Teach Central America Week: October 4 – 10, 2021

Join us for the third annual Teach Central America Week from October 4 – 10, 2021. Teaching for Change provides free resources for classroom teachers, including lessons, book lists, biographies of noted historical figures, and readings at TeachingCentralAmerica.org.

Below we share resources to help aid your planning as you prepare to participate in #TeachCentralAmerica Week.


Classroom Stories from Teach Central America Week, 2020

Everyone Should Learn About Ernesto Cardenal Says a D.C. Middle School Class

Caneisha Mills, 8th grade teacher at Hardy Middle School in Washington, D.C., used the Introduction to Central America lesson. After learning about key people in Central American history, students became fans of Ernesto Cardenal.

Cardenal was a priest, poet, and activist who worked to overthrow the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza. His lyrical poetry highlights and details Central American history, his views on politics, and his dedication to love and spirituality. He used his literary work as protest. Continue reading.

Reading Margarito’s Forest in an Elementary Classroom

Students in Caroline Hutton’s garden class at EW Stokes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., read Margarito’s Forest. The class discussed how they care for nature in their lives, who cared for places before, and who might be here later. Margarito’s Forest was a foundational text for this topic, while also incorporating themes of resistance throughout history.

Hutton said, “I appreciated that the book told the story frankly, yet in an age-appropriate way for elementary kids. It was interesting to the students that the book was trilingual, including a language that most of the students are not familiar with, K’iche’.”

Learning about U.S. Involvement in Central American Wars Through Short Films

Cayer Mott of Ironwood Area Schools in Michigan had her classes investigate the U.S. role in the civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador through film and literature. Mott’s classes viewed If the Mango Tree Could Speak and explored the website When We Were Young There Was a War. Her students were curious to find out how the children in Mango Tree were doing now as adults, introduced in When We Were Young.

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