WWW: The Dream is Now

Vamos a Leer | WWW: The Dream is Now ¡Feliz viernes a todos!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their first few weeks of classes!  If your weeks were anything like the normal first few weeks of the school year, it’s probably safe to say they have been busy as ever.  Is anyone ready for a movie break?  I know I am.  This week, I introduce a short documentary that is available as an online resource.  It’s just thirty minutes long, but it packs a powerful message.  The film is called The Dream is Now and it is about how the broken immigration system in the United States affects the lives of those with the “undocumented” status living in this country.  With this resource, I’m building on the themes that Keira elaborated on earlier this week: resources to honor and understand Latin American cultural influences and experiencesContinue reading


WWW: “The Invisibles,” or a Documentary on Contemporary Immigration

2014-09-12_The-InvisiblesThis weekend is the second annual ¡Cine Magnífico! Albuquerque Latino Film Festival here in New Mexico – which means we at the Latin American & Iberian Institute are focused on Latino films and filmmakers.  With so much discussion happening around the upcoming film screenings, it seemed only natural for us to use this WWW post as an opportunity to highlight some of the ways that movies and documentaries can be used in the classrooms.  Furthermore, given that it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, we thought it prudent to draw your attention to a resource that can be used to complement discussions about historic and contemporary Hispanic experiences.

Continue reading

More on National Hispanic Heritage Month: The Zinn Education Project

As many of our readers seem to be very interested in resources for teaching about Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought I’d write a quick post with links to more resources I’ve come across recently. If you haven’t read other posts we’ve shared on the topic, check out Ailesha’s and Cindy’s ideas.

Continue reading

World Wide Web: Resources for using film in the classroom

Films can be an amazing way to add depth to a curriculum unit or thematic study.  Often times, I found I didn’t even have to show the entire film–just a few clips could get my students interested and engaged.  One of my 3rd grade students’ favorite films was Balseros. If you’re familiar with the film, you may be thinking (and rightly so) that it’s not necessarily appropriate for 9 year-olds.  But, I didn’t need the entire documentary to make my point.  All I needed was for my students to get some sort of sensory connection to Cuba: to see the people, to understand what an the island and an ocean look like, to feel the beat of the Cuban music, and most especially to hear the language.  Continue reading

En la Clase: Around the world in 180 days, Part III

Using Film to Teach Global Citizenship

In the last post, I discussed the ways we can use literature to encourage global citizenship in our classrooms .  Film can be used in a much similar way, transporting students to a different place or time.  To show a good film is to give students the opportunity to experience a piece of life through someone else’s eyes. If we use films written, directed, produced or acted by those from other countries, we’re also providing exposure to another’s point of view, one that often is vastly different from our own.

Our students are from a visually and technologically savvy generation.  Amid Promethean boards, other smart board technologies, Ipads, and Imovie apps, watching a movie in class isn’t necessarily the ‘treat’ it used to be–some of our students are used to creating their own movies. Too often movies in class have become synonymous with nap time or busy work–a.k.a the teacher has work she/he has to get done, and doesn’t have time to teach.  So, the idea of a movie itself might not catch a class’s attention, but that story that transports them to a country they’ve never seen, an ecosystem they’ve only read about, languages or music they’ve never heard, or art they’ve never seen–that can grab their attention.

Discussions of films like these are always a great exercise in critical thinking skills.  Last spring semester we hosted a workshop on “Teaching About the Border Through the Lens of Film.”  Dr. Liz Hutchison, UNM professor of History, brought up a number of important points to consider when we use film in the classroom–many that could lead to fruitful classroom discussions.

Continue reading