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Hispanic Heritage – Middle School

Stereotypes vs. Statistics (grades 4 – 8)

Many preconceptions and stereotypes about Latinos are explored during hispanic heritage month for middle school students. In this activity, students will examine some of the myths and compare these to actual demographic data. A reflective pre-activity is followed by analysis of statistical graphs from the Pew Research Center.

Spanish-American War (grades 4 – 12)

U.S. imperial aspirations and diminished Spanish colonial power set the scene for the Spanish-American War in the late 1800s. The media helps frame the discussion. The fates of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines are in the balance, but none of these regions play a direct role in the final negotiations. The U.S. sets itself up to continue intervening in the futures of the former Spanish colonies. Particularly, the post-war status of Puerto Rico frames the island’s continuing questions of political independence. Additionally, the U.S.’s imperial actions are at conflict with its democratic ideals.

Who Are Latinos? (grades 4 – 12)

Who are Latinos? What does the term Latino American reference? In this quick, introductory activity, students consider their own preconceptions of Latinos. They will view a trailer for the documentary series Latino Americans and identify new topics questions to investigate further.

Hispanic Exploration in America (grades 4 – 12)

Spain’s explorations were driven by the desire to expand its knowledge of the world, to discover spices and riches, and to spread Christianity. Christopher Columbus went on his famous journey funded by Spain in 1492 to search for an alternative route to the Indies. Instead, he “discovered” a new continent. The Library of Congress provides these primary resources as a window into this time period. Additionally, they share a Teacher’s guide with historical context and teaching suggestions.

Latino Americans | LPB/WETA | 4 – 13+

This collection of lesson plans, videos and classroom resources invites teacher and students to explore the history, people and issues chronicled in the PBS series, Latino Americans.

Baseball and Social Change | WGBH | 5 – 8

Students learn about baseball legend Roberto Clemente, his early years in the United States during segregation, and changes in the 1960s that made the U.S. culture more open to Clemente’s Latino culture. Students develop their literacy skills through a social studies focus on how culture shapes individual identity and how a culture changes when new groups of people enter it.

Deciphering the Maya Code | NOVA | 5 – 12

Learn about the writings found in ancient Maya codices—books written on bark.

Identity, Immigration and Economics: Involuntary Deportations of the 1930s (grades 7 – 12)

A rich lesson plan that uses firsthand accounts, historical photographs, experiential activities, and more to help learners understand the involuntary deportations of Mexican immigrants and U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage during the 1930s. Students examine attitudes and policies that scapegoat particular populations during times of economic stress.  As a result, viewers will learn to understand terms like deportation, repatriation, resettlement, and internment.

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