Mexico and Central America: A Fiesta of Cultures, Crafts, and Activities for Ages 8-12

Overview

This multicultural activity book celebrates the myriad cultures of Mexico and Central America and their shared ancient Aztec and Mayan roots. For each country, a brief introduction is provided that includes illustrated maps and facts about population and geography. More than 40 projects and three dramatic play scripts explore the interconnectedness of these countries and help children experience aspects of daily life throughout the region including school, work, home, art and poetry, food and agriculture, and ...

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Overview

This multicultural activity book celebrates the myriad cultures of Mexico and Central America and their shared ancient Aztec and Mayan roots. For each country, a brief introduction is provided that includes illustrated maps and facts about population and geography. More than 40 projects and three dramatic play scripts explore the interconnectedness of these countries and help children experience aspects of daily life throughout the region including school, work, home, art and poetry, food and agriculture, and special holidays. Activities include embroidering Mayan designs, painting in the Salvadoran style, creating an ofrenda for the Day of the Dead, crafting political puppets, cooking chocobananas, and making piñatas. Engaging sidebars throughout the book provide children with an introduction to the Spanish language. Also included are tips for teachers who want to use the activities in the classroom, complete with more specific age ranges and suggested modifications.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A unique activity book. An excellent resource for teachers." —Children's Literature
Children's Literature
Turch has created a unique activity book that combines the history of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations with activities relevant to each country. Brief summaries about Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama with accompanying maps and photographs fill the pages that also give step-by-step instructions needed to complete the suggested projects. The projects included are very feasible to use in a classroom or at home. Supplies needed are very easily found in a variety of stores and the projects lend themselves to children expressing their own artistic touches. I like the fact that alternative materials are given if the suggested item isn't available. This activity book actually reads as a "book," yet in the middle of any given section will be directions for an activity that goes with the text at that time. The projects cover a wide range of interests that include cooking, calendar making, games, plays, ceremonial and religious celebrations and the list goes on and on. Turch includes a short play found at the end of the book about the dangers of the illegal crossing of borders. There are seven pages of addresses and web sites listed for each of the countries covered in the book as well as one page with a calendar of holidays and celebrations. Thoughtfully included at the very end of the book is a teacher's guide that lists the activities by grade level. This activity book is an excellent resource for teachers and one that will be used year after year. How wonderful to get so much information and fun from one source! 2004, Chicago Review Press, Ages 8 to 12.
—Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal
Gr 3-7-Beginning with a historical overview of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, this book provides a wealth of information about the Latino cultures originating in Mexico and Central America. Mayan math and art designs, floating chinampa gardens, language, traditions, and the calendar of the Aztecs precede a quick summary of facts about each country and a description of culture (art, holidays, schools, and games) by geographic location-the mountains, Atlantic coast, and borderlands. Thirty-five activities, from short plays to art projects, allow children to explore bits of everyday life, but so many activities in separate boxes often interrupt the narrative, forcing readers to turn pages to look for the next sentence in the continuing text. Age-appropriate art and cooking activities reveal the region's diversity, but the book also includes discussion of the dangers inherent in illegal border crossings and the existence of sweatshops amid a discussion of employment and needs of Mexico's citizens. Information about unions, the creation of political puppets, a play about striking workers, a listing of Web sites that support union ideals, and an emphasis on undocumented Latino immigrants to the U.S. are placed in chapters entitled "Going to School," "Art and Poetry," "Daily Grind," and "La Frontera: Borderlands." As a teacher resource, this book includes unique and entertaining activities; however, the political nature of some topics indicates an audience of older students not included in the front-cover advisory. An additional purchase.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556525254
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,161,314
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary C. Turck is an educator and the author of many books for children, including The Civil Rights Movement for Kids.

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