Thursday, May 28, 2009
Mexico- a lesson learned
Yesterday I started a unit on Mexico. I wanted to know what my students already knew about Mexico: the culture and the people, so I had them get into groups and make a list. I was horrified to find out what my students thought about our neighboring country. One student said, "juvie". I had no idea what he was talking about until he cleared it up by saying "jail". His perceptions of Mexicans are people who end up in jail. Another student asked, "Do they use spoons in Mexico?" When asked to give their list of things they new about Mexico one boy said that in Mexico they used camels for transportation. I knew I had to stop there and clear up some misconceptions. I told them that although different countries around the world have different customs and beliefs, we are more alike than we are different. I explained to my students that many people in Mexico live pretty much like you and I. There are good and bad people. It has NOTHING to do with skin color, educational background, where you are from, and EVERYTHING to do with what is inside of you. If my students don't remember the capital of Mexico is Mexico City, and they don't remember the main language spoken there is Spanish, and they don't remember where the Yucatan Peninsula is, I hope they do remember that you can't judge someone because of where they came from, people all over the world have the same basic needs, and yes, they do use spoons in Mexico!