Supplemental Materials include PowerPoint maps and graphic organizers, an online lesson, links to resources on other sites, and a list of recommended print resources.
Caught Between Two Worlds: Mexico at the Crossroads
Ninth edition. July 2010.
This curriculum unit is also available in Spanish.
Mexico has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last twenty years. The end of one-party rule and an effort to embrace globalization have led to profound changes in Mexican society. Mexico's historical experience and unique cultural heritage continue to shape and inform Mexican society. Caught Between Two Worlds: Mexico at the Crossroads seeks to bring Mexico's national identity and history into sharper focus for high school students. Students are asked to see the world through Mexican eyes and to contemplate current Mexican choices in the areas of economic development, political reform, and foreign relations.
The readings trace Mexican history from the pre-colonial period to the early 1980s and explore the most pressing public policy challenges facing Mexico today.
The Choices Role Play
This central activity is a simulation in which students debate and deliberate three options for Mexican policy. Each option is grounded in a clearly defined philosophy about Mexico's place in the world and offers recommendations on fundamental Mexican public policy issues.
The Aztec-Spanish Encounter
By analyzing primary source accounts of the encounter between the Spanish and the Aztecs, students learn to detect bias and evaluate source reliability.
Political Geography of North America
Reading maps, students explore how the political geography of North America has changed since the colonial period and draw connections between geography and history.
Digging Deeper into Mexican History
Students analyze the role of politics in defining history by comparing the historical interpretations of two Mexican history textbooks.
Expressing Political Views Through Art
Students explore the styles and techniques of Mexico's leading muralists. Students have the opportunity to draw sketches of their own murals, conveying the hopes and concerns of fictional characters.
Role-Playing the Three Options
Working cooperatively to present different options for Mexico's future to a panel of fictional Mexican citizens, students clarify and evaluate various political platforms.
Charting Mexico's Future
Armed with an understanding of Mexican history from a Mexican perspective, students develop a coherent policy program for Mexico and articulate recommendations on pressing political and economic issues.
Assessing Political Values
Students assess the revolutionary rhetoric of the Zapatistas and explore competing values in contemporary Mexico.