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The Mexican-American Influence on the United States, by Harriet J. Bauman

Guide Entry to 84.03.01:

This unit is concerned with the contributions of the Mexican-Americans to the culture of the Southwestern United States. It may be used in a Spanish class by itself, or in conjunction with other subject areas: American History, American Literature, Humanities.

The study of Mexican-Americans begins with the first settlements in Mexico. The cultures of the Toltecs, Mayas, and Aztecs all contributed to the culture of the Mexico of today, as well as that of the Southwest.

The students must be very familiar with the culture of Mexico, before they can study the Southwest. Some pre-unit activities are suggested for this purpose.

The students will be encouraged to discover the similarities and differences in the cultures of Mexico and the southwestern United States.

The unit offers many suggestions for activities which will both intrigue and stimulate the students. Many of the articles from “Americas” on file in the Institute Office offer different points of view on familiar historical events, such as the discovery of New World, or a topic not usually discussed, such as the Indian women who helped the conquistadores.

Resources for cultural topics are usually hard to find. Many excellent sources are introduced, which open new avenues for the study of Mexican-American culture.

(Recommended for Spanish II, III, and IV classes, grades 9 through 12; American Literature classes, grade 11; American History classes, grades 10 through 12; and Humanities classes, grades 10 through 12)

Key Words

Ethnicity Mexican American Hispanic Language Skills Spanish Foreign Instruction History Immigration Mexico USA General

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