Talking about Cuba can be very difficult. Too often this is a conversation that is colored by lack of, or limited information and a historical bias, of a particular understanding of the Cuban Revolution. Depending on where you are from, your age, and your family background, the island nation has a different face.
What does this mean to you as an educator?
Well, at the very least that this is an important conversation to have as an exercise in critical thinking and learning about the surrounding world. Here you will find materials to help you teach about Cuba without reducing the conversation to preconceived notions of Fidel Castro and his government. This box should allow you to talk about Cuba in a multifaceted, interactive way, from the island’s geography to food, to slavery and immigrant experience.
How can I use the Cuba Discovery Box in my classroom or at my school?
The Cuba Discovery Box is an artifact collection containing unique items from Cuba such as currency, maps, toys, musical instruments, musical CDs, etc. Many items have been collected by faculty and students who have traveled to Cuba and brought back items at the Latin American, Caribbean & Iberian Studies’ Program (LACIS) request. Teachers may use these artifacts, along with the accompanying educators training materials, to engage students in art projects and hands on learning activities (many are included in the Resource Binder). Suggested lesson plans will also be sent and have been culled by LACIS’ staff from reputable sources online (such as other Latin American Studies programs at colleges and universities around the United States). Beyond classroom use, teachers may use them at international fairs and events such as Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15th-Oct. 15th, annually).
What about the Wisconsin Common Core Standards?
We are currently working to align the contents of the Cuba Discovery Box and all of the accompanying materials with Wisconsin’s Common Core Standards. In the meantime, we are confident that it currently contains plenty of activities, artifacts, etc. that can be readily integrated into your curriculum.
How do I borrow the Cuba Discovery Box?
Please contact Sarah Ripp, LACIS’ Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-262-0616. Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first serve basis. You will be sent a lending agreement and then the box will either be delivered to your school in-person or shipped to you. The amount of time your classroom can keep the Cuba Discovery Box will be discussed with Sarah when you make your reservation.
If the Cuba Discovery Box is already in use by another educator, or you don’t need/want the physical box of artifacts, you are welcome to download the instructional materials we have created for classroom use.