Latin America
Teacher's Guide

February 3, 1999 Update

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Jamila - On Top of the World in Palenque

Jamila sums up her experience visiting Palenque, with its unique architectural features, and meets local Mayan youth.

Today's update has four articles focused almost exclusively on the Maya. So there are numerous activities that can be done in conjunction with any or all of them:

Print out the "Treasure Hunt" questions and copy them for the students. Have them find the answers in the various articles as part of their exploration of the website.

You can personalize the whole experience for the students by having them send e-mail to the various Team members, explaining what they would like to learn more about and telling what they found interesting in today's article. If you need to be sure they sent them and would like to review them, try having them CC to your address (great practice for the real world of e-mail!)

The articles can be a jumping-off point for more in-depth research on the Maya. Start by having the students take notes from these dispatches, then have them use the "Guide Book" section to go even deeper, then have them use the recommended links in the Guide Book section, as well as your own in-class resources, to focus however you or they would like.
Klaus - Dealing in Facts

Klaus met an archeologist at Palenque who taught him about the Maya's advanced calendar, their dates of their power, and their architectural feats, and discussed some of the difficulties of being an archeologist with different ideas.

See the activity for the first article.
Jamila - Can I Stay for Carnaval?

Jamila writes about the upcoming Carnaval celebrations in Merida, Mexico.

One possible tie-in is to have students personalize these events by describing a festival they enjoy and comparing it with Carnaval, or if they celebrate Mardi Gras or Carnaval also, have them describe any similarities or differences.

Another possibility is to have students explore the more serious side of Carnaval. Mexico is a very Catholic country and Carnaval is the fun and often not very religious celebration that precedes Ash Wednesday. Have students do some quick research on the Web on the religious aspects of the celebrations.

Team - When and Where the Maya Thrived

This article provides information on the dates behind the Mayan Empire, and explains the shift in power from the central area to the north. It also explains the Toltec influence on the Maya, with specific reference to Chichen Itza.

See the activity for the first article.
Jamila - Chichén Itzá: The Jewel of the Yucatán

Jamila shares a lot more Maya info based on her findings at Chichen Itza, including the architectural significance of some of the buildings and the Toltec influence. She also has time to get caught in a rain storm and a strem of tourists!

See the activity for the first article.
Two Vegetarians in a Meat Market

In this fun article Kavitha and Shawn explore the fruit and vegetable market and find themselves in the meat market! Good for explaining some everyday facts about life in this area, with some interesting points about the pros and cons of different ways of preparing and buying food.

Focus on the market: This is a great opportunity to have students compare their own market with that described, as well as to have students e-mail the Team members about the kinds of thing they would like to learn about Guatemala now that the Team is settling in there. (This can be done from the "Trek Connect" page.
Monica - Posing and Shopping in Guatemala

Monica gives a preview of where she will be living and working with GAM, a human rights group in Guatemala, and tells about the local school, kids posing for the camera, and the local market.

Focus on the kids: This is a great opportunity for your students to either write Monica an e-mail, telling her what they would like to know about the kids in Guatemala, or to post their questions on the Discussion Board. Both of these can be done from the "Trek Connect" section.

Focus on the market: This article can be used nicely in conjunction with the previous article, having the students respond to the articles by comparing their own markets with those visited by the Team.


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