April 21st | Week in Review


¡Hola a todos! This week’s resources are diverse and I hope they are of interest to you.

– Check out how this College Student (Kaya Thomas) Created a Mobile Directory of 600 Books that Prioritize Diversity. After realizing that most of the characters in books she read didn’t look like her, “Thomas devised an iPhone app that functioned as a directory of 300 books showcasing characters of color.”

These Latin Americans Celebrated their Roots with a Mesoamerican Ballgame Championship in Tetiohuacán. This ballgame, known as “pitza” in the Classic Maya language, was celebrated over 3,000 years ago in the region and is today practiced as part of an effort to reclaim culture and history.

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National Hispanic Heritage Month 2012

As many of you know, it’s National Hispanic Heritage Month. Ailesha wrote an earlier post on the topic that’s been quite popular, so I wanted to share another one with you. Cindy over at CindyLRodriguez put a great post together with lots of good information for teachers, so I wanted to share it here. I hope you enjoy it!

Cindy L. Rodriguez

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month 2012! (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)

For those of you who don’t know, here’s some information about the month directly from www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov:

“The purpose of National Hispanic Heritage Month is to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

“The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

“The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively…

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En la Clase: Around the world in 180 days, Part III

Using Film to Teach Global Citizenship

In the last post, I discussed the ways we can use literature to encourage global citizenship in our classrooms .  Film can be used in a much similar way, transporting students to a different place or time.  To show a good film is to give students the opportunity to experience a piece of life through someone else’s eyes. If we use films written, directed, produced or acted by those from other countries, we’re also providing exposure to another’s point of view, one that often is vastly different from our own.

Our students are from a visually and technologically savvy generation.  Amid Promethean boards, other smart board technologies, Ipads, and Imovie apps, watching a movie in class isn’t necessarily the ‘treat’ it used to be–some of our students are used to creating their own movies. Too often movies in class have become synonymous with nap time or busy work–a.k.a the teacher has work she/he has to get done, and doesn’t have time to teach.  So, the idea of a movie itself might not catch a class’s attention, but that story that transports them to a country they’ve never seen, an ecosystem they’ve only read about, languages or music they’ve never heard, or art they’ve never seen–that can grab their attention.

Discussions of films like these are always a great exercise in critical thinking skills.  Last spring semester we hosted a workshop on “Teaching About the Border Through the Lens of Film.”  Dr. Liz Hutchison, UNM professor of History, brought up a number of important points to consider when we use film in the classroom–many that could lead to fruitful classroom discussions.

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