Art and Poetry of the Afro Mestizos

byYolanda Bezares-Chavez

The "Art and Poetry of the Afro Mestizos" is a teaching unit prepared for students of Spanish in the 4 th to 6 th grades, who should be able to communicate using a basic, but correct, Spanish vocabulary. The unit provides general information about the Afro Mestizos, which is the term applied to those Hispanics who are descendants of the African slaves brought to the Latin American regions during the Colonial Period. The Afro Mestizos have made important contributions throughout the history of the Latin American countries, and they represent the Tercera Raz, or Third Root in the identities of Latin America. They have developed a very distinctive art and poetry that reflects their African heritage. I prepared this unit to enhance my students' appreciation of the art and poetry around them by introducing them to a world where past and present merge, producing works of art that are surprisingly intriguing. Teachers will find two classroom activities in which I ask students to explore some of the Afro Mestizo art and poetry. These lessons can be modified to present more challenging activities to students performing at a more advanced level of Spanish. ¡Qu se diviertan!

(Developed for Spanish, grades 4-5; recommended for Spanish, grades 4-9)

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