Latin America
Teacher's Guide

May 5, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Shawn - Bugging Out on the Amazon

Shawn discusses health and nutritional issues in rural villages along the Amazon River. He learns first-hand about development as he volunteers with APECA, the Association Promoting Education and Conservation of the Amazon.

The Team shares volunteer opportunities to work with APECA in Peru, so why not take a group of students...OK, but seriously, the trick here is probably to get students to really understand that this place is real. Try having them write a diary as if they were Shawn visiting APECA. What things would they like to do? How would they feel? There's plenty of material since he describes everything from the mosquitoes to the fishing to woodwork, etc.
Kevin - Riding on the Back of Experience

Kevin describes the thrill of traveling the Cuzco countryside from the heights of horseback, ironically, the same perspective from which the conquering Spaniards looked down on the great cities destined to become ruins.

The Team tried to find information on the origins of horses but didn't have enough time. Where are horses from originally? How did the Incas travel and carry rocks if they didn't use horses? (They did it themselves!) What advantage did it give the Spaniards by having horses when the conquered the Inca?
Kevin - Powerful Learning Tools Discovered at the Ruins
Kids' Version available

Kevin travels to four ruins in Cuzco that house the most high quality Inca stone work, via horse and alongside a knowledgeable young guide. The ruins provide insight into the architecture, transportation, diplomatic affairs and worshipping practices of the Incas.

There are a lot of facts in this one, so a traditional Q and A will do the trick; try it for extra credit. Or have the students make their own quizzes.

Alternatively, the story mentions a girl who lives near the ruins. Give your students the option of writing their diary (as suggested for Shawn's dispatch) as if they lived where she does.

Monica - The Roots of Present Day Peru

Monica wonders about the common ancestors she might share with modern-day Peruvians, along with some history of the Incan empire and its achievements. The sidebar, "The Incan Way of Life," imagines a day in the life of a young Inca.

OK, is this overkill? How about a...diary entry! Monica describes a day in the life of an Inca from back in the days. Is there enough info for your students to write their own story? If not, have them find it from previous updates or other websites! Try asking them to include some personal details not provided in the story where they tell who their best friend is and what he or she does, are they rich or poor, etc.
Team - Rope of Many Colors
Kids' Version available

Learn about how the Incas sent messages across their vast territory by quipu, a device made of colored knotted and braided cotton cords or strings.

FUN! There is a link to a website that describes how to create a real quipu, but is that necessary? Have your students see if they can create their own system for numbers using knotted yarn. Then see if they can explain it to other students or groups of students to see if they can decipher each others' knots! Enjoy!
Making a Difference - Save the Rainforest From Your Own Backyard!
Carry over from last update

The rainforest covers just 2% of the Earth's surface, yet between 50 to 90% of the world's species live in there. The Team invites your students to take action to counter the destruction of these vital ecosystems.

Your students are encouraged to:
  • Use less paper
  • Eat less meat
  • Be an educated consumer
  • Get involved
Have your students rate themselves on these different activities. How many do they practice?
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