Adressed through these lessons:
Question #1-Why study Latin
America? By studying the
economic and cultural significance of the Guatemalan marketplace
students become aware of the similarities and differences between
their lives and the lives of Guatemalan people. Since many of Port
Washington's Latin American residents originate from Guatemala, these
activities provide the fifth graders with an opportunity to gain an
appreciation of their fellow classmates ethnic and cultural
background. The marketplace lessons are a way to discuss natural
resources, vegetation and economic patterns.
Question #3-Who are the peoples of Latin America,
both past and present? These lessons allow
students to learn about the people of Guatemala. They are able to use technology
and literature to extract information and draw conclusions about life in a Central
#1: The Guatemalan Marketplace
- Gather data about a market in Guatemala.
- Compare and contrast Guatemalan market to United States markets.
Objective: Students will research the structure of a
Guatemalan marketplace in order to distinguish similarities and differences
between their own lives and the lives of people from Guatemala. This lesson
will serve as an introduction to lessons related to literature in which the
Guatemalan marketplace is the setting.
Look at the activity
sheet that goes with this lesson.
- Students should be instructed to find the web page located
on the Latin America unit site the class will be using. Each child will be
given a paper version of the web page in order to use it as a recording sheet.
The page can be printed out and copied prior to the lesson.
- Tell the students that we will be using literature that is
set in Guatemala. Explain that both stories have parts that take place in
a marketplace. Before we start reading we are going to investigate the Guatemalan
marketplace. Ask students to predict what they think a Guatemalan marketplace
is like. They should record their ideas on the sheet provided at the start
of the lesson.
- Next instruct students to log onto the computers in the computer
lab and locate the web page for the activity called: "The
- Students should follow directions on the page and answer
questions on the recording sheet based on their reading and research using
the provided Internet links.
- Students should fill out the Venn diagram on their recording
Assessment and Evaluation:
Students’ Venn diagrams will be evaluated based on details,
factual accuracy and ability to draw conclusions based on the reading.
#2: Literature Connection-Life in Guatemala
- Gather data about the lifestyles, beliefs, and social/cultural needs and
wants of the peoples of Guatemala.
- Compare and contrast the lives of children in Guatemalan with those in the
- Analyze a character from the readings.
Objective: By reading literature about children from
Guatemala, students will gain a better understanding of the Guatemalan culture.
Since many of the Latin American students in our district are of Guatemalan
descent, this lesson is designed to raise awareness of the rich background many
of our fellow classmates come from.
Materials: Trade books (The Most Beautiful Place in
the World, by: Ann Cameron and Abuela’s Weave and Among the Volcanoes,
both by: Omar Castaneda), reading response logs, post-it notes, computers, Inspiration
software, markers and other art supplies.
- The teacher will read the chapter book, Among the Volcanoes
aloud to the class throughout the duration of the unit on Latin America. Students
will be expected to read Abuela’s Weave (a picturebook) and The
Most Beautiful Place in the World ( a short chapter book) as independent
reading. As students read, they are to jot down observations, opinions and
connections they make to the essential questions on post-it notes. These post-it
notes are then placed on the pages of the text where the reading response
came from. The post-it note responses are then used as a basis for small group
- After reading and discussing the central theme of overcoming
obstacles in each book, students will be asked to do a character web for each
story. Using the software, Inspiration, The character web should show how
each character changed throughout the text and how the lifestyle in Guatemala
affected the character’s daily life. Webs should be printed out.
- Students will then be asked to write a reading response log
entry based on the following questions:
- Compare and Contrast: What aspects of the characters’
lives were like the lives of children in the United States and what aspects
- Personal Connections: How would you feel if you were
in Juan’s shoes? How would you have felt heading to the marketplace alone
if you were in Esperanza’s shoes?
- Social Studies Connection: What have you learned about
the people of Guatemala through our read aloud and your independent reading?
- Finally, students will be asked to create a "Sketch
to Stretch" as a homework assignment. They should create an illustration
based on images they created while reading any of the three pieces of literature.
These sketches should show evidence of the differences and similarities they
enumerated in their written reading response. A brief summary explaining the
significance of the picture should accompany the sketch.
Assessment and Evaluation:
Using the reading response
rubric, the post-it notes, the written reading response log entry and the
sketch to stretch will be evaluated. Students will need to show a connection
to the essential questions throughout all three reading response assignments.