Central America

Cracking the Mayan Code

In this activity, students see how scientists began to unravel the meaning of Maya glyphs and then determine their own birth date using the Maya Long Count calendar system. Students will understand use the Maya Long Count calendar system to calculate sums and explain some of the differences between the Maya and U.S. mathematical systems.

Flags of Latin America

Students will examine and records basic facts about a Latin American country, learn the significance of that country's flag and create a rendering of the flag explaining the meaning of its design including colors.

A Latin American Banquet

A few recipes from a variety of countries in Latin America are included that students can prepare together and later feast together. This will help students immerse into Latin American culture and they'll get the opportunity to enjoy tasty meals.

Preparing a Latin American Day

This sheet provides a variety of activity ideas that students can enjoy in a fun day about Latin America. This can be used to finish off a long unit about Latin America.

Mural on Post-Columbian Exchange

Students will illustrate the biological and ecological exchanges that began taking place as soon as Columbus made the Americas known to Europe. Commerce quickly led to the exchange of products which gave rise to new, interdependent material cultures. This project will aid in understanding how Latin America began to affect word culture.

Seeking Asylum

In this activity, students will read a declaration for political asylum by a Guatemalan refugee. They will examine this document to better understand how violent conflict can contribute to the large scale movements of people. Students will design a poster using elements of Guatemalan weaving to illustrate the reasons people leave Guatemala.

Illustrating the Quiche Maya Calendar

The Quiche Mayas of Guatemala were heavily dependent on the raising of corn for survival. Their daily activities were closely related to agriculture and so they developed a calendar which organized time in relation to the corn field cycles. Students will earning about Pre-columbian agriculture and will understand the structuring of time in different ways, according to the lifestyle of a culture.

The Achievements and Challenges of Guatemala

This unit is intended to focus on some aspects of Guatemalan life and history that are of great significance to understanding the people of Guatemala today. Certain aspects include Mayan achievements in time recording and math, as well as the history of the U.S. driven coup of 1954 and even forces driving environmental destruction in the Peten, Guatemala. There are 5 lessons in this unit.

Sun Myths from Two Cultures

The purpose of this listen is to explore two different cultures' myths of the creation of the sun, and how the sun is a valued part of our environment and survival. Students will create a myth about the sun's origin, design a Sun Mask and perform a Sun Dance wearing their mask for a Sun Celebration in honor of the sun.

Children of El Salvador

This activity on El Salvador illustrates aspects of forced migration, which differs significantly from those flows of people tied to international economic forces. Students will be able to distinguish between displaced persons and refugees. Students will examine drawings of the war in El Salvador done by children in refugee camps. To evaluate students on what they have learned they will be asked to create a 3 dimensional sculpture.
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