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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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2. Exploring Borders   

2. Exploring

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Author Activities

Americo Paredes - Teaching Tips

Back Back to Americo Paredes Activities
  • Read the Gregorio Cortez corrido aloud with your students. Ask them to think about what made Cortez such a heroic figure to Mexican Americans living in Texas. How does Cortez display his heroism? You might have them generate a list of qualities and characteristics that describe Cortez. After thoroughly discussing the corrido, ask your students to compare its plot, characterization of its hero, and themes to those of a contemporary song that they like.

  • Ask your students to think about the significance of the fact that Gregorio Cortez shares his name with the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. Does Gregorio Cortez have more in common with Cortés or with the Aztecs he conquered? How might the creation of a specifically Mexican American Cortez challenge or build on the legacy of Cortés the conquistador?

  • Have students draw a map of the town in which George Washington Gomez lives, including the major landmarks and locales that Gomez visits. What distinguishes this as a border town? How is space divided in the town both symbolically and literally?

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