Our release and popularity of the Social Activism Diverse Reading List has got us thinking over here at LEE & LOW about the importance of sharing Social Activism resources with educators. Social Activism, especially in this volatile political climate, is necessary in inspiring students to enact change in their own communities. Read-alouds and mentor texts are also crucial in showing students historical figures who fought for justice and equality.
With Social Activism in mind, we are proud to release the Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad Teacher’s Guide! José Martí was certainly an activist as well as a brilliant political writer and courageous fighter of freedom for all people. We wanted to highlight a few specific Social Activism activities that can be done with students in the classroom. Here are a few activities directed towards Social Activism that can be found in the full Guide here:
Extension/Higher Level Thinking:
Why do you think José continued to fight for Cuba’s independence? José encountered a lot of obstacles in his life. After being exiled and living in New York, why was he still fighting for Cuba’s freedom?
Have students write a poem about a cause they are passionate about today in the style of Martí’s Versos sencillos. Brainstorm a list of the qualities that students observed in Versos sencillos. Then, have students write a poem, evoking José Martí’s style, about something they are passionate about. Why did they choose to write about that particular topic?
Conduct a “Social Change” project in your classroom. After reading Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad, have students pick a cause they believe in. Have students brainstorm a list of different causes that they would want to fight for. Then, have students pick their top three choices and arrange groups according to interest. In the groups, have students research the topic (i.e. Black Lives Matter) and come up with a way to enact change, whether it’s a letter, a flyer, a petition, etc.
Have students read the article, “Here’s why Obama honored hero José Martí in Havana.” Provide students with a copy of the poem that former President Obama cited, “Cultivo una rosa blanca” Why do they think President Obama chose to read from that poem? Additionally, have students investigate the relationship between the United States and Cuba. How did José Martí’s thoughts about the United States foreshadow a future tumultuous relationship between the two countries?
Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad is also a winner of 5 starred reviews! See the links below for the full starred review: