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Los Estados de Mexico

How familiar are you with the states of Mexico? The world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country can at times be overshadowed by the 50 states of its northern neighbor. Show the 31 Mexican estados with a 3-D geographic display.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Divide students into teams to research the 31 (plus one Federal District) Mexican states. Students research the history and resources that makes each state unique. Choose visual symbols that tell the state’s story. For example, Yucatan has the famous Mayan ruin of Chichen Itza, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The state of Quintana Roo contains many internationally renowned beach resorts.
    2. As a class, determine the scale to be used for a large-scale relief map. Each state must conform to this agreed-upon system of measurement so all state borders fit together to form the country.
    3. For each state, roll out a Crayola® Model Magic® slab for the base. Place these bases on cardboard large enough to hold the entire country of Mexico. Make sure the edges fit properly.
    4. Add each state’s terrain elements and sculpt the dimensional elements (mountains, rivers) with more modeling material to make a 3-D relief map. Use Crayola Scissors to cut shapes from Model Magic compound.
    5. Use Crayola® Glitter Glue to label each state and to intensify textural aspects of the relief. Air-dry the map for 3 days.
    6. Student teams describe their maps and findings to the class.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: In My Family/En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza; Amazing Mexican Animals: A Rhyming Photo Book by Robin Tookes; Hernando Cortes: Spanish Invader of Mexico by John Paul Zronik

    In small groups, students read some of the passages from the works of Octavio Paz and Sandra Cisneros to gain an understanding of life in Mexico during the last century. Students listen intently and sketch their interpretation of the writings using Crayola Colored Pencils.

    In Mexico, there are many murals that tell stories of the country's history. Students study the murals and talk about the stories being told. What aspects of Mexican history and daily life are portrayed in these masterpieces?

    Students investigate one of the ancient Indian tribes that inhabited Mexico at the time of the European invasion, such as the Aztecs. Where did they live? What are they best remembered for? What is their culture remembered for?

    Students investigate the neighboring countries to the south of Mexico. What is their relationship with Mexico? What are some of the factors affecting Mexico's relationship with the United States? With the rest of Latin and South America?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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