Latin America
Teacher's Guide

June 9, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Abeja - The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo: 24 Years of Rocking Argentina and the World
Kid's Version Available

Abeja describes the struggles of these famous mothers of some of the 30,000 "disappeared" in Argentina's Dirty War.

1) Two critical characteristics of the protest movement of the Madres have been the fact that they are older females, and their use of the diapers as a reminder of their children. These are very powerful symbols that have helped them gain credibility and help them maintain their humanity in the face of propaganda from the state that would otherwise allow them to be categorized and branded with names such as "radicals," "communists," etc.

Both older and younger students can test their creativity in designing their own campaigns. For younger students, you may need to choose some issue that they really know something about. Let the older students choose an issue they really care about.

They should first identify what the issue is, and perhaps describe what the objective of the protest would be. (Again, for the younger kids you probably want to provide these.)

Then have them design a symbol or think of some "prop" that could be used by people conducting a protest. What should people carry or wear that would help people be sensitive to their cause? (For the younger ones, this might mean having people dress up as trees or animals for an environmental protest.)

For older students, perhaps they can also identify what kind of people would be most effective. Would kids? Or older people? Or people with certain disabilities? Etc.

Have them come up with a slogan as well.

2) There are a couple of good movies that tie in with this topic as well, that are generally available. The first is called The Official Story. The second is called Gaby.

Kavitha - Bringing Peace to the World, Children First!
Kid's Version Available

Kavitha describes the "Children for Peace Village," founded by the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Adolfo Esquivel. It is a place providing extracurricular social and educational opportunities for youth from local poor communities.

Have your students assess the opportunities available in their own communities. Are there places for them to go after school? Are their organized activities? Are there safe places to play? Can they get tutoring or learn new skills?

This kind of an assessment is exactly what most older people concerned for the well-being of the youth in their community probably most need, yet don't ever take the time to hear what the kids' perceptions are. As a key final step, have the students give a rating to the community and make recommendations for anything they think should be made available.

Shawn - The Amazing Man Behind the Sweatsuit and the Nobel Prize - Adolfo Pérez

Shawn provides a biography of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Adolfo Esquivel, a man dedicated to active non-violent protest.

Adolfo's philosophy is inspired by Gandhian non-violence and certain Christian religious traditions. In the last update Shawn documented the life and hinted at the philosophy of Che Guevara. Have students read the two dispatches and argue for which person they agree with more. While neither dispatch explores the philosophies very much, students will probably have a general sense of which they like more. If time allows, have them do a little on-line or library research about other people with comparable philosophies. How about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Monica - Don't Cry for Me, Argentina

Monica chronicles the life of Eva Peron, wife of former Aregentinian President, Juan Peron, and the many things she did to benefit the poor of Argentina.

Well, some people liked it, some people didn't, but it's a rare thing for kids to complain about a video, and it does deliver in a very tangible way what Evita's life was like: we're talking about the Madonna movie, Evita. Show it! Your students would prefer Star Wars or Tarzan, but they probably won't complain if you give them the alternative of writing an essay on her life!
Kevin - Will Paraguay Ever Have Justice?

Kevin describes Paraguay's recent violent and corrupt history, and the recent flight of the former military leaders following a democratic election.

The Team missed Paraguay, and Kevin's dispatch only hints at what Paraguay has experienced. Have your students do a little research on the situation and then write to a school in Paraguay to get the kids' opinions. They can get an address for that on the web. If you can't find an address for a school, have the students e-mail ANYONE they can in Paraguay to explain they want to connect with a school there and to see if the person/business/institution/college, etc. they write to can't help get them an address to use.
Carried over from the last update

Making a Difference - Save a tree, go napkin-free!
Kid's Version Available

The Team suggests an easy activity your students can do to raise environmental awareness.

With few supplies and little time, your students can create little reminders to be posted in local businesses or within their own school, about the little things people can do to reduce their use of energy and paper.
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