Spanish Golden Age Introduction

Lesson 1:

Spanish Golden Age Introduction



Students will demonstrate their understanding of Structuralism and Spanish Golden Age theatre and culture by completing work station assignments.


Materials Needed:

Structuralism PowerPointLesson 1.Structuralism


PechaKucha PowerPoint – images and script  (Pp images split into five parts due to size in uploading; combine for one Pp presentation)

Lesson 1.SGA Pechakucha Text    

Lesson 1.SGA Pechakucha Images Part 1  

Lesson 1.SGA Pechakucha Images Part 2

Lesson 1.SGA Pechakucha Images Part 3

Lesson 1.SGA Pechakucha Images Part 4

Lesson 1.SGA Pechakucha Images Part 5

Workstation Worksheet for each student  Lesson 1.Station Worksheet      Lesson 1.Station Worksheet KEY

Workstation items: directions for each station and…  Lesson 1.Station Directions

  1. Fuente Ovejuna handout, script for each student  Lesson 1.Station 1.FO Background
  2. Fan language handout, blank white paper, markers or colored pencils or crayons  Lesson 1.Station 2.Numbers     Lesson 1.Station 2.Fan Language
  3. Spanish Golden Age Information handout   Lesson 1.Station 3.SGA Info
  4. Burial of Count Orgaz Information handout, El Greco painting on computer or printed out   Lesson 1.Station 4.The Burial of the Count of Orgaz Info



Introduce the film.  Watch the first minutes of the film.  Stop here and have a little instruction: What kind of overall subject to society at large can you see?  (a city, a family, etc.)  What are pieces that you see that show us more about that larger subject (individuals going to work on public transportation, sisters, specific behavior or language, etc.).  Continue watching more of the film and have students respond in their journals what large subjects and what smaller pieces that contribute to the large subjects they find in the film.  After completing the film viewing, call on some students to share their answers.  If other students had a similar large subject have them contribute to the smaller pieces they discovered.



Introduce students to Structuralism – the lens by which we will study Spanish Golden Age theatre.  Set up the PowerPoint to teach the main points of this critical theory.  Students should be taking notes and pay special attention to the two French terms used in Structuralism.


Slides 1, 2 introduce the theory


Slide 3: Example of langue and parole (I remember them by using their first initial as a clue – parole is a piece of something and langue is the large picture that the piece fits into): The outfit I’m wearing today is an example of a parole.  My entire wardrobe at home is the larger structure, the langue, which this one outfit fits into.  You can understand more about my style and my wardrobe by looking at this separate outfit and you can understand more about this one outfit by looking at my entire closet and seeing where this outfit falls in the range of my different outfits.


Slide 4: Using the prompts on the PP slide, have students come up with ideas of paroles that fit within the langue given in the prompt.


Refer to the film viewing – the larger subjects (langue) and the smaller contributing parts (paroles).


GROUP PRACTICE: (Slide 5 – Connection)

Have students turn to a partner and together choose a langue that connects with medieval theatre and some paroles that fit into that langue.  Have them share their thoughts with another partnership.


Come back together as a class and answer the last slide question together.  In order to apply the ideas of Structuralism to Spanish Golden Age we need to learn about that time period, right? 



Give the Spanish Golden Age Pecha Kucha.  The slides in the PowerPoint should already be set up to change automatically every twenty seconds.  The script is to be read with the paragraph breaks lining up as closely as possible to the slide changes.  (Google Pecha Kucha for an idea of what this form of presentation/lecture is)  At the end of the presentation ask students how we can use the theory of structuralism to help us in our study of Spanish Golden Age.  Based on what you now know about SGA, what parole and langue do you see in that theatrical time period?



Using what they know about Structuralism and SGA, students will participate in four work stations.  All four have to do with Spanish culture or Spanish Golden Age theatre.  You will divide the class into four groups and have them rotate around to each station.   They will have ten minutes at each station.  Feel free to take as long as wanted and run over into another class period.


Explain the work stations to the students and describe how their worksheet will be completed at each work station:


Station 1: Fuente Ovejuna

Students will read through the play background and synopsis on the provided handout.  Students will then complete the worksheet questions on the play.  They can start reading the play now if they have extra time before rotating.


Station 2: Fan Language

Students will read the handout on Fan Language and spend a few minutes decorating and folding their own fan.  Then they need to partner up and practice using fan language with a partner by drawing three numbers from the container and utilizing the corresponding fan language communication in the scene.  They will write their three numbers on the worksheet as well as a 1-2 sentence description of the scene created.


Station 3: Spanish Society

Students will examine the documents about Spanish society: social hierarchy/status, professions, rules of behavior, etc. at the station and follow the directions on the worksheet to complete the work.


Station 4: El Greco Painting

Have a computer or tablet set up or print out a color copy of El Greco’s painting of “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz”.  Students will read the handout provided about the painting, look over the painting itself, and then answer the corresponding questions on the handout.




Have students pick up their worksheet and go with their group to their assigned starting work station.  Give them a one-minute warning before each rotation.  Float around the room to monitor their progress.



Take the last few minutes of class to highlight some of the things the students learned in the work stations.  Perhaps ask: “What was your favorite station – why?” or “What did you learn about Spanish culture or society that was a discovery?” or “What kind of ‘fan language’ do we use in today’s contemporary American society – could text be a unique kind of social language that we use?”