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Esperanza, Carol Gaab

Spanish 2
November 2016
The theme for this unit on the book Esperanza, written by Carol Gaab, is expressing
emotion while dealing with adversity. The goal of this unit is for students to read a book in
which the main characters deal with adversity during a trying time: the Guatemalan Civil War.
Through this unit, students will not only be encouraged to learn about the historical events of the
civil war, but they will also be able to see some of the personal effects the war had on the
citizens of Guatemala. Additionally, students will be asked to make connections between the
lives of the characters in the book and their own. By the end of the unit, they will know the
history behind the civil war, new vocabulary relating to both life in Guatemala in the 1980s as
well as life in present-day America, and ways to express and handle themselves in difficult
situations, using their skills in speaking, writing, and reading of the Spanish language.
The main issue tackled in this unit is learning how to sympathize with others and also
deal with ones own emotions during hard times. Regardless of the time period or country, hard
times exist and it is imperative that students know how to express and share their emotions with
others as well as being able to be there for those who need help. In this season, with the election
and changing environment of our nation, it becomes even more important that students know
how to communicate with others outside of their immediate atmospheres.
This unit follows on the heels of various units involving travel, emotion-words, and the
conjugations of verbs in the yo or I/me form as well as verbs in the el/ella/ud or
you/he/she form. Past lessons have enabled students to talk about themselves as well as
connect with others. This specific unit and the content discussed is relevant to the students as

they are of similar age to the narrator of the story, they are facing personal problems in their own
lives, and the subject matter (the Guatemalan Civil War) lines up with both US history and
Government classes (31/50 students are currently taking these classes). This unit also connects
back to the Spanish 2 curriculum as a whole, as the students will be furthering their knowledge
of verb conjugations in all forms while also being introduced to the preterite (past-tense) which
they will spend two weeks learning more completely after they finish the book. In addition, this
unit gives students the opportunity to better their speaking and pronunciation (one of the overall
goals in the Spanish 2 classroom, established by Calvin Christian) as well as their reading and
writing skills. In accordance with the Calvin Christian Spanish departments overall ideas,
students will accomplish these things through exposure and repetition.