Curriculum Activities created by CLACS K-16 Educator Professional Development Award Recipients

CLACS annually provides professional development funding to Wisconsin K-16 teachers to learn more about Latin America and the Caribbean. Some recipients have traveled to the region; others have participated in summer institutes or credit courses at U.S. universities. Here are examples of classroom activities they have created as a result of their learning experiences.


Elena de Costa (Carroll University, WI)
Witness for Peace Cuba Program

Cuba: Revolution/Evolution and the Next Generation
This curriculum is designed for a spring 2018 course at Carroll University as part of the General Education Curriculum’s Cross-Cultural Experiences program followed by travel to the country studied.  The travel experience will be under the people-to-people travel license of Witness for Peace for a period of 10-days.  The trip to Cuba will include meetings with Cubans from a wide spectrum of organizations, and representing a variety of perspectives. In Cuba, students should be fully prepared and engaged, willing to interact with peers and the Cubans, and always be sensitive to challenges of encountering a very different culture and society than their own.  (To be taught in 2-hour segments, once weekly for 12 weeks, followed by 10-day travel to Cuba)

Staci Sievert (Seymour High School, WI)
CLACS summer institute, “Designs for Sustainability in Latin America” (graduate credit option)

Brazil and Budgeting Priorities
Objectives: Understand how citizen involvement can be an effective means of allocating funds through participatory budgeting. Research a unique development situation within Brazil. Create a professional presentation which accurately and persuasively represents needs of citizens in the situation so as to influence the class participatory budgeting process vote. Finally, use a democratic process to allocate limited funds based on class presentations.

Steve Watrous (Milwaukee Area Technical College, WI)
Witness for Peace Cuba Program

Changes in Cuba and its relations with the U.S.
This curriculum for a brief unit on Cuba was used in fall, 2016, at the Milwaukee Area Technical College.  The course is Introduction to Sociology, a three-credit class that transfers to universities for a four-year degree. The textbook has a few pages on Cuba and general discussion of terms such as “socialism.”  (3 class periods of 85 minutes)



Bill Gibson (Madison East High School, WI)
PIER/Yale summer institute, “American Uprisings: The Culture and Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean”

Who is Rigoberta Menchú? & the Rigoberta Menchú Controversy
Rigoberta Mench?’s biography, “I, Rigoberta Mench?: An Indian Woman in Guatemala” (1983) has been a lightning rod for both adoration and condemnation. After winning the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize her narrative, writ large, was considered a threat to status quo stakeholders from academia to neoconservatives, and beyond. While it is tempting to reduce this response to hysterical hyperbole this lesson is intended to contextualize the Rigoberta Mench? controversy and by extension generate lasting interest in Guatemalan history, historiography, and human rights.


Jennifer Glandt (Ashwaubenon High School, WI)
PIER/Yale summer institute, “American Uprisings: The Culture and Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean”

Dos caras de Potosí–Jigsaw Reading and Discussion
The lesson was created for upper level Spanish students in a Latin American Civilization course. It is based on the colonial boom-town of Potosi, Bolivia and the complex society that quickly grew up to support the silver mining, which in turn supported the Spanish Empire. Students will work in four expert groups (Mining and Money, the Mita System and Slavery, the Commerce and Society of Potosi, and the Birth of World Trade) and then reorganize into base groups to share their knowledge and complete an exit ticket activity.

Introduction page projected for class

4 one-page readings:
La minería y monedas (mining and money)
La mita y la esclavitud (the Mita System and Slavery)
El comercio y la sociedad de Potosí (Trade and the Culture of Potosí)
El nacimiento del comercio mundial (the Birth of World Trade)


Sarah M. Stoecker (Brookfield East High School, WI)
Spanish 3 (immersion-style classroom), Grades 9-12, 90 minute lesson
PIER/Yale summer institute, “American Uprisings: The Culture and Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean”

La Revolución Cubana – parte 1 (The Cuban Revolution – part 1)
In this lesson, students will work to identify, compare, and contrast what “revolution” means from a U.S. perspective via their prior knowledge of the American Revolution as well as the Cuban perspective via the Cuban Revolution.
La Revolución Americana y la Revolución Cubana
Los Cubanos en los EEUU
Los Cubanos en los EEUU (answers)
La historia breve de la revolución cubana
La historia breve de la revolución cubana (answers)

Please note: all curriculum activities produced for the PIER/Yale 2014 summer institute are available at the PIER/Yale website:


Nichole Von Haden and Hallie Savage Martinez, with colleague Kristen Scott (Madison Metropolitan School District, WI)

Presentation, La Cosecha Dual Language Education Conference, New Mexico
(November 21, 2014)

“Biliteracy Through Cartoneras
“La Cosecha Notes”



Patrick Dawson (Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee, WI)

Latin American Studies High School course syllabus
Course description
Queen of Water (a novel by Laura Resau) study questions


Joshua Hart (Milwaukee School of Languages, WI)
UW-Milwaukee online summer course, “Using Children’s Literature to Explore Latin American/Latino Cultural Heritage”

Preguntas para Balada de los dos abuelos
El presente en el poema Balada de los dos abuelos
Lista de vocabulario de Balada de los dos abuelos
Examen de la Balada de los dos abuelos
Dos niños poema de Nicolás Guillén
La muralla poema
La muralla preguntas
Video sobre el mestizaje en Cuba
Unidad sobre Guillén el mestizaje en Cuba
Hablar de temas en Guillén
Ejemplos de Onomatopeya en español
Libro infantil
Musica cubana
Votar para los cuentos
Su veneno canción



Allison Shuda (Prairie Elementary School, Waunakee, Wisconsin)
Yale summer institute and Chiapas field study, “Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: Maya Cultures Across Time”

Exploring Culture and Communication
Murals: Bonampak and Prairie Elementary; Maya Numerology, Maya Glyphs
Vocabulary List
Resource List