Teacher Tips
The Mexico Trek!


August 29, 1998 Update


What’s in the August 29 site?

The team is currently experiencing a little cultural transition. In this update learn about their impressions of different aspects of life in Mexico — including the buses, normal activities taking a lot of time, The National University and getting sick!

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Tuesday, August 25  
Monica: Personal Journal: CULTURE SHOCK!

General reflections on culture shock, pollution, food, greetings and chaos.

A simple activity would be writing a journal where the students reflect on a time they were in a new place and what they liked and didn’t like.
Monica: I’m not tardy - I’m on Mexican time!

A brief story about changing money to demonstrate how things in Mexico take a lot of time.

Silvia: Check it out! Riding the buses in Mexico can be an experience!

This has some nice descriptions of average daily life in Mexico.

Fun and easy: An easy activity here would be to have the students practice their own descriptive writing of the kinds of things they see on their way to school, perhaps comparing with what Silvia sees in Mexico.

Another fun one, but which you have to think about how to format, would be to write a freeform poem using either Silvia’s descriptions of what she sees or of what the students see on their way to school.

Wednesday, August 26  
Monica: What’s bigger than Godzilla and has 250,000 heads?

A brief story on visiting the National University and some fun facts on population.

This activity refers kids to a website with US population info. A fun exercise would be to have the kids check the population of different cities in the US on the Internet. To challenge their search skills you can have them find the population of different countries or cities in the world. We don’t offer links, so they would have to find appropriate sites.
Silvia: Home Sweet Home with 14 Housemates, a House Educator, a Cocinera (Cook), and a Husky.

A description of living at Casa Alianza with formerly homeless children.

This is a nice description of how the youth live at the group home. It’s very nice for your students if they read last update about how harsh life is on the street.
Thurday, August 27  
Monica: Food fit for emperors!

This has good information about foods that came from the Americas, specifically chocolate and corn, as well as information about how the Aztecs ate. Also had a recipe for tostadas.

Depending on your class’ focus, you can have kids do a research on the origins of other foods. Or they can visit the Guidebook for more info on Mexican foods.

Speak Spanish? CHECK THIS OUT! A lengthier and more demanding activity would have the kids invent some questions they would like to ask Montezuma (who is referred to in the report here) and have some students pretend they are Montezuma and try to answer them. The trick would be to limit the questions to topics they already know the answers to or that you can find quickly and easily. To help you we have included at the bottom of this page some basic facts.

Monica: Montezuma’s Revenge - An Ode

This is simply a funny poem Monica wrote about getting sick in Mexico.

Shawn: Personal Journal: Is the Internet broken or is it just me?!?

Shawn reports on the difficulties of getting a good Internet connection.


On the "Trekkers" page under "Your Turn," your students are invited to share their opinion on the topic of "parental strictness." Parents in Mexico are stricter than in many other parts of the world such as the US and many places in Europe. Kids will usually 'fess up to the fact that many parents could be stricter with their kids if they don’t want them getting in trouble.

The follow-up here is whether other people should take action to make the chemicals that kids sniff on the streets of Latin America less accessible, or should it be up to the street kids to decide? This is key because future Making a Difference activities will involve the kids in trying to curb the flow of these chemicals to street kids.

They can either email their ideas or you can choose the best and send them in to us and we’ll share them on the web.

On the Making a Difference page your students are asked to very explicitly consider the "Your Turn" topic as it relates to what they can do to help stop the flow of these chemicals to the youth. They are also invited to learn more about chemical abuse by street youth by linking to some sites listed here. It makes for a good Internet research activity if you want your kids to learn more about these issues they can later take action on.

Content in Spanish for the "Interview" activity to go with Monica’s foods report of Thursday, August 27:

La vida de Motecuzoma

Motecuzoma 11 fue el segundo con ese nombre. Su nombre antes de ser rey era Xocoyotzin o sea "el mas joven". Nacio aproximadamente en 1480. El comenzo su reinado en 1503 y duro hasta su muerte en en 1520. Su reinado duro l7 anos. El murio a los 40 anos. El fue sacerdote y contra su voluntad fue eligido rey.

El empezo su reinado cuando su papa se murio. Su papa se llamo Ahuitzotl y murio de una enfermedad intestinal, contraida en el curso de una campana rnilitar.

Cuando el joven Motecuzoma se entero, se apresuro para ir a la capital Azteca y el se encontraba en Toluca, donde arreglo todo.

Ahuitzotl tenia sobrinos que sabian como manejar todo lo que el hacia, pero ellos se portaron mal y eligieron a Motecuzoma como emperador. El se preparo mucho para gobemar y ganar los votos.

El reino lo llevo a su mayor poder con riquezsa de tributos y con una extencion del trafico comercial por todo el territono mexicano, hasta llegar al istmo de Panama.

La educacion y diciplina de la juventud tuvo mas apoyo que nunca bajo el reinado de Motecuzoma.

El era duro y despotico. Su severidad lo hizo odioso por muchos.

Motecuzoma tuvo 19 hijos legitimos. Estos son algunos nombres de sus hijos:

Xoxopehualoc murio en el canal de los Toltecas en la Noche Triste. Chimalpopoca tambien murio despues de la Noche Triste. Tlaltecatzin fue gobernador de Tlacopan. Pedro Tlacahuepan file a Espana y logro superar algunos de sus bienes. Leonor se caso con Cristobal de Valderrama. Maria se murio de nina. No se tiene noticias de algunos de sus hijos.

Motecuzoma tuvo dos esposas; una de ellas fue la hija del rey de Ehecatepec. La otra fue una princesa de Tula.


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