¡Feliz viernes a todos!
Whether you’re joining for the first time or you stop by frequently, thanks for checking out my post this week! In light of the upcoming celebrations of Día de los Muertos, I wanted to highlight one small detail involved in the holiday that sometimes gets overlooked: the Monarch migration! These butterflies fly south for the winter, sometimes over 100 miles per day as they migrate from the United States to southern Mexico. The Monarch Butterflies are a small detail among many in the celebration of Día de los Muertos; however, this detail is of particular importance because many people believe the butterflies migrating are the souls of their ancestors returning to celebrate the holiday with them.
In recognition of this belief, this week’s World Wide Web post brings you a few different resources – all of which are available on the same website! The first resource is a Teacher’s Guide to teaching about the Monarch Butterfly. The guide explains the background of the Monarch migration and the cultural importance of the migration. It includes many activities for the classroom, such as a slideshow (available in English and Spanish) that explains many aspects of the traditional celebration of Día de los Muertos, topics for discussion in the classroom, and research ideas for students. There is also a Resource list with links to more information on how the celebrations of Día de los Muertos take place and some of the foods that are made in preparation. It would be great to make Pan de los Muertos for a classroom cultural celebration! Aside from the Teacher’s Guide emphasized here, the website includes a great deal of information about Monarch Butterflies in general, including updated maps on the butterflies’ travels and news of their progress. The section titled Kids includes many resources for students to interact with, such as charts about the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and the importance of its migration. It would be a great resource to work with in the classroom to highlight themes of tradition, migration, and the benefits of cross-country movement. Continue reading
¡Feliz viernes a todos!
To all who are joining for the first time or who are following the posts each week, thank you for stopping by the blog! We are kicking off the new month by celebrating and acknowledging the personal histories of our families and communities. In light of this focus, I thought I’d emphasize the importance of oral histories, traditions, and story-telling by highlighting a few interconnected resources, with a focus on La Llorona! As Keira mentioned in her “Sobre Octubre” post, the myth of La Llorona can serve as a means of understanding story, history, and memory. Her’s is a story that has been passed down as a myth among generations. By looking at how her story has endured and evolved, we can open up conversations about storytelling and oral histories within our own families and communities.
So, the first resource I highlight here details how the Latin American legend of La Llorona (the wailing woman, the weeping woman, the crying woman) has developed and changed throughout the years, both in Latin America and in the United States. The website also has a number of interviews from community members, each of whom give a different account of La Llorona’s history, as they have been taught by their families. I particularly enjoyed the clips that described who La Llorona is, what she looks like, and what traditions have come about in her honor/memory. These interviews, along with the timeline, can be a great way to start conversations not only about La Llorona, but about storytelling and oral histories as a means to transfer traditions from one generation to the next.
The second resource is a lesson plan created to help teach students how to be storytellers with their own traditions and histories. The teacher starts by giving an example of an oral history, like La Llorona, and then proceeds to work with students to create their own stories. This lesson plan is particularly interesting because it allows the teacher to connect the process of storytelling to the genre of ancient epics and serves as a bridge from the students’ own personal experiences to literature written many generations ago. The lesson plan has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards in New Mexico for grades nine through twelve, which are detailed under the standards tab for each grade individually. This plan also links to other related resources that can be used in conjunction with the one I have included above.
Using La Llorona as a starting point, the students can interactively create their own oral histories with the help of the lesson plan provided above. Even further, teachers can use commonly talked about oral traditions to connect what the students already know to what they need to learn! These resources can help incorporate Hispanic Heritage into common curriculum requirements, reviving the standard curriculum and making it more relatable. I hope these resources can bring to you and your students a new perspective on reading and relating to older materials, all in time for Día de los Muertos!
With warmest wishes,
Image: Photo of “La Llorona” Signs. Reprinted from Flickr user baldiri under CC ©.
Continuing with one of last week’s world wide web themes on resources to support the use of The Queen of Water, I’d like to highlight a great curriculum unit on Ecuador. The unit is the product of the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program that provides educators the opportunity to travel to various countries with the purpose providing an introduction to a particular country or countries with the expectation that teachers will create unit plans for
Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii), Galapagos islands, Ecuador
Photo taken by Mandala Travel
their classrooms on their return. The program has created a wide variety of unit plans for countries across the globe, so it’s amazing resource of materials for teachers working to create a depth of global knowledge in their classrooms.