To learn about Latin American history and culture.
After studying the geography, history, and general facts about Latin American countries, the students will read the five stories mentioned above. They will make lists of people, events, daily life, houses, clothes, customs, etc. that are represented in the stories. These activities could be done in small groups. Once the students have completed these tasks, a general, whole class discussion could take place using one category at a time. Ideas presented could be listed on the blackboard, copied by a secretary and saved for later activities.
Students could make charts based on the categories. They could also illustrate the objects in the categories through maps, drawings or paintings.
To learn about Latin American politics.
Politics are an important theme for Garc’a Márquez. Three of the stories mentioned above, “Death Constant Beyond Love,” “One of These Days,” and “Big Mama’s Funeral,” should be reread.
In small groups the students could compile lists of political acts, attitudes, and effects from the stories. These lists will serve again as the basis of a class discussion.
In addition, students could write and perform skits based on their knowledge of Latin American politics. They could form their own ideas about how it is to live under a political system such as the ones described in the stories mentioned above.
Students could write essays about life, its benefits and detractions, under a political system such as the one described in “Big Mama’s Funeral.”
Another activity for students would be to have them make political posters for candidates running for office. They could write and perform a radio or television commercial for a political candidate.
Still another activity which will help students learn about Latin American politics would be to collect newspaper and magazine articles about political activities, events, or elections in Latin America. The students could present them to the class in oral or written summaries. They could make a bulletin board display or a booklet with these articles. Students could be assigned a particular country to follow in the news, which he or she could then report on to the class.
To understand life in Latin America.
Life in Latin America is very difficult. There is a large gap between the haves and the have nots. This fact is clearly evident in the stories used for this unit, particularly in “Tuesday Siesta.”
Students could draw pictures of the different scenes in this story. They can depict the mother and daughter, the priest and his sister (the housekeeper), the train, the railroad station, the scenery outside the train window, the towns, the priest’s house, the cemetery, etc.
Some students might want to write a newspaper article about the story, as impartial observers, or as interviewers of the mother, the priest, his housekeeper, the robbery victim, the daughter, or the crowd. Others might want to do a “live” interview or a “You Are There” program for television or radio, still others might want to do an in-depth, objective report of the event.
“Balthazar’s Marvelous Afternoon” is another of the stories that can be used to help students understand about life in Latin America. After discussing the story, students could make a model of the birdcage either three-dimensionally or in a drawing.
Students could write a newspaper article about the cage. They could also write and act out skits about the building of the birdcage.
To learn about Gabriel Garc’a Márquez’ life.
Students could research Garc’a Márquez’ life using current reference books as well as some of the books listed in the Teacher Bibliography. They could then give oral reports on different aspects of his life and work. They could make a display of pictures and information about Garc’a Márquez.
To be able to extract, from selected stories by Garc’a Márquez, elements related to the search for identity.
In groups students will reread the five stories. They will make lists of words, phrases, quotations that will fit under the following categories: religion, food, clothing, houses, towns, occupations, attitudes, behaviors that illustrate a Latin American identity.
When these lists are completed, the students can, as a large group, compare and contrast their ideas about their own identities and Garc’a Márquez’ ideas about a Latin American identity. The students can generalize their ideas to define an American identity of the United States and compare it to the Latin American idea.
To be able to identify the universal elements in Garc’a Márquez’ stories.@Text:Using the lists mentioned in activities for achieving Objective 5, the teacher will guide students in finding those attitudes and behaviors which describe any person in any country. They will discuss the universality of life situations that are presented or suggested by Garc’a Márquez’ stories.