South American Culture Lesson Plan

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Use this lesson to introduce your class to South American culture and some of its regions and countries. Students will create an art, drama, or music-based project and then play a game to find the similarities between different countries.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify the countries located in the Caribbean, Andes, and Pampas regions of South America
  • Compare and contrast the culture, history, and politics of countries located in the Caribbean, Andes, and Pampas regions of South America

Length

2+ hours (plus additional time for the extension activity)

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

Materials

  • World map
  • Slips of paper with the countries mentioned in the lesson written on them
  • Materials to make puppets (paper, craft sticks, socks, etc.), if used for group projects
  • Poster board, if used for group projects
  • Art supplies, if used for group projects or extension activity
  • Copies of the lesson video transcripts and/or quizzes (optional)
  • Paper (optional for extension activity)
  • Computer-based publishing program (optional for extension activity)

Instruction

  • Show the students a world map and have them locate South America. Ask the students to describe what they know about South America. Record the responses for later use.
  • Play the video lesson Culture, History & Politics of Caribbean South America. Consider giving students copies of the video transcript to follow along with during the video.
  • For each country in the video, ask the students the following:
    • Who colonized the country? What happened to people already living there?
    • What language is spoken in the country?
    • Describe some important events in the country's history.
    • Describe the people and/or daily life of those living in the country.
    • Describe the government and politics of the country.
  • Play the video lesson Culture, History & Politics of the Andes & the Pampas Consider giving students copies of the video transcript to follow along with during the video.
  • For each region in the video, ask the students the following:
    • Who colonized the region? What happened to the people already living there?
    • Describe some important events in the history of the region.
    • What is daily life like for the people currently living in the region?
    • Describe the government and politics of the region.
  • Use the following questions to help lead the students to compare and contrast the different regions and countries studied in the lesson:
    • Which countries make up the Caribbean region of South America? The Andes? The Pampas?
    • How are the cultures of the countries we studied today alike and different?
    • How is the history of the countries we studied today alike and different?
    • How is the politics and government of the countries we studied today alike and different?
  • Refer to the student's list about South America from the beginning of the lesson. Confirm or clarify any information from the list with the class.

Activities

Group Projects

  • Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a country from one of the regions in today's lesson.
  • The groups should create one of the following group projects about their country to include information about its culture, history, and politics:
    • a skit
    • a song
    • a puppet show
    • a set of posters to display
  • Consider allowing the students to complete additional research on their country to include in the project.
  • When the groups have finished their projects, have the students present them to the class.

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