Latin America
Teacher's Guide

May 8, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Kevin - Temple O' Temple! Make Our Garden Grow!

The great temple, Ollantaytambo, for the Inca was a place that brought harmony between all elements of nature. In the old days, it was also a place where traders came to exchange their goods. Today, many people of the Sacred Valley still come to celebrate the gift of natural resources.

Do your students (or their community or culture in general) have rituals for giving thanks for the things they have? What holidays, prayers, penance do they do? Are there examples in their community of architecture/people in harmony with their natural environment?
Abeja - ...And We'll Put the Mini-Mall Over There, Where Those Alpaca are Grazing

Explores how "modernization" of traditional cultures in Quispillaccta are often imposed to "enrich" native's lives. Questions whether it a corporate conspiracy to make money or if "modernization" is even ethical.

Abeja acknowledges that a blending of cultures is inevitable, but that we can make choices about which elements of different cultures we wish to adopt. Have your students do a compare and contrast on what the people of Ayacucho have, and what your students have - both the good things and the bad. What would they like to see preserved from each? Are there some things on both lists that are good but that cannot both be chosen? For example, a 7-11 or mini-mall can be good, but so is a field. Cars can be great, but so is a healthy environment, etc.

If you want to take it to another level, ask students if they can predict which things from the two lists WILL have more influence on a global level. Can they predict? Why do they select what they do? Are the "good" things naturally winning out? Are the characteristics of one culture dominating another? Why?

Kevin - Help! Call 911! Identity Crisis in Peru!
Kids' Version available

This dispatch discloses Kevin's frustrations with always being labeled as Japanese or Chinese in Peru. Concerns the importance of ethnic identity and the ways in which we are forced to defend who we are.

If your students are ethnically diverse, Kevin provides a huge in to discussing what they dislike about stereotypes.

Kevin also raises questions of interest to all students: how should people be referred to, and what does that say about them? Better to call and be called "black" or "African American?" What does "white" mean? Why not European American or German-America, etc.?

Kavitha- There's a Guerrilla in the House: The Sendero Luminoso in Peru's Central Highlands
Kids' Version available

The history of one of Peru's most violent guerilla groups, the Sendero Luminso, begins to unfold. Abimael Guzman and his followers wreak havoc on rural Central Highlands in an attempt to build an anti-imperialist utopia.

Especially in the wake of the killings in Colorado, here is a chance to link what the students are studying with their own lives. Under what conditions do your students think violence is acceptable, if ever?
Why do people act violently?
What does it make others think of them?
Does violence ever get successful results? Could other actions get better results?
Is violence something that is just part of life or can we help so there is less violence in the world?
Team - The Dark Side of the Shining Path

Detailed history of one of Peru's two largest and most destructive terrorist guerrilla groups, the Sendero Luminoso or Shining Path. Lead by founder Abimael Guzman and fueled by a resentment for economic imbalances, the group attempted to establish a "Maoist Utopia" based on communistic beliefs.

National history standards focus on finding commonalities among revolutionary groups in Latin America. What are the common elements that led to guerrila warfare in Guatemala and Peru? What are the differences?
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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