A mix of music, physical activities, stories and cooking is the theme behind a month long travel across a continent and periphery countries. To give a daily visual create a display of Latin America and each day allow a student to cross off the country after the activity is complete. These activities can also be broken up for a year long exploration!
Here are the names of the countries in South America and an activity that you can do that is representative of some aspect of the local culture or government:
1. Argentina- A website that gives basic facts about Argentina and a YouTube video that gives a visual history, from 1810-2010.
2. Bolivia- Did you know Bolivia has the world's largest butterfly sanctuary? A video showcasing the sanctuary and resources from PBS on butterfly activities are great supplements to this cool fact.
3. Brazil- Great YouTube video that gives basic facts about the country. This recipe combines mango and kale, staples in Brazilian diets and easy to make in a classroom setting.
4. Chile- Easter Island is apart of Chilean territory, a Polynesian island that is the world's most isolated island. This island has the well known giant head figures that were made from volcanic stone. After viewing photos of the moai have students create their own heads using sand clay.
5. Colombia- Tejo is the national sport of this country, it combines horseshoe-style tossing of a ball/clay figure into a specific target that has gun powder to make it pop. Obviously you can't play the complete version of this but a class friendly version would be fun.
6. Ecuador- The name comes from its proximity to the equator. A great segway to discuss the importance of the equator.
7. Guyana- is a small country that is mostly made up of densely populated rain forests. The Rainforest Alliance gives in depth resources for a variety of grades in teaching about the rain forest.
8. Paraguay- Is Latin America's most bilingual country with 90% of the population speaking Spanish and Guarani, an indigenous language. Many nations across the globe have lost its indigenous population and language. The reason why this country has kept its indigenous language alive is a great thing to explore.
9. Peru- This online book gives a children's version history of the Inca Empire.
10. Suriname/French Guiana- Both are neighbors and small in comparison to other South American countries. French Guiana is still a French territory and can be a great discussion on the history of conquering nations.
11. Uruguay- A combination of math and culture can be done by creating a market place center and have peso, the currency of Uruguay and the US dollar side by side for all items. Have students switch between currencies when purchasing items.
12. Venezuela- Its economy depends on oil as a major source of revenue. National Wildlife Federation has great resources to learn about oil and an activity on what happens when an oil spill occurs.
Latin/South America- make sure you explain the difference between geography and culture.
- Latin America= Latin speaking nations (Spanish, French, Portuguese) while South America is a geographic location. For older kids this explanation can be furthered with understanding subjugation and the conquering of nations having consistent lingering effects.
13. Belize- Guatemala claims half of Belize is actually apart of the Guatemalan region. Have a student debate or meeting, half the class needs to research Belize and the other Guatemala. Why should Belize keep its territory or why not?
14. Costa Rica- Thank you cards, something everyone should have a supply of! Research the colors and art of Costa Rica and use this research to make thank you cards in Spanish.
15. El Salvador- This Geography of Soccer activity focuses on North American teams but can easily be adjusted for Latin American countries.
16. Guatemala- Guatemala ABC book that explores all aspects of Guatemalan life.
17. Honduras- Research athletes of this country. This Olympic Chart activity has students research five countries and its athletes that have been or are going to the Olympics.
18. Mexico- A great yarn art activity for a Cinco De Mayo celebration!
19. Nicaragua- Times for Kids follows Christian to give an insight on a typical day for a child in Nicaragua.
20. Panama- Postcard fun, an activity meant to learn about states but can be revamped to mix Panamanian art. Make a Panamanian themed postcard to send to someone at the school.
Start with a Book website has great resources for lessons, activities and information about many countries!