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Friends Forever: SEL Lesson based on the friendship song Caguama about a sea turtle and Taino princess

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Friends Forever

Introduction

This lesson uses the narrative song Caguama that parallels a friendship between a Yahima, the daughter of a Cacique Jibacoa of Cuba, a Taíno chief and a sea turtle.

A Cuban legend* says that when Spanish conquistadors arrived on the island of Cuba, the Captain of the Spanish ship was overwhelmed by Yahima's beauty and intended to take her for his wife. Yahima wanted no part of the Spanish invaders so the Cacique, Jibacoa helped hide his daughter deep in the jungle. The town of Majibacoa grew from that location, named from combining Yahima with Jibacoa.

Caguama means sea turtle in Taíno. Sea turtles can live to 100-150 years, though the average lifespan is 30-50 years. Depending on the species it can tale 20 years for a female to reach the age of reproduction. Jaguars are lethal predators to sea turtles. Epic Ethics Early Childhood series Music for Ethical Choices, part of the Epic Ethics Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum.

Guiding Questions

What are the qualities of a best friend?

Who chooses your friends? 

How can our parents and teachers help us to make good friend choices?

Instructions

1. Listen to the song, Caguama once all the way through without stopping. 

2. Study the Lyrics highlighting words and concepts that might be unknown but within the zone of proximal development.

On a midnight beach Yahima walked

as fair as the turquoise sea

She saw a mama turtle nesting near a coconut tree

before the sun had risen, the turtle left the land

she crawled back to the water after burying her eggs deep in the sand

Caguama, Caguama, Caguama green and bright

Caguama, Caguama, swim all day and all the night

Yahima went back to the shore every single night 

but less than two months later she saw a terrible sight

the nest and eggs were plundered by a hungry jaguar

Yahima cried in sorrow till she saw something move by the light of a star

Caguama, Caguama, Caguama green and bright

Caguama, Caguama, swim all day and all the night

There a baby turtle wiggled to get free 

and crawl to the safety of the deep and noisy sea

Yahima carried the turtle cupped in her golden hands

and released her in the waves

to search for her clan

The turtle flipped and fluttered in the silver foam

and then spoke to Yahima that this would be her home

the two friends played then every day

in the sun they would float

until the fateful day when Yahima spied on the horizon a boat

Caguama, Caguama, Caguama green and bright

Caguama, Caguama, swim all day and all the night

The ship carried men of metal and a creature called a horse

the captain saw her beauty, and tried to take Yahima by force

The chief, Yahima’s father refused to give the bride

and stole deep into the jungle where safely she could hide

The turtle waited patiently but her friend never came 

sadness overtook her and the sky began to rain

the clouds turned black and the wind whipped fierce, a hurricane did roar

Caguama and her friend, could play and sing no more

Caguama, Caguama, Caguama green and bright

Caguama, Caguama, swim all day and all the night

The earth turned round the sun  twenty times

Caguama then had grown

she came back to that beach to lay a hundred eggs of her own

while burying her babies, she was stirred into fear

by the growls of a giant cat rattling in her ears

just then from the jungle came a torch and a scream

the jaguar ran off hungry and was never more seen

Yahima held the fire and heard Caguama say

Come with me into the sea and friends we shall stay

Caguama, Caguama, Caguama green and bright

Caguama, Caguama, swim all day and all the night

3. Listen to the song once more all the way through without stopping to repeat with context.

Closing Discussion Questions 

Why do you think Yahima wanted to save the baby turtle?

What is an example of something unfair from the song?

Who in the song could have used the Four Awesome Questions (download image) to change their decision making?

What was one thing you learned about sea turtles from the song?

How do you think Yahima felt when she had to hide in the jungle from the conquistador?

*Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20131113005200/http://espanol.cuba.com/cuba…

Free Access to full K-6 Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum- register at www.epicethics.org

Resources

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Caguama vocabulary.jpg

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March 20, 2022
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4 Awesome questions 3.png

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March 21, 2022
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Taino Map.jpg

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March 21, 2022
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Caguama: Friendship Song Based on a Taíno Legend from Cuba
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