Sunday, October 9, 2016

Diversity and the politics of Identity- Last of a four part Identity series for Spanish 4

 The Politics of Identity 

This week the plan was to engage in a topic that has been sweeping the country and framing many political debates: the fluidity and diversity of identity. At my school, this has been a very heavy topic. We have been knee- deep in discussion about identity for this unit and this was our last week.  Students have learned from each other about their respective identity and the pluralistic ways in which they express who they are.  In addition, our school district crafted a new policy on All Gender bathrooms, so this unit, at this juncture was very timely, to say the least.   Although we did not get the activities below, (my summative assessment was the speaking task at the end of this post), I have outlined how to implement the last segment with your students. 

The last leg of the unit on identity consists on watching two videos that discuss La Ley de la Identidad and reading the text: Los Chicos Trangénero (please note that "transgénero" was singular in most of the articles I referenced regardless of the noun being plural).

Check out my store for free resources related to this unit at my Teacherspayteachers store. Activities tailored to the videos as well as a modified, slightly re-written piece (for my students) are all part this 45 -page Identity Unit.  

Ideas on how to implement this in class: 

Small group discussion
 Prior to watching the videos and supporting resources, these anticipatory question could potential prime students' thinking. 

1. What does La Ley de La Identidad mean? 

2. Who is the intended audience for this law? 

3. Who would it affect? 

4. What social issues would call for a law of this nature? 

After responding to the questions, students could watch the video of the Argentine Identity Law newscast. This video captures different voices and opinions on La Ley de la Identidad. 

After watching the video of the newscast, students could view this second video resource put together by the Transgender community. This video discusses the personal impact of the law on their lives.  No matter what side of the debate you are on, the video is very impactful and highlights how this community feels marginalized. Students could watch the video and complete related activities such as: 

  • Writing definitions/ their take and/ or opinion on some of the words used in the video
  • Respond to personal questions about related to the video. For example, one of the men in the video (not all people are from the Transgender community) says the following:  Las costumbres son difíciles de romper." Students could discuss what this means and give examples of other "costumbres"  propia de nuestra cultura" that are difficult to part with.  
Video activies are part of the Teen Identity Unit 

Six-years-old and Transgender 

The last of the activities was an article about Transgender kids in Argentina. La Ley de Identidad Case that took place several years ago in Argentina. The text talks briefly about the decision of parents to allow their 6 year -old boys to change their identity. Last year we did this text while studying the past subjunctive, so much I modified much of the text (added some other details) in order to exploit that language function.  Student read the text, divide into groups and debate one of the three questions below: 

Speaking Assessment 

Click here for the free resource: Speaking Task Questions

The speaking assessment draws on the videos and texts we explored through the entire unit. Check out the first three posts at the bottom of this page for those links. 

I gave students the list of questions beforehand.  On their sheet, they had three categories of questions. The students had to choose one question from each category; then I choose one additional question. During the interview, I sometimes asked them an extension question on one of their choosing. 

I thought this choice motivated them significantly. I noticed that most of them were very prepared for the task. If I had to do this again, I would give them a voice as well; I would enlist some of the questions they thought should have appeared on the assessment. I did this last year for my Art Unit, and it went pretty well. In fact, students generated better questions in some instances.  Although this is the end of our unit, I am sure may of the elements touched on in this unit such as digital identity and cultural identity will resurface in my Frida and Technology Unit. Although I did not get to use the Transgender Debate pieces, I am planning on recycling them for my Global Issues unit. 

Comments and resources

Please note that the author names are pseudonyms in the Identity Unit Text. The articles referenced in all texts are listed on the last page).

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