Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Teaching Latin America through Film

Some people might see showing a film in class as a break.  But if you're doing it right, it can be a real breakthrough in understanding cultures. 

If you're a North Carolina teacher, the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UNC at Chapel Hill and Duke University will lend you films free.  They've got everything from fun, short pieces on Cinco de Mayo to full-length feature films by leading Latin American filmmakers. 

Read more about the film library and how to use film in your class here.  Then go here and choose a film.  And get ready for a breakthrough!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring

Today, March 20, is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  And after the very unusual winter weather we've endured, I think it came just in time. 

March 20 is, of course, the first day of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.   And tomorrow, March 21, is Harmony Day in Australia, a time to celebrate cultural diversity.

My Australian friend The Book Chook offers some background on the holiday, and great ways to celebrate the differences that make our community, our country, and our world so beautiful and fascinating.  Read more on The Book Chook's blog post here

To all my Northern Hemisphere friends, happy spring!  And to my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, happy autumn!  (We hope you'll have a better winter than we did!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Images of Africa

How many photos of Africa in your textbook offer your students positive images of family and the modern work world, and people in the midst of their everyday lives? 

The African Studies Center at UNC-Chapel Hill offers "How Do We Represent Africa?" as a helpful balance to photos  in books and in the media that emphasize poverty or include only the most exotic images.  These are the photos of ordinary life in Africa that seldom make it into our textbooks or our living rooms.  All the photos were taken by UNC students and faculty, and include brief descriptions of the scenes and people.

Show your students these photos and have a discussion about their reactions.  What do they find surprising?  And why are they surprised?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Resources for Teaching World Regions


Thanks to all who came to my session on "Resources for Teaching World Regions" at the NC Social Studies Conference.  You were the liveliest and most focused group I've ever worked with! 

I've sent the handouts by email to all the participants.  If you didn't attend, but want information about university programs with free resources for NC social studies teachers, email me at higginsteachingatgmaildotcom  (Remember to transform the "at" and "dot" into their symbols.)  I'll send them along to you.