South America

On the Plains of Orinoco: Joropo Music in Colombia

In this lesson, students will investigate life on the Colombian Orinoco Plains through the exploration of Joropo music. Activities include Spanish attentive listening, cultural enrichment and musical interaction through singing,playing and moving. Note: Music used in lesson will need to be purchased from Smithsonian Folkways website.

Bonkers for Bailecitos in Bolivia

In this series of three lessons, students will exercise critical listening, singing, dancing and playing instruments to traditional music of Bolivia. They will improvise rhythms, compose a song, and draw connections across a wide variety of disciplines. Note: Samples of music will need to be purchased from the Smithsonian Folkways website to accompany the lesson plans.

A Minidrama about Human Rights and the Desaparecidos

In this lesson, students will learn about the "desaparecidos" of Argentina, a term used to describe the disappeared who were arrested under the harsh military dictatorship and killed. This lesson brings awareness to human rights issues in Latin America and can be used to facilitate a discussion about human rights in general.

Argentine and British Claims to the Falkland/Malvina Islands

In this lesson, students will learn the background of a recent international incident and will be able to explain some of the major issues involved in a territorial dispute. The dispute students will learn about regarding the Falkland/Malvinas Islands is only one of many territorial disputes in Latin America which might again produce armed conflict.

Dance Traditions of Argentina

The goal of the lesson is to introduce students to two contrasting dance traditions from Argentina: the Chacarera and the Tango. Note: The samples of music needed for this lesson will need to be purchased on the Smithsonian Folkways website. The link is included in the lesson plan.

The Gaucho Poem Martin Fierro

In this lesson, students will be able to describe the heroic symbol of the gaucho in Argentina and compare it to the familiar figure of the cowboy in the United States. The gaucho is a major figure in Argentine popular culture and symbolizes the spirit of the nation. By reading a short section of the epic poem Martin Fierro by Jose Hernandez, students will become familiar with this Argentine national figure.

Riddles from Colonial Times

In this lesson, students will enjoy playing a colonial guessing game and will become aware of alternatives to the way we currently entertain ourselves. Students will get to solve riddles and learn the origin of them as well.

Learning and Using Proverbs

In this lesson plan, students will understand the importance of proverbs in Argentina and Latin America in general. Students will be able to use specific proverbs appropriately and understand that they convey folk wisdom.

A British Traveler's Description of Human Groups on an Argentine Ranch

In this lesson, students will gain an awareness of the "melting pot" character of Argentina, a country that has a mix of identities due to British influence.. Students will read a description of Argentina by Walter Larden, a British traveler and be exposed to how an observer can be bias and will be able to discuss the reasoning for that bias.

Argentine Birds in Myth and Superstition

In this lesson, students will learn some Argentine folktales and superstitions and compare these with their own "animal folklore". These folktales contain some common Argentine birds and illustrate the universal appeal of animals in folklore, which reflects a culture's values and history.
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