Teacher's Guide for FACES ® Costa Rica
Teacher Guide prepared by: Nancy I. Colamussi, Elementary Education, B.S., M.A. Rocky Point School District, Long Island, New York.
Teacher's Note: This guide contains project ideas, short answer, extended response, matching, and true / false questions requiring correction. The variation is designed to have the children think critically, as well as to test their comprehension. An answer key to the short answers can be found at the end of the guide.
Geography: Map Skills
Use the map and facts on pages 4 and 5 to answer the questions below.
- What body of water lies to the east of Costa Rica?
- What country borders Costa Rica to the North?
- What is the highest point of Costa Rica?
- What are the 2 mountain ranges that run across most of Costa Rica?
- What is the official language of Costa Rica?
- What is the capital of Costa Rica?
- What is the area of Costa Rica?
- Describe the climate of Costa Rica.
Activity: Read pages 6 and 7 about the bromeliad plant. The article tells about the characteristics and survival of this special plant. Choose one of the creatures mentioned on page 7 and explain how it would be affected if the forest where the bromeliads grow was destroyed.
Welcome to the Land of Pura Vida
Mark the following statements TRUE or FALSE. Provide the correct answer if false.
____1. The expression 'pura vida' means pure life.
____2. Costa Ricans call themselves Taras.
____3. Costa Rica is located 40 degrees north of the equator.
____4. Costa Rica has a wet season called invierno and a dry season called verano.
____5. Costa Rica has very few national parks and native reserves.
____6. Most of Costa Rica's 3.6 million inhabitants are of French descent.
____7. San Jose is Costa Rica's capital.
____8. Costa Rica means, "raining coast."
____9. Spanish conquerors forced large numbers of Indians into slavery.
____10. Costa Rica won its independence in 1923.
____11. Coffee and bananas are exported in huge quantities from Costa Rica.
____12. After a brief civil war in 1948, Costa Rica abolished its armed forces and adopted a new constitution, which gave women and black people the right to vote.
Extended Response: Comprehension & Critical Thinking
The questions below can be used as written, simply answered in complete sentences, or easily transformed into longer essay (ELA) style questions or even research topics. In any case, have the students support their answers with details from the text or use critical thinking skills to create a thorough and interesting answer. Consider the level of your students when deciding how to use the questions.
"The Children in Tortuguero"
Page 15 describes life in Tortuguero. Keeping in mind that the village is very secluded and has limited luxuries, think about a game or sport that you could introduce to the children there. Make sure that your idea is realistic. Write a short paragraph describing your idea.
The article says that there are no movie houses in Tortuguero. If a movie house were to open there, what is the first movie that you would like the children to see? Give a detailed explanation of why you chose the movie.
When does the children's long school vacation come and why?
Although only half the children in the village continue on to H.S., yet their literacy rate is substantially higher than many rich countries. How can you explain this?
Why is Juan Santamaria celebrated as a hero?
How did bananas come to be grown in the Americas?
Explain how bananas were treated as a specialty food in 1876.
Before Tomas Guardia modernized Costa Rica, how were goods exported and imported?
Write a paragraph describing the hardships that the workers faced when building a railroad to the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica.
Describe the cycle of a banana plant.
What was the major change in shipping cargo that allowed Costa Rica to export all kinds of perishable cargo?
How was the production of bananas altered in 1912?
How did bananas bring prosperity to Costa Rica?
Do you feel that the Ticans concern about being taken advantage of was valid? Why or why not?
What is the United Fruit Company called today and what is its role?
Some Like it Hot
Activity: The first paragraph describes Arenal Volcano as it appears today. Make a drawing accurately including the scenery and villages. Then read further and make a drawing depicting the activity during the earthquakes of 1968.
Use the information on page 24 and write a page in a diary describing your adventurous trip to glimpse the spectacle of Arenal Volcano. Use your imagination to describe the smells, sights, sounds and emotions.
In Costa Rica, They Say . . .
Match the Spanish proverb with the English translation. Practice the Spanish pronunciation using the key on page 28 and discuss the meanings with a partner.
|___1. Al que no quiere caldo, dos tazas.||A. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.|
|___2. A caballo regaldo no se le ve el diente.||B. Though the monkey dresses in silk, he is still a thief.|
|___3. Llueve por vivos y por muertos.||C. He who does not want soup, gets two cups.|
|___4. Aunque se vistade seda, la mona, mona se queda.||D. It's raining for the living and the dead.|
|___5. Que dios nos agarre confesados.||E. I was given a dime with a hole in it.|
|___6. Me metio diez con hueco.||F. May God find us with our sins already confessed.|
The Christmas Bird Count
Project: Read the article on page 29. As a homework assignment have the class record the number and type of animals they see in their yard in one day or in one week. Tally the class numbers and use the information for math and/or nature lessons.
Rescuing the Rain Forest
Circle the answer that makes the sentence correct.
Costa Rica is home to nearly 5/15 percent of the earth's species.
The percentage of forest in Costa Rica drastically dropped/rose between 1950 and 1985.
Loggers cleared large tracts of land for plantations or for pastures. Expanding settlements demanded more land for homes and industry/recreation.
As rainforests disappear, wildlife flourishes/suffers.
Many forest animals and humans/plants need each other for survival.
Destroying and burning rainforests contributes to global warming/fertile soil.
Since 1983, the government has set aside 12 percent of the land for banana plantations/national parks.
Clouds/Ash often blanket the mountainous Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve.
Carbon/Environmental Bonds buy rainforest land.
People wanting to develop land now in Costa Rica must study the Spanish language/environmental impacts.
Ecotourism/The Government employs people to preserve rainforest.
Adolescents/Immigrants can be a problem in Costa Rica because without proper housing they often set up homes in protected areas.
Resources are another problem because land costs money, as does protection of the reserves from poachers and Indians/squatters.
Congressman/Children have a very important role in Costa Rica.
La Ruta de los Conquistadores
Project: Divide the class into groups and have them read page 37. Assign each group a different section of the bike race to illustrate on a class mural - volcanic areas, rainforests, farms, coffee fields, banana plantations, villages, etc. Use other information from this issue to make the mural more accurate.
An American in Costa Rica
Activity: Work with a partner and make a Venn diagram comparing school in America to school in Costa Rica.
Have the class read pages 40 - 43 and discuss the elements of the creation myth. Brainstorm ideas and have the students work in groups or independently to write and illustrate their own creation myths.
19,730 sq. miles
tropical avg. temp. is 71-90 along the coast, 72 in the highlands; two seasons: verano = dry season, Nov.-May, invierno = wet season, May-Nov.
ANSWERS: Welcome to the land of Pura Vida
ANSWERS: In Costa Rica, They Say . . .
ANSWERS: Rescuing the Rain Forest