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Students will listen to the blues and son music these writers based some of their poetry on and make connections between the music and poetry. They will learn about and create an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument, memorize and recite a Nicolás Guillén poem, learn how to talk about a poem in Spanish using literary terms, as well as write their own poems based on personal cultural issues.
Topics covered in narrative form in this unit include: Biographies of the two poets and an account of their meeting, the Négritude and Afro-Cubanist movements, a history of Africans in Cuba, the blues poetry of Langston Hughes, the son (a Cuban folk music), and the poetry of Nicolás Guillén. There are many possibilities here for collaboration with teachers of French, English, Music, History, and Geography. This would be a great unit to do during African History Month.
(Recommended for Spanish and Spanish for Spanish Speakers, grades 8-12)