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Breakthrough Social Studies Curriculum Planning

So, it seems that my primary role at the moment, as a mentor teacher in the Breakthrough Fort Worth program, takes precedence in terms of these early posts.

I’m in the midst of planning the social studies curriculum for the rising 9th grade students, which I’ve thematically structured around geography and international conflict. The hope is to use each of the weeks of the summer to study a different region in depth and explore one particular issues that both reveals something about the distinctive geographic characteristics of the area and also fuses with how that issue affects the human populations.

One of the regions we’ll be looking at is South and Central America and how the interaction with North America via the drug trade shapes the regions. The structure of unit will hopefully allow the teachers to emphasize the skills of comparative thinking and writing, while also introducing the students to a topic that they’ve likely heard about, but might not know about in any substantive way.

Below are some initial articles that I’m considering using for this topic. Any other thoughts or suggestions? Online resources that are easily accessible are the most ideal as the teachers and I will be cobbling together the readings during our planning week and throughout the course of the summer.

So, without further ado, here is the list for the first topic (with proper Chicago bibliographic formatting via Zotero):

1. Randal C. Archibold, “U.S. Moves Against Top Mexican Drug Cartel,” The New York Times, February 26, 2009, sec. US, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/us/26raids.html.

2. Randal C. Archibold, “Mexican Drug Cartel Violence Spills Over, Alarming U.S.,” The New York Times, March 23, 2009, sec. US, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/us/23border.html.

3. Simon Romero, “Wider Drug War Threatens Colombian Indians,” The New York Times, April 22, 2009, sec. International / Americas, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/world/americas/22colombia.html.

4. “Dealing with drugs: On the trail of the traffickers,” The Economist, March 5, 2009, http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13234157.

5. “Mexico tackles drug abuse: Breaking the habit,” The Economist, June 4, 2009, http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13783052.

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