The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

Putting on a Show: Spanish students create telenovelas as final project

Finishing the year with a final round of applause, students in Spanish teacher Alexandra Stewart’s class are writing, filming and editing their own telenovelas, or Spanish soap operas, as their end-of-the-year project.

“Telenovelas are a critical part of Hispanic culture,” Stewart said. “It’s one of those things that is kind of emblematic of Latin America.”

The students have to create an outline and script, which needs to be approved by Stewart before filming, then record and edit the act before finals week.

“It has to be school appropriate in clothing, words and actions,” Stewart said. “Obviously most of them will have murders, but if they are using a weapon it needs to be like a Nerf or water gun.”

Besides the standard restrictions, students have control over how their stories will play out.

“My whole class is doing a story about rival drug-dealing families and two of the kids fall in love after one kidnaps the other,” freshman Emma Gonzalez said. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet but with more crime.”

According to Gonzalez, filming the scenes has become a challenge, as the project clashes with AP and EOC testing.

“It can be especially hard because we are doing it as a class and everyone has different testing days,” Gonzalez said. “Our class only has 15 people though, and we have a kid who is taking charge of timing and everyone’s schedules, so it’s working out well.”

The telenovelas have been a recurring project in Stewart’s classes for the past three years.

“When I started teaching level four Spanish and was flipping through the book, I realized that the last unit is all about entertainment and soap operas, which was perfect,” Stewart said. 

After submitting and reviewing the telenovelas, the students will watch each other’s final project on exam day and complete writing pieces about the film.

“There are always standard elements of a story, such as the climax, plot twists, resolutions, etc., so they’ll make me a plot diagram for each one,” Stewart said. “Then, they will write me a piece comparing one of the telenovelas to the one we’ve been watching all year, which is a 1993 Mexican telenovela called ‘Corazón Salvaje.’”


By Kris Rosa

More to Discover