Central America

Indian Ceremonial Costumes of Highland Guatemala

Before commercial production of huipiles and cortes on foot looms, nearly every indigenous community used designs and color combinations that were unique to their geographic location. Thus it was possible to determine the community of an indigenous person solely on the basis of his or her clothing. Now regional differences are blurring as indigenous peoples buy ready-made clothes. When you make hupiles and other clothing in class, students will be urged to use as many colors as possible to create clothing like the indigenous peoples did.

Animals of Ecuador and Virginia

This unit is designed for beginning English speakers of other languages and is geared toward all student at a primary English reading level who find animals interesting and the animals of Ecuador especially engaging. Students will learn English by listening to stories about Animals in Ecuador and will create their own PowerPoint focusing on 3 animals they choose to research, presenting it to the class as a final check of their understanding. Students will compare animals of Ecuador to animals of Virginia in order to stimulate critical thinking by comparing and contrasting fauna/animals.

A Class Project Booklet on Simon Bolivar

In this lesson students will study Simon Bolivar, a military hero, and will share information about him in order to learn of Latin America's struggle for independence from Spain and become acquainted with this great figure in Latin American history. Students will compile each of their reports on Simon Bolivar to make a class booklet detailing his life.

Minidrama Concerning Machismo

This lesson deals with the different understandings of the meaning of "macho" and "machismo" between the United States and Latin America. Students will understand this difference through a reading,mini drama and comparative exercise and discuss the role of "machismo" in both cultures.

Latino Concept of Time, Culture Capsule and Role-Play Activity

In this lesson, students will understand the differing concepts of time in the U.S. and Peru (as well as other Latin American countries) and be able to relate these differences to each culture. The students will also understand the nuances that are connected to the word "manana".

Silver People, Stories from the Panama Canal

This lesson plan is meant to accompany the 2015 Americas Award Winner "Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal" by Margarita Engle. The book and lesson will allow for classroom discussions pertaining to race relations, power struggles and the differences between race, nationality and ethnicity. In this unit students will experiment with how sentence fluency can help create distinct voices and will also recognize how specific voices can encompass characteristics of communities.

The Creation of the Panama Canal

In this lesson, students will learn why the Panama Canal was built and how the U.S. played a major role in influencing the Panamanian people. Students will make a poster at the end of the lesson to demonstrate their understanding.

Panama Canal Zone Activity

A quick 3 page activity sheets that students can use to become further acquainted with the country of Panama and the Panama Canal Zone, which is a vital port for U.S. ships and other countries worldwide.

A Story on Literacy and Making Posters for a Literacy Campaign

In this lesson, students will learn about the problem of illiteracy in order to better understand the situation in Nicaragua and the rest of Central America. Students will also begin to form a new perspective of their own education and how most of the U.S. population is literate.

A Poem Written in Prison

In this lesson, students will read a poem and be introduced to the human, individual side of the struggle in Central America. They will focus on understanding people in terms of humans rather than just statistics.
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