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Curriculum Development and Materials

Tropical Ecology in Panama (2012)

A Classroom Curriculum for Teachers and Students

Tropical forests are charismatic ecosystems, and are ideal for capturing the imagination of school-age students. The incredibly high levels of diversity, the myriad of interesting life-history strategies, and the charismatic fauna and flora found in tropical forests can act as a hook to catch the interest and imagination of students who otherwise have few opportunities to view the world of science outside of their own urban environment.

This website is an ongoing project devoted to the teaching and learning of tropical ecology in the classroom. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and organized by Professor Stefan Schnitzer, the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Project, Tropical Ecology in Panama, gives teachers a research experience at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Barro Colorado Island in Panama. The RET project is followed by the expansion of the Environmental Science teaching module.

Wifredo Lam in North America

Teacher's Resource Guide and Family Guide
Created by Linda Kreft (retired director,
Technology-Curriculum Resource Center, Milwaukee Public Schools)

This teacher resource guide accompanies the Marquette University Haggerty Museum of Art’s exhibition Wifredo Lam in North America. The guide is designed to provide ideas, activities and resources that explore issues raised by the exhibition. The guide and the exhibition focus on the varied historical and social influences that have contributed to Wifredo Lam’s culturally rich, visually engaging and emotionally compelling art.

Wifredo Lam in North America -- on view at the Haggerty Museum from October 11, 2007 through January 21, 2008 -- represents the little-examined, yet significant, impact of Wifredo Lam’s work on the development of modern art in the United States. The exhibition features over sixty works by the Cuban-born artist from major museums, galleries and private collections from across the United States and the Caribbean. Wifredo Lam in North America will travel to the following museums: Miami Art Museum (February 8-May 18, 2008), Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California (June 12-August 31, 2008) and the Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida (October 2-January 10, 2009).

Link to:

Human Rights, World Conflict and Peace Education

Online curriculum written by Linda Kreft (retired director, Technology-Curriculum Resource Center, Milwaukee Public Schools)

This online curriculum guide was designed to complement a public lecture by Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Guatemalan human rights activist and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner. It includes a biography of Menchú Tum, diverse curriculum links and online lesson plans, a bibliography and suggested classroom media resources.

Reconstructing the Pre-Columbian World: Ancient American Civilizations Through the Eyes of a Scientist-Painter

Online curriculum written by Linda Kreft (retired director, Technology-Curriculum Resource Center, Milwaukee Public Schools)

This online curriculum was designed to complement an exhibit/lecture series centered around the work of archaeologist/artist Christiane Clados Ph.D. (Research Associate, Free University of Berlin and Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin–Madison). Dr. Clados paints "reconstructions" based on archaeological finds in Mesoamerica and the former Inca lands of South America. Like other archeologists, she uses sites reports, stratigraphic profiles and iconography, yet the uniqueness of her work resides in how she uses scientific method to create magnificent artistic reconstructions of pre-columbian life.

Additional curriculum contributors: Penny Fleischman (Fox Valley Technical College), Michael Goodman (Interport Foundation), and Jeannie Brown Young (retired, Milwaukee Public Schools)

The Online Curriculum contains pdf files that need Acrobat Reader to be accessed. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, see

Acid Thunder: Saving El Tajín from Acid Rain

by Jonathan Kahl (Professor, Mathematical Sciences, UW-Milwaukee)
In English:
En español:
Grades 5 - 12

Students will learn about the meteorological and chemical components of acid rain, as well as its damaging effects on ancient monuments. This is an integrated project involving science and social studies (ancient Mesoamerican civilizations).

Latin America: Curriculum Materials for the Middle Grades

The Center has published this 400-page collection of hands-on activities (1985; revised 1989), which is available for $19.50 plus $2.50 postage and handling. Sample activities on the following topics are available:

Arrow Mexico-Religion, art
Arrow Argentina: Peronist years
Arrow Cuba and the Caribbean
Arrow Brazil-language
Arrow Dominican Republic

Also completely available online at Outreach World.

Boots, Bananas and Biodiversity: Interdisciplinary Environmental Activities about Costa Rica for Grades 6-9

Written by teachers for teachers, the activities can be used individually or as part of a larger thematic unit. This collection of 28 classroom activities is designed to encourage an understanding of enviromental issues and tropical forests in general, the curriculum will also stimulate recognition that the Costa Rican case may offer points of departure in considering environmental education, community participation, resource use and development within our own local environments.

Arrow Boots, Bananas and Biodiversity