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Black and white photo of Chilean Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda recording for the Library of Congress in 1966. The poet is sitting in a recording booth in front of a microphone and holding his book. The photo is from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Chilean Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda recording for the Library of Congress, 1966. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The PALABRA Archive in the Classroom

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The following is a guest post by Natté Fortier, former Intern, Hispanic Reading Room, Latin American, Caribbean, and European Division.

As an avid believer in education, I was thrilled to create “PALABRA in the Classroom” during a month-long internship at the Hispanic Reading Room in January 2024. After working with the PALABRA Archive for some weeks, it was important to me that teachers have an easy-to-use resource for incorporating this collection’s incredible materials into the classroom.

Website screenshot of “PALABRA in the Classroom” webpage, part of the PALABRA Archive Research Guide. The image includes the project’s intro page which features a black and white photo of a classroom black board and descriptive text. Website screenshot of “PALABRA in the Classroom” webpage, part of the PALABRA Archive Research Guide. The image includes the project’s intro page which features a black and white photo of a classroom black board and descriptive text.
Website screenshot of “PALABRA in the Classroom” webpage, part of the PALABRA Archive Research Guide.

“PALABRA in the Classroom” is the latest resource in the PALABRA Archive’s Research Guide. It provides educators with suggested collections of materials from the archive’s hundreds of audio recordings that can be used to help students practice language learning and literary analysis skills. Each grouping includes a list of recorded authors, titles and timestamps for each author’s readings, and suggested questions and exercises for teachers to incorporate the recordings into their lesson plans.

The guide currently includes two collections of classroom resources: “AP Required Authors” and “PALABRA Feminists.” The first grouping highlights authors in the archive whose works are on the list of required texts for the College Board’s AP Spanish Literature and Culture. Two required texts themselves are featured in this collection, “Balada de los dos abuelos” by Nicolás Guillén and “Mujer Negra” by Nancy Morejón. These two poems offer suggested text-specific free-response prompts, and several other works in the collection contain suggested text-specific multiple-choice questions based on the format of the AP exam.

The “PALABRA Feminists” collection spotlights some of the writers in the archive whose works tend to center feminist themes. A good portion of the works featured in this group are read aloud in English, meaning the collection is accessible to both English- and Spanish-speaking classrooms. The readings in this group also offer suggested free-response questions for teaching students to perform literary analysis.

Website screenshot of the page for Cuban author Nancy Morejón’s recording. Image shows the audio streaming box for Morejón’s audio and some recording metadata.
Website screenshot of the page for Cuban author Nancy Morejón’s recording.

It is my hope that the ability to hear the brilliant authors in the archive reading from their own work will spark within students an enthusiasm and appreciation for poetry and literature, Hispanic cultures, and the Spanish language.

Discover More

Education resources from the Library of Congress: The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections.

Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS): A Resource Guide: The Handbook of Latin American Studies is a bibliography on Latin America consisting of works selected and annotated by scholars. 

The PALABRA Archive at the Library of CongressThe PALABRA Archive is a collection of original audio recordings of 20th and 21st century Luso-Hispanic poets and writers reading from their works.

Library of Congress Research Guides: Library’s guides organized by research topic and collections – these include both online materials, and materials only available on site. The guides related to the Caribbean, Iberian, and Latin American Studies can be found here.

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