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Culture Credits

¡Bienvenidos amigos! This project will be an ongoing one throughout the year. Its purpose is to expose you to various aspects of the Spanish-speaking language and culture that are not covered in class. It allows you to select (or create your own) projects that interest you personally. Each project is worth between 5-30 points, depending on the amount of work involved. You must compile 30 points, however you may do more than 30 points for extra credit. Some of the projects will remain the same (such as current events articles and art projects) and some will be customized to the current chapter of study. Repetition of the same project is not allowed. You must choose different projects each quarter.  Read and follow the updated guidelines below carefully!

                     STATUS REPORT SHEET = January 21st
                    REQUIRED PROJECTS (30 PTS. TOTAL) = THE WEEK OF February 7th
NOTE: No late projects will be accepted!
    1. Anything that is written must be typed, double-spaced with a 12-pt. font.
    2. Any sources used for information must be documented in bibliographical form. There are different ways of citing your                 source, depending on whether your information comes from traditional print (books, magazines, etc.) or electronic sources (Internet, CD-ROM.) Mrs. Holstein or I will give you examples.
    3. All research must be presented in your own words.
    4. Grammar and spelling will count.
    5. Please put the project number on all paperwork in the upper left corner.
    6. If you need help, see me or email me:
    7. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! Select a project well in advance of due dates. Choose your project carefully - you will do your best if you select one that is of interest to you. Some require a written report only, some require class presentations such as oral reports, audiovisual presentations, some require food preparation, and some require a short trip somewhere with a parent. A variety of activities was created to appeal to all students and your courses of study. However, topics are not limited to the ones listed here. Please see me if you have other ideas that you would like to pursue.
     8.  Do your very best work.  You may be asked to re-do a report that has not followed the above guidelines.  Sub-standard work is not acceptable.

THE PROJECTS:  (An * indicates that a worksheet is required.)


1. CURRENT EVENTS ARTICLES:Find a minimum of 5 articles in the newspaper or a magazine related to current news in the Hispanic world. Present them in a neat format with your impressions on how the events depicted in the article impact the people involved and on their culture. (15 pts.)
2. BIOGRAPHY OF A FAMOUS HISPANIC –Write a biography of at least two typed, double-spaced pages describing the life and contributions of a famous Hispanic in the world today. (10 pts.)
3. MAKE A LIST OF SPANISH WORDS AND PHRASES that you read in English books and magazines. Write down the word or phrase in Spanish and then define it in English. Also, write the full sentence or describe the context in which it was used. You must quote the source of your material. (1 pt. per expression, up to 10 pts. total)
4. READ A CHILDREN’S BOOK IN SPANISH TO A FAMILY MEMBER. Obtain the signature(s) of your audience as well as an adult who witnessed the reading. Write a paragraph telling what book you read, who you read it to, and your and their reactions to the book See me to borrow a book if you cannot find one in the library. (10 pts.)
5. READ AN ARTICLE FROM A SPANISH MAGAZINE OR NEWSPAPER. Turn in a copy of the article with all the cognates circled. (5 pts.) You may do two articles for 10 pts.

    *6. CREATE AN "EVENING IN MEXICO/SPAIN/PUERTO RICO," ETC. FOR YOUR FAMILY. Prepare an authentic meal from a Spanish-speaking country for your family. Set the mood by providing a simple menu, music, decorations, etc. You will select the recipes, prepare the dishes, and serve your family. Document the evening with a video or photos. Obtain the worksheet ("Meal for My Family") which will require answers from both you and a few family members on your dining experience. Recipes must be approved in advance by your parents. (30 pts.)
    7. COOK FOR THE CLASS! – Prepare an Hispanic or Spanish delicacy for us to try. Plan to describe the preparation of the dish as well as provide samples. Be sure to bring whatever is necessary to serve your food. Food may only be brought in on designated days. You must turn in a copy of your recipe, which must be pre-approved by me and your parents. (25 pts.)
    *8. COMPLETE THE ‘GUIDED ADVENTURE IN A SUPERMERCADO" – All directions are on the worksheet. (10 pts.)
    *9. COMPLETE THE "GUIDED ADVENTURE IN A LATINO RESTAURANT." - All directions are on the worksheet. Taco Bell does not count! You will need to speak a little Spanish at the restaurant, so I recommend that you call the restaurant of your choiceahead of time before going to make sure that someone on the staff speaks Spanish. The worksheet has some recommended restaurants. (20 pts.)
    10. GREET AT LEAST ONE MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY with a kiss on each cheek everyday for one week without telling them why. Write a brief, typewritten paragraph to describe the reactions of your family to this typical Spanish greeting. You must obtain the signature of your "victim" on your summary. (5 pts.)
    11.  BRING IN AN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING, COIN OR STAMP COLLECTION, OR OTHER SOUVENIR/ARTIFACT FROM A SPANISH-SPEAKING COUNTRY.  Describe briefly to the class its origin and other facts of interest.  (5 pts.)
    12. RESEARCH OTHER CUSTOMS, HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS, AND TRADITIONS in Spanish-speaking countries and prepare an oral report, poster or PowerPoint presentation of your findings. (15 pts.) Topics are not limited to the ones listed here. Suggestions for possible topics include:
*13. COMPLETE "A GUIDED ADVENTURE IN A MUSIC STORE." – All directions are on the worksheet. (10 pts.)
14. LATIN MUSIC is becoming very popular in the United States. Research a popular Latin singer, present a typed, one-page biography and play your favorite song of the artist for the class. Also, include a visual aid, such as a photo. (15 pts.)
15. LATIN DANCE is regularly seen on T.V. Research an Hispanic or Spanish dance, such as the tango, flamenco, samba. Provide a short oral summary of the background behind the dance. Show a brief video, and/or demonstrate it yourself! This project can be done with a partner. (15 pts.)
16. FOR THE MUSICALLY TALENTED – Record on a cassette your performance of a song by a Spanish or Hispanic composer or your singing of a song in Spanish. Write a brief paragraph about the composer or describe the meaning of the words you sang. (15 pts.)
    17. CREATE YOUR OWN ARTWORK that shows influences of at least one Latino artist. Explain how this influence is represented in your work. Provide examples of a piece of work by the artist. You can consult with your art teacher for suggestions. (15 pts.)
    18. Create your own "GUIDED ADVENTURE IN AN ART MUSEUM" Make a list of the Spanish works of art, the artist of each, date of the work, a description and your reaction to each. Provide a photo or postcard of at least one example. (20 pts.) Depending on the museum you visit, you can also visit and describe an exhibit on pre-Columbian artifacts. (Aztec, Mayan, Inca, Mesoamerican are examples.) Complete the same details as listed above.
    19. USE ONE OF DIEGO RIVERA’S MURALS to explore a period in Mexican history. Select five people depicted in the painting who had a major impact on Mexican culture and history. Research each one. Write a paper with a short description of the characters and their impact upon Mexico’s history. (15 pts.)
    20.RESEARCH A FAMOUS HISPANIC OR SPANISH ARTIST. Write a typed, two-page summary in which you describe his/her life, works and impact on the art and culture of their country. Photocopy at least one of your favorite examples of their work to include in your report. (15 pts.)
    21. MAKE A PIÑATA - Create your own version of this popular Mexican party tradition.  Be able to explain to the class the steps involved in making it.  Fill it with a small amount of candy if you would like to share it with the class.  (up to 30 pts.)  There will be a linit of 3 per class, so it's first-come, first-served!


    *22.INTERVIEW A PERSON WHOSE NATIVE LANGUAGE IS SPANISH. Directions are on the "Interview" worksheet. Questions must be cleared by me in advance and must include questions about their culture. (15 pts.)
    23. TEACH THE CLASS - Create a 10-minute mini-lesson with a worksheet in which you teach 15-20 new vocabulary words.  Se me for ideas.  Your lesson must be pre-approved.  (15 pts.)


    24.WATCH THE NEWS IN SPANISH for approximately 15 minutes and make a list of all the words you understand. Turn in this list with the English and Spanish translations along with a video of the program you watched, the time and the date. (10 pts.)
    *25. COMPLETE THE "GUIDED ADVENTURE IN A VIDEO STORE" (see worksheet) in which you visit a video store and list all the Spanish movies and Latino-theme movies you can locate. (10 pts.)
    26. VIDEOTAPE A PROGRAM on television relating to any Spanish-speaking area that could be of value to the class. (15 to 60 minutes) Prepare a 2-3 paragraph oral or written description to share with the class and a 10-question quiz to turn in along with the tape. (15 pts.)
    *27. RENT AND WATCH A MOVIE in Spanish or a movie in English that deals with Hispanic themes. Due to the fact that many of these films are rated PG-13 or R, you must first obtain written parental consent before attempting this project. Complete the worksheet "Spanish Video" for this project. (15 pts.)
    28. VIDEOTAPE 10-20 MINUTES OF COMMERCIALS ONLY from the Spanish channel. Make a list of products advertised and important vocabulary for each one. Turn in the typed list with the videotape. (15 pts.)
    29.SPREAD THE WORD – Prepare a brief presentation for the school-wide morning announcements related to the study of Spanish, a "Did you know…?" speech about the people or interesting facts about the countries. You could also do a brief biography of a popular Latin singer and play an excerpt from his/her current song. You should include some visuals in your presentation. This is geared for the Mass Communication students and must be approved by me and your Mass Com. teacher. (20 pts.)
    30.RESEARCH AT LEAST THREE CAREERS where knowledge of Spanish or other foreign languages is important. Summarize your findings in a short paper or poster presentation suitable for display in the classroom. Document your information in a bibliography. (10 pts.)
    *31. INTERVIEW A PERSON who uses Spanish extensively in his/her job. Complete an "Interview" worksheet in advance. (15 pts.)
    32.  INVESTIGATE SPANISH/INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAMS at three universities. Summarize your findings, including foreign language entrance and exit requirements for the programs in a poster or other visual format suitable for display in the classroom. (10 pts.)
33. RESEARCH A HISTORICAL PERSON such as an athlete, musician, artist, or author of Hispanic descent. Also consider ancient cultures such as the Aztec, Maya and Inca as sources for study. Prepare a presentation in your own words, including a minimum of two typed pages and at least one visual aid to share your findings with the class. (15 pts.)

34.THE NAFTA AGREEMENT has had a major impact on the economic system in North America. Research and write a two-page typed paper, or other means that would effectively detail the pros and cons of the North American Free Trade Agreement. (15 pts.)

35. RESEARCH THE SPANISH CONQUEST OF MESOAMERICA IN THE 1500’s. Explore the history, but also concentrate on the effects the conquest had on the native peoples’ cultures. Explain what effects are still present today. Summarize your findings in a three-page report or presentation of your choice. (20 pts.)

36. DO YOU LIKE TO CREATE MAPS? – Research the exploration of the New World by the Spanish explorers. Create a poster-size map in which you detail the routes of at least five Spanish explorers. Your map must contain all the required map components (title, key, scale, etc.) (15 pts.)

37. RESEARCH THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR. Write a two-page paper on its events, dates, and the effects on the people living in the former Mexican Territories when the war ended. Include a map or other visual. (15 pts.)


*38. SEE # 8, 12, AND 22 FOR A ‘GUIDED ADVENTURE" TRIP to a supermarket, video store, or music store.

39. FIND AT LEAST 10 FOODS OR ARTICLES OF CLOTHING commonly available in stores in our area that originate from Spanish-speaking countries. Compile a list of the products, what country they come from, and where you found them for sale. (10 pts.)

40. CREATE AN ORIGINAL COLLAGE on construction paper or poster board using at least 10 ads or labels in Spanish from products found at home or in publications. Neatness is important. The name of the product should be visible or labeled by you. (10 pts.)

          41.WATCH A VIDEO OF A SPANISH-SPEAKING COUNTRY.   Prepare a 10-question quiz with  answers to go with the video. Write               a one-page paper explaining what you like best and least and comparing the elements of U.S. cualture with that of the country in the video.         Include the title, length, and location/source of the video. ((15 pts.)

          42.  TAKE A WALK ON BROADWAY (IN FELLS POINT!)  - Visit the center of the Hispanic community in Baltimore.  Make a list of the places you visited, what you saw at each location, and some of the people you spoke with.  Take photographs or a video.  Bring back a Spanish newspaper or other souvenir of your field trip.  Give a five-minute talk to the class about your experience.  (30 pts.)  For the complete experience, have lunch at Lista's on the waterfront and complete project #9 during the same trip.  (30 pts.)  You can use #9 as extra credit, or save it for next quarter's project.

43. MAKE A TRAVEL BROCHURE. Investigate a Spanish-speaking country for information that would interest a person planning to travel there. Create a neat and detailed travel brochure for the country, exhibiting what you have discovered. Include a map of the country, the capital and important cities, pertinent geography and climate, points of interest, and any other important information. (20 pts.)          44. CREATE A PHOTO ESSAY. Perhaps you have already traveled to a Spanish-speaking country or a region of the U.S. where Spanish culture is evident. Prepare a photo essay with captions describing your experience, or use souvenirs or other memorabilia from your trip. Present your trip to the class. (20 pts.)

        45.MY DREAM VACATION. Select at least three articles from travel magazines or chat with a travel agent about one Spanish-speaking region. Read the articles, write a minimum of a three-paragraph summary of each one and tell why you would like to visit there. Include a bibliography and a photocopy of the location you would like to visit. Then, call an airline and inquire about the cost of a round-trip ticket to this location and include in your report. (20 pts.)

46. SURFING! – Explore Spanish-related areas of the Internet and design a project around your discoveries. Internet access is available in the Media Center or Public Library if you do not have it at home. This will required advanced planning on your part. See me after trying out some prospects.( Point values will be determined by the complexity of the project you choose). Here are a few possibilities:
47. THE RAINFOREST… Create a project of your choice related to the preservation of the rainforest and/or conservation of natural resources in Spanish-speaking countries. Discuss with me how you would like to present your material and we will determine the point value. Possibilities - poster, diarama, PowerPoint presentation, short documentary for the morning announcements, etc. Plan ahead!
48.  YOUR OWN IDEA …Please see me before the status report date of January 21st  if your have a project that you would like to be considered. I am very flexible! The objective is for you to have fun while learning about Spanish culture. You will do your best work if you choose a topic of high interest to you!
READY TO BEGIN YOUR RESEARCH?  Click here for lots of information!


* Many thanks to Ms. Bethanie Carlson of Chicago, Illinois for her ideas for this project.