Latin America
Teacher's Guide

January 20, 1999 Update

We crossed the US border into Mexico in small groups to explore different routes. One pair headed down the coast to Baja, another began a journey down the middle of the country, and the third opted to take a plane in the face of illness. Learn about our first adventures and the rich history of this area - from the first humans to arrive to the Aztecs, and the touching and controversial migrations today into the US.

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Monica - Trek Team Crosses the Border!

Monica gives a brief summary of the Team crossing the Mexico/US border.

The content here is good primarily to help students follow the continuity of the Trek. As such, a very informal Q and A or summary by students should be sufficient if you wish to have them do anything with this one.
Abeja - 3 Flat Tires to Paradise

This is a pretty fun story talking about the people Abeja meets on the bus ride down the Baja peninsula. This is also good to follow the continuity of the Trek, but also starts to bring home some of the different people the Team is interacting with. Abeja meets a 16 year boy, and plays with a 4 year-old girl while waiting forthe flat tires to be fixed.

The content doesn't tie in with core curriculum, so again any activity is probably best kept informal. A fun activity is to have kids e-mail the Team Members and tell them the kinds of questions they would like the Team to ask the people they meet. (They kind find out how to e-mail the Team in the Trek Connect section.) If you;d like, you can have them "CC" you (if you have an e-mail address) as their way of getting credit for doing this!
Team - The Border, Through Time

This brief historical article reviews the origins of people in the Americas, as well as the origins of the Aztecs, who migrated from what is today Northwest Mexico / Southwest United States.

This is a solid core curriculum article. To help students appreciate what life was like for these people long ago, a creative exercise is to have students write a brief story as if they were cast back in time all of a sudden. Have them address what might be fun about living 5,000 years ago, but stressing the challenges they would face and questioning how they would survive with their own specialized knowledge which would not serve them so well back then!

Team - Seeking El Norte

The Team writes about the motivations and challenges facing migrants seeking to enter the US to work, as well as some of the challenges for people in the US as they make decisions about immigration and undocumented workers.

This article supports various possibilities. For older students you can have them practice their research skills by checking out some of the good links provided to different sites about immigration and undocumented workers and summarize some of their key findings. Or, easier, is to have them just try to tell what each site is about in a few sentences. For younger students it may be difficult for them to grasp the complexity of these issues. A class discussion around what they would be willing to do to take care of their family, or a quick write on the topic might be appropriate.
Klaus - Ready...or Not?...

Klaus is the person who gave up the most to join the Trek and he has been a ill primarily due to the stress. He writes a poem that is advanced in vocabulary, though the summary at the beginning of what he and the Team are going through is fairly basic.

Depending on your perspective in having the students read this article (for the use opf the poem, or to better understand what the Team is going through), you can either have them draft their own poem using Klaus' style, perhaps also on a time they were very frustrated or uncomfortable (requiring more scaffolding the younger the students). Or you can have them write a reflective journal on a time they felt very stressed or scared, and compare it with what Klaus is going through.


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