Materials for individual lessons will be listed when required. The general requirements for setting up the classroom for this unit are:
1) A large wall map of the United States and one of Southern Mexico and Central America is essential. If your school cannot provide one, go to a copy center like Tyco's and have a small map enlarged to poster size. A similar enlargement of Karl Taube's map of Mesoamerica, reproduced here with his permission would dramatically help visual learners. A good Mesoamericn map was published in the December 1997 National Geographic Magazine. There is a 1-800 number for "School Services."
2) A sense of place and of world directions is sufficiently central to this unit to justify at least one compass for every three students. These should be fitted with a baseplate and rotating capsule, which the small elementary-school models usually do not have. I have been more than satisfied with a Suunto A-1000 Partner Compass, $9.50 from Eastern Mountain Sports. Your local Department of Environmental Protection will often have a set to lend. For New Haven, call the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby, at (203) 734-2513. Local Boy or Girl Scout troops may also have a set to borrow.
3) A number of books listed in the Student's Bibliography are so crucial to this curriculum that I would urge teachers to obtain multiple copies for students: Broken Shields, because of the quality of the contemporary illustrations; Angela Weaves a Dream, because of the drawings and photographs of sacred designs; and issues of Calliope and Faces entitled The Ancient Maya and Guatemala respectively.
4) Similarly, a teacher will be greatly aided by owning or borrowing copies of ten of the books that are annotated in the Teacher's Bibliography: the six paperbacks by Mary Miller, Karl Taube, Michael Coe, and Richard Townsend; the paperback edition of the Popol Vuh, translated by Dennis Tedlock, which is important for Lesson Nineteen, in many ways the climax of this unit; Living Maya, Maya Color, and Painting the Conquest, which are expensive, but the photography is so outstanding that the students, as well as the teacher, should be able to pore over it.
5) Beyond this, a classroom library--or frequent access to a Media Center collection-- with as many of the books listed in the Student Bibliography as possible, will facilitate research for the Village and Expert Testimony Projects and generally stimulate and inform discussion and writing.
6) Two items must be ordered in advance: A Day of the Dead Curriculum Handbook and the Popol Vuh videocassette. El Dia de los Muertos, celebrated on November 2nd, is close enough to the timeframe of this unit and important enough in Mexican culture so that I have included it as one of the Expert Testimony Projects and as a fiesta on its own. The Mexican Museum in San Francisco has prepared an excellent guide for teachers to use with students, Ritual and El Dia de los Muertos. Write to the museum at Fort Mason Center, Building D, Laguna and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA, 94123 or call (415) 441-0445. The Museum shop, "La Tienda," sells posters, postcards, and other items of interest to teachers. The Popol Vuh video may be ordered from the University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning, 2000 Center Street, Suite 400, Berkeley, CA, 94704 or call (510) 642-0460. It is possible that the Yale New Haven Teachers Institute may have a copy to loan.
7) Finally there will need to be a source for art supplies--art teachers, Koenig's, and Staples, for starters--such as yarn, burlap, colored paper, paint, brushes, glue, tape, scissors, and triptych-style project display boards. There will be specific lists for the lessons that require these supplies, but be sure to gather them in advance. Do not wait until the last minute. It is also never too early to ask students to bring on old over-sized shirt from home with long sleeves so that they are protected while painting. These must be clearly marked with the students' names. Be prepared to gather some shirts yourself since some students will not be able to bring them.