Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

K-12 Teachers Develop Lesson Plans to Teach Portuguese & Brazil in the K-12 Classroom

August 23rd, 2013

This past June, Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies worked with Vanderbilt University and the University of Georgia to welcome 23 K-12 educators to a week long summer K-12 teacher institute on Brazil entitled, Exploring Brazil: A Window into the Language & Culture of a Country on the Rise. This institute was designed to encourage and promote the teaching of Portuguese and the culture of Brazil through film, literature, service learning, and technology in the K-16 classroom.

The institute welcomed educators from TN, KY, LA, GA and AL to the University of Georgia’s beautiful campus in Athens, home of the Portuguese Flagship Program. The participants whom taught subjects such as Spanish, French, English, Journalism, and Landscape Architecture, all learned to bring Brazil into their classroom.

Lead instructors of the institute were Elise Dietrich, PhD from Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and currently teaching at West Point and John Maddox, also pursuing his PhD in Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University. Over the course of five days, teachers received introductory Portuguese instruction, studied important Brazilian literary figures, viewed three contemporary Brazilian films, participated in capoeira demonstrations, and toured the Latin American ethno-botanical garden at the University of Georgia to learn about plants native to Brazil. In addition, Tatiana Watson (North Cobb County HS) presented best practices to teaching Portuguese at the K-12 level. Watson currently teaches a high school introductory Portuguese course and was able to share her experience creating and finding engaging resources for her students. Staff from the International Welcome Center of Cobb County Schools gave insight into the scope and needs of the Brazilian community in the greater Atlanta area and an overview of services provided to students and families by the International Welcome Center.

Fernanda Guida, PhD candidate at UGA, shared innovative ways to teach language in her presentation, entitled “Telecollaborative Learning & Other Multi-Media Strategies in the Foreign Language Classroom.” Participants worked during the week to develop interdisciplinary units to take back to their schools and presented their work to colleagues on the last day of the institute. On the last night, teachers celebrated at CineAthens, a local Athens art venue with a Brazilian meal of feijoada, and danced to the music of the Brazilian band, Quiabo de Chapéu from Atlanta. Following the UGA Institute, a team of teachers and faculty will develop an interdisciplinary curriculum to be published and made available to all educators on the Stone Center website.

The institute was generously sponsored through a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant provided to the Centers for Latin American Studies at Tulane and Vanderbilt University, which are both National Resource Centers on Latin America. The institute was also generously sponsored by the University of Georgia’s Portuguese Flagship Program and the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute.

To view the itinerary of the institute, please click here
Check out the pictures from the institute here

Brazil + People
Martha Huggins
Professor Emerita - Sociology