In this paper I would like to explore ways in which poetry can be integrated into a unit helping us to see pictures of places and people in Mexico. Using poetry as a vehicle, I want the children to discover the rich cultural diversity found in Mexico’s past and present. Ancient civilizations played a major role in shaping the history of the past and blending into present social life and customs. From these ancient civilizations a rich array of poetry developed which today can help us recreate the lives of these ancient people.
I would like to emphasize the active participation of my children in order to see through “windows” to Mexico. The unit will be composed of ten lessons revolving around the Spanish words for counting from one to ten. Each lesson will give an overview of a theme or subject that is being discussed along with an introduction to a poem pertaining to the lesson’s theme. In addition to reading and illustrating poetry, lessons will contain activities such as games, sampling food, compiling student books, etc., all pertaining to each lesson’s theme.
My unit will also indicate poetry from past and present authors that is suitable for integration into a unit about Mexico. More specifically, the unit would consist of a collection of poetry and activities suitable for children in grades kindergarten through third grade. Along with reading and the language arts, the lesson plans will cover curriculum areas such as math, social studies, science, music and art.
I teach first grade in a self-contained classroom at L. W. Beecher School. My classroom contains children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds with varying abilities in the six to eight year old age range. Focused activities will be implemented in the classroom throughout a two week period. A culminating activity will follow in which the children share their finished works on a special school-wide “International Fiesta Day.”