Knowledge-building Curriculum

  • Background knowledge plays a significant role in improving reading comprehension.
  • Deepen students’ knowledge of the world with interdisciplinary content: science, geography, history, and the arts.
  • Motivation and curiosity for global issues increase through a learner’s experience with the settings and situations of the storylines
  • Critical thinking skills 
  • Learn content through a new language that goes beyond a traditional grammar and vocabulary curriculum

Content summary 

Animals of South America and loss of habitat, geography and geographical features of Ecuador, city vs. jungle, deforestation, water cycle

Oil fields and spills in the Amazon, Block 192 in northern Peru, petroleum products and plastic production

Colombian geography, coffee culture and the science of coffee cultivation, salsa music, town fiestas, Jeeps, motorcycles

Picasso’s Guernica, Spanish Civil War, Francisco Franco, Barcelona, Parque Güell, Las Ramblas, Pamplona, Running of the Bulls, bullfights, hangouts of Pablo Picasso, cafés, Spear of Destiny, the cult of holy relics, secret agents and technology

Cuban lifestyle, Communism and Socialism, economics, politics, and history of Cuba, US-Cuban relations, Havana, balseros/rafters, classic cars

Day of the Dead celebration, family members, school life, Mexican Revolution

Quinceañera, birthday parties, layout of a house, traditional marketplaces, transportation modes in Mexico, border-town Juarez, school life, dating.

Segovia, Toledo, Jaén, Córdoba, Sevilla, Spanish Reconquista, art and architecture in Spain, religiosity, Arabs and Muslims in Spain and their contributions to language, music, food, and architecture, Knight Templars

Piracy in the American Colonies and the Caribbean, religious tolerance, colonization, economic role of port cities, Cartagena, Santo Domingo, Spanish Inquisition, emeralds, architecture, jaguars, Ciudad Perdida