Latin America
Teacher's Guide

April 14, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Kevin - Chan Chan - A Magnificent Pile of Mud

Kevin provides information about how the largest precolombian adobe structure in the western hemisphere was designed for defense, how it was organized by activity, what the designs mean, how power was inheirited, and what their burial ceremonies were like.

This can be a very interesting entree to having students think about their own communities. This serves to raise their awareness of their own community, as well as helping them understand the reality of this community that lived in Chan Chan so long ago by relating it to their own daily lives.

Students can create a diagram of their own neighborhood or town, noting those features that Kevin notes in the Chan Chan community: defense, trade, what symbols show authority in their community, what purpose do the buildings at the center of their community serve, etc.

Or have them do a quick compare and contrast chart or reflection!

Abeja- Cigars and Pipes- A Few Pre-Inca Legacies

Kids' Version Available!

Abeja describes three parts of Peruvian culture that hark back to Inca and pre-Inca days: fishing boats made from reeds, the Quechua language, and pipe music.

There are some good links here that allow students to either listen to samples of this music, learn more about the instruments, or learn more about the Quechua language and culture. Some of the topics you may wish to have them learn more about are:

Where did most of these instruments originate?
See how many words in the Quechua lanugage your students can find that are words that they know (words English has adopted from Quechua).
What percent of modern-day Quechua uses Spanish words?

Monica - Instant Weight Loss at the Equator

Kids' Version Available!

Monica visits the equator and explains why people weigh less there and how the weather isn't always hot and tropical just because it's at the equator.

This is some confusing stuff, even for adults, but it can be very interesting. Depending on the age of your students, this can be an in to a general class discussion about latitude and longitude, seasons, the spinning and rotation of the earth, etc. Can your students figure out their own lat. and long.?

You can also have them check the weather in Quito (near the equator) right now!
Shawn - The Hard-Luck Gang Says Adios to the Daring Ladrones

OK, as if the Team hasn't lost enough stuff already! Shawn explains how he had his boots and the Team had a computer and digital camera stolen.

This can be a good chance to reinforce that this Trek is real, that these people are really out there, and they are human. Have your students send them an e-mail (the addresses are in the Trek Connect section), or post their thoughts on the Discussion Board (also in the Trek Connect Section).
Shawn - Estudio espaņol

Shawn writes about learning Spanish - in Spanish! Trust us, it's not perfect by any means!

If your students are good enough to make sense of this, it is great for having them correct Shawn's "common mistakes." You could also have them compare their own thoughts on what is hard and what's easy about learning Spanish, or another language in general.

Kavitha - Living in an Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny, Weeny Town

Kavitha shares info on what youth (age 14-21) do to pass the time in an isolated coastal town: mandatory military service, dancing, sports, working on a plantation.

How different is life in your students' community. What would they like about living in such a small secluded place? What would they miss? Students may tend to focus on the "bad" things about living in this town. Be sure they reflect on the problems bigger, more developed places have as well.
Repeat from the last update!
Making a Difference - violence in 'Peaceful Communities'

After the scare of three trek members going missing for eleven days, the actual abductions occurring in Colombia these days hit home. This article reveals some of the most the most recent abductions, which occurred on Wednesday, April 7.

Students are encouraged to send letters to the Colombian government to voice their concerns. It can be very helpful to have students discuss why they think these things are happening, and what they think should be done. To help them connect with the reality of the situation in Colombia, try having them debate what they would do if they lived in the affected communities. It should become clear that these poor people don't have a lot of options. It can also prove very valuable for students to consider what violations of human rights they think exist in their own society. Why do these exist? How easy is it to address these problems?
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