Latino/a Discussion Prompts

Art as a change Agent: Name artworks which have had major cultural impact with “regular, regular people…music, visual art, theater . Historically…art is considered a pastime for the rich. Why?  Who commissioned the first art works?

“Good Stereotypes”? : Which stereotypes give the Latino peoples an advantage?

Identify an emerging trend in the Puerto Rican reading:

Tania Ramos

Last Standing Woman paper

While reading Dakota’s book I rediscovered myself again. Many of her stories long ago I had shut, ignored or forgotten in my not so distant past. This led me to conclude that her culture and my culture or any other culture is nothing but the same. In every culture we will encounter killings, rapping situations, deceive, sadness, loss, loneliness, domestic abuse, terrifying situations, but also family union, spirituality, love, understanding and hope. Little did I know that I was going to end up feeling like this. Page by page, story by story; led me only to connections. Her book: “Last Standing Woman” was entitled a fictional book. I remembered when my father told me: “Just because is a fictional book it doesn’t mean that is not real”, he would later explain that sometimes books are not allowed to be publish unless considered fiction; “the truth might hurt”, he would say. “The people are not ready for it”. After many discussions with my colleagues, I found this somewhat true as well. Many of them reacted! They showed not to be ready, they might have even shown angriness camouflaged by fake and empty words. And still after all what they learned, they needed someone to tell them what to do next.

Another aspect that called my attention was the author’s readiness and sensitivity to retell the stories of seven whole generations in just one book. As I said before, each story touched my soul and awoke many of mine long buried. I still remember as if it was yesterday when I witness the unwanted to witness with my eldest sister. I used to sometimes talk to her about it, but the truth is that none in the family was ready for the truth before nor they are much now. My secret and her secret will be one that we will keep as long as she wants it to keep it, for it is not mine to tell. The saddest part of it was my weakness, I did had the desire to help but I was little and weak; un-powerful. As my mother constantly reminds me “some things are better not to be told”. This is why I liked this book so much. I found it appealing and relieving. Dakota got to free herself from her secrets or family secrets (or fictional characters) and also free other’s soul as well through their stories. It makes me wonder when will the time come to write my book, I guess it will happen hopefully before seven generations are brought.

A fact that concerned me through the story was the issue about emitting negative behaviors through the upcoming generations as a sickness a damage that it could not be amended (p.232). I strongly disagree, I think that what happened to the Grave’s Family and especially to her; Frances, was so sad and pitiful, but hopefully she will have a better future. I know my sister and I do.

As a class activity, something that helped me connect with our “Indigenas” in Puerto Rico was to help anthropologist dig in Indian sites in order to recreate their living. The live site experience helped me honor and protect my past more strongly and soundly than just listening and reading to their stories. The difference I see here is that our Indians are long extinguished whereas the advantage here inNorth America is that we do still have them pretty much alive. I would admire any teacher that can bring one as a speaker to her classroom or even go and visit one of their reservations. This will be one of my special summer projects for me to do this year. Reading this book opened in me a new window of admiration and gathering of knowledge that I did not new before I had with this culture or others. I also wonder if Indians in North America might be past ancestors from the Indians of the Caribbean or from the other Americas.


Activity: Would work for any class as a beginning-of-year writing assignment. Do a 1-page informal quick-write about the teacher or teachers who have influenced you the most, and what made them so memorable. In small groups, compile a list of common qualities. As homework, find out which teachers grew up in this area. Next day, compile a list of all teachers mentioned and write them on the board. Then cross out all those who grew up in the area and discuss how their absence would have changed their educational experience. Then inform them that this is exactly what happened to the Puerto Rican people, by Americans. Great launching point for discussion of any dominant/conquering culture imposing its will on the native culture. Assess by written reflection of discussion, based mostly on completing the task.

Latino/a culture is often criticized for being too direct:

Click Here

Are the Anglos enculturated to be passive agressive?

Positives and Negatives?

The Name and Collaboration:

I have MANY learner objectives embedded in this unit.

  1. Why do I call it Latino/A? As we previously discussed, trying to “name” these marginalized groups ( Indian? Native American? Asian? Hmong? Korean? etc. Is impossible but we need to identify a term in order to move forward with the discourse.  Latino seems to be the choice for this week. I changed it from “Hispanic” when challenged by another professor (Mexican) who claimed “Hispanic” was the name of the oppressor. I found this somewhat humorous since I would propose the Catholic Church has exploited the people with historic ties to Spain in ways far beyond what the Spanish Colonists ever did!  I also was put off with the masculine designation of “Latino” -the reason I added the ‘A”.

As teachers, I would recommend we spend less time tangled up in what we call these marginalized groups and focus on how to make the ruling elite in our schools stop persecuting our marginalized students.

  1. I developed CLIA (Cooperative Learning Independent Assessment) because I believe in the value of collaboration but with no individual assessment- it is a bogus joke to most students.  MAke sure to understand that you WILL BE ASSESSED by your groupmates on the following five criteria.

List your grading categories. The suggested grading categories are:

A – Research/Data Collection

B – Participation/Discussion

C – Writer/End Product

D – Facilitation/Collaboration

E – Willingness to think out of the Box

I am modeling how to execute authentic group work online. Take this seriously. It could be a powerful tool for your classroom.  I give CLIA away free. It is my contribution to the field.

One group is developing a google doc(I think).  Please share the details with us!


You have now reviewed the history of the American Indians from Mexico and the United States. This is a group research project.

Paragraph should be 400-600 words. Five refs.

Please support your conclusions with data.

Please recommend, in bullet format, strategies to remediate for the target marginalized groups in your class room.

The first person on your group list is the facilitator (NOT the dictator; /). You should organize your group as you see fit but let us see your progress on the discussion topic.

Group 1
What is the purpose of a missionary?
From the view of  missionary
From the view of the indigenous people
Please cover both indigenous groups  of Mexico and United States. Make sure to include at lease three strategies for remediation in your conclusion.

Group 2
Would an apple cost $2.00 each without illegal workers?
Does ConAgra have lobbyists in Washington? What do they do there? Make sure to include at lease three strategies for remediation in your conclusion.

Group 3
What is the most common persecution topic for the Latino/a students. List three PRACTICAL strategies for curriculum modifications for remediation.