Lesson Plan 1

Title Introduction to the Spanish Civil War (SCW)
Subject Spanish
Level III, IV or AP (Advanced)
World Language Standards Interpretive Communication: 1.d.; Interpersonal Communication 2.d., 3.c.; Presentational Communication 1. a.,b.,c.,d., 2. c., l. Cultures 1.e. 
Keywords La guerra civil, los nacionalistas (el nacionalismo), los republicanos, el comunismo (el/la comunista), el fascismo (el/la fascista), el socialismo (el/la socialista), el gobierno elegido, el golpe de estado (Coup d’etat)

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Essential questions What economic and political conditions lead to war? What makes people go to war with their own countrymen? When should a foreign government intervene in another country’s affairs?
Synopsis In this lesson students will learn how the economic and political situations of the world and particularly Spain led to Civil War in Spain in 1936. Students will also learn that while America chose a position of neutrality, some Americans chose to become involved in Spain’s fight for freedom. The input is mainly in English, so the class has to work on communicating the content in Spanish.
Standard Alignment(s) used
Recommended Teacher Background View videos, survey the ALBA website and read the introduction to the SCW.
Connection to other disciplines ELA-Literacy/RH/11-12/1/; ELA-Literacy/RH/11-12/7/; ELA-Literacy/W/11-12/2/a/
Number of class periods


Pre-Assessment, Activation of Prior Knowledge:

Put up 3 pieces of butcher paper with: Los 1930, Hitler/Mussolini or a Swastika, the hammer and sickle. Ask students to write down what they know about these 3 categories. They should try to use Spanish, but accept English that can be added to the lesson vocabulary.

Lesson Activities:

    1. Lead-In/Hook:Show the Castle newsreel from 1936-1938 (10 min.). As students view the newsreel ask them to record the events that are making the news in the U.S. When the clip is over ask the students to categorize the events ( Natural Disasters, Aviation/Technology, War) then discuss what the world looked like to Americans in 1936 and why was the rebellion in Spain first in the news. Add any new vocabulary words to the lesson list.
    2. Step by Step:Students will be divided into 4 groups and rotate between 4 stations where they will gain more knowledge about the SCW.
      1. Station 1- Continue looking at the Castle Newsreels (the last 18 min.) Students should scroll and watch any excerpts on Spain or that interest them. They should also record all events in the categories created in the lead in. Where does the news about Spain appear in the newsreels for 1937 and 1938?
      2. Station 2- Students will go the ALBA website and read the introduction to the SCW and complete the chart provided in the materials section.
      3. Station 3- Students will view an excerpt of the video The Good Fight in which students will try to observe and record symbols, songs, colors, or words associated with the SCW.
      4. Station 4- Students will practice using vocabulary from the lesson. Students could do a variety of activities here. They could write definitions of the various -ismos or create sentences using the noun and the adjective forms of a root word.
    3. Closure:Put the 3 pieces of butcher paper from the pre-assessment in front of the class. Taking each topic one at a time, discuss what students learned from their survey about each topic. Add details to the paper in Spanish using the vocabulary from the lesson. This activity could be done in 3 groups as well and groups could get up and present their learning to the class or share in small groups of 3 (1 from each topic) for more oral practice.


Allow students to work in groups so they can sure ideas and practice using vocabulary and sentences to describe the 1930’s, and the conflict in Spain. I also like students to repeat information a few times so they can practice oral fluency before writing their newscast.


After researching Castle newsreels from the 1930’s, excerpts from the Documentary The Good Fight, and the introductory sections of the ALBA website, students will write a report for a newscast that explains what events led to the SCW and defines the competing issues of the SCW. Support your news report with evidence from your research.

Teaching task rubric