How do Mexicans view their political and economic future?
Tenth edition. May 2015.
PREVIEW THIS UNIT. The preview includes the table of contents, a student reading excerpt, and one lesson plan. PREVIEW ALL UNITS. Additional unit descriptions for the Current Issues Series that summarize the historical context, student readings, and skill development are available on this MIRO BOARD.

Mexico has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past twenty years. The end of one-party rule, an effort to embrace globalization, and the growth of the drug trade have led to profound changes in Mexican society. Mexico’s historical experience and unique cultural heritage continue to shape and inform Mexican society. Between Two Worlds: Mexico at the Crossroads brings Mexico’s national identity and history into sharper focus for high school students. Students are asked to see the world from the perspective of Mexican citizens and to consider current issues Mexico faces in the areas of economic development, political reform, and foreign relations. The unit is divided into three parts. Each part includes:

  • Student readings
  • Accompanying study guides, graphic organizers, and key terms
  • Lessons aligned with the readings that develop analytical skills (including at least one that focuses on building geographic literacy) and can be completed in one or more periods
  • Videos that feature leading experts

This unit also includes an Options Role Play as the key lesson and additional synthesis lessons that allow students to synthesize new knowledge for assessment. You do not need to use the entire unit; feel free to select what suits your classroom needs.

“I like most of the units I have for the simulations. Students learn so much from role playing activities. I also like the synthesis activities. Choices units are some of my favorites for the ability to teach through experience. They are well planned, organized, and easy to modify. I appreciate the quality of the scholarship and design. I have modified the units to address the learning needs of students, from AP classes to my learners with special needs. I like that I can use portions of the units if time is limited. – Amy, HS History and World Religions Teacher, PA

Part I: Mexico's Beginnings

Part I traces the history of Mexico from early indigenous societies through Spanish conquest until independence. There are two lessons aligned with Part I: 1)The Aztec-Spanish Encounter, and 2) Political Geography of North America.

Part II: An Independent Nation

Part II provides an overview of the changes Mexico underwent after gaining independence, including political revolution and economic transformation. There is one lesson aligned with Part II: History in Mexican Textbooks.

Part III: Mexico Since 1990

Part III explores the most pressing public policy challenges facing Mexico today. There is one lesson aligned with Part III: Expressing Political Views through Art.


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

Using readings and maps, students explore how the political geography of North America has changed since the colonial period and draw connections between geography and history.

History in Mexican Textbooks

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 Mexican street artists. Students have the opportunity to draw sketches of their own murals, conveying the hopes and concerns of fictional characters.

The Options Role Play

The Options Role Play is the key lesson in the unit, and it asks students to examine four distinct options for Mexico’s future in preparation for writing their own option.

Mexico's Economic Future

Synthesis Lesson: 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

Synthesis Lesson: Students assess the revolutionary rhetoric of the Zapatistas and explore competing values in contemporary Mexico.

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