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Learning resources brought to you by Tucson Unified's Curriculum and Instruction

We've provided a rich selection of free, fun online learning sources in English language arts (ELA), math, science, and visual arts to supplement your learning. These are organized by grade level. Click the grade level for your child to get started!

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This page contains a "menu" of lessons and activities for this week. You will find the objectives: the specific skills that you work on. Then you will find a selection of lessons and activities which help you practice and master those skills. If you run into technical issues or other difficulties with any of these, simply move on and choose another.


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Culturally Relevant ELA - Week Five

Printable Version of this lesson board in PDF format

11th/12th Grade ELA

Week 5 May 4-May 8, 2020

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • view critically two videos, each from a different cultural tradition.
  • read and annotate the corresponding song lyrics.
  • answer a series of analytical, short-answer questions about the songs.
  • compose an essay of comparison and contrast, noting key similarities and differences in the two works.

From Youtube—a traditional Mexican ballad
Los Laureles
Performed by Miguel Aceves Mejía

From youtube—an official video
If I Told You
by Darius Rucker

Writing: A ballad is a narrative poem that originally was set to music. Ballads were first created in medieval France, and the word ballad comes from the French term chanson balladée (in Spanish, canción de baile), which means “dancing song.” Ballads then became popular in throughout Europe, and remained so until the nineteenth century. The meaning has changed somewhat in the present day to refer to any slow love song.

Prepare a five-paragraph essay based on the song lyrics in “Los Laureles” (in English translation) and in “If I Told You,” noting similarities and differences.

Lesson 1: Conduct a close reading of the indicated lyrics, jotting down any questions, comments or personal connections you may make as you read, and then respond appropriately in writing to the ten short-answer questions shown below, five of which relate to the first song and five that relate to the second song.

Lesson 2: Complete the assigned five-paragraph essay. Use some of the information you found in doing the close reading and in answering the questions in Lesson 1. Point out the similarities and differences in the narrators, the settings, and the use of figurative language.


Research contemporary ballads from any genre, such as rock ballads or jazz ballads, and select one to critique. Use the NPR critique of Journey’s 1981 power ballad “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” as a model to give you some idea of what your critique might include:


confectioner- a maker of candy and other sweets

patent- the legal right to control an invention

unprecedented- never before done or known

variegated- marked by variety

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