Teacher Tips
The Mexico Trek!


September 5, 1998 Update


What’s in the Setpember 5 site?

Silvia got a lot of opinions about homeless youth and addiction to chemicals, and the team visits Tlatelolco, the site of the last stand of the Aztecs.

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:
Tuesday, September1  
Silvia: Glue - Kids in Mexico Share Their Opinions

Four different homeless kids share their opinions on what can be done to help homeless youth, primarily with regards to their drug problems.

This is GREAT not only for students to be hearing other student voices but to get your students considering the issues on the Message Board about how can we help these kids.

Quick n easy: have the kids read this report and the next ("Silvia- Kids and Glue") and then have the students share their opinions on the Message Board. (They only get credit if they use their real name and post an opinion.)

Longer and more involved: Have the class discuss the efficacy of writing letters or making calls to H.B. Fuller, a glue manufacturer who won’t switch to water-based glues (as suggested in the Making a Difference page). Then have them either go forward with the letter writing and calling, or have them brainstorm and begin their own projects. Sharing their ideas on the Message Board opens the possibility of other schools becoming involved.

Wednesday, September2  
Silvia: Kids and Glue — No Easy Answers

Silvia provides some detailed information about the ways that drugs destroy homeless youth. She argues that change needs to come primarily by supporting institutions that care for homeless youth rather than trying to restrict or change the drugs they use.

This ties in very strongly with Silvia’s report from Tuesday (above).
Team: A poem from the streets

This is a wonderful poem by a homeless child with one stanza addressed to another homeless child, another to the rich, and a third to a homeless friend.

Depending on the focus of your class, you might want to have your students write a poem of their own. They could pretty easily model the three stanza format, addressing each to a different person. The only trick would be for the student to find (or for you to assign) one theme to tie the poem together.
Thursday, September 3  
Monica: Tlatelolco, the death of the Aztec Empire & the Birth of Mexico

This report is from the site where the last Aztec Emperor, Cuauhtemoc, surrendered to the Spaniards. It is also the site of the 1968 massacre of student protestors by the government. It has some good information on the Conquest and some good general cultural background.

This is good as to tie in with either the story on Liliana or the other Conquest-related reports.
Silvia: Meet Liliana, soccer player, Aztec expert, 14 years old!

Liliana is a girl Silvia and Monica met on their way to Tlatelolco and who joined them. She tells about her daily routine and what she knows about Tlatelolco.

A simple activity would be to have students do a compare and contrast chart between their lives and Liliana’s, with the students pulling facts from the story and sharing their own.
Shawn: A Report from the Battlefield

Shawn’s report is very intense on facts about Cortes and the general sequence of events in the Conquest of the Aztecs.

He has some nice pictures of murals by Diego Rivera dealing with the Conquest.

As this gives a lot of information quickly, a good way to assess students is to have them focus on one aspect and process it.

Or a good old traditional "pull questions from the report, ask them of the class and give extra credit to the ones who answer first or best!"

Team: Three Conquest Stories — You decide how they end!

These are three fact-rich but fun stories dealing with The Conquest where students are asked their opinion on key topics. They are: What is their opinion of the emperor Motecuzoma, what is their opinion of La Malinche, and what do they think the name of "La Noche Triste" should be?

They include real Aztec drawings from the Conquest.

It is very easy to hold kids accountable on this report because for each of the three stories they are asked to go to the message board and write their opinion on one of the topics. Tell them must use their real name or they won’t get credit. You can then go through and see who posted.

These topics also lend themselves well to class discussions

On the "Trekkers" page under "Your Turn" students are encouraged to share their opinions on the variety of topics on the message board. Then they are encouraged to read "Three Conquest Stories" and share their thoughts on how they should end. (See "Team-Three Conquest Stories" from above.

On the Making a Difference page students are encourage to think more about what can be done to help the homeless youth in Mexico and to write a letter or make a phone call if they didn’t do so based on the last update.


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