Invisible Migrations: The Journey from Spanish to English and Back Again Through Performance Poetry

bySydney Coffin

How do we address our own relationships with language? What are the immediate and/or historic origins of our heritage? How do we form identities around language? How can poetry highlight the beauty of communication across cultures? This unit explores ways to celebrate bilingualism in schools and surrounding neighborhoods through close readings of Spanish and English performed, spoken words. Students will address their own relationships with language through their own varied vocabulary in order to explore how our identities are formed through language during this unit of five, ninety-minute periods. In the context of an English class, students will reflect on personal aspects of language acquisition and ultimately compose a poetic narrative expressing the intangible journey towards fluency in a bilingual poem, with the expectation of a performance.

(Developed for English I, grade 9, and Poetry Elective, grades 10-12; recommended for English Language Arts and English as a Second Language, grades 7-12)

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