NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ766590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Stories from Afar: Using Children's and Young Adult Literature to Teach about Latin America
Cruz, Barbara C.
Social Education, v71 n4 p170-172, 174-176 May-Jun 2007
In teaching about Latin America and the Caribbean, bringing a human dimension to the study of the region is essential. Texts on the region can be dull and lifeless or even biased and skewed. Introducing students to the region by exploring prose, poetry, and picture books helps to illustrate the rich diversity found throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and helps to give a human face to people who are often exoticized or ostracized. In the elementary classroom, incorporating children's literature is an effective way to develop children's knowledge about the world around them. Creative teachers can use trade books to help students process information, examine alternate points of view, differentiate fact from opinion, and solve problems. Further, picture books not only stimulate student interest in culture, history, and geography, but can also bolster understanding of geographic concepts and historical events. For older elementary students, biographies can be especially compelling since students in the upper elementary grades identify closely with biographical characters. At the secondary level, biographies can also be effectively used in the social studies classroom. Young adult biographies of famous Latin Americans abound, but biographical accounts of lesser-known people can also help students increase their awareness of the region and inspire them on a personal level. Because many adolescent readers can be resistant to reading, students should be allowed a certain degree of choice in what they select to read. Teachers should consider putting together an annotated list of appropriate titles and authors and permitting students to choose something that resonates with them. (Contains 12 notes, 6 resources and annotated bibliography of elementary, upper elementary and middle, and secondary sources.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A