Latin America
Teacher's Guide

April 28, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Abeja - School's Out! Field Trip to the Ruins

Abeja hikes outside the town of Huaraz in search of ancient ruins called the Monumento National Wilcahuain. She stops to chit-chat with young school children who teach her a few words of basic Quechua. She meets various people along the way who help her get find the ruins tucked away in the mountains. Once she arrives, she explores the ruins with the help of two young boys.

This delightful story is perhaps best used to understand differences perhaps not so much in "culture" where we refer to different countries but the differences between urban and rural areas.

As part of our ongoing consideration of "What is Development" and what kind of communities would our students like to live in, Abeja's friendly interactions raise questions about priorities. What does development mean to your students? What does an ideal community have? How do people act?

Abeja - Spirits in a Material World

The traditions and medical practices of the people of Quispillaccta challenge Abeja's previously held beliefs and scientific knowledge.

Your students will certainly enjoy discussing or writing about their own beliefs about spirits, and rituals (like "Don't step on the crack...")

Or refer your students to the Incan myths and tales in the free online lessons, referring students to these websites:
Founding the Inca Empire
Cultures of the Andes
An Inca Princess Readies For Sacrifice

Kavitha - Development or Detriment?: Government "Improvement" Programs in Quispillaccta

Kavitha questions the success of some government "development" projects, citing examples in the Quispillaccta region where the Fujimori government's "improvements" failed due to poor planning and insensitivity to local cultural practices.

This article runs very well with Abeja's regarding "School is Out..." It raises important issues regarding not only what is development, but how is such development to be achieved. How important is it that local people be involved in development decisions.

Note that there are free lessons available in the Teachers' Zone addressing the following topics:

Development and Peru:

  • What is Development?
  • Development in Modern-day Peru
  • Forces of Change - Ancient Peru and the Modern World
Kevin - Treating Myself Like Royalty

Kevin explores the ancient Inca baths built to channel the boiling water rising up from the ground (a result of volcanic activity.) Local people and tourists today use the baths in the same ways that the Inca used them. People clean themselves and relax in the baths and also use the natural water from the hot springs to cook.

OK, the truth be told, you're up to your own resources on this one. It's interesting and totally brings to life the Incas as real people. But is there a big important lesson here to expand on? Let us know!
Monica-Here Llama, Llama...

In her quest for warmth, Monica learns of the origins of alpaca wool, its "camelid" family and its significance to Andean Peruvians.

For more than you ever wanted to know about llamas, herre are just a few websites to educate and entertain your students!
Your Source For Llama Llore and More
Naked Dancing Llama

Which of your students can find the most interesting facts? (PS Did you know llamas are originally from North America?)

Monica - Shape of...a Puma Head! Form Incan City!

Kid's version available

Monica treks to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, which stand at the top of a hill overlooking Cuzco, giving her an incredible view of the city and some insight into the religious and historical importance of the region.

For younger students, you can cut loose with some fun art on this one. Can they design a neighborhood that looks like an animal. Brainstorm on the board what thigns a neighborhood should have (stores, parks, schools, houses, etc.), then have them trace an animal in pencil, then draw over it with the different elements of the city. Can they imagine how hard it would be to build a real city to look like an animal?

For older students, this might serve as an introduction to the Inca in general, who we will be exploring much more over the next two weeks. Don't forget the lessons available on the Inca:
IV.A. Introductory Activity
IV.B. Organizational Structures
IV.C. Assimulated Cultures
IV.D. Music
IV.E. Original Myths
IV.F. Incan Tales
IV.G. Inca Treatment of Conquered People
IV.H. Incan Engineering, Technology & Urban Planning - Roads, Labor and Taxation
Shawn - Soy Vegetariano

Kid's version available

Shawn's struggle on the trip to maintain his vegetarian diet through many different countries and cultures has led him to two veggie-friendly restaurants in Lima, one of which is run by members the Hare Krishna sect of Hinduism.

For many students the idea of being vegetarian is probably pretty foreign and undesirable. Coincidentally, Shawn is one of three Team Members who don't eat meat (Kevin being one of those who do - including guinea pig, as revealed in the last update!)

Have them analyze Shawn's arguments against eating meat. What are the arguments? Which do your students agree with and which ones not? Why? Is the information wrong or do they disagree with his view of animals and the environment?

If your students are interested or you have time, have your students do research for and draw a diagram showing where their different foods come from. Perhaps they can focus on one item and find out as much as they can about what the process is to grow/raise it, and then process and transport it. What do they find are the environmental costs? What impact, if any, is there on the environment?

Try having them participate in the Making a Difference activity as well, which ties in here.

Making a Difference - Eating Pesticide Potato Chips

Running from the last update

Provides an investigation of the ways in which genetically engineered crops endanger the prosperity of biodiversity, small farmers, and everyone dependent on farmers for food.

Students are encouraged to:

Learn more about different genetically-engineered foods,

Contact the USDA with their opinions,

Support boycotts of genetically-altered foods,

Stay informed through various websites and listservs.

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