TEACHERS' ZONE:
Teacher Tips
The Mexico Trek!

 

September 2, 1998 Update

   

What’s in the Setpember 2 site?

The team was reunited on Friday and then paid a visit to the Aztec gods at Teotihuacan.

Note: Each week we have trivia spread out around the site. The answers always appear the following week on the Basecamp page. This is a simple way to hold students accountable for moving through the site and processing some of the content.

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Friday, August 28  
Monica: Por fin! Meeting with Silvia and Shawn

This page refers to some of the foods of Mexico, and has a fun reference for kids to Leonardo di Caprio.

 
Silvia: Youth, Know Your Rights!

Here Silvia urges kids to think about what rights youth should have. She tells about:

  • a group in Mexico that meets to educate homeless youth about their rights
  • why youth leave their homes
  • very briefly the commonness of prostitution among homeless girls
  • how a female police force has been created to protect homeless youth,
  • a deal with police to take homeless youth to the youth shelters instead of jail.
There are two great ways to use this page.
  1. Have your kids try their hand at the new "Message Board." (They can get there easily from Silvia's dispatch.) They can respond to Silvia's question about what rights are most important to them and whether those rights are respected.
  2. Have the kids read the article and then go to the Making a Difference page to write letters to help the kids in Mexico. (See the "Making a Difference" description at the bottom of this page.)
Saturday, August 29  
Monica: Sacrifices!!!

Monica relates her tale of difficulty in trying to get to Teotihuacan. WHAT IS REALLY GOOD is that there are five different brief stories told from Aztec myths, including a basic explanation of why the Aztecs did sacrifices.

Easy but good: Have the kids read the article and write an essay on "Sacrifices." Have them first write about sacrifices that have been made for them. Make sure they refer to at least three that the gods made for them according to the Aztecs. Then have them write about what they will do in life to help other people, what sacrifices they will make or what good things they will do to be worthy of all that has been done for them!

Longer but deeper: Have the kids discuss the topic from suggestion 1, but then have them go directly to the "Making a Difference" page to do some activity that will help the youth in Mexico. (See the "Making a Difference" description at the bottom of this page.)

Sunday, August 30  
Team: Battle of the Gods!

The team relates the story of the recurring mythical battles between Tezcatlipoca and Questzalcoatl.

This story is an important lead-in to the next update where the team will focus on "The Conquest." Essential to understanding The Conquest is knowing the Aztec story about Quetzalcoatl.

A great follow-up to this report and a lead-in for the next update is lesson II.C. in the "Mexico Lessons." (Available on the Teacher Zone homepage.) It has youth read a description of the return of Quetzalcoatl and then write in their own journal about whether they believe it's him and what should be done. You might just want to do some review questions on this one.

Shawn: Hangin' with the Gods

Shawn gives a lot of good info on Teotihuacan and on the myth of the creation of the fifth sun (our sun!).

A great follow-up to this report and a lead-in for the next update is lesson II.C. in the "Mexico Lessons." (Available on the Teacher Zone homepage.) It has youth read a description of the return of Quetzalcoatl and then write in their own journal about whether they believe it's him and what should be done. You might just want to do some review questions on this one.
Monday, August 31  
Silvia: Letter Home

This is a great over-all letter from Silvia to her parents about many different aspects of life in Mexico!

Easy: The students can either have a discussion or do a quick write about what they admire about Mexican culture based on this report.

Harder: Have the kids write down a few questions for Silvia based on the reading. Then have a few students role-play answering them. Then have the kids really send the questions to Silvia at mextrek@yahoo.com!


On the "Trekkers" page under "Your Turn," your students are invited to post their ideas on the new Message Board on the topics of: "What rights are most important to you? Are they respected or not?"

On the Making a Difference page, your students are invited to write letters on the topic of homeless youth and drug abuse. There is an American company that sells shoe glue which is the most commonly abused drug by youth in Latin America, yet it will not switch to water-based glues like its German counterpart, apparently because of the profits it currently makes.

NOTE: You may want to go back to the "Making a Difference" activities from the last two updates if you want to build up to this by having the students do some background research or reflections.

 

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