Social justice, art, and Spanish became one in a project completed by our Grade 8 Spanish class. Students were tasked with creating Spanish-language comics, addressing themes relating to a global issue of their choice. They were broken into groups, and challenged to use their prior knowledge to create thoughtful, engaging, and meaningful stories.
“We had to come up with a superhero,” said Grade 8 student Hailey, “and while making our superhero, we got to learn all about these global problems, but in Spanish. So access to clean water, access to food, access to medical attention…and [we got] to choose which topic our superhero got to solve.”
“My group worked on the problem of world hunger,” added Grade 8 student Ben. “To do this we had a superhero named ‘Hombre Hambre,’ which is ‘Hunger Man’ in Spanish.”
With Rashi’s deep commitment to social justice, learning about global issues such as these, the students explained, was not isolated to this one class.
“I think a big part of being at Rashi is learning about social justice… and in every unit in every class we do learn about a problem or many problems, and what people in the world are doing to solve them,” said Grade 8 student Jacob. “That’s really incorporated into our curriculum, and I think this Spanish project was a very good example of that… I think Profe Memo (Middle School Spanish Teacher Bill Shorr) did a really good job incorporating global issues that we cared about into a fun, interesting and creative Spanish project.”
The Spanish vocabulary used in this project was a culmination of the class’s studies throughout the year, as well as specialized vocabulary that was learned leading up to the making of the comics. Students were also challenged to use specific grammatical structures in their writing.
“We had already been learning about global problems and ways to fix them with new Spanish vocabulary in the weeks leading up to this project,” said Ben.
“We were learning the imperfect past-tense, so we had to incorporate that into our projects,” explained Hailey.
Any words students did not know were recorded in bold so they could know to use or ask about it later. They later combined those bolded words into a Quizlet for other students who are studying Spanish or reading their comics. Upon completion, the groups dubbed over their comics for a final video presentation.