Elementary School Mexico

¡Arriba, arriba!

Objectives for Elementary School Students

  • Raise awareness about multiculturalism and expose students to cultural expressions from a different country.
  • Learn the importance of a balanced diet to prevent cleft lip/palate problems.
  • Explore feelings of rejection and isolation related to physical appearance.
  • Develop a moving narrative to communicate cleft lip/palate issues and promote community support.

Materials: crayons, fruits and vegetables, paper bags, online access

Build Background

(Duration: 30 min. - 1 hr.)

Introduce the topic of cleft lip/palate, showing students the video Our Model. Talk about how, in some cases, cleft lip/palate is related to diet and the importance of eating healthy food. Introduce the concept of vitamins, and make a list of fruits and vegetables that are good for you. Explain that in some countries, such as Mexico, families may not have enough money to buy all the healthy foods they need.

Make Connections

(Duration: 1 - 2 hr.)

Locate Mexico on a map, and explain that Spanish is spoken there. Ask students whether they know any words in Spanish, and compare basic food cognates: tomate (tomato), patata (potato), limón (lemon), chocolate (chocolate), café (coffee), banana (banana). Assign vitamins to different class groups, and ask students to make a poster including fruits and vegetables that are rich in those vitamins. Label them in English and/or Spanish.

Class Project

(Duration: 2 hrs.)

Ask students to bring 5 different pieces of fruits/vegetables in different colors and from different vitamin groups. Explain that this is the recommended amount per day for a healthy diet. Put them in a paper bag and decorate it with a healthy eating slogan. Students can then give the bags to teachers or parents in exchange for a donation to Smile Train. Keep track of donations through an online fundraising page.