When you’re not using a textbook, authentic sources are your main starting point for most class activities. This is a very good thing, since authentic sources are what we’re trying to train students to comprehend and explore on their own, but sometimes finding the right one can be a challenge. This is especially true for higher-level comparison questions that require integration of more than one authentic source, such as the oral presentation and essay questions for the AP exams.
Recently I wanted my students to do an oral presentation in which they compared the lives of Juan Luis Guerra and César Chávez in order to discuss what kind of person can make a real difference in their community and society in general. Finding print source information on César Chávez was easy enough, but I struggled a bit to find an audio (if I find one print then the other has to be audio) related to Guerra that would make for an appropriate comparison. I was searching the terms “Juan Luis Guerra vida audio” and the results weren’t helpful – just a bunch of songs and music videos. It turns out a lot of Guerra’s songs happen to include the word vida.
Then I decided to change my search terms. I changed the word audio to podcast, and voila, there was the perfect audio, a podcast about the life and music of Juan Luis Guerra, with specific sections I could point my students to for information about his life and philanthropic activity.
If you seem to be wasting a lot of time combing through search results looking for the right source, try a lot more combinations and variations on your search terms, and see what happens.
Foto: Idalí Beltré Acevedo