With Cuba in the news, classrooms all over the country will be introducing students to the culture, history and politics of this Caribbean Latin American neighbor of the United States. Here are some links for lesson plans and research materials recommended by The New York Times, PBS, Kentucky Educational Television (www.ket.org), and the Discovery Network that can help various age groups understand and appreciate this island 90 miles off the shore of Florida.
• In January, 2015, The New York Times published its own guide to Cuba under its The Learning Network - Teaching and Learning With The New York Times department of its newspaper. The article, written by Tom Marshall is entitled, Thawing Relations: Teaching About Cuba and the U.S. It can be accessed by visiting http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/thawing-relations-teaching-about-cuba-and-the-u-s/?_r=0
• The National Geographic website http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/cuba-guide/ is chock-full of information about Cuba with an emphasis on how to travel there and get the most out of the trip whether it is a family or singles excursion.
• The Cuban Culture website http://www.cubaheritage.com/ has information on music, art, painting, culture and history. The Cuban Culture site has a section devoted to the island’s collection of classic and vintage cars.
• The PBS Nature web site http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/cuba-wild-island-of-the-caribbean-
introduction/1243/ celebrates the natural beauty of this Caribbean island from its distinctive plants and foliage to the indigenous wildlife that can be found there.
• If you are interested in Cuban music, try The Mamborama website http://www.mamborama.
com/cuba_music.html for sound files of a variety of Cuban music styles.
• The National Geographic World Music site http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ expands the selection of modern-day Afro-Cuban music.
• The IFE-ILE site http://www.ife-ile.org/traditions.htm is also a guide to the multifaceted and inimitable Afro-Cuban dance and music traditions. It interprets these music and dance traditions through the prism of Cuban culture.
• The PBS Buena Vista Social Club website http://www.pbs.org/buenavista/ presents a comprehensive analysis and collection of Cuban music. They present a timeline detailing a history of the island’s music culture as well as a lexicon of terms to aid in the understanding of the subject matter. •