Culturas Indigenas de Latinoamerica

Teacher:Ofelin Tortorelli
Extra Help:Fridays 3 to 4 pm or by appointment

Course Summary

This class is intended for students who are experienced with the Spanish language, intermediate mid/high speakers (according to ACTFL levels.)

Throughout the semester students will learn about Pre-Columbian cultures, also known as originary civilizations that are native to the Central and South American region. Due to the abundance of anthropological and historical information, students will only brush off on these topics, enough to create curiosity, hopefully enough for them to want to continue researching about it.

We will analyze the cultural encounters occurred during the discovery of the Americas, and draw comparisons with cultural encounters nowadays, as we practice conversational and written Spanish skills.



The main objective of this class is to develop critical and analytical thinking while learning about Pre-Columbian civilizations, as students use their already strong communicative skills.

Language learners should advance

From (Intermediate Low - Mid)

To (Intermediate Mid-High)

Handle short/simple interactions asking and answering questions

Express own meaning

Produce complete sentences or strings of sentences

Understand main idea of texts/ presentations/ conversations on familiar topics

Control basic vocabulary related to familiar topics

Comprehensible to people who have experience with language learners


Handle social interactions with ease, even when there´s an unexpected situation

Tell stories in various timeframes

Explain and describe in detail

Produce coherent discourse across groups of sentences most of the time

Understand main idea of texts/ presentations/ conversations on various topics

Comprehensible to people who may not have experience with language learners

Source: ACTFL


Class Rule

All students must communicate with other students and teacher in the target language (Spanish) at all times. This might be challenging at first, but a few days into the course, it will feel natural. If students feel the need of asking anything in English, they should wait until the end of the class to do so.

The use of Spanish during class will affect the conversation and work habits strands in X2.



Students will have a series of mini-projects, for which the necessary content will be provided in every class. Therefore, we will work step by step (building up vocabulary and grammatical structures) in order to achieve the final goal, which is: completing the task (mini/project).



Students taking this class for honors will be required to:

-       Do an extension of every mini-project.

-       Search scholar articles about any pre-Columbian civilization and share it with the class (4 in one semester).

-       Contribute to the Spanish only environment.



May vary from taking a picture and upload it into Google classroom, to writing down a mini essay on their journals.

Unit evaluation

Every time we complete a unit (after every mini-project), students will be quizzed on their acquisition of vocabulary, grammatical structures, and cultural information.


Digital Portfolio

Mandatory: Students will have their video diaries uploaded on their DP.

Optional: Students will upload one or more mini/projects into their DP.


Assessment strands

Conversation (25%)

  • Using Spanish in class (i.e. asking questions / addressing teachers or classmates)
  • Using vocabulary words and phrases presented in class.
  • Participating in class dialogues, interviews, surveys, debates, roleplays, etc.


Interpretation (25%)

  • Answering questions and/or commenting about topics, videos, and music presented in class (oral and written).
  • Recognizing/applying vocabulary words or phrases presented in class.
  • Following written or oral directions leading to an activity.


Work habits (25%)

  • Participating in class activities.
  • Presenting work on time (homework, assignments, project reports)
  • Showing interest and effort in each class.


Presentation (25%)

  • Keeping journal up to date.
  • Completion of mini – projects.
  • Revision/reflection of quizzes and homework.


Google Classrooms – 4d49ncm

Course Documents

Culturas Pre-Colombinas 1