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Spring SAVY 2015, Week 1 – Exploring Latin America (1st/2nd Grade)

Posted by on Monday, February 9, 2015 in SAVY blog.

Dear Parents,
We had a great first SAVY Saturday! We started the class by looking at a giant class map of Latin America taped to the classroom wall. We learned about different geopolitical regions on which we will focus (Caribbean, Central American, Southern Cone, and Andean) and talked about different geographic landmarks. Then each student labeled the regions and landmarks on their own personal map and we located certain Latin American countries on which we will primarily focus over the next few Saturdays. We spent the latter half of the course talking about Latin Americans living in the United States. We talked about the term “Latino” and who we consider to be Latinos and then read an excerpt from Dominican-American Julia Alvarez’s novel titled “Return to Sender” about a Mexican girl, Mari, who moves to Vermont with her family and attends school there. We talked in groups and as a class about the language(s) she speaks and whether she considers herself Mexican or American (or, as we concluded, both). We focused on the importance of, as literary critics do, finding evidence in the text to support our answers. We listened to a song by a Mexican group “Los Caballeros” titled “La Golodrina” (The Swallow) about the long journey back to the homeland or country or origin. Then we cut out little swallows and wrote on them one word that describes what emotions the song evokes or how Mari, the protagonist of the novel, felt. We taped the birds to our giant class map right over the migratory route of the swallow (from Mexico to the U.S.). Every week we will add something new to our map! What a great first Saturday!!!

Ideas for dinner conversation with your child:

-What languages are spoken in Latin America and what are the different regions?

-Who is considered to be a “latino” and why might Latin Americans move to the United States. (Or, Do Latin Americans only live in Latin America?) What language(s) do they speak?