Remaking Spanish Cultural Legends

Uriel Medina playing the Doctor, while Hugo Arellano playing the sick wife in El Almohadon de Plumas

Tyler Laredo

Uriel Medina playing the Doctor, while Hugo Arellano playing the sick wife in “El Almohadon de Plumas”

Ms. Contreras, the Spanish II and III teacher at Marine Leadership Academy, had her students create short videos to share out with their peers like a movie viewing. The students grouped up into teams of 4 students and chose from Spanish cultural based legends or popular fable stories such as Las Sombras, Itza y Popo, Guanina, Juan Bobo, El Almohadon de Plumas, and El tío tigre y el tío Conejo

Ms. Contreras dreamed up this project because she knows “sometimes it can be difficult for students to sit and listen to a lecture, learning that way is difficult.” Ms. Contreras also stated that she hoped students would have a “positive experience in my class because they had fun and enjoyed it and hopefully they will learn something about their culture.” In order to give her students a bit of artistic license and due to the fact that the stories needed a sufficient amount of dialogue for each group, the requirements were as follows: everyone had to speak Spanish and every person in the group had to have 5 lines. Credit was given if the students used advanced Spanish even if they got it wrong.

Overall, Ms. Contreas believes the assignment was a success. “I wasn’t sure what to expect just because the majority of my students do not like to talk in class and wondering how they would be able to do this assignment but if I do not give them the challenge they are not going to rise to the expectation. I was praying for the best and I was very surprised by some groups, with other groups I got what I expected to get from those specific students. But overall I think everyone did a good job.” 

When asked about improvements for next year, Ms. Contreras hopes to “have more costumes for the skits so they can get into the character and I would extend the recording segments over a week and a schedule for each group, to pick where and when to record because having everyone in one place was difficult to hear trying to grade.” 

As a student in her classroom, I appreciated all the choices: choice of groups, choice of the storyline, artistic choice of what to cut, and ad-lib for the final product.