Latin America
Teacher's Guide

March 31, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Team - Odysseys of Another Era

The Team briefly chronicles the explorations of Ferdinand Magellan, Marco Polo, and Ibn Battuta.

Kids' Version available!

This dispatch is intended to only whet students' appetites and give them a basic idea of who these individuals were. Try any of the following activities to reinforce student learning or to take it further.
- Have them create a world map that shows the routes of all three of these explorers and has a star where they themselves live or have traveled. (They can use the maps on the website.)
- Have them write about what it would be like for someone from a foreign country to come to your students' community. What should they do or see? What might they find curious?
- Have students search the web for more information on each of these explorers. They should try to identify the explorers' motives.
- Have them write or draw a picture about a place they would like to visit themselves.
- Which of these explorers do they admire the most, and why?
Team - Guerrilla War: A Daily Reality in Colombia

In 4 brief paragraphs - the guerilla movement in Colombia explained! In other words, this gives only a very brief introduction, but directly supports national standards regarding understanding guerilla motives in Latin America.

- Have students evaluate what steps they would take to try to change something they disagree with in the world. Is there anything they would risk their lives or be willing to kill for? What if they were the President of Colombia? What would they do to try to end the violence?
Students can do a websearch for more info on the guerillas in Colombia. If you wish to break them into groups, try having them focus on different decades - the 60s- the beginnings; 70s- escalation; 80s- partial resolution; and 90s - guerillas as radical pariahs.
What role does the drug trade play? We didn't address this, but it will be an important theme in Peru.
Students can do a websearch for info on guerilla movements in Peru (where the Team is now going) or Venezuela, Guatemala, El Slavador, etc. In direct support of national standards about understanding guerilla motives in Latin America, have students compare and contrast motives.
- Have students check out the Making a Difference activity (below).
Team - Making a Difference: The Fate of Colombian Killers

Several weeks ago three Americans were kidnapped and killed by FARC rebels. The man accused of the murders was captured by FARC leaders and will now stand trial, and faces possible execution. Amnesty International fears the accused's rights will not be respected by this independent court, and opposes the death penalty in any case.

The Team asks students to explore several questions: Do they think the accused can get a fair trial or deserves one? If he is found guilty, should he be executed?
The Team invites students to write directly to a FARC representative and share their thoughts. This issue is current until 04/15/99. After that, you should check with Amnesty to see if letters are still requested:
Team - The Trekker's Survival Guide to Colombia

A list of fun but important tips on how to travel in foreign countries, with a special emphasis on Colombia.

Kids' Version Available!

For older students: Have them assess which tips are most important and why.
OR, have them do a safety check on other countries they might like to visit or that the Team will be visiting. They can use the Department of State link included in the story, as well as the Lonely Planet site,

For younger students: Have them choose their favorite tip, or the one they think is the most important. they should draw a picture showing what that tip was. Next to it they should make up one more tip about what they think someone should do or take with them on a trip to another country, and draw that as well.

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