Unit 3: Birth of the Mexican American

American Progress by John Gast
American Progress by John Gast

Unit Goal: 

After investigating and analyzing perspectives on Mexican American War through primary documents, art, corridos and cuentos students will complete a UNIT PORTFOLIO which evaluates the impact of the annexation of Mexico’s northern territories by the United States on contemporary Mexican American culture, identity, and politics.

Essential Questions:

1. What is IDENTITY and how is it shaped  by historical events?

2. How does IDENTITY shape perspetives of historical events and conflicts?

3.  In what ways does literature, art, and folk culture serve to help us understand POINTS OF VIEW of historical events such as the Mexican American War?

4.  What do folk traditions such as corridos and cuentos reveal about the impact of the Mexican American War on Mexican American identities and culture?

Unit Terms:

Manifest Destiny, metanarrative, counternarrative, subaltern, subversion frontier, symbols/ symbolism, archetypes, corridos, cuentos, point of view, motivation, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Objective 1: Historical ContextBattleScene

After completing CORNELL NOTES on video, “Foreigners in their Own Lands” students will be able to write a summary that identifies significant historical contexts and issues which resulted from the Mexican American War.

I. Pre-ReadingCornell Notes Guide and Instructions.

II.  Reading: Foreigners in their Own Land

III.  Analytical Summary

PropagandaObjective 2: Metanarrative of Manifest Destiny

After analyzing POINT OF VIEW in John Gasts’s “American Progress” and reading an excerpt of John O’Sullivan’s essay “The Great Nation of Futurity,” students will be able to identity central argument and purpose by completing ANALYTICAL SUMMARIES and SOAPS Analysis.

I.  Pre-Reading: Art Analysis, “American Progress” by John Gast

II.  Reading:  “The Great Nation of Futurity” by John O’Sullivan, “The Power of an Idea” by Miguel Ángel González Quiroga, “Native American Displacement Amid U.S. Expansion” A Conversation With R. David Edmunds from University of Texas at Dallas, “Never Forget” by Lalo Alcaraz


Objective 3: Masculine Archetypes & Corridos as CounternarrativesJoaquin Murrieta

After analyzing POINT OF VIEW in popular corridos students will be able to identify central argument and purpose of archetype by completing analytical summaries, SOAPS Analysis, and writing their own corrido based on important post-Mexican American war figure.

I. Pre-Reading: What is a corrido? an archetype? Why study corridos and folk culture?

II. Reading: Americo Paredes BackgroundEl Corrido de Joaquin Murrieta, El Corrido de Gregorio Cortez

III.  Post-Reading: Analytical SummarySOAPS ANALYSIS, Write your Own Corrido

LloronaObjective 4: Feminine Archetypes & Cuentos as Counternarratives

After researching the popular cuento of “La Llorona,” students will be able to identify central ideas in stories about La Llorona and purpose of archetype by completing analytical summaries, SOAPS analysis, and writing an original cuento which uses the archetype of “La Llorona” in a contemporary context.

I.  Pre-reading: What is a cuento or a folk tale? What is its function? Who is LA LLORONA?

II.  Reading: “La Llorona“, Spiritual Cleansing: A Mexican Ghost Story, “Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros, “La Llorona’s Sacred Waters” by Juana Alicia

III.  Post Reading: Analytical SummarySOAPS Analysis, Write your Own Cuento starring La Llorona

Objective 5: The Birth of Mexican American

By completing a unit portfolio which includes a reflective essay, an analytical essay, a poem or cuento, and an analytical summary, students will provide evidence of standards mastery for The Birth of the Mexican American Unit.