 November, A.  (2001).  Empowering students with technology.  Arlington Heights: Skylight Training and Publishing Inc.

 Thirteen Ed Online and Disney Learning Partnership.  (2001).  Concept to classroom: Interdisciplinary learning in your classroom.  Retrieved October 20, 2002 from the World Wide Web:

 Thirteen Ed Online and Disney Learning Partnership.  (2001).  Tapping into multiple intelligences.  Retrieved October 28, 2002 from the World Wide Web:

Thomas, M.  (1998).  Higher-order thinking strategies for the classroom: classroom-ready teaching strategies that promote higher-order thinking.  Retrieved October 20, 2002 from:

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J.  (1998).  Understanding by design.  Retrieved September 22, 2002 from the World Wide Web:

 Comments: Any additional resources that students might be able to contribute will enable them to earn extra credit.