Drama in Sierra Nevada
Drama en Sierra Nevada
Look at the picture and write 5 adjectives to describe what you feel when you see the painting. (You can use a dictionary if you cannot find the right words)
How do you think the characters in the painting are thinking or feel?
Listen to a sentence from the Cultural Heritage text and answer the following questions…
“…The belief in the existence of a malevolent creature that causes snow avalanches and buries climbers underneath it is deeply rooted. The name of this figure is “El mono careto” (Monkey Face), a kind of goblin with the appearance of a monkey…”.
“…In ancient times, stories about angry gods and goddesses were accepted as fact in the absence of any scientific explanation for natural phenomena. In fact, all pagan religions in Europe believed in the presence of the divine in nature and in its duality. For example, the element earth was associated with the idea of life and growth, but also of death…”
“…Not all gods and goddesses were bad. Berchta, for example, was a Germanic goddess who protected babies, children and women. However, with the incursion of the Christian Church and its war against pagan customs, many good goddesses were demonised and turned into witches, because the only way to convert the pagans was to instil fear in them..”.
Listening Comprehension (optional)
Read the story
Instructions: Look at the title of the story first and read the first sentence of each paragraph to get a general idea of what it is about.
“Drama in Sierra Nevada”
Lush and inaccessible landscapes are part of the imagery of many cultures. In fact, for centuries the wilderness has been considered a place inhabited by fantastic creatures that protect the forests and defy humans. These creatures have their origins in superstition to explain natural phenomena or to warn people of the dangers of the unknown.
Undoubtedly, the mysterious landscape of Granada and the Sierra Nevada is the perfect setting for myths and legends, and thus for the rich folklore of the region. For example, the belief in the existence of a malevolent creature that causes snow avalanches and buries climbers underneath it is deeply rooted. The name of this figure is “El mono careto” (Monkey Face), a kind of goblin with the appearance of a monkey.
These imaginative tales and other stories about travellers crossing the mountains on foot and getting stuck in a snowstorm may have inspired Muñoz Degrain. In his painting “Drama in the Sierra Nevada” there are no mythological monsters, but real and actual monsters: wolves.
Look at the photo, what city is that?
It can’t be Paris.
Is it a city in Europe? How sure are you?
Yes, it may be a city in Europe but I am not sure.
Is that a castle?
Not to leave you in doubt. The city is Granada, Spain. The palace/castle is called “La Alhambra” and the mountain behind it is Sierra Nevada.
Did you know that in English there are specific verbs to express how sure we are about something? These are called modal verbs. Continue reading to learn more…
Modals of deduction – must, might, may, could, and can’t
We use modal verbs of deduction to guess if something is true or not and to express how sure we are about the possibility.
To talk about a possibility in the present, the future and generally we use: may/might/could
Elena may/might/could be at the cinema, but I’m not sure.
If we are certain (sure) that something is true, we use must.
Living in London must be stressful.
If we are certain that something is NOT true, we use can’t.
Living in London can’t be easy.
Look at the following table if
DEDUCTION (deduct in real time)
MUST + be
Very certain (100%)
MAY/MIGHT/COULD + be
CAN’T + be
Very certain NOT (100%)
Now it’s time to practice:
Read these facts and after that, fill in the blanks.
Granada is a Spanish city, capital of the province of the same name, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. It is a very turistic city and one of the most popular destinations for European university students in the Erasmus program.
After the Alps, Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain in western Europe.
Up until it was designated as a Monument in 1870, the Alhambra was a palace for the Nazari muslim dinasty, a Christian Royal House and a military fortress among others. The Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain.
More exercises to practice Modal verbs:
Visit the British council’s Grammar resources: Modals – deductions about the present | LearnEnglish (britishcouncil.org)
Extra resources for learners
Learn more about Garanada and the Alhambra:
Check out this video about the city of Granada: Granada in Spain: City Tour by a Local | Alhambra, Sierra Nevada and Flamenco | Meet a Local – YouTube
Find out more secrets about Granada: The hidden world beneath the ancient Alhambra fortress – BBC REEL – YouTube
Plan your visit to the Alhambra: Alhambra and Generalife – Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (alhambra-patronato.es)
Learn about Granada’s art:
Art in Granada and Granada in art: https://artsandculture.google.com/story/NwUhTibXBXk0Kw