Quechua & MJ

This morning, third graders tapped into their “One Voice Can Make a Difference” theme in Spanish class. First, they learned some basic linguistic facts: there are about 7,000 languages in the world; that Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in real life (but English is most used online); and that some languages in the world are considered endangered. Many students were very interested in this concept (how would it feel to be the only person in the world who spoke your language?), and so I shared a few other anecdotes with them on the topic.

They heard the story of one 14-year-old girl from Peru who wanted to make her native language, Quechua**, more popular and accepted in her country. Younger people were wanting to speak “only” Spanish and not Quechua, and she wanted to change that. This is her cover of a Michael Jackson song (see below), which has received over 2 million views: her one voice is literally making a difference! Thanks to the internet, many now want to learn Quechua.

**NOTE: Quechua is an indigenous language spoken in the Andes Mountains and highlands of South America (and NOT Spain).

Third graders also made pretend gold (covering tiny rocks with glue and glitter—oh my! so much glitter! Glitter, glitter, everywhere! Even in my hair! But what fun!)like a few other classes this week, learning about La Rinconada, or the highest city in the world (also in Peru). What they don’t know is that the legend they are learning has a surprise ending with GOLD as well! So this all ties together nicely in the end.

Weather permitting (no tormentas!/no storms!), tomorrow will be a soccer game day. While we began the year with a soccer unit, at this point in time we are starting to add many other layers, which is one of my favorite aspects of the third grade curriculum. We will take a few days this year to talk about endangered languages, untranslatable phrases, and just language in general–I like for students to think about language(s), too–and then layer on Culture Projects, legends from the Spanish-speaking world (current unit), storytelling, soccer games, tongue twisters, jokes, dance, food(!), and more, to create a tiered Spanish cake of knowledge, reading, writing, listening, and speaking, culture, etcetera. It is a big metaphorical cake. I might need to go eat some real cake now. Or tapas.

Anyway (ha!), thank you for reading. I hope you have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious type of awesome day! (When she says it backwards in the video clip, it is just hilarious!)