Whether or not your students are reading Brandon Brown versus Yucatán, I’m sure that you can find a use for this current event! Last week, Justin Bieber visited the ruins in Tulum with his entourage, and they climbed some monuments that are off-limits to tourists. Sound familiar? Brandon Brown, under the influence of his mischievous friend Justin, did the same thing at Chichén Itzá in Chapter 8 of Brandon Brown versus Yucatán. Like the Biebster and his friends, Brandon and Justin were forced to leave the park.
When introducing this reading to your students, have them make predictions! In Spanish, tell them that a famous person visited an archaeological site on the Yucatán Peninsula. Take the opportunity to show them a map of some of the most famous sites on the peninsula, like this one that contains images of one of the monuments at each site. Ask them why they think the famous person went to that site: why was he or she in Mexico? Then tell them that, like Brandon and Justin, this famous person ignored signs that said that it was prohibited to climb certain monuments. They climbed the monuments! Ask them to guess which celebrity might be culpable, and then ask them to predict the consequences of their actions. I recommend doing all of this as a class discussion, and then you could have students get into groups or pairs and write out their prediction of the news story. After reading the article, compare their versions to the actual story, and see how close students got!
Click here or on the image to download the reading! When adapting the original article, I was careful to use the same vocabulary used to tell Brandon and Justin’s story in the novel. By using this reading in combination with the novel, students will get many additional repetitions of the target structures AND will connect the story to real life in a very tangible way: winning! The Teacher’s Guide for the novel is filled with more cultural readings, and you can purchase it here.