I just watched Worlds Together Cuba, a beautiful 25-minute documentary released in anticipation of Hispanic Heritage Month. It is part of the Worlds Together Series by Master Communications, an award-winning set of videos that introduces children to different world cultures.
The people of Cuba are the stars of this DVD. The video gives basic information about the island over beautiful images of daily life. In the video, Cuba is described as “a photographer’s paradise,” and the vibrant colors of the video prove the point. This DVD gives children a window into the country. It is valuable material for a lesson as part of Hispanic Heritage Month or anytime.
Through footage of Cubans engaged in work, play and family life, Worlds Together – Cuba provides children with a vision of the island as a whole. The DVD is meant to be an overview with enough concrete information to help kids begin to understand what life on the island is like. It is a way to explore the richness of different cultures during Hispanic Heritage Month and also an excellent choice for Spanish language learners.
Hispanic Heritage Month – Exploring Cuba with Spanish Learners
These are a few of the features that make Worlds Together Cuba especially effective with Spanish learners.
- Audio tracks in Spanish and English with options for subtitles give teachers flexibility to use the DVD with students of different ages and levels.
- Children are introduced to the geography, religion, food, education and music of Cuba. The cultural richness the video lends itself to follow-up activities for Hispanic Heritage Month and other units.
- The content is general enough that the topics include familiar vocabulary.
- Much of the key vocabulary is supported by beautiful images to help children understand new words.
- The content includes many cognates. This helps children expand their vocabulary as they learn about Cuba.
- The Spanish audio is exceptionally clear.
- Much of the cultural content of the DVD is presented visually. The wonderful footage of life on the island provides a context for the facts and makes the information more meaningful.
- The overall tone is very positive, as the DVD points out many positives aspects of life on the island.
- Although not a focus, the video acknowledges some of the major problems in Cuba. This information provides teachers a springboard for discussion of the challenges facing the nation.
- The DVD includes a teacher’s guide with a transcript of the English audio, additional information about the country and quizzes.
- The language and cultural content make this an excellent choice for Hispanic Heritage Month or any time of year.
Worlds Together Cuba creates a clear sense of the island as part of Latin America. In the food, colors and images of family life, kids will recognize elements common to other countries they have studied. That said, the video clearly introduces Cuba as unique, providing information and context that will inspire children to learn more about the beautiful island.
Disclosure: The company sent me a copy of this product to be able to write the article. I may have been compensated for my time. All of the ideas and opinions are my own.