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This unit focuses on the Latin American women writers Julia Alvarez and Esmeralda Santiago, who both write about themselves and their immigrant experience. Students will read three works of literature by these two writers: When I was Puerto Rican, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and Names/Nombres. Students will also engage in the writing process.

(Recommended for English and Reading, grades 7-10)


In this unit students will study the paintings of Mexico’s Frida Kahlo, the activism of Guatemala’s Rigoberta Menchu, and the poetry of Chile’s Gabriela Mistral, three creative Latin American women. Students will learn about the courage of these women in meeting the challenges of their times and the creative contributions they were able to render to their societies.

(Recommended for Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies, grades 2-5)


One of the main themes of this unit is, "Does the storytelling in Esmeralda Santiago’s novel When I was Puerto Rican constitute a work of autobiography? Students will study rhetorical, theoretical and personal approaches to reading and writing autobiography. They will identify and analyze the author’s use of literary devices among other activities.

(Recommended for English and AP English, grades 9-12)


This unit is designed to acquaint students, including those of Puerto Rican descent, with the dominant aspects of Puerto Rican culture today and to use these to generate daily writing topics. Students will peer-edit and tape their works in progress. The unit will culminate in a Travelers’ Tea for families where students will present their finished works.

(Recommended for Language Arts and Social Studies, grades 2-4)


The lessons in this unit engage students in learning experiences that will help them better understand the diversity of cultures within Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. Students will compare and contrast the terms: Hispanic, Latino and other terms that identify Spanish-speaking immigrants. They will study the concepts of culture and race from an anthropological perspective.

(Recommended for Social Studies, Spanish, and Language Arts, grades 7-8)


Students will study three distinct cultures of the Caribbean islands: Puerto Rico, Cuba, and The Dominican Republic as seen through the eyes of women writers. Through essays and short stories, students will create dramatic sketches, dances, and poetry that they will perform for the rest of the school to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

(Recommended for Drama and Dance, grades 5-8)


This unit, recommended for bilingual and English-speaking students, is a brief introduction to poetry written by Latin American women. Through a rich selection of poems, students are invited to find connections between reading, listening, writing and speaking.

(Recommended for Language Arts, Social Studies, Multicultural Studies, Science, and Special Education, grades K-5)


This unit explores the right of privacy issues of special concern to handicapped people at a time when our privacy and confidentiality rights seem increasingly to be challenged in this age of high-tech. information.

(Recommended for Special Education, History, Law, and Social Studies, grades 11-12)


This unit is designed to introduce studio art students to the visual culture of African American art, focusing on the history of the Harlem Renaissance from the beginning of the early 1900’s to the fall of the Renaissance in the early 1950’s. Students will learn to critique the political statements represented in visual form by Meta Warrick Fuller, Palmer Hayden, William H. Johnson, and Aaron Douglas. Students will visit art galleries in Connecticut and New York.

(Recommended for AP Studio Art and Advanced Art, grades 10-12)


This unit analyzes three major ways in which 20th and 21st century American women writers express dissent, one being through the theme of feeling trapped by society’s expectations and/or stifled by traditional female roles. The unit will connect major events and ideas in women’s history with the themes that occur in the literature on the syllabus.

(Recommended for English, grades 9-12)


The unit engages students in social analysis, concerns of diverse communities, and exploration with Japanese American art as a form of communication, featuring the life and work of Japanese-American artist Roger Shimomura, whose work is an aesthetic and political comparison between contemporary America and traditional Japan.

(Recommended for Art and History, grades 9-12)


This unit is designed for at-risk high school students, many of whom are black and have a limited knowledge of the Harlem Renaissance with its rich visual art, literature and music. It is designed with hands-on art activities, culminating in a school celebration, "Harlem Renaissance Night," to showcase what the students have researched and created. A field trip from New Haven to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and to the Apollo Theatre in Harlem would greatly enhance the unit.

(Recommended for American Literature, Art, and English, grades 9-12)


This unit is designed to create an ensemble group dynamic that respectfully encourages different opinions and supports people’s different ways of doing things, even if they disagree with yours. Individuals learn how to disagree in a respectful manner. Step by step, students will evaluate the development of morality.

(Recommended for Acting and Theatre, grades 9-11)


Children learn to use puppetry and American literature, analyzing ancient family traditions, their resistance to Spanish control, and their impact on the Mexican culture of today. The puppet "Friday Funtastic" helps the children gather information about home and family life in Mexico. The World Wide Web is a great source of information along with various resource books.

(Recommended for Reading and Language Arts, grade 1)


The purpose of this unit is to help students better understand Latin culture by learning the history of Latinos, their experiences and values found in literature and art. Students will also explore their own identity and culture, gaining a deeper understanding of their peers and themselves by comparing and contrasting the Latin culture with their own.

(Recommended for English, Art, and History, grades 9-12)


In this unit, through both children’s literature and works of art, students will become familiar with the presence of a forceful resistance that existed in the African-American community, beginning with the period of slavery up until the present. Through a multidisciplinary approach students will uncover the roles played by family members, groups, and ordinary people involved in the struggles of each period.

(Recommended for Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies, grades 3-6)


This unit is designed for third-grade students but can be modified through middle school students. It is to be used as part of a four-person teaching team. Following the cultural sound development of Kenya and Brazil, students explore the folk stories and customs of each nation. In turn, they solidify their understanding of musical knowledge of: beat, rhythm, and melody inherent to all music. In a final project, working together, they compose folksongs in the style of Kenya and Brazil.

(Recommended for International Studies, Science, and Music, grades 6-10)


Through this unit students will learn the importance of music in culture. Students will investigate the history of music in Brazil, including festivities celebrated with music. With the help of the music teacher, students will make musical instruments and learn how to play them.

(Recommended for Social Studies, Music, and Science, grades 4-5)


The goal of this unit is to provide both teachers and students with instruments to enhance their academic endeavors. Students will delve into the background of samba, experience the sights and sounds of samba, and investigating, among other topics, World Geography and cultures. Students will study physical geography and human geography, as well as five themes: location, place, interaction, movement, and region.

(Recommended for World Geography and Cultures, grades 9-12 )


This unit researches the history of music from Kenya, emphasizing its importance to the culture. Collaborating with a team of fellow teachers, the author introduces students to the culture and music of Kenya, while exploring the science of sound. Students will make and learn to play instruments.

(Recommended for Social Studies, Science, and Music, grades 6-8)


The purpose of this unit is to makes teachers aware of the characteristics and strategies used in developing a fundamentally rational, ethical, and economically sound medical system. Students will analyze problems on ethical issues and conflicts that represent life, providing them with a level of knowledge and comfort that should make the real dilemmas less threatening. This provides the teachers with an opportunity to engage the students in moral knowledge and integrity that can and should be nurtured along with content knowledge.

(Recommended for Science and Social Development, grade 7)