Los Desaparecidos de Argentina:
el diseño de un memorial

A WebQuest for high school students of advanced Spanish

Teacher Page

Designed by: Susan Casarez

A WebQuest for the design of an appropriate memorial for the "disappeared" during the "dirty war" in Argentina from 1976-1982.

Página principal de la Versión en español
Main page of English version

Introduction | Learners | Curriculum Standards | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits and References


This lesson was developed as part of a unit on human rights in Latin America for an AP Spanish class.

The object of the lesson is to make students more aware of the events that took place during the 1970's-1980's in Argentina and to have them reflect on the importance of acknowledging and remembering these events.


This lesson is designed for AP Spanish language learners and involves social studies to a lesser extent. The lesson could be used for a native Spanish speaker course as well and could be used as a springboard for the study of human rights in other countries.

Students must possess an advanced level of reading  proficiency in Spanish, as most of the links are in Spanish.

Curriculum Standards

The following objectives for upper level Spanish, as outlined in the  MCPS Foreign language curriculum standards are being met.

The student will use listening, speaking, 
reading, and writing skills to:

  • comprehend and exchange detailed information
  • paraphrase information from authentic edited or unedited materials
  • compare and evaluate different points of view
  • express ideas and justify opinions
  • seek and give advice on a course of action
  • analyze and draw conclusions based on relevant details
  • infer a native speaker's/writer's intended message
  • present a persuasive argument
  • analyze and explain both sides of an issue
  • critique a film, event, work of art or literature

In addition to learning about this era in Argentina's history, students will also be learning about different art forms, poems and music, groups and individuals in Spanish speaking countries. They are required top use comparison, critical thinking and teamwork and compromise to create a model of the memorial that they propose.


1. Students will read a short background about the "Dirty War" in Argentina from the  los derechos.org website.

2. Students  form teams of 4 people. Students can be assigned randomly by the teacher, in set groups by the teacher, or they may form their own groups.

3. One  person in each group will choose one of the four aspects of planning a memorial for the missing.

Person 1: Location of the memorial
Student Worksheet
Person 2: Artistic representation of the memorial
Person 3: Written dedication for the memorial
Person 4
: Invitation to the dedication ceremony, including  date, time and keynote speakers. 

4. Each person will investigate the aspect (role) they have chosen,  using  the links and y completing the specific tasks for his/her task.
Students should use the tables and summarizing questions for each role to organize themselves, in order to share and collaborate with the other members of their team.

5. Students share information after each individual session and formulate a plan for a memorial together.

6. Students give an oral presentation of the final memorial. A gallery walk can be organized for students to view and appreciate each other's work.


If not enough computers are available at school, students could research their individual roles at home or in the library and compare notes at school.

Students from different groups but with the same role can also collaborate. For example, three artists in charge of the dedication for their group could work together.

Resources Needed

Some useful resources:

  • Video "La Historia Oficial" (directed by Luis Puenzo)
  • Computer lab-Enough for 2 students per computer to work.
  • Class sets of Dime 21

Specific websites used

Location of memorial:
Un sitio natural de la Argentina
Naciones Unidas
OAS (Organización de Estados Americanos)
Washington, D.C.

Ideas for artistic representation:
Mural-Diego de Rivera
Monumento-Valle de los Caídos, España
Estátua-Monumento a los Caídos de la Armada
Jardín memorial de la paz (California)
Proposed sculpture for Buenos Aires

Written dedication for memorial:
Poesía de parientes o amigos
Jorge Luis Borges, "Arte Poética" 
La letra del Himno Nacional Argentino
"Hermano, Dame tu Mano", por Mercedes Sosa
"No Estamos Solos", un tango por María José Escudero
"El Arte de Vivir", una selección de la  música folclórica argentina
Poema de Raúl Sendíc-"Los Timoneles"

Invitation for dedication of memorial:
Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo
Hijos de la Plaza de Mayo
Madres de la Plaza de Mayo
Ex-Detenidos Desaparecidos
Embajador de la Argentina en los Estados Unidos
Presidente George W. Bush

One teacher can implement this lesson, but an aide or parent would be helpful. Presentations of the proposed memorials could be presented to an intermediate Spanish class, which could act as the judges. 


Students will be evaluated on the completion of the tasks for their individual roles, as well as on the final proposal. Refer to the student rubric for the final product. 


This lesson allows advanced Spanish students to read authentic Spanish related to an issue, comprehend detailed information and exchange it with classmates, seek and give advice on a course of action and present a persuasive argument, while learning about Argentine history.

Credits & References

The movie "La Historia Oficial" ("The Official Story"),directed by Luis Puenzo, inspired me to create this lesson in order to  educate students  in the United States about the abuses of human rights that occurred in the past and continue to occur in Latin America.

A lesson about the movie created by Amanda Macandrew of Montgomery County Public Schools also inspired me.

Graphic elements:
Animated flags from: Animation Factory   www.animfactory.com
Disappearing title: Flash file converted to animated gif by M. Giangrasso mike@cprnetwork.com

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Last updated on May 27, 2002. 
Based on a template from The WebQuest Page