Educational Resources and Lesson Plans
- An Appreciation of the World's Ever-Shrinking Rain Forests
This unit integraes the social and scientific causes leading to the devastation of the world's rain forests. It is an integrated approach to life science, social studies and computer technology. The teacher and students will explore the causes of rain forest devastation from a variety of approaches. Both actual and potential destruction will be investigated including man's struggle to stop the damage.
- Chiapas: Where is it, Why Should We Care, and What is the EZLN?
The main objective of this unit is to have the students gain an understanding of the history and current status of the EZLN including the ongoing peace negotiations and goals of the EZLN. The students will also participate in mock negotiations and play the roles of the EZLN, landowners, campesinos, and the government. The lesson also has as an objective the development in the student of objective reporting skills.
- Hands-On Science for Teaching Rain Forest Ecosystems
The basic premise for the materials provided is to teach about rain forest ecosystems--focusing primarily on the tropical forests of Latin America. The subject is not that simple, however. The issue is not really the cutting down of trees. In order to successfully teach this unit, one has to get the students to think globally and incorporate ideas of the worldwide ramifications of forest destruction. I have provided several different types of laboratory experiences regarding the atmosphere, pollution and the effects of rain forest destruction. Also included are labs dealing with the subjects of archeology, and chemical weathering of artifacts.
- Human Rights in Latin America: The Death Squads
Students will divide into groups of 3 or 4 and research human rights issues, particularly the organization and practice of Death Squads in El Salvador, Colombia, and Guatemala. A fourth group will study the United States' reactions to the Death Squads, focusing on two aspects: official U.S. policy and the Sanctuary Movement. This group could be larger or even divided into two groups if desired. More than one group could do the same country, particularly El Salvador, given the vast amount of materials available. The work will take place both in and out of class and last approximately 3 weeks, at which time the groups will present their findings. Students will be encouraged to use various media in their presentations, including photos, music, video, charts and reports.
- The Techno Rainforest
Through interactive hands-on discovery labs, students will learn about how a rainforest grows, how birds and animals camouflage themselves, and simulate the greenhouse effect in regards to global warming.
- The World Bank Educational Resources
This site, developed by the World Bank Group, features an extensive collection of educational resources for teachers and students related to international development. Explore countries and regions, establish linkages with schools in the developing world, search databases, or take an online quiz. This web site is a great resource.
- UN CyberSchoolBus
The United Nations CyberSchool Bus web site is an excellent source for global studies resources. It features information about various aspects of international development. A good place to go for units, lessons, and curricula.
- Urbanization in the Amazon Basin: Can Indigenous People Survive?
"Urbanization in The Amazon Basin" is designed for use in a high school geography course, although it will fit nicely in history, language, and contemporary issues classes as well. Using the Amazon Basin as its setting, the lesson highlights the concept of urbanization, and focuses on the effects of urbanization and modernization on indigenous peoples, particularly those in Rondonia, a state in Brazil. Using geography skills, students will investigate issues surrounding urbanization and its effect on in digenous peoples, and pose possible solutions to current conflicts. This is an issues based, inquiry lesson using real data. This lesson is ideally administered in a "movement" unit in geography or a Latin American history unit. Some background on the physical geography of the Amazon is required.
- Using Cartograms to Learn about Latin American Demographics
In this lesson, students will make their own cartograms, one illustrating the population of Western Hemisphere nations, and the other showing Gross Domestic Product. In the final stage of the lesson, students will compare and contrast two cartograms, one for population, and the other for Gross Domestic Product.
- Why is there Pollution in Mexico City?
The teacher and students will explore the causes of air pollution in Mexico City from a holistic approach. To this end the unit is made up of three lessons, one each for algebra, biology, and English.