Colombia’s Virtual Cultural Box

During this time of Quarantine and of staying at home to work and study, in collaboration with our graduate student assistants, we have built a package of activities that are related to Colombia and its culture and geography. In this package we want to share with you activities that go from Kindergarten up to 12 grade.

As some of you know, we at the LAII department of the University of New Mexico have some Cultural Boxes with materials that you can use in class to teach the culture and traditions of the different countries of South and Central America. Today we are going to present Colombia’s Virtual Cultural Box, a didactic resource full of guides, activities, videos and knowledge about Colombia. This Virtual Cultural Box comes with a teaching guide, where teachers can find other resources and instructions on how to use the different activities from the Cultural Box.

We are happy to share with all of you this new package of guides that are part of the Viajamos a… project and the My Passport activities.

Single Activities:

Guide: America, a continent with two seasons.

Guide: Speaking more than two languages.

Guide: Viajamos a Colombia

Guide: Colombia’s Native Customs and Languages.

My Passport Template.

Cultural Box

Colombia Virtual Cultural Box

Colombia Virtual Cultural Box, Teaching Guide.

Enjoy it!

Commemorating The Earth’s Day

This 2020 has been a very different year from what we imagined it would be like. It has been a year in which it has allowed us to enjoy more of the coexistence with our families and has led us to live a unique experience in life. The commemoration of Earth Day takes place on April 22 of each year and is celebrated in honor of the resources, places and raw materials that the earth offers us.

That is why in Vamos a Leer, we have decided to make some guides that as a teacher will allow you to explore, learn and teach about natural resources and the importance of Earth Day from Colombia.

These guides are part of My Passport activities and have been designed incorporating activities aligned with the following Common Core Standards.

We hope that you enjoy and use the guides that we made for you.

Guide: America, a continent with two seasons.

Guide: Speaking more than two languages.

Guide: Colombia’s Native Customs and Languages

My Passport Activities.

Ilustración 108868891 © Makc76 – Dreamstime.com

My Passport is a project we are working on that is part of Viajamos A… of our website, which will have activities from countries like Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Mexico.

The principal idea of My Passport is to build a curriculum that helps teachers and students to travel through South and Central America without leaving the classroom. While engaging in the activities, students and teachers will learn new concepts, cultures and places.

In My Passport you will find a variety of activities and resources to teach, learn and travel to South and Central America. The different resources of My passport have been designed incorporating activities aligned with the following Common Core Standards, and are divided in:

Cultural Virtual Boxes.
Teaching Guide Cultural Virtual Boxes.
Single guides.

My Passport Template.

We hope that you can enjoy, use and learn from these different guides and materials that we have created for you.

Book Group Recap: Juana & Lucas

Book Group Recap: Juana & Lucas

¡Saludos a tod@s! We hope everyone is hanging in and doing well in this crazy time.

This month’s *virtual* book group discussed Juana & Lucas (grades k-3; lexile 870L) by Juana Medina. This heartwarming story takes place in the magical city of Bogotá, Colombia and mimics a Junie B. Jones or Judy Moody -esque style. The story focuses on Juana, who struggles with seeing a value in learning English as a second language. In addition to this dilemma, Juana also faces social and academic challenges as the new school year begins; however, fortunately for Juana, she has a superb support team that includes Lucas (her loyal perrito), Juli (her best friend), Mami and her abuelos.

The main themes that we identified in this fun read were: friendship, the importance of language learning, and expressing emotions. Despite the challenges that Juana faces throughout the text, her relationships with Lucas and Juli are admirable and help readers to cherish the important relationships in their own lives. One of Juana’s most prominent struggles is mastering the strange sounds that make up the English language, which leads Juana to wonder whether it is even important to learn another language. These struggles are very relatable for language learners of all ages! They also provide the opportunity to reflect upon why it is so important to learn another language. Like many kids her age, Juana experiences many feelings that vary from the disappointment she feels with her struggles to the excitement Juana experiences on her way to Astroland. Juana expresses her emotions in English and Spanish, which can serve as an example for learners and speakers of both languages. Check out the guide we created for ideas on how to promote language learning to your little readers, click here!

If you enjoyed this read, check out Medina’s sequel: Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas!

¡Feliz mes de la historia de la mujer!

¡Feliz mes de la historia de la mujer!

Women’s History Month is here! Which inspiring women are you teaching your students about this month? Share their names in the comments below!

When it comes to women from Latin America and Latinas from the U.S., there is a long list of mujeres poderosas from which to choose. Here I will spotlight a few Latinas who have paved the way for future generations interested in STEM.

First, we have Mirna Roman; she the tica (costariqueña) who was the first Indigenous doctor in Costa Rica. This trailblazer is from the Ngäbe community and became inspired to practice medicine by watching her mom treat her siblings. We’ve created a STEM guide in Spanish that includes interviews of Roman and a reflective follow-up activity. Click here to access it!

Next up, we have Ellen Ochoa. Did you know that in addition to being the first Hispanic astronaut Ochoa has also made and patented 3 inventions? Our lesson plan on Ochoa is in English and perfect for grades 3-6; it includes two interviews of Ochoa in which she reflects upon her achievements and goals for future generations. Click here to check it out!

Last, but certainty not least, is Nicole Hernandez Hammer. Hernandez Hammer is a climate scientist, who spent her early childhood in rural Guatemala and is currently based in Florida where she works with communities who are most afflicted by climate change. Our STEM guide on Hernandez Hammer is in English and features an interview of this advocate in addition to a news article that addresses the impacts of climate change in Florida. Click here to learn more about this current issue!

Here’s to mujeres poderosas everywhere!
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.

Is there another Latina in STEM that you want to see featured in one of our STEM guides? Drop her name in a comment below!

Book Group Recap: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

¡Feliz (casi) primavera, lectores y educadores!

This month, we discussed Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s Under the Mesquite (Grades 7-12; Lexile 990L) at our book group. This is a very heartwarming read about Lupita, a high schooler who experiences and overcomes challenges both at home with her family and at school with her peers. Lupita’s experiences and challenges are very relatable to readers of all ages. Click here to view our book guide. For extended notes on Under the Mesquite, check out our previous post about it by clicking here.

McCall begins Under the Mesquite with a definition of the mesquite tree that attests to its strength and resilience to endure harsh climates and its adaptability. It becomes clear from the beginning of the text that this resilient tree symbolizes this key theme that we see as Lupita is put in tough situations and valiantly overcomes these challenges.

Consider creating a memory box as a way to extend Under the Mesquite with your class! As Lupita grows and faces different difficulties in her life, she journals her memories of her mother, family, friends and cities in her blue book. Her interest in saving the memories of loved ones allows her to write stories that will revive the moments. It is from the desire of keeping the memories of her loved ones that the activity of memory box is thought. Students will put a drawing, an object, a photograph, a note and other things in a box that keeps the memories of their loved ones, places or moments of their lives. And finally, they will keep this box in their classroom as a door that will lead them to the memories.

Join us next month! On April 9th, we will meet at Ponderosa Brewing (1761 Bellamah Ave NW) to discuss Juana and Lucas by: Juana Medina. (Grades 2-4)

Why Cascarones?

As Ericka told us in the previous post, the importance and influence of the culture of two different countries in the development and growth of a border child make a great mark in their way of looking at the world.

Some of the most important aspects that the book, They Call me Güero, touches are the family in the day-to-day life of a border child, he food and how it shows the cultural roots that his family has had for years, and finally how the Güero is fortunate to have the opportunity to participate and live in a social environment that allows him to live different traditions of the two countries.

Some of these traditions are the Quinceañera, the preparation of Mexican tamales, the celebration of the Day of the Dead, and Easter, among others. We wanted to highlight the creation of the cascarones as a celebration that is native to Mexico and the United States. This celebration is held during the month of Easter where children decorate the eggshells and fill them with flour, confetti, frost and other things. The idea is that after making the decoration and filling of these eggs, the game beings… who will break more eggs?

¡¡Manos a la obra!! // Let’s do it!!

List of things to use:

Clean eggshells (preferably white)

Food dyes (various colors)

Confetti or flour (whatever you want to fill the eggs with!)

X-Acto knife

Vinegar

Hot water

Process

Step 1

To begin, we make a small hole in the eggs at one end and then we begin to remove the egg from the shell with care to not break the shell. When you have empty eggshells, we will wash them with water and let them air dry.

Step 2

In cups with a cup of hot water, 1 tsp of vinegar and 10-15 drops of food coloring, we submerge the eggshells in the different colors leaving them to soak for about 5 minutes.

Dare to play with the colors!

This is what our cascarones looked like are after painting them.

Step 3

Now it’s time to add the filling! It’s important to think through what you want to put inside. Maybe a little confetti, or you can be riskier and put some flour in them.

After you put the stuffing in them, you cover the hole with a piece of tissue paper and glue, so that what you put inside the shell will have no way out.

Now you just have to enjoy and play with these fun cascarones.

Other sources